From classic YouTube favorites to some guy eating cereal, VideoInk scoured the world wide web for some of the best food-related series worth streaming on a [insert digital device] near you. Here’s our list, paired with the platform/network where you can find it.
10. “The People That Touch Your Food” (Blip)
Though the characters are pretty contrived (especially “Emily,” the nervous, emotionally unstable server), We found ourselves wanting to learn the fate of the Second Spoon, the fictional cafe chronicled in this sitcom-style series. Led by an overenthusiastic manager Paige (think a much watered down version “Parks and Rec” Leslie Knope), the restaurant staff participates in exaggerated confrontation and deals with typical restaurant problems in a manner so ludicrous it kept me intrigued. “The People That Touch Your Food” has a title and content that will incite adequate skepticism of what goes on behind the scenes at your local restaurants.
9. “You’re Eating It Wrong with Dan Pashman” (Cooking Channel)
This series answers the timeless question, “How do I get the most out of every bit of this slice of pizza?” Pashman provides interesting techniques for thoroughly enjoying the food you usually scarf down without thinking, like sticking the crust into the middle of your pizza before folding it up and taking a bite. With only three episodes, “You’re Eating It Wrong” is worth watching if you want to learn to eat better, and not in terms of your diet. We could all benefit from this guy’s insight into smarter and tastier methods of consumption.
8. “Co-op Stories” (YouTube)
A somewhat painful look at the daily happenings in your average co-op grocery store, “Co-op Stories” provides three-minute glimpses into awkward encounters between staff and customers. Just entertaining enough to watch for three minutes, some episodes provided more laughs than others. We would specifically recommend the episode, “Juggle Complex,” if you feel like actually lol-ing. Though not particularly sympathetic, the characters end up growing on you as they reappear in multiple episodes.
7. “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen” (Bravo)
A great online companion to Bravo’s “Top Chef,” this web series granting the season’s losers a chance to get back in the competition satisfies all of us who cheer for the underdogs. For those of us who don’t have TVs (we are out there!), it’s also a benefit to get a taste of network television so easily accessible on the internet. Though the single judge tends to point out the contestants’ prior mistakes a bit too pointedly, it does help ground viewers back into the main competition. And of course, “Last Chance Kitchen” gives us a wide variety of beautifully plated dishes, which is worth the stressful eight minutes leading up to presentation.
6. “Epic Meal Time” (YouTube)
A concept that defies the overwhelming spat of healthy eating trends, the goal of raising the calorie counter as high as possible makes “Epic Meal Time” with Harley Morenstein a refreshing alternative to the many cooking series that showcase the home-grown and organic. Catchphrases like “YouTube money” have yet to get old, and bacon-wrapped everything continues to prove satisfying for this food porn connoisseur. Who can’t help but live vicariously through people who shamelessly feast on mustard-covered cake filled with chicken nuggets?
5. “Guy Eating Cereal”
Who would have thought that the domain name “guyeatingcereal.com” wouldn’t have been taken by 2010, when “guy” Tamir Kapelian started, as the title suggests, eating cereal for the camera? Starting with a riveting look at Kapelian consuming an entire bowl of cereal in episode one, the series only escalates with the appearances of evil twins and even Charlie the Unicorn (Kapelian edits himself — eating cereal, of course — into the first episode). Literally just a guy eating cereal in different locations, this show is so ridiculous it cannot be missed.
4. “Obsessives” (Chow)
From pickles and knives to soda pop and absinthe, “Obsessives” on Chow’s YouTube’s channel features a range of fascinating food-related infatuations. This show will open you up to specialty items and methods that rarely get any media attention. People who usually lurk behind the scenes finally get to gush about their culinary obsessions in a series that’s educational and very unique.
3. “You’re Doing It All Wrong” (Chow)
This instructive series has actually changed my daily life for the better. “You’re Doing It All Wrong” points out with simple description how you’re making commonly consumed items, as the show bluntly puts it, wrong. Each episode walks you through the steps of how to best concoct edibles ranging from PB&J to mimosas. With straightforward, helpful tips that manage to avoid condescension, the show’s hosts unfailingly provide valuable information that applies to pretty much anyone who eats food.
2. “Munchies” (Vice)
“Munchies” takes Vice’s gritty, right-to-the-source documentary style to well-known restaurants all over the world, getting behind the scenes to show us chefs in their kitchens. Plying the chefs with alcohol helps them open up about themselves and their cuisine, while bringing cameras to real restaurant kitchens catches graphic imagery that many cooking shows are afraid to let their audiences in on, like chopping the head off a fully skinned lamb. Having featured chefs then turn it around by letting the crew join them and their friends at another restaurant for late night snacks makes you feel like you’re really getting in on some culinary secrets.
1. “My Drunk Kitchen” (YouTube)
With clever cuts and a totally lovable star, Hannah Hart’s “My Drunk Kitchen” has only gone uphill since its unexpected debut in 2011. Doling out key advice such as, “It’s important to remember that when you’re cooking, use food,” Hart is either a great actress or a really cheap drunk (or getting much drunker behind the scenes than we viewers can imagine). Either way, it makes for great showmanship — millions of viewers’ worth. In this sense, the fans put this show at the tippy-top of our top 10. Endearing credits and inane acts like cooking a grilled cheese without the cheese got this show to the top.
Disagree with any of our choices? Scream at us in the comments below!