With summer now officially here, the weather is starting to heat up. While we’re normally all about getting outside and enjoying what Nature has to offer (fully protected from the sun, of course), there are some days when it’s just too hot. (AC was invented for a reason.) In the interest of making the most of your time indoors, we put together a list of food shows to catch up on while you’re staying– to quote one the catchiest voices of our generation– “cool for the summer.”
If you love a good #LadyBoss… Ella Brennan: Commanding The Table
Most people have heard of Emeril Lagasse, one of the most popular celebrity chefs of all time, best known for his catchphrase “Bam!” and the cans of soup you probably have somewhere in your kitchen but have never eaten. Fewer, however, know of Ella Brennan, his first mentor. “The list of people she has impacted in the hospitality industry in America is endless,” Lagasse recently reflected in a profile of Brennan for The New York Times. Miss Ella, as she is known in New Orleans, became an extremely successful restauranteur at a time when women weren’t expected to have careers outside of homemaking and her presence in a (still) male-dominated sphere inspired other women hoping to cut their teeth in the culinary world. The Netflix documentary traces her rise and the immense network of chefs she influenced.
If you want to broaden your horizons… Restaurant Australia
In the past few years, the food scene has seen a surge of interest in Australian food, with bars and restaurants popping up all over New York, a shoe-in for more health-conscious dining. Out to prove there’s more to Australian food than shrimp on the barbie, Restaurant Australia brings together three celeb Australian chefs to create a menu to impress the world’s top food critics. The documentary follows the three chefs as they source their ingredients from farms and transform them in the kitchen, narrating their philosophies all along the way. (Spoiler: nature is huge factor for their culinary inspiration.)
If you like your food with a side of politics and culture… Cooked
Should you wish to further worship at the altar of Michael Pollan, Cooked is beautifully filmed investigation of food in the world. The four episodes are framed along each of the four major elements (fire, earth, air, and water) and Pollan travels around the world to discover how different cultures make use of each to transform food. Along the way he records the stories that accompany the different recipes he encounters, interviewing chefs (famous and unknown alike) about what the dishes mean to them and what they are a part of.
If you love good characters…The Mind of a Chef
In its inaugural season, The Mind of Chef followed David Chang, the celebrity chef and culinary chair of The Edible Schoolyard Project, tracing his inspiration around the world and diving in to his genre-bending recipes. Each season of the Emmy-award winning show profiles a different famous chef, and is narrated by one of the culinary world’s most colorful characters: Anthony Bourdain. With five seasons under its belt, The Mind of a Chef offers a well-rounded look into the famous faces of the culinary world, creating an intimate rapport with the viewer as if the chefs are your very own dinner guests.
If you’re into epics… Chef’s Table
Operatic in tone and cinematic in scope, Chef’s Table is the ultimate in food porn, with substance to match. Each episode profiles a different internationally renowned chef, examining their style and philosophy. From the creator of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef’s Table was nominated for Emmys for both of its seasons. While each episode is its own beautifully contained portrait, we’re particular fans of Jeong Kwan’s homegrown, vegetarian temple cuisine.
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