This year brought on some seriously amazing food TV shows that were clearly designed to keep us salivating for more episodes. Throughout 2022, there seemed to be something for the palette—intense cooking competitions, deep dives into street eats, foodie explorations, and catchphrases even non-cooks couldn’t get enough of.
Additionally, there was a resurgence of some familiar faces in the dining scene, like Ina Garten whipping up new dishes and sharing tips for fans, and introduced some new hosts to serve up entertaining content about cooking, baking, deep frying, and more. We traveled around the world in search of delicious hidden gems and paid homage to the late, great Julia Child.
Some of these will be back for new seasons in 2023, and we’re sure to see more creative ideas in the kitchen. For now, these are a few of the best food TV shows that came out in the past year, which we will definitely be binge watching during the holiday season.
The Big Brunch on HBO Max
It’s kind of surprising that there hasn’t been more brunch-focused food TV shows, considering it’s become one of the most popular shared meals in the last few decades. Luckily, the Big Brunch combines menu items that walk the blurred line between breakfast and lunch—while also filling the empty space where Schitt’s Creek used to live, thanks to host Dan Levy. The Big Brunch is centered around 10 chefs recreating classic brunch dishes like eggs Benedict and hangover cure cocktails, it’s the judges commentary, similar in style to Chef’s Table, and overall camaraderie that make this reality show feel less vindictive than other cooking competitions. The final episode culminates in a Shark Tank-esque business pitch session to see who will take home the grand prize of of $300,000, and what the contestants come up with will warm your heart and soul for sure.
Baking It on Peacock
Season 2 of Baking It is already off to a sweet start, after premiering earlier this month. This baking-centric, competition food TV show featuring hilarious, big-name name co-hosts Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler, and a panel of grandmother judges who don’t hold back when it comes to the critiques. Saturday Night Live funny gal Poehler brings new life as Rudolph’s co-host, replacing SNL former cast mate Andy Samberg from Season 1. However, it’s the goodies contestants bake up that have us craving new episodes. Fortunately, new episodes will be streaming each week beginning December 12.
The Bear on Hulu
“Yes Chef” is the new “Yes Daddy” these days, thanks to FX’s introduction of one of the most talked about food TV shows of 2022, The Bear. The plot line encompasses so much of what working in an actual kitchen is really like—from the pressure-cooker world of Michelin-star restaurants to keeping health codes in check for the casual dining spots. Mental health and personal wellness are a big theme of The Bear, which centers around a highly trained master chef returning to take over his family’s sandwich shop in Chicago after his brother’s death. A cast of true Chicagoans and their lives in the kitchen make this show hard not to watch in one weekend.
Take Out With Lisa Ling on HBO Max
For those interested in food TV shows that can also help them expand their to-go orders to more authentic international cuisines that even when reimagined still hold true to their cultural roots, Take Out With Lisa Ling is the perfect program for you. Ling is a superb documentary host, bringing her personal elements to each restaurant highlighted, and really offering a new take on take out dining in general. From Southern California’s booming Vietnamese-American cuisine scene to a trip through New York City’s colorful Bangladeshi restaurants, you’ll be craving flavors of these new American classics through the power of creative storytelling.
Be My Guest With Ina Garten on Food Network
She’s the contemporary queen of entertaining; Garten manages to make every new project she works on more creative than the last. The premise of Be My Guest With Ina Garten is basically Garten hanging out with some of her closest friends, cooking amazing food, getting tipsy on cute cocktails, and sharing a love for shared dining that will make you want to throw a dinner party, stat. Actress Julianna Margulies kicks off the first episode, which involves margaritas, herb picking, and a beach picnic. Grab a drink and settle in, because you’ll be charmed by the subsequent guests, recipes, and entertainment that follows. Here’s a taste of what you’ll get—check out when Garten sat down with actress Emily Blunt to enjoy some scones.
The Julia Child Challenge on Discovery+
Discovery+ really went there by combining a cooking competition with one of America’s beloved classic chefs, Julia Child. For the Julia Child Challenge, eight home cooks were the stars of this show, who were brought together through their common connection to Child’s recipes, techniques, and tastes. The show goes beyond soufflés and boeuf bourguignon. However, viewers learn more about who Child was as a chef and a person, with episodes connecting to her life in sweet, tender ways. Be warned: Bingeing this during the holidays might have you breaking out your copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (just do yourself a favor and skip the aspic parts).
From Scratch on Netflix
From Scratch is a dramatic food TV show should definitely comes with a warning—because you will likely want to cry after nearly every episode. While the storyline cuts deep (especially for die-hard romantics), it will also leave you hungry for more—literally, as key component of the show centers around Italian food, Sicilian food, in particular. Zoe Saldaña stars in this limited Netflix series as an American woman who falls in love with a Sicilian chef, and the international scenes that take place in Florence, Tuscany, and Sicily are drool-worthy enough. The show mixes a love of fine arts with a love for culinary arts, serving up fine dining, and a level of appreciation for comfort food only an Italian nonna could love.
Is It Cake? on Netflix
Part game show, part baking competition, SNL‘s Mikey Day is the one keeping viewers rolling through the episodes in search of answers to the show’s main question: Is It Cake? The aim is to have bakers create cakes that resemble non-cake items, like shoes, purses, and other foods, some of which are so realistic, it hurts. A slew of hysterical celebrity judges—Bobby Moynihan and Heidi Gardner, to name a few—have to guess which is the real deal and which is a sweet trick. Whether you love or hate the viral social media craze that started it all, Is It Cake? will definitely have you second-guessing your dessert choices in the best of ways.
BBQ USA on Food Network
BBQ is not just food, it’s a whole culture, with a deeply rooted history that brings flavors of the past to the forefront. And we’re pretty sure BBQ USA host Michael Symon has the best job ever, traveling across the U.S. to showcase different techniques, recipes, and businesses that are bringing American BBQ to life. The show tells the story of BBQ through local competitions, from Texas to New Jersey and beyond, all of which cultivate these carnivorous communities and form generational bonds you don’t see elsewhere in the culinary world. Don’t believe me? Check out Symon’s breakdown of the “10 Commandments of BBQ”—and just make sure to have your favorite BBQ sauce ready, because you will be craving brisket at the end.
Rat in the Kitchen on TBS
Rat in the Kitchen isn’t so much about the recipes as it is about solving mysteries that take place in the kitchen. The hilarious hijinks are produced by a chef who is hired to purposely sabotage the meals of the other contestants, acting as a “rat” and causing mischief and mayhem. The aim is to figure out who is at fault, in an attempt to win a prize of $50,000. Chef Ludo Lefebvre and comedian Natasha Leggero keep things silly as the hosts of the show, which will leave you laughing as well as hungry.
Deep Fried Dynasty on A&E
If you’ve ever wondered, “Who invented the fried Oreos?” Deep Fried Dynasty is definitely for you. This docuseries takes place at the State Fair of Texas, known for its crispy culinary creations but also for some of the most bizarre yet delicious foodie combinations one can experience all in one place. Viewers are treated to not only mouthwatering combinations like a fried butter and pancakes, and a Funnel Cake Chicken Sandwich, but to the lives of those making a living working food vendor stands at state fairs across the country. It’s a fascinating look at fair food come to life, one deep fryer at a time.
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This content was originally published here.