Is it just me, or have you noticed that everyone has become a baker and a home chef during lockdown?
It’s amazing what some time and lack of options will do for your culinary skills!
I’m trying to bake something at least once a week, as we have no real dessert options here with all the restaurants closed, but then I’ve always enjoyed baking so that’s not been a real challenge! The main obstacle has been getting hold of cocoa powder, so I’ve had to avoid all recipes with that in – sigh.
I’ve definitely been upping my game on my daily meals though, drawing inspiration from online recipes, YouTube and even TV series. Nigella and Jamie are always my go to when I’m in a pinch, but I’ve been surprised by how many people are coming out on social media to share their recipes to help get us through lockdown (mine are all here by the way!)
A couple of weeks ago I shared some picks of international series you can stream online, but this week it’s all about world food! Whether you want genuine inspiration, or just want to see some delicious food on screen, then I’ve got some great recommendations for you. They’re mainly travel related, showing food from around the world, but some of them actually have a lot of recipes to follow along with. I’m also including some food photos from my travels to whet your appetite even more!
I hope these don’t make you too hungry….. maybe make a snack…..
FIVE FOODIE SERIES
If you’re lucky to be able to stream any of Anthony Bourdain’s series, then I highly recommend them, but sadly they’re not available on Latin American Netflix anymore. However, I’ve got five super interesting series covering food from around the world – all available on Netflix.
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories – This is a lovely little fictional series about the patrons of a small diner in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo open from midnight until 7am. Each episode focuses on a different Japanese dish and a different customer’s story. It’s very funny at times and sometimes very strange, but it can also be heartwarming. It seems no topic of conversation is left uncovered either!
Somebody Feed Phil – If I’m being honest, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this series due to the fact that it’s presented/created by the man who made ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ – I really dislike that show. However, I really found myself loving Somebody Feed Phil! Each episode focuses on a new city around the world and the food there. He meets local chefs and foodies, tries his hand at different food related activities and generally eats a ton of food while exploring the city itself. He loves getting involved with local citizens and chatting to them about their lives too which is a fun addition, if not super awkward at times!
Chef’s Table: Pastry – I haven’t seen all of the Chef’s Table series, however I made sure I watched the pastry season. Over the four episodes you follow the lives and careers of four different pastry chefs in the US, Sicily in Italy, Spain and Bali. Each episode is in the native language of the chef, with other commentary in English, so you’ll need to concentrate when watching! It’s also fascinating to see some of their famous dishes created in front of you.
Salt Fat Acid Heat – We follow as cook Samin Nosrat takes us on trips to Italy, Japan, Mexico and the USA, to tell us all about four important elements of cooking and how they’re used to create amazing dishes. Sadly there are only four episodes, one for each element, but I wish there’d been more!
Ugly Delicious – Chef David Chang, owner of Momofuku, visits culinary hotspots around the world, including Copenhagen and Tokyo, to explore their culinary differences and similarities. He’s joined by guests, such as writers, chefs and TV personalities, to explore delicious food from all around the world, no matter how beautifully it’s presented on the plate!
EXTRA OPTION: I believe in some countries Netflix has a few series of The Great British Bake Off available, so if you want to brush up on your baking skills while watching people compete with their ambitious home bakes then I highly recommend this one!
FOUR FOODIE FILMS
I have read so many recommendations for food films that I need to watch ASAP (Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Lunchbox, The Big Night….), but these were the four that immediately came to mind when I decided to write this post. These films can’t all be found on Netflix LA, but I’m sure they’re available elsewhere!
Chef – This film follows a chef as he tries to start a food truck business and how this change affects his relationship with his family. Full of delicious food from start to finish topped with a sprinkle of comedy. A great film for a movie night – just make sure you don’t watch it hungry!
The Hundred-Foot Journey – An Indian family relocate to France and reopen their family run eatery opposite a well known Michelin starred French restaurant. The owners butt heads, but one of the sons is keen to expand his culinary knowledge from the enemy over the road. France is always going to be a great backdrop for a food film, and in this case we have beautiful countryside, quaint villages and delicious produce as a feast for the eyes.
Ratatouille – Whilst not being your quintessential foodie film, this Disney Pixar number will have you reaching for your wooden spoon in no time! Remy, an aspiring chef (but also a rat), partners up with a kitchen worker to make his dreams of culinary stardom come true. The perfect family foodie film!
Julie and Julia – Julie, in present day New York, decides that she is going to cook every recipe from Julia Child’s first cookbook and blog about her challenge. Her kitchen adventures are intertwined with Julia Child’s beginnings in the, dominantly male, world of French cooking. This film has its lovers and haters, but I personally love watching this for the scenes where Meryl Streep, as Julia, explores the culinary delights of Paris, cooking up a storm as she goes.
FIVE ON INSTAGRAM
There are so many to choose from on Instagram, the world and his mother are all doing Instagram lives for one thing or another, but these are my picks for cracking content that I check out daily.
David Lebovitz – a chef and author who has lived in Paris for many years, has been my go to for foodie recommendations in the city for years now. He’s been doing daily cocktail lives at 6pm Paris time to showcase his new book Drinking French. It’s super interesting learning about the different French liqueurs, spirits and sparkling wines, and the history behind some of the drinks too. He always shares his daily cooking on Instagram stories, with tips and tricks and ingredient recommendations too!
Honey and Co. – Honey and Co. is a middle eastern style restaurant in London, with a sister site called Honey & Smoke (amazing place). The husband and wife team behind the restaurants have been sharing recipes on their stories, which you can find on the highlights of their main page, including babka, chicken soup, maamool, chocolate cake and pitta bread. Delicious!
Joy the Baker – I’ve loved Joy’s blog for years, where she posts her recipes step-by-step for you to easily follow along. However, she also shares some of her daily baking and cooking on her Instagram stories, in the same step-by-step format which I’ve been really enjoying!
KS Ate Here – A lover of food, living in London, KS normally heads out to some of the best food spots in the city. However, on lockdown, he’s currently sharing all of the amazing local food spots offering collection and delivery within the city. The reason I’m sharing him here is because he’s also cooking lots of ridiculously delicious recipes on his stories, some of which are based on local chef’s cookbooks. For London food lovers, he’s a must follow.
Jimena Agois – Jimena is my local foodie pick for Peru. She is an amazing food photographer and she’s currently sharing a lot of step-by-step recipes on her stories. She gives a lot of advice and guidance, but it is all in Spanish, so you do have to understand the language! She’s also giving a lot of small tutorials on how to make your food photography better, whilst sharing some of the businesses offering necessary produce deliveries (meat, veg etc) within the city.
Jamie Oliver is my go to for cooking, whether it’s through his cookbooks, websites or TV shows, but he’s actually sharing parts of his new quarantine based series on his Instagram and YouTube channels. I’ve been catching up on both forms of media, as I can’t see the full series outside of the UK, so I’m keeping him separated as an extra entry here! Speaking of YouTube……
FIVE ON YOUTUBE
YouTube has become my go to destination for all things travel related. Whenever I’m heading to a new destination I check out travel videos here so I can see what to expect from where I’m going. I often try to find people who are local, but sometimes it’ll just be people like me with a love for travel. However, regardless of who they are, I’m always drawn to people who love food. For me, it’s one of the main enjoyments of my travels and so, so important when I’m planning a trip. Aside from this, I also love using YouTube for getting my weekly dose of recipe inspo – baking, daily cooking and for special occasions.
Strictly Dumpling – Mikey shares his food adventures around mainly Asia and North America (although he has videos from elsewhere too), including delicious amounts of street food, ridiculously expensive food, buffets and even some crazy food challenges. He also has another personal, more casual, channel called Mikey Chen, where he shares the extras from his trips, so if you need more food from him, you can find it there! Find him here.
Cupcake Jemma – Amazing cakes and bakes recipes from the owner of one of my favourite bakeries in London, Crumbs and Doilies. Find her here.
Miss Mina / Sweet & Tasty TV – Mina Oh has an original style of video making which I love, she’s so fun and quirky! She often travels solo or with her mum (especially on Sweet & Tasty) and shares the best food (including a lot of street food) on offer in a number of different locations around the world (mainly Asia and North America). The Miss Mina channel explores many different culinary destinations, whereas Sweet & Tasty TV is all about the food and culture in South Korea. Find her here and here.
Simon And Martina (Eat Your Kimchi) – These guys are so much fun!! This Canadian couple started off making videos in Korea, where they lived first, moving to Japan quite a few years ago and continuing there. They make a mixture of highly produced food and restaurant videos, to videos about their lives living abroad. They’re serious about food, but they have so much fun sharing it all with us. Find them here.
Alex (French Guy Cooking) – Obsessed with finding the best techniques to make the perfect dishes, Alex uses experiments and science to get the best out of his ingredients and preparation. He’s a lot of fun to watch and makes cooking look so easy to do. He’ll go from teaching you how to use simple ingredients in many different ways, to perfecting the art of croissant making. It’s one for beginners and advanced cooks alike, or enjoyable to watch even if you don’t intend to make anything at all! Find him here.
I do have a couple of extra recommendations, that didn’t quite fit my criteria for the top five, but I definitely wanted to mention them!
Tabi Eats is a recommendation for those interested in Japanese food. I didn’t put them in the main five, as they’ve recently split their videos over a few different channels, each focusing on different aspects – their main Japan food channel, livestreams, food tastings and recipes. However, these Tokyo-ites have a great resource of videos for all things food related in Tokyo, and throughout Japan. Find them here.
The Endless Adventure are another extra, mainly because their channel is primarily a travel channel. They do however always included a self-guided food tour of the places they visit and they will eat anywhere – from tiny street food stalls and markets to famous local food spots and more upmarket restaurants. Find them here.
I hope you’re not too hungry by this point and that you’ve discovered something to get your tastebuds excited! Whip up some brownies, enjoy a movie or a series and forget everything that’s going on in the world for an hour or two….