Top 5 Food Documentaries

Top 5 Food Documentaries

People love food and movies. Plain and simple. Why not roll these two obsessions into a good old food documentary?

Driven mostly by independent filmmakers, the food doc genre has matured significantly alongside the increasing awareness in how we eat and how our food is fashioned. Let’s face it; it has also become an area of the film world where you can rely on some intense controversy, since countless documentaries centre on divulging some of the inadequacies within the world-wide food industry.

That said, it is not all gloomy content—there are also depictions of a hospitality industry guru, a fly-on-the-wall film about one of the food world’s most difficult tests, and behind-the-scenes looks into what happens in the kitchens of world-class chefs.

Here are my top 5 “must-watch” food documentaries that can be found on Netflix and iTunes . Grab some popcorn, crack open a beer, and fire one up tonight.

Chef’s Table (2015, 2016)

Target: The Ultimate Foodie

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Description: Netflix’s new documentary series gives viewers an insider’s look behind the kitchen doors of some of the world’s top chefs. Sure, this premise similarly mirrors the concepts of several other documentaries on this list, but Chef’s Table—lead by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director, David Gelb—profiles contemporary icons like Magnus Nilsson and Dan Barber with an eye towards cinematography. It’s worth the weekend binge-watch for anyone who wants to know the major players steering food culture. With trips to the Amazon jungle lead by Brazilian chef Alex Atala in season two, Gelb is proving his doc-series to be one for the ages.

COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret (2014)

Target: Potential Vegans

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Description: If you needed a push to adopt an all-vegetable diet, this film is your moral impetus. Cowspiracy (produced by Leonardo DiCapario, no less) explores the claim that animal agriculture is the number one threat to the environment—even more so than fossil fuels. Director Kip Anderson probes the meat industry’s ties to the government, attempting to find out why leading environmental organizations like Greenpeace keep quiet and still about the impacts of Big Farms.

Bite Size (2014)

Target: Childhood Obesity

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Description: While the problem of childhood obesity is known, many people only encounter it through non-salient statistics and figures. Corbin Billings’ 2014 documentary Bite Size helps put a face to the epidemic by following four overweight American kids as they struggle to lose weight and focus on healthier eating habits.

Candyman (2010)

Target: The Sweet Tooth

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Description: David Klein invented the Jelly Belly—and no one knows his name. Watch his story and find out why he claims that Jelly Belly ruined his life.

Kings of Pastry (2009)

Target: The Pastry Lover

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Description: Follow Jacquy Pfeiffer, founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago, as he travels to France to compete against 15 other top pastry chefs in the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition. This is dessert at its most extreme, and you’ll be amazed by the tension that can build around whether or not a towering cake will collapse.

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