At any given moment of any given day, you can find a show on cable that involves a chipper cook talking through a dinner recipe, or a streaming competition featuring bakers frantically trying to create a cupcake tower, or a documentary series with painfully slow pans across the surface of a dish. All this to say, we don’t necessarily need more food TV, but we’ll happily add these 10 shows to our streaming queues.
Chef’s Table: Pizza
Netflix, September 7
Chef’s Table, the vainglorious documentary series that made long, sweeping cinematography The Thing in food TV as we now know it, has in recent years become more specific, dedicating full seasons to barbecue, pastry, and France. The latest season focuses on pizza, with six featured pizzaiolos, including American pizza legend Chris Bianco, Rome’s pizza al taglio pioneer Gabriele Bonci, and James Beard Award-winning Ann Kimm, of Minneapolis’s Young Joni. Expect tons of wood-firing and ingredient foraging, plus lots of talk about dough and flour.
The Tiny Chef Show
Nickelodeon, September 9
Stop-motion-animated videos featuring the Tiny Chef became an Instagram sensation in 2018 by combining two things: a felted, slightly twee, and immensely huggable character with a hilariously unexpected voice. Children’s books and other retail opportunities followed, and now Tiny Chef creator Rachel Larson is bringing the character to Nickelodeon for a show that teaches kids about vegetarian eating. The Tiny Chef shows off ingredients in his adorable miniature kitchen, cooks up veggie recipes, and interacts with guest stars like Tabitha Brown, Kristen Bell, and RZA.
The Great British Baking Show; also a holiday edition
Netflix, September 13 in the UK
Some of The Great British Baking Show’s initial charms have admittedly worn off of late, as new hosts and ham-fisted challenges threaten to disrupt what makes Baking Show so great. That said, though, there’s still no culinary show that’s appointment viewing like GBBO: You don’t see Top Chef causing worldwide meltdowns over questionable theme weeks or horrifying David Bowie cakes. Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are back as judges; a separate holiday-themed mini season will premiere in early December.
Best in Dough
Hulu, September 19
Baking competitions have taken over every streaming service, challenging home bakers to create cakes, cupcakes, multi-tiered theme cakes, cakes shaped like things that are not cakes, cakes in toy ovens (see below), you name it. But savory bakes are less prominent, and Best in Dough breaks ground in this area by focusing exclusively on pizza. Each episode features a different pizza-themed challenge and a $10,000 cash prize for the winner; LA chef Daniele Uditi (of Pizzana) acts as head judge. (Best in Dough is produced by Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of the show, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.)
Fox, September 25
After the successful debut of their first-ever movie this summer, the animated Belcher family returns for their 13th season of running a struggling burger joint in an unnamed New England shore town. Bob’s comforts are familiar by now: At its heart, it’s a sincere family comedy where every character — from rule-breaking youngest child Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) to anxious, hanging-on-by-a-thread business owner Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) — feels not only outrageous but also hilariously real.
Netflix, October 12
Queer Eye’s resident food millennial Antoni Porowski hosts a culinary competition where bakers’ main tool is essentially a box of plastic surrounding a light bulb: an Easy-Bake Oven. Gimmicky, yes, but an Easy-Bake Oven is also kinda-sorta an air fryer when you squint, and these types of limitations can potentially provide an avenue to showcase the most creative or whip-smart cooks. Episodes have a Chopped-like setup with three “heats” that challenge competitors to feature “speed, ease, and taste” in their recipes. Tiny plastic spatula presumably not included.
Netflix, October 22
In 2012, actress Tembi Locke’s husband, Sicilian chef Saro Gullo, died of cancer. Locke’s 2019 memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, unpacks her grief and resulting uncertainty by recounting their courtship, which was initially complicated by the fact that Gullo’s Sicilian family disapproved of her as a Black woman. But Locke writes how that relationship was softened over many visits to the Italian countryside and often influenced by her own love of the region’s culinary traditions and her in-laws’ cooking. Now, the book is getting a miniseries treatment with Zoe Saldana starring as Locke; it’s safe to expect many shots of sweeping vistas and inviting plates of caponata alongside all the feels.
Netflix, October 28
Top Chef but for drinks? Sure! If filming people mix varying amounts of liquids together sounds like watching paint dry, the Canadian team behind the excellent glass-blowing competition Blown Away is also behind this production, so there’s some real promise here. (If your interests extend beyond cocktails themselves to the vessels they’re poured into, give Blown Away a watch as well.)
Roku, November 16
Hot off the opening of her first-ever restaurant, Martha Stewart returns to the comforts of (streaming) television with her show Martha Cooks, which promises guest stars and chefs who stop by Stewart’s Bedford, New York, estate. Companion shows, Martha Holidays and Martha Gardens, will premiere this fall, with the latter apparently documenting an entire calendar year on Stewart’s 153-acre farm.
Welcome to Chippendales
Hulu, November 22
Based on the engrossing podcast Welcome to Your Fantasy (seriously, go give it a listen), Welcome to Chippendales chronicles the unhinged backstory of everyone’s favorite male-stripper nightclub (no disrespect to the Thunder From Down Under boys). This dramatization stars Kumail Nanjiani as Chippendales founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee, whose appetite for success and power fueled the growth of his club empire while taking him down some seriously dark paths. Here’s hoping for scenes of ’80s excess to lighten the tone: An early still of Juliette Lewis with martini glass in hand is the energy we all need.
Don Caminos is a visual vaquero providing editorial illustration from Mexico City.
Copy edited by Leilah Bernstein