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A guide to food-focused new arrivals and standbys on all the most popular streaming services
We are currently living in the Golden Age of Food Entertainment. Every month, the networks and major streaming services get a handful of new shows and movies about chefs, restaurants, and the ways people eat around the world. Take a look at what’s new to stream in July right here, and check out Eater’s full guide to food TV and movies at the bottom of this post:.
Chef (Amazon Prime, July 28)
Although it’s far from perfect, Jon Favreau’s 2014 comedy is arguably the most entertaining movie that Hollywood has produced about the culinary world over the last five years. The story focuses on Carl Casper (played by Favreau), a frustrated Los Angeles chef who throws his good job on the fire to drive a food truck across the country with his son (Emjay Anthony) and sous chef (John Leguizamo). Casper’s social media meltdown and the banter between the chef and his kitchen crew are the funniest parts of this film, and the food looks great. Note: This movie is also currently available on Netflix.
Soul Food (HBO Now, July 1)
This 1997 hit drama/comedy focuses on a sprawling Chicago family that gathers together around the dinner table for a series of Sunday feasts. The matriarch, Big Mama (played by Irma P. Hall), does most of the cooking with some help from her daughters Maxine (Vivica A. Fox), Teri (Vanessa Williams), and Bird (Nia Long). In his three-and-a-half star review, Roger Ebert noted: “[I]n the way it cuts between stories of romance and trouble, it’s like Waiting to Exhale, but more down to earth and believable — and funnier.”
Butter (Netflix, July 6)
The world of competitive butter carving is the backdrop for this 2012 politically-tinged comedy starring Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Yara Shahidi, and Kristen Schaal. Although this ensemble comedy left some critics scratching their heads, Butter certainly has its fans as well.
Delicatessen (Netflix, July 1)
A decade before making the wildly successful romantic-comedy Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunere directed this cult classic about a devilish butcher who sells cheap human meat in a post-apocalyptic world where lentils are traded as currency and an underground community of vegetarians is plotting a rebel uprising. Delicatessen is an acquired taste, to say the least.
Heartburn (HBO Now, July 1)
Naturally, the film adaptation of Nora Ephron’s autobiographical novel about her first marriage includes a lot of eating and drinking. Most memorable, perhaps, is the scene wherein the protagonist, a food critic played by Meryl Streep, and her lover, a newspaper reporter portrayed by Jack Nicholson, share a bowl of postcoital pasta in bed. The critics were split on this film from director Mike Nichols, but if you’re an Ephron fan and/or someone who digs peak 1980s nostalgia, it’s definitely worth a spin.
Also new for July: The first season of HGTV’s cooking show Spice Up lands on Netflix, and the horror film Carne the Taco Maker hits Amazon Prime. On the flipside: Chocolat, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, and The Search For General Tso are all leaving Netflix at the beginning of the moth.
I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime, Premieres June 4)
Showtime’s new dramedy chronicles the lives of a group of aspiring stand-up comedians and a big club owner in LA in the 1970s, right after the Tonight Show moved out west. The series mostly takes places in bars, nightclubs, and LA restaurants like Canter’s, where the comedians chew over the night they just went through. Produced by Jim Carrey, I’m Dying Up Here features performances from some very talented actors and comedians, including Melissa Leo, Alfred Molina, and Al Madrigal. You can stream the first episode for free right now.
Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy (Showtime Anytime)
And speaking of Al Madrigal, the LA-based comedian’s newest specialShrimpin’ Ain’t Easy is now also available to stream on Showtime Anytime. Madrigal is one of the funniest people doing stand-up right now. This set includes more than a few jokes that will appeal to food obsessives, including a bit about a taco truck reveal, “seafood revenge,” and problematic Yelp reviews.
© Provided by Eater PBS/American Masters Young Jaques Pepin (left)
Jacques Pepin: The Art of Craft and James Beard: America’s First Foodie (PBS)
The two newest installments of PBS’s terrific American Masters documentary series focus on chefs who changed the food media landscape forever. The Jacques documentary chronicles the chef’s education in the great kitchens of France, his days working for Howard Johnson’s, and Pepin’s late-blooming career as a TV cooking show host. James Beard’s episode includes vintage footage of I Love to Eat — the show that he hosted on NBC in the late 40 — and a behind-the-scenes look at his relationship with kindred spirit Julia Child. Both films are now available to stream on PBS.org.
Chef & My Fridge (Netflix, June 28)
Netflix, the streaming service that keeps churning out great food TV shows left and right, is bringing subscribers a new South Korean cooking competition show. According to the official Netflix page, this program will feature Korea’s best chefs cooking “ingredients found inside the guest stars’ very own refrigerators.” No preview or photos are available yet; stay tuned for more details as they become available.
© Provided by Eater [Netflix] [Aziz Ansari in Master of None]
Chocolat (Netflix, available May 1)
True movie buffs may recall that, before he was starring in a never-ending series about 18th-century zombie pirates, Johnny Depp played the hunky love interest of a 1950s chocolatier. French actress Juliette Binoche stars as Vianne Rocher, whose sweet creations cause the residents of a small town to lose their inhibitions during Lent. If that sounds absurd, consider this excerpt from the film’s synopsis on Wikipedia: “Convinced now that chocolate will make people stray from their faith, [Mayor Comte de Reynaud] sneaks into Vianne’s house in order to ruin Vianne’s preparations for the Easter festival. After accidentally tasting a bit of chocolate that fell on his lips, he finally yields to temptation and devours much of the chocolate in the window display before collapsing into tears and eventually falling asleep.”
Decanted (Netflix, available May 1)
This documentary examines what is required to make it as a vintner in Napa Valley. Filmmaker Nicholas Kovacic II follows the team behind Italics Winegrowers, a new player in the game, and learns how much hard work and good fortune goes into a bottle. In addition to winemaking, Kovacic focuses on Napa wine culture and how it continued to flourish after Prohibition, at a time when other American alcohol industries became homogenized. “Napa Valley, California, is this place where history and legacy are really starting now to intertwine creating some lasting effects on global wine,” he says.
Master of NoneSeason 2 (Netflix, available May 12)
The first season of Aziz Ansari’s original series was a celebration of dining, and if the Season 2 trailer is any indication, new episodes will be just as gluttonous. In just over a minute of preview footage, Ansari and his friends are seen consuming espresso, assorted wines, rooftop shots, cheese, barbecue, and tweezer food. Be sure to have plenty of snacks at the ready before binging this series.
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table (Netflix, Available May 1)
This new documentary from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks chronicles the sensational life of New Orleans restaurateur Ella Brennan, who, at 91, still presides over Commander’s Palace and a slew of other Crescent City establishments. Brennan helped launch the careers of Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme, and she influenced countless restaurateurs over her long career. Check out the trailer here.
Twin PeaksSeason 3 (Hulu/Showtime, available May 21)
A little more than 25 years after it went off the air, cult classic Twin Peaks is coming back. It’s not really a show about food, but viewers can expect to see creator David Lynch, who also plays FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole, tucking into a doughnut or two. Kyle MacLachlan, reprising his role as Agent Dale Cooper, surely will enjoy some damn good coffee.
Leaving Netflix May 15: Parts Unknown Seasons 1-5
Try not to freak out, Bourdain fans. Yes, the bulk of Parts Unknown will vanish from your Netflix queues in the middle of the month. But, Season 6 is still available, and the brand-new Season 9 premiered on April 30. Deep breaths.
© Provided by Eater A screenshot of Documentary Now IFC Documentary Now!
Documentary Now! Season 2 (Netflix, available April 10)
Saturday Night Live alums Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers have a hit with their IFC series that pokes fun at the modern obsession with documentary films. The second episode of Season 2 is titled “Juan Likes Rice and Chicken,” and it tells the story of an 83-year-old chef named Juan and his award-winning restaurant. Anyone who has seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi or Chef’s Table will get the jokes.
The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass (Netflix, available April 22)
The Great British Baking Show is getting a complete overhaul, so for those who can’t bear to think of the series without its original cast, Masterclass will offer some relief. In this Baking Show spin-off, judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry demonstrate how to properly execute some of the toughest challenges from the series. All three seasons will be available, giving fans 15 more episodes with their favorite baking Brits.
Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix, available April 21)
Everyone’s favorite TV scientist has a new show coming to Netflix on April 21. In Bill Nye Saves the World, Nye will be joined by a variety of celebrities to analyze topics including sex, global warming, and alternative medicine. Alton Brown, everyone’s favorite TV food scientist, will star in one episode. Details are scarce, but considering Nye and Brown’s track records, it’s safe to assume there will be lots of quirky fun.
© Provided by Eater Netflix Samurai Gourmet
Samurai Gourmet (Netflix, available March 17)
Fans of Japanese manga will want to tune into Samurai Gourmet. Adapted from actor Masayumi Kasuki’s essay and comic of the same name, this 12-episode series follows a newly retired Kasuki as he “discovers the joys of daytime drinking and the realization that he is now free to eat and drink what he wants, when he wants.” Who can’t relate to that? This gluttonous awakening allows Kasuki to delve into the world of fantasy and reimagine himself as a samurai warrior in the time of Japan’s civil wars. [Watch the trailer]
Food Chains (Hulu, available March 5)
This documentary boasts actor Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser, whose previous work includes Food Inc. and Fast Food Nation,as producers. Farmworkers serve as the backbone of America’s food industry. Many deal with awful working conditions, wherein they face physical abuse, sexual harassment, and menial wages. The creators of Food Chains hope their exposé will raise enough awareness to improve the lives of these workers. [Watch the trailer]
Sustainable (Netflix, Now available)
Winner of the 2016 Accolade Global Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement, Sustainable investigates the multitude of environmental and agricultural issues that threaten America’s food supply. At the center of the documentary is seventh-generation farmer Marty Travis, who is fighting the corporate farming industry by leading a sustainable food movement in Chicago. [Watch the trailer]
The Mind of a Chef, Seasons 1-4 (Netflix, Now available)
After ditching the streaming service in 2015, The Mind of a Chef is back on Netflix. Seasons 1 through 4 feature superstars David Chang, Sean Brock, Ed Lee, and Gabrielle Hamilton, respectively. Each episode is narrated by globe-trotting gourmand Anthony Bourdain’s silky-smooth voice. [Watch the Season 4 trailer]
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Netflix, Now available)
Late-night people watching at a greasy spoon is a pastime around the world. This scripted series spans 10 episodes and gives viewers a glimpse into the existence of a Tokyo diner open only after midnight (Kaoru Kobayashi plays the nameless owner, who characters simply refer to as “Master”). Each installment focuses on a different sort of Japanese comfort food, such as tanmen noodles, fried rice omelets, and pickled plums, and details how specific dishes emotionally resonate with the diner’s cast of regulars. Although it’s not new to Netflix as of this month, this recent arrival is starting to generate a cult following here in the states, because it’s great. [Watch the trailer]
Hungry for more? Check out Eater’s guide to noteworthy food and drink-related shows to stream, categorized by streaming service:
Anthony Bourdain: A Cook’s Tour [Season 1 and 2]
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown [Season 6]
Avec Eric [entire series]
Chef’s Table [Seasons 1 to 3]
Cooked [Season 1]
The Great British Bake-Off [Seasons 1 through 3]
Master of None [Seasons 1 and 2]
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories [Season 1]
Mind of a Chef [Seasons 1 through 4]
Samurai Gourmet [Season 1]
Spice Up [Season 1]
The Wild Chef [Seasons 1 and 2]
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Missing Ingredient
Noma: My Perfect Storm
Super Size Me
Somm: Into the Bottle
The Trip in Italy
After Hours With Daniel Boulud
A Cook’s Tour [Seasons 1 and 2]
Cake Boss [Seasons 9 through 11]
The Chef [Season 6]
Top Chef Masters [Seasons 1 through 6]
From Martha’s Kitchen [Seasons 1 through 7]
Hell’s Kitchen [Season 16]
Masterchef [Season 7]
Kitchen Confidential [The short-lived Bradley Cooper sitcom]
Top Chef [Seasons 1 through 13]
Ants on a Shrimp
City of Gold
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Kampai! For the Love of Sake
Anthony Bourdain Explains Everything
The Chef’s Bar
Great Chefs of France
Great Chefs of New Orleans
Great Chefs of the South
Eat the World With Emeril
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
• All Coverage of Food TV [E]
from 5 Food Movies to Stream on Netflix, HBO, and More in July