For the film fanatic who equally loves food, we’ve gotten together with Blue Apron Reviews to create a list of foodie films that are sure to pique your interest. Read more about this awesome meal delivery service, then get inspiration for your own kitchen adventures or simply expand your knowledge of international cuisine with these tasty morsels of documentary delight.
The Search for General Tso
The filmmakers of The Search for General Tso spent an entire year carefully combing through history to find the origins of General Tso’s orange-tinted chicken and discover the masterful chef who first created it. The film ties together the history of the real General Tso and his sticky sweet namesake dish that is so popular today at Americanized Chinese restaurants. You might want to order some Chinese takeout as you digest this tantalizing documentary.
I’ll Have What Phil’s Having
While not a movie or documentary, this TV show was noteworthy enough to make our list. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having is like Anthony Bourdain meets Rick Steves on an international foodie journey. This food-centric show features Phil Rosenthal, best known as the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, who with the excitement of a high school counselor, guides viewers through exotic cuisine of various locales around the world.
This documentary about the struggle to become a sommelier will make you believe in the power of a refined palette. The film follows four candidates preparing for the Master Sommelier test, an exam with one of the lowest pass rates worldwide. Throughout the documentary, we see the four of them drinking, swishing, and spitting their way through sample after sample of wine, attempting to hone in on the exact flavors and origins of each bottle. If they study enough and pass the test to become Master Somms, their careers will be paved in gold. Fail, and they spend another year drinking, studying, and stressing in pursuit of their dreams. Crack open a bottle of your favorite Trader Joe’s two-buck chuck and enjoy this captivating documentary.
This story follows Chef Curtis Duffy as he attempts to fulfill his dreams of opening his own restaurant in Chicago. While food is an integral part of the film, the documentary also takes time to focus on Duffy himself, highlighting this master chef’s personal struggles and tragedies outside of the kitchen, and how he ultimately perseveres through them. For those interested in the service industry, this movie is a must-see glimpse behind kitchen doors into the tumultuous life of one of modern America’s greatest chefs.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Jiro Ono, 85-year-old sushi master of Sukiyabashi Jiro (a 3-star Michelin restaurant tucked in the corner of a bustling Tokyo subway), has given over his entire life to the perfection of his craft. In Jiro Dreams of Sushi, we see his sacrifices and the toll his sushi takes on his personal life, including his relationship with his sons. Jiro lives out what it means to give yourself to your slight career obsession.
This Netflix original TV mini-series features four hours on the history of cooking for your binge-watching pleasure. Covering a myriad of food topics from around the world, Cooked serves as a testimonial of cooking’s ability to unite people and bridge cultural boundaries. From cheese-making nuns, to Australian grandmas clubbing giant lizards for dinner, to the odd clip of James Taylor singing to a dead pig, Cooked will take you on an enlightening culinary adventure.
Deep-cutting and rare, this documentary examines African-American folk culture and how it influenced the evolution of soul food. The film explores not only the influence of history and sociology of soul food’s origins, but also criticizes how this greasy, fatty, oh-so-delicious food threatens the health of the South and in particular, the African-American community. Despite the disparaging espoused in the film, you’ll likely have a strong hankering for some fried chicken and mac & cheese before the movie is over.
This documentary delves into the struggles of three different eateries: a struggling Mexican restaurant; a 150-year-old, family-owned operation; and an eatery led by staff with serious personal problems. It claims that maintaining a restaurant is equal parts, science, luck, art, and perseverance, but ultimately shows how food can bring people and communities together.