This is sort of a follow-up to my previous post on my 5 favorite cooking shows. Like I said before, I started watching more of these kinds of shows this year with Jodi to avoid news, stress, and anger. At the time, I thought that food travel shows would just be an innocent distraction from the world. I mean, I like to travel. And I like to eat. Maybe there’s something here.
I had no idea just how much I would end up liking some food travel shows. They’re addictive. Probably the only thing about them that’s bad is this…
You spend all day binge-watching one of these shows, and you have visions of amazing exotic dishes in your head, and then you ask, “Hey, what are WE having for dinner tonight, by the way?” And the answer is something like “tuna sandwiches and hair” or “granola and peas.” Actually, in all fairness, I have to say that Jodi is a sensational cook. In fact, I don’t think she realizes just how good she is. It’s just that, every once in awhile, you get to the end of the groceries and it seems like it’s “tuna sandwiches and hair” or “granola and peas.”
#5 Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Bizarre Foods was on the air for about a dozen years, until it ended in 2018. It’s one of the first food travel shows I started watching, and it’s different from most of them because you usually get the “I can’t believe he put that in his mouth” factor. Sometimes Andrew Zimmern would go to a really beautiful country and eat something that just looked soooooo good. But then lots of other times he was eating the testicles or poop sack off some poor dead animal. Either way, you can’t turn away from it.
Camel? Rotted fish? Andrew Zimmern is your guy.
#4 Chef’s Table
Each season of Chef’s Table spotlights a few world-renowned chefs, providing insight into each person’s journey in life and how they reached the pinnacle of their careers. The thing is, some of these chefs might be the #1 person in a Michelin star restaurant, while others might just be cooking in a hole in the wall or out in a field somewhere. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they are all artists who create food some of us can only dream of eating. The only dish I ever created is called “Paul’s pizza,” which is a tortilla covered in spaghetti sauce and torn slices of Kraft cheese, melted in a microwave. I think I was about 9 when I invented it, and I don’t like to talk about it.
#3 Taco Chronicles
If we’re judging by pure temptation and food lust, this show is #1. When Jodi and I watched one of these episodes for the first time, we immediately made it our mission in life to have homemade tacos for our next meal. And we eat Mexican food all the time, because it’s the most popular type of food in Southern California. But there’s tacos and then there’s taaaaaacooos. And when you see the taaaaaaacooos on this series, you will lose your culinary mind. Oh my God, just thinking about it makes me want a taaaaaaaacooo right now.
#2 F*ck That’s Delicious
This. Show. Is. Hilarious.
Action Bronson is a big guy from New York, who is a chef turned rapper turned travel food show star. He and his other big friends travel around the world to perform, eat incredible food, and probably scare children.
If strong language bothers you, then you probably don’t want to watch it. But if you’re okay with that, then there’s nothing like this show.
This show is also a lesson in not judging a book by its cover. When you first see Action Bronson and his posse, you’re thinking they probably want to beat you and your family to death with a trash can. But all they really want to do is be friends and feed you a giant bowl of shrimp.
#1 Somebody Feed Phil
Those are some great shows on this list, but Somebody Feed Phil is tops for me, and it’s not even close. Why? Partly because of the food and the cities, but mostly because of Phil. I love this man.
We stumbled across this show a few months ago when looking for the next thing to pandemic binge-watch. I had seen the thumbnail for this show several times but kept passing it over because I thought, “Who’s Phil? I don’t know any Phil.” Finally one day I thought, Okay let’s give this thing a shot. Because what else am I going to do? Turn the TV off? That would be insane! Get out of here with that!
So, who’s Phil? Well, it turns out that Phil is Phil Rosenthal, the creator and writer of the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. In other words, he’s the most likable, funny guy you’ll ever meet. When you watch the show, you just want to be right there on vacation with him. Not only that, but he’s a good boy, because he calls his elderly parents every episode. And if you think Phil’s funny, wait until you see his mom and dad.
Amazing food, amazing places. And Phil. It’s the best.