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5 Best Food Documentaries Online

Chef’s Table
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Chef’s Table, launches Friday, 26 April, Netflix

Now that we’ve finished gorging on Frank Underwood’s Machiavellian machinations and the first lady’s flawless tailoring, it’s time for a different kind of Netflix fix. David Gelb’s latest culinary docu-series for Netflix – Chef’s Table – launches this Friday (26th April) to take you into the kitchens and lives of six internationally renowned and truly extraordinary chefs – including Massimo Bottura’s exquisite fine dining (Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy), Francis Mallmann’s wild and wonderful open-flame cooking (El Restaurante Patagonia Sur in Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Niki Nakayama’s Japanese food odyssey (N/Naka Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA, USA). A flavour for cooking at another level altogether.

Jiro dreams of Sushi

This is the one that made director David Gelb’s name. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about one of the greatest masters of Japanese Cuisine – namely 85-year-old Jiro Ono, owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station – boasting three Michelin stars. But it is also the story of a father’s relationship with his sons and how their shared passion for relentless perfection has shaped their lives. Available to buy on iTunes.

The Trip to Italy

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan eat their way around Italy in this sumptuously filmed, side-splitting bit of pure entertainment. I’m stretching things to label it a ‘food documentary’ but it has to be here. If you like food, and have even a smidgen of a sense of humour, you’ll love it, as the pair ad-lib their way around some of Italy’s most scenically stunning spots, devouring plates of perfect looking food, and slagging off Michael Bublé as they go.

Feeding the Hungry Hills

You’ll find some of the most inspiring and enlightening Irish food documentaries on John and Sally McKenna’s Irish Food Channel. One that really stands out is this film about Dr Steve Collins, a hunger specialist, who lives and works in West Cork, applying his scientific research into starvation treatment to the marginal mountain land where his herd of Dexter cattle graze. Inspiring stuff.

Ted Talks – Chew On This

The talks aren’t new, most are a few years old, but they are still as relevant today as they were in 2011 – if not more so. Parents will want to watch Jamie Oliver’s Teach Every Child About Food and Ann Cooper’s School Lunches, while chefs will be interested in Peter Reinhart’s Bread and Dan Barber’s Foie Gras Parable. Some are as short as 4 minutes long, so no excuse not to expand your edible horizons right now. Available to view on Netflix.

Follow Lizzie Gore-Grimes on Twitter @lizgoregrimes

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