Look no further for comforting movies and shows that will make you feel good and inspired for dinner.

Jessica Ball, M.S., R.D.
March 16, 2020
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Whether it is in the background while you are doing other things or you are lying low and needing a mood boost, we have pulled together some of our editor's favorite food-related movies and shows for days spent at home. These movies range from Disney classics to informational and intriguing works of culinary art that are bound to brighten even the dreariest of days. Choose one (or several) films and get comfortable. Oh, and don't forget to bring some snacks—you'll need it.

Food Shows

Here are some of our favorite food-related shows and series, in no particular order.

1. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a Netflix series based on the award-winning cookbook by Samin Nosrat (But it! amazon,com, $21). Nosrat travels all over the globe in this unforgettable series to take a deep dive into the four flavors that she believes are the main components of any type of cuisine. The beautiful travel shots and food b-roll will pull you in and her insightful commentary will make you stay. As a bonus, you get a few sneak peaks into her home kitchen where she walks you through the techniques mentioned in the show. This is a must-watch for any foodie or curious home cook.

2. Ugly Delicious

How could you not love David Chang? He's an accomplished chef who knows how to talk about food in a way that makes you wish you were there and the way he effortlessly connects with people around the table just makes you feel good. In Ugly Delicious, Chang is joined by other chefs, authors, activists and others to explore cuisine and culture together. "I love David Chang and how obsessed he is with food and the emotion he shows towards it," says our senior meal plan editor, Victoria Seaver. "The BBQ episode from season 1 is one of my favorites, especially the last few scenes when he's in Tokyo at a yakitori restaurant—the connection he has with the chef over the food just makes me warm up inside!" Watch Ugly Delicious on Netflix today.

3. Anthony Bourdain

This author and chef is a legend whose legacy will be cherished forever. Whether you go with a classic show like No Reservations or something newer like Parts Unknown, you are guaranteed to think, laugh and have serious food envy. Bourdain's witty, direct commentary is unlike any celebrity, and he always finds a way to show the viewer the most authentic picture of any place or culture. Stream limited seasons of No Reservations on Hulu or buy his entire collection of Parts Unknown on Apple.com, starting at $74.99.

4. Chef's Table

Chef's Table is a Netflix original series that profiles chefs from all over the globe. Each chef shares their restaurant, their upbringing and their culture with the inevitable connection to how it influenced the food they create. From the jungles of the Amazon to the snowy Swiss mountainsides, there is no getting bored with Chef's Table. "The Francis Mallmann and Magnus Nilsson episodes from season 1 and the Ana Roš episode from season 2 are some of my favorites", says senior meal plan editor, Victoria Seaver, "I love those episodes not only for the personalities and food but because a lot of the scenes are set in the beautiful outdoors where they live and work." Some other great ones, says Seaver, are Christina Tosi from the pastry season and Christina Martinez from season 5.

5. Great British Baking Show

This is probably a surprise to no one. The Great British Baking Show on Netflix has a fan base that is large and loyal, becoming a household favorite all over the globe. Contrary to what the name may suggest, this baking show is all feel-good, without the strict competition of a typical cooking competition. "I love how kind the contestants are to each other—stepping in to help each other finish challenges on time rather than being cut-throat," says our senior food editor, Megan Steintrager.

6. Master Chef

Confession: I single-handedly added this show to the list. On a rainy day, there is little more that I want than an overly dramatic, fiery cooking competition. There is no doubt that it feels so exciting in part due to Gordon Ramsay's temper but also because they shift the camera view every three seconds. This show can be streamed on Hulu and is totally bingeable but works great in the background as well.

7. The Chef Show

A play off of the movie, Chef, (one of our favorites listed below), The Chef Show features Jon Favreau, who directed and starred in the movie, along with chef Roy Choi, owner of the L.A.-based Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi, who guided the cooking portion of the movie. In each episode, Favreau and Choi travel to a certain location where they explore different cultures, people and flavors and then recreate the food, giving it their own spin, in their home kitchen—often with big-names guests and plenty of laughs. "I love The Chef Show," says digital fellow, Alex Loh, "I already feel like a better cook just from watching it." You won't be sorry if you turn this on but be warned—you won't want to stop watching!

Food Movies

When you have more time, check out some of our favorite food-related films, in no particular order.

7. Ratatouille

If this classic animated movie doesn't fill your heart to the brim, then I don't know what to tell you. It is the timeless story of an unlikely culinary duo: a nervous young man and a talented rat. This movie is the perfect balance of heart-felt, funny, drama and culinary skill (for real, the way they talk about food and cooking is legitimate for adults and kids alike). Watch Ratatouille on Disney+ streaming services.

8. Chef

For those with restaurant aspirations, Chef will hit you right in the heart. This pseudo-indie film is the perfect mix of quirky story line, eclectic cast and serious eats. The film follows a father and son team that are reunited by working together on their new food truck. But don't be fooled, this doesn't come without its struggles. Chef is a great movie to watch with the whole family or solo for days spent on the couch. Watch on Amazon Prime Video or Google Video streaming.

9. Julie & Julia

As a team of digital editors who write about food online every day, this one speaks to us. In Julie & Julia, Amy Adams (playing Julie) portrays a woman looking to become a food blogger and culinary professional, while working a desk job in customers service in New York City. Desperate for inspiration (and accountability), she decides to cook her way through her role model, Julia Child's (played by Meryl Streep), flagship cookbook: Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Adams attempting to make a whole chicken or elaborate pastry in a small NYC apartment is entertaining and wholesome, to say to the least. Stream on Netflix.

10. Eat, Pray, Love

Calling all Julia Roberts lovers, this one is for you. Her famous Eat, Pray, Love rounds out our 10 favorite food-related movies and shows. Roberts plays a woman who recently went through a challenging breakup, and sets out for a new direction and clarification on her purpose. She travels from India to Italy and beyond, learning about culture and cuisine along the way. Not to mention, what would a Julia Roberts movie be without a little romance? Pour yourself a glass of wine and stream this movie on Amazon Prime Video.

Bottom Line

With all of the options for online streaming, it can be hard to know where to start. To help spark some ideas, we gathered 10 of our editors favorite food-related shows. Whether you are under the weather or just in need of some couch time, turn on one of these films or shows to warm your heart and seriously inspire you for dinner.