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Oct 18, 2012 01:54 PM

Best Cooking TV Shows from Around the Globe

Sorry if this or a similar post has been put up before, but I'm looking for names of or links to good cooking TV shows from around the world, if you can find youtube videos with subtitles all the better as these can now be translated reasonably well, but I would love to build up a list of good shows from as many countries around the world as possible, I'm especially interested in Africa, the Middle East, China and Japan, but anywhere really, I'm fed up watching Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, etc... give their interpretations of how they think a countries food should be cooked, it would great to see local dishes cooked by people who actually now the culture, country etc...

Anyway thanks in advance for any help and advice.

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  1. Do you want shows done in a TV studio, by a professional chef, or home videos? I've seen all three (mostly in Spanish which I understand). Another class is tourist videos of street food preparation.

    Cooking with Dog is, perhaps, the best known Japanese cook video series.

    10 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Cool, thanks will check it out, just the equivalent of jamie oliver, raymond blanc etc... but from other countries and cooking their own national and regional dishes, so I suppose that means TV studio and professional chefs where possible.

      1. re: hiddenpalette

        Why would they be cooking their national dishes on TV when every grandmother can do her own version better? :) And why do it in English, or with English subtitles? Does Jamie Oliver demonstrate British 'national dishes' for English audiences?

        I find foreign cooking videos mostly by searching for specific dishes. For example I've looked a paella videos (Jose Andres, outdoor competitions etc), tortilla espanol (again, Andres, and home failures at flipping it), guatita (an Ecuadorian trip stew), etc.

        If you get CreateTV you might also get Vme, the Spanish language channel that PBS stations carry. Midafternoons it has some cooking shows, such as Giada with dubbing, Mexican pastries, USA food via Mexican eyes, etc.

        1. re: paulj

          If it doesn't have english subtitles, I won't be able to understand it?? I never said it should be in English either, and I was only referring to Jamie Oliver as he is a mainstream chef whose show has some personality and the old series Naked Chef gave a good look at London, England too. And yeah he does cook national dishes as England doesn't really have any British per se dishes it is just an amalgamation of influences from all over the world. But thanks for the other tips.

          1. re: hiddenpalette

            I would have phrased my suggestions somewhat differently if I'd realized you were in London, not the USA. Mentioning US channels like CreateTV and CookingChannel doesn't make as much sense.

          2. re: paulj

            "Does Jamie Oliver demonstrate British 'national dishes' for English audiences? "

            Very much so - and his programmes are made for the entire British audience, not just the English, as you suggest.

            In fact, I'd reckon that most British TV cookery programmes over recent years are cooking mainly British dishes (although, perhaps needless to say, there are other cookery programmes which showcase other national influences)

              1. re: Harters

                maybe 8/9 years ago I watched at least 4 BBC shows on a regular basis that I taped.
                they came across on Dish (I think) on BBC America.
                they disappeared way before I was ready to stop watching.
                really miss them. very different from shows done here.
                was one of them called "chef at large"?
                another one was a famous chef who took wanna be restaurateurs who he'd eventually become partners with.
                wish they were still being seen here at this household.

                I've grown weary of JO, GR and anything with the DDD guy.

                1. re: iL Divo

                  The best cooking show on BBC America of late was No Kitchen Required.

                  I wasn't as impressed with Chefs Race, which apparently is a JO production.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I think I remember that show, now that you mention the name

            1. re: hiddenpalette

              Speaking CreateTV,
              Pati's Mexican Table is in English, but by a Mexican who developed her show while working for the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington DC.

              There are also some good blogs. Some are expats who are trying to hang on to the cooking they grew up with. is a good one for Ecuadorian cooking. is French.

            1. PBS has some good shows on Saturday (at least the Buffalo PBS station we get up here in the Toronto area):
              Seen New Scandinavian Cooking show on there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ylsf

                I haven't seen any new episodes in years....thanks.

              2. You may want to try the original MasterChef series from Britain, they started it off in 1990. I find the Australian version of the show to be the best, not so much drama and histrionics as the US version, lots of cooking instruction and very entertaining... it's long though 70 or 80 episodes per season. There are versions of the show from all over the world, 30 countries so far (, but I've only had experience with the Australian, British and US versions.

                Not sure if you'll find a subtitled version but Ano šéfe (means "yes boss" but reads as "yes chef") is a Czech version of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and is hilarious.

                Also Czech is Kitchen Party, the best part about this one is it's so bad it's funny. The lead chef is tiny little guy who never smiles and the dishes they cook, which are usually traditional Czech, with an assortment of guest chefs are so unhealthy they are laughable... but then the Czech restaurant diet itself is pretty unhealthy.

                There are a few from India as well, Reza - Spice Prince of India is in English and ok if you can stand listening to the host for very long (you'll understand if you watch) is a pretty good travel/cooking show about India. Available on YouTube. Others I used to watch there were of such low production value that I had to stop watching and can't remember the names of the shows any more.

                Canada also has some gems look for anything with Laura Calder or Michal Smith... I believe some of their shows do appear in the US on PBS or the Cooking Channel.

                I hope this helps.

                1. While I live in Australia, there're some pretty good cooking shows. The cream of the crop is arguably The Cook and the Chef, with Maggie Beer and the chef who I don't remember having such good chemistry. the show covered many exotic cuisines that immigrants have brought to Australia Maggie somehow reminded me of Julia Child. In Masterchef Australia, the contestants have a masterclass every week, which teaches some valuable kitchen skills that can be applied in the home kitchen.

                  Poh's kitchen is also good, but I find her hysteric laughter so annoying. Most of the cooking shows on SBS channel are excellent. There's Food Safari, and their spinoff Food Safari Italy and Food Safari French. They're more like documentary/road trip but very well-done. I'm Vietnamese, and I find Lujke Nguyen's Vietnam and Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong pretty good and authentic.

                  Speaking about cooking shows for the experienced cooks, you could try Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence and Zumbo. Tetsuya is one of the best chefs in Australia who blend his Japanese root with French cuisine. I haven't watched his show, but he is humble and inspirational. Meanwhile, Adriano Zumbo is considered as Australia's answer to Willy Wonka

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: pearlyriver

                    Nguyen's shows have been show in the US on CookingChannel.

                    Cooking Channel had another show featuring an Australian, though I don't find anything in the current listing that looks it.

                    1. re: paulj

                      That's Bills' Holiday. Forgot to mention him. He's not a professional chef, but he made dishes that are joyful and accessible to all without dumbing down.

                      1. re: pearlyriver

                        That's presumably Bill Granger - a chef and restaurateur (he owns several restaurants in Australia, Japan and the UK)

                      2. re: paulj

                        Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong series is fantastic! I get it on Cooking Channel Wednesday mornings at 8 here in the US central time zone. He goes to a different city in Laos, Thailand, Myanmar every week to learn about street food and home cooking. I'm watching it now :)

                        1. re: alliegator

                          Will have to keep a look out for it - can't find it yet. I downloaded his Vietnam series and REALLY enjoyed it.

                      3. re: pearlyriver

                        The Food Safari series out of Australia is without question my favourite food program. Probably ever.

                        It is so incredibly well done.