Kitchen shows are best to watch when you’re in the mood for delicious meals and drama. At the same time, some can teach you interesting things about famous cuisines, worldwide places to eat and even essential cooking tips. But what makes kitchen shows special is the tension, drama and scandals during the production that makes us giggle or become revolted. However, another category of kitchen shows includes nice and quiet settings where you can feel a special bond between you and the host.
Regardless of your preference, read along to learn more about our recommendations and see which suits you.
This show has been the perfect combination of professionalism and drama. It also led to many memes and funny compilations of Gordon Ramsay, the show’s star, being around his contestants. Although it aired in 2005 and ended after 21 seasons, another series called Battle of Ages will continue the legacy this year.
The American competition show was hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay, one of the world’s best and most well-known chefs. His reputation comes from his heated personality and severe behaviour towards anyone who disrespected the kitchen and couldn’t cook properly. In each episode, Gordon leads two teams of chefs that fight to win the competitions by completing different challenges in the kitchen. Each group (or individual) would have to overcome a different cooking challenge every episode, and if someone lost, they would be eliminated. This process goes on until a final winner is announced.
The restaurant is an Irish series made in 2004 and ran for nine seasons. In this show, each episode features a different chef who needs to create a full three-course meal that would later be enjoyed by the restaurant’s customers and Tom Doorley and Paolo Tullio as critics. Every chef would be provided with a team to help with the menu.
From 10 AM until 6 PM, the whole team would work tirelessly to present the final product at 7 PM when people started entering the restaurant. What’s interesting about this show is the hidden identity of the chefs, which is only later revealed at the end of each episode. This show’s format is inspired by an Italian series called The Secret Chef.
Although the show had two hiatus periods, it renewed this year on the 27th of September and has fresh new personalities. For example, the judging team is made of Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen, while many other chefs will fight for supremacy with their personalised menus.
East meets West
This is one of the oldest shows from this top, but it is one of the most interesting. It ran between 1998 and 2003, and the host, Ming Tsai, would cook delicious meals that combined both Asian and European cuisine. It’s a less dramatic series, especially since Ming would carelessly do yoga or play tennis at the beginning of an episode, followed by him cooking in a relaxed setting.
You’d always spot him in lovely kitchen settings, so if you want to recreate yours and feel like you are in a cooking show, you could check out kitchen warehouse ltd for affordable and colourful kitchen units.
If you like Ming’s personality, he hosted another similar show, Simply Ming, that aired between 2003 and 2015, where he goes beyond what he’d do in the first show and travels to locations relevant to the dishes he would prepare. And because he’s a fantastic chef and dad at the same time, he became a food allergy advocate after discovering one of his sons has food allergies and is now the President of the National Advisory Board for Family Reach, which is an organisation that financially helps families who have members fighting with cancer.
30 Minute Meals
If you wish for a show with less-lavish meals and exclusive ingredients, check out this show, where you can learn to cook. You’ll get to love the host, Rachael Ray, who is not afraid to show that cooking is messy and not all final products are aesthetically pleasing. She combines practicability with relatability, which is why you may notice moments where she spills food or makes mistakes. But this is exactly why her show is great; it makes us feel less pressured to cook perfectly and make food look like a post on Instagram.
And, as the title says, Rachael makes meals in under 30 minutes, so if you’re a busy person or don’t have the patience to make food that takes hours to be prepared, this is the perfect show for you to watch. If you want to see Rachael in other settings, she has been present in many other cooking shows, like Iron Chef America or Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook-off.
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
In this show, the host, Andrew Zimmern, takes you to exotic locations where he tries the most unusual meals. It ran from 2006 to 2008, and Andrew travelled that time all over the globe, in places such as the Philippines, Morocco and Tanzania. In all 11 seasons, he tried the vilest and weird-looking meals (according to Western food standards), but these foods showcased the cultural aspects of a certain country, so this show was highly educational.
Among the least appealing meals Andrew ate were:
- Hakarl. This Icelandic meal is made from spoiled Greenlandic shark that even if it’s considered a delicacy, the putrefied meat can’t be eaten fresh since it’s poisonous;
- Coral worms. Deep in the trenches of the Pacific, the coral worms from Samoa are eaten plain or spread on bread. Andrew said it tastes like liver fermented in salt water;
- Tarantulas. While visiting Cambodia, Andrew got to taste tarantulas, which seem to have a similar taste as fresh crabs.
Kitchen shows are the most versatile forms of entertainment because you can watch anything from fancy cooking to trying food off the ground. We hope you enjoy our recommendations, but mind that not all of them are made for the faint-hearted.