As the lockdown goes on…and on…and on…I’ve learned that my kids ask for snacks even while they’re eating snacks. But I’ve also learned that my husband and I have very different tastes about what to comfort-watch. While he is content watching doomsday movies and 24-hour news channels, I gravitate towards shows about food. Whether they’re instructional or competitive, I can’t get enough. So here is my breakdown of the best food shows I’ve been hunkering down with.
For the Obsessive
If you’re already familiar with the Bon Appétit YouTube channel, then you know how engrossing it can be. Of the various shows the chefs of the test kitchen host, my two favorites are Gourmet Makes and It’s Alive with Brad. With a vast archival library, and new content posted weekly, Bon Appétit is great for when I need a quick pick-me-up.
If You’re Watching With Kids
Also produced by Bon Appétit is a show called Kids Try, available on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Epicurious.com. The show serves up bite-sized episodes of kids trying different types of food from the past 100 years. My kids especially liked the Cookie episode, featuring Cookie Monster.
If You Like Competition
I’ll tune in to Chopped or even Guy’s Grocery Games in a pinch, but my preferred reality food show during the pandemic is Spring Baking Championship. The contestants are upbeat, the judges aren’t too harsh, and I feel like I’m vicariously enjoying Spring through the colorful confections.
If You Only Have 6 Minutes
Just Watch has a ridiculous show called Dishmantled where a cannon fires a dish into contestants’ faces, and they have 30 minutes to recreate what they think splattered all over them. Then a panel of judges, who don’t really judge anything, tastes what they’ve made. The contestant who includes the most ingredients from the explosion wins. This is all condensed into less than 10 minutes, but the best part is that the host is Titus Burgess.
Chang presents his opinions as facts. His feelings about food are passionate; in one episode, meticulously prepared Japanese barbecue moves him to tears. But episode 3 from Season 1 about home cooking is my favorite; Chang’s mom is a trip.
I’ve also watched a few episodes of Worth It (available on YouTube or Hulu), a show where two very average guys travel around tasting the same food at different price points and evaluate the value. My go-to cooking show is always Barefoot Contessa, even though she measures her salt. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t already know, watching The Great British Baking Show is like wrapping yourself in a warm, fuzzy blanket. And if you overdose on food shows, there’s always Bob Ross.