- Insider spoke to professional bakers to find out which shows about cooking and baking they love to watch, and which ones they don’t.
- Some bakers called out “Nailed It!,” the comedic competition show on Netflix, for being too silly and not educational enough.
- Others praised “Zumbo’s Just Desserts” and “Great British Baking Show” for having inventive challenges and talented contestants.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
With so many cooking and baking shows out there, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth watching first.
To help narrow your options, Insider spoke to bakers to find out which shows they love and which ones they don’t think are worth streaming.
Here are some of the best and worst cooking shows to watch on Netflix, according to professional bakers.
“The Great British Baking Show” earned high praise for being “surprisingly delightful.”
“The challenges are very interesting, and it’s often surprising to see how good the contestants are,” she said.
The PBS series, which streams under the name “The Great British Bake Off” in some countries, starts with a group of amateur bakers from the UK. Throughout the season, contestants bake everything from a loaf of bread to showstopping meringue cakes.
Although many of the contestants only have experience cooking in their home kitchen, Plano said, they’re impressively talented.
“Zumbo’s Just Desserts” was praised for its competitiveness and creativity
“I personally enjoy the show, as it pushes the contestants out of their comfort zone,” Bouzaglo said. “They’re all skilled bakers, but they need to really tap into their creativity to change the ‘normal’ structure of a basic dessert to be successful.”
The series features Australian chef and pâtissier Adriano Zumbo, who is known for his fantastical creations. For the competition, amateur bakers from Australia try to recreate Zumbo’s edible works of art.
“The Chefs’ Line” caught the attention of one baker.
Callahan said that this popular Australian series is extremely entertaining to watch, especially its episodes that feature baking.
“The food they created was actually food you could make in your own kitchen – even the desserts,” she told Insider.
The Special Broadcasting Service competition series, which currently has one season streaming on Netflix, features home chefs facing off against professional chefs to see if they can measure up.
One baker said “Chef’s Table” is one of her favourite series on Netflix
Plano said the Emmy-nominated series “Chef’s Table” is extremely informative and entertaining.
“I discovered some cuisine and chefs I didn’t know anything about,” she told Insider. “[It features] well-created documentaries, interesting stories, humble chefs, beautiful pictures, and respectful people.”
The show takes viewers on a culinary tour of the world, introducing them to gourmet chefs who are changing the industry. Some parts of it, including “Volume Four: Pastry,” even focus on dessert.
“Restaurants on the Edge” was praised for its stunning visuals and stand-out baking moments.
Joann Callahan, baker at Joann’s Cupcakes in Downers Grove, Illinois, listed “Restaurants on the Edge” as one of her top picks on Netflix at the moment.
The show follows three industry pros – a restaurateur, a designer, and a chef – as they travel the world to fix up restaurants in beautiful places.
The main cooking component of the series includes overhauling menus, and the chef oftentimes whips up delicious-looking desserts, like cakes native to Finland or St. Croix.
“This program held my interest from beginning to end due in large part to the beautiful scenery and the historical and cultural information,” Callahan said. “The interior designer came up with unique decorating solutions, the restaurateur actually knew what he was doing, and the chef came up with recipes to draw attention to the menu.”
On the other hand, the comedic baking show “Nailed It” received mixed reviews from the pros.
Ron Ben-Israel, owner and chef at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City who’s been a judge on baking shows including “Nailed It!,” “Sugar Rush,” and “Cake Wars,” said “Nailed It!” is one of his favourites to watch.
Ben-Israel listed the stars on the show, Jacques Torres and Nicole Byer (who he called “the ultimate professional entertainer”), as the main reason why he loves watching “Nailed It!” so much.
The show depicts home bakers with a terrible track record trying to recreate edible masterpieces for a $US10,000 prize.
“The show is very good-natured, and the contestants don’t pretend to be professionals,” Ben-Israel told Insider. “They produce loveable flops.”
Plano, however, said she doesn’t enjoy the series as much.
“This show is too silly, and I don’t enjoy the comedy or the humour of the show as it relates to baking,” Plano told Insider.
Callahan added that the show is “mildly entertaining” but it doesn’t have much educational value for any aspiring bakers.
The spin-off “Nailed It! Holiday” didn’t receive much love.
Bouzaglo said she isn’t a fan of this holiday-themed spin-off of “Nailed It!”
“My least favourite shows are any of the shows where bakers try to recreate a beautiful cake and create a disaster-piece,” she told Insider. “I’d much rather watch a skilled artist display their skills and compete.”
One baker said “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell” isn’t for everyone
Callahan gave this show points for creativity, but she said it’s a little too specific and not practical for most viewers.
This spooky series features Christine McConnell, an artist who shows viewers how to create Halloween-inspired baked goods (think: peanut-butter bones and wolf-claw doughnuts).
“I might tune in once a year in October for ideas for a special project, but I wouldn’t watch it on a regular basis,” she told Insider. “There’s too much story and not enough baking – plus her projects are far too intricate and time-consuming for a normal person to take on.”