5 foodie picks to whet your appetite and see you through winter 2021
Calling all armchair cooks – these are the most delicious food-themed reality series currently streaming on Showmax, DStv and Netflix. Don’t watch them hungry!
Fresh, Fried & Crispy on Netflix
If you’ve ever doubted the existence or the validity of food p*rn, then may I introduce you to Daym Drops – the best name since Jackson Galaxy, host of My Cat From Hell. Daym is a fuller-figured guy, smooth as milk chocolate on top with a well groomed two-tone beard below, a mellifluous voice with the most delightful turn of phrases I could listen to all day, all wrapped up in adorable cuteness.
Even if his show on Netflix wasn’t called Fresh, Fried & Crispy (self explanatory), I’d want to watch him. And I can because he has a YouTube channel with more than 1.5 million subscribers. Yes, I am smitten.
In Fresh, Fried & Crispy, Daym travels around the US of A, visiting cities like Baltimore, Las Vegas, Savannah, St Louis and four more for the eight episodes, sampling deep fried food that makes you want to climb inside the screen to get some of that action. Daym, indeed (go on, say it out loud).
Not only is Daym a joy to watch – the man whimpers and kisses burgers – but the food is incredible and slow motion shots of things dropping into sizzling oil are deeply satisfying.
When the three judges from the first 11 seasons flounced out the building, I must admit I was worried. I mean, Top Gear never recovered. But the producers of MasterChef Australia are wickedly smart. Not only did they bring in three gorgeous new judges – Andy Allen, the down-to-earth guy next door; Melissa Leong, with her quirky fashion sense, bright red lipstick, and the things she does to a fork; and Jock Zonfrillo … le sigh, just … everything – but they came out guns blazing with an all-stars season filled with familiar faces. It was a winner for me.
Now it’s Season 13, and with 75 episodes to look forward to, I have to get my daily fix of this ultimate feel-good cooking competition.
My Kitchen Rules was also born in Australia, and South Africa followed suit with its first season in 2017, and Season 2 in 2019, which won the SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards) for best International format show. Season 3 is due out in September 2021, and entries are open for couples who think they have what it takes.
Our judges are David Higgs (again, le sigh etc) and J’Something, and the first round is instant restaurants, in which the contestants must cook for the judges and their rivals. This is followed by various challenges until the winning team is crowned. The best part is the backstabbing, tears and drama. That is, in the Australian version; our guys are much nicer.
This one is from reality show producer king Mark Burnett, and is hosted by Ty Pennington (Extreme Makeover Home Edition) with celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé at his side.
In this one, four home cooks compete to have their dish featured on the menu of a nationwide chain, and their efforts are tasted by loyal customers.
Fun fact: J’Something, MKR judge, is also a singer in the Joburg-based house band Mi Casa, and his real name is Joao da Fonseca. So yes, it’s a clever title for a cooking show.
And Joao loves to cook. His dishes are simple and accessible, and he’s a natural on-screen, adding his little sound effects and accents. The show predates MKR, having been made in 2014, so he’s also super cute and fresh.