Four shows to make you a better chef

(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

I don’t know about you, but during the March lockdown I was hungrier than ever. There was no yeast on the shelves and anybody who was anybody was baking banana bread. One thing was for sure: we were all cooking. Lunch times became increasingly difficult after realising sandwiches got boring after a week and so I turned to the internet to find something new. I found some brilliant chefs and food series thanks to YouTube and Netflix, proving as a valuable entertainment source plus a satisfactory elixir against that boring space in my stomach that until then only the most basic of dishes had filled. Feast your eyes on four brilliant chefs who turned my lockdown cooking into something enjoyable and delicious, just don’t make yourself too hungry if you binge watch their shows until three in the morning!

Kenji Lopez - J. Kenji López-Alt

Available to watch on YouTube.

American chef and author, Kenji Lopez-Alt has a great channel on YouTube where you can watch him cook his post shift meals from the go pro on top of his head. Besides the late-night cooking episodes, a lot of the content is shot in his home whilst dogs are running around the floor trying to get to the food and children are crying in the background: all whilst a brilliant chef creates restaurant grade food in his very own home. My favourites are the Ricotta Gnocchi (so quick and tasty) and Guacamole recipe - it is like no other you have seen before. As a chef, he has a lot of great tips and skills to show you which makes it an educational but laid-back experience. Everything he makes seems to take five minutes but look insanely delicious too, definitely worth seeking out. His cookbook, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, is a little more formal but a great extra read for anyone interested in becoming a great cook.

Binging with Babish - Andrew Rea

Available to watch on YouTube.

This show is by far the easiest and funniest to watch! Sit back and be entertained as Andrew Rea recreates iconic dishes from our most beloved films, tv shows and even games. Think Pollos Hermanos from Breaking Bad, Rachel’s Trifle from Friends and even Breakfast Dessert Pasta from Elf. You’ll be surprised at how many he has done! The YouTube channel has since split into multiple sections as ‘Binging with Babish’ grew into the ‘Babish Culinary Universe’. My particular favourite is ‘Basics with Babish’, where the simplest foods such as bread, pasta and pizza are explained clearly whilst he creates a gorgeous recipe from them, sometimes multiple. Binging with Babish is one of my all-time favourites and there is so much content to get through you won’t know where to start...Ratatouille is always a great one, if you can guess which film it’s from?

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Available to watch on Netflix.

If you’re looking for something a little deeper, then let Samin Nosrat take you to Italy, Japan and even Mexico. The four-part cooking documentary follows the structure of Nosrat’s cookbook, Salt Fat Acid Heat, which simplifies the art of cooking into four elements and provides simple explanations and instructions to help you become a natural chef. The Netflix series follows the same principle except it is so much more indulgent. I love how deep Nosrat uses the culture of the location to explain the principles of her cooking; every ingredient is so important and carefully thought out, the pace of this show is therapeutic. Watching as they knead endless amounts of salt into soft doughy focaccia is mouth-watering! I thoroughly recommend buying the book too for that extra background knowledge!

The Chef Show

Available to watch on Netflix.

Starring Chef Roy Choi, famous for pioneering the gourmet food truck, and filmmaker/actor Jon Favreau, this cooking series is a spin-off of their 2014 film, Chef. Cooking their way around America, the presenters discuss the meaning of food and show you how to create some beautiful dishes in some cool places. The informality and chattiness of the show is a joy to watch: with two seasons, there is so much flavour and passion to get through, you can’t take your eyes away from the screen - even the plainest grilled cheese looks like heaven. Ever since the presenters began their culinary journey together during the production of Chef (2014), Chef Roy has been teaching Jon all there is to know, and you feel like you’re coming along for the ride. Plus, Chef Roy’s restaurant in Las Vegas is any foodies' dream. There are also lots of conversation with famous guests such as Tom Holland, Seth Rogen, Gwenyth Paltrow and so many more, it is undeniably one of the most entertaining cooking shows out of the bunch!

We love these food shows and hope you will too! If you watch any of our recommendations, let us know what you think via our Instagram - @inquirekent.