Now that food delivery has expanded beyond the borders of Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, it’s so much easier to order-in and just curl up on the couch after a long day. Of course, that’s when you ask yourself, what do I want to watch with my plate of Greek souvlaki/Japanese sushi/perfectly seared steak? Well here are some of our top favourites, from movies to variety TV to anime. (Yes, you read that right: anime!)
If you like lip-smacking depictions of food on the screen to go with similarly tongue-tingling food on the plate, well, sit tight because here are some shows that will make your meal just that bit more satisfying.
A delightfully heartwarming movie about how an ex-head chef quits his job/is fired after a nasty review from an ex-fan, takes his son from his ex-wife, and goes on a cooking journey on a food truck that was given to him by his ex-wife’s ex-husband.
Wow. That was a lot of exes. That aside, this movie earned the highest votes from the Chope staff, both for the great food (cuban sandwiches anyone?) and the touching scenes. Many of us felt that it forged a certain relatableness to the characters, which kept us engaged and invested. As the bond between father and son grew stronger, we cheered. And ate our dinner. In the end, we all agreed that it was a great movie that left us hungry (both literally and figuratively) for more.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
This movie has Helen Mirren – that’s all the reason you need to watch it! But there are more cherry toppers: Ever wondered what would happen if Indian cuisine went toe-to-toe with French cuisine?
Apparently, Indian-French fusion.
When the Kadam family arrives in France and sets up a restaurant across from a Michelin-starred establishment owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), they begin an unintentional (or intentional?) competition that starts with food and ends with traditions and beliefs. To add to the delight, there’s a dash of Romeo-and-Juliet-esque romance between the young sous chef from Madame Mallory’s restaurant and the young Kadam heir.
What we liked about this movie? The heartwarming, humble, and delightful humour. Add a dash of gorgeous cinematography of food that will have you cravings for chapati and omelettes. Mix in more scenes of stirring consomme and curries, and your stomach is set on growl for the night!
Anyone subscribed to Netflix would have been sucked into the wonderful world of Chef’s Table, a documentary that’s got everyone talking (and drooling) for days. Chef’s Table brings you behind the scenes of both fine-dining restaurants and casual diners alike. The diversity of food on show is both craving-inducing and satisfying. The chaos of a restaurant kitchen only serves to highlight the grace of each chef’s actions. Ingredients are handled with calm and poise that seem to glide from chopping board to pan to plate.
If this show doesn’t get your mouth watering, I’m not sure what will. Be sure to have something to eat in hand while watching!
Yet another Netflix pick, Cooked is a show to get your taste buds wagging. Based on the book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan (the same person in the show), this is a four part documentary that explores cooking through the elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Unlike Chef’s Table, Cooked goes right into the deep traditional techniques of aborigines and how this knowledge is passed on through word of mouth from parent to child. It is no less flavourful than the former, with sizzling, seared steaks and crisp loaves of bread that break with a gratifying crack.
The Food Ranger
If TV isn’t your jam, and you’re a modern millennial who eats at your computer table, take a look at this Youtube channel that features food all around the world. And I mean, all around the world. Most of the videos are about street food, which is a refreshing change from formal restaurants. The Food Ranger himself, Trevor James, is funny and engaging with a gift of the gab in describing whatever he eats. Watching his channel will definitely give you new ideas for that vacation trip you’re planning!
Migrationology with Mark Wiens
For those who’d like some traveling tips with your food commentary, take a look at Mark Wiens’ channel. This self-described travel-eater has roamed almost the entire world , eating his way through the humble local cuisines. He has a knack for finding local haunts, bringing his viewers closer to the local culture. You’ll definitely learn many new food names as you follow Mark on his journey.
Cooking Master Boy
If you haven’t watched Cooking Master Boy, then it’s about high time you did! With wacky shenanigans and crazy, gravity-defying techniques, Cooking Master Boy cooks up a storm that will leave you craving for the dishes after every episode. Set in China during the “era of the cooking wars”, this anime follows main character Mao on his quest to become a legendary Master Chef, gathering both friends and enemies along the way.
Many giggles are to be had at the extreme reactions the characters have towards every bite of food, while each dish shines and shimmers (and sometimes sparkles). The trick is to not take it too seriously, but be sure to enjoy yourself (and your Chinese takeaway), as you watch!
Shokugeki no Soma
A more recent manga turned anime, Shokugeki no Soma takes the extreme reactions and builds a freaking jet out of them. If you thought Cooking Master Boy was exaggerated, then this anime takes the metaphorical cake, eats it, and changes the atmosphere into pink sparkles and writhing moans of enjoyment in reaction to how “fluffy” the texture of it was. There’s now a third series to this, so you can imagine just how popular it has gotten.
(And yes, the guy is yelling “fish soup” in French.)
And of course, these movies with food-porn worthy scenes deserve some credit.
1. Spirited Away
This unforgettable banquet scene in Spirited Away has our tummies growling.
This piping hot bowl of ramen in Ponyo will leave you craving for cup noodles for days.
Our sentiments exactly, Ponyo.
No one loves food as much as this guy – I mean, come on, just look at him.
Cr: all GIFs were from giphy.com