women watching movies about chefs on a projector

The Best Movies About Chefs on Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime

10 min read

Whether you want to learn about the restaurant business, watch cooks seeking inspiration, or hear tales form a head chef, these movies have you covered. From fascinating documentaries to absurdist comedies, these restaurant movies will make you laugh, cry, and yearn for your next great bite. Read on to learn all about the best movies about chefs on Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime. And if you watch restaurant movies, let us know which of your favorites made the list, and which you wish we had included.

These Are the Best Movies About Chefs on Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime

On Netflix

“The Trip” (2010)

“The Trip” is a 2010 British comedy-drama directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves. The narrative unfolds as Coogan, tasked by The Observer to review several high-end restaurants across Northern England, invites Brydon to join him on this culinary journey after his girlfriend cannot make it.

What ensues is a hilarious road trip filled with competitive impressions, personal reflections, and the trials of friendship amidst breathtaking landscapes. Their dynamic, filled with witty banter and comedic rivalry, provides an insightful look into their characters’ complexities while they indulge in some of the finest cuisines. “The Trip” cleverly blends exquisite food presentations with the duo’s personal and professional challenges, making it a delightful watch for fans of both comedy and culinary arts.

“Pig” (2021)

“Pig” is a 2021 drama-mystery film directed by Michael Sarnoski in his directorial debut, featuring Nicolas Cage in a role that has been widely praised for its depth and sensitivity. Cage plays Rob, a reclusive truffle hunter living in the wilderness of Oregon with his beloved foraging pig. The story takes a dark turn when his pig is stolen, pulling him back into the world he left behind in Portland’s culinary scene.

The movie focuses on themes of loss, grief, and redemption as Rob embarks on a quest not just to recover his stolen pig but also to confront his past. The film stands out for its understated storytelling, Cage’s powerful performance, and its commentary on the value of companionship and the meaning of success.

“Julie & Julia” (2009)

This next restaurant industry movie was directed by Nora Ephron. It is a heartwarming tale that intertwines the lives of two women connected through their love for cooking. Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child, the renowned chef who brought French cuisine to American households, while Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a struggling New York writer who seeks to find a purpose by cooking all 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook in a year.

Set in different eras, the film beautifully juxtaposes Julia’s struggles in the 1950s to make her mark in the culinary world with Julie’s 2002 quest for self-fulfillment. “Julie & Julia” is a delightful homage to the joys of cooking, the challenges of mastering new recipes, and how Julia Child’s legacy inspired a new generation.

“Uncorked” (2020)

By Studio and or Graphic Artist – Can be obtained from film’s distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63330802

As this film focuses on wine rather than food, it might not technically be considered a restaurant movie, but we could not leave it off the list. “Uncorked” is a 2020 drama directed by Prentice Penny that tells the story of Elijah, a young man torn between his dream of becoming a master sommelier and his father’s expectations to take over the family’s Memphis barbecue joint. The film beautifully captures the complexities of family dynamics, personal aspirations, and the rich world of wine.

As Elijah struggles to balance his ambitions with family obligations to run their local restaurant, “Uncorked” delves into themes of identity, heritage, and passion. The movie is celebrated for its compelling narrative, strong performances, and the way it sheds light on the often overlooked world of African American vintners and sommeliers. This is a beautiful film for aspiring chefs and sommeliers.

“No Reservations” (2007)

“No Reservations” is a 2007 romantic comedy-drama directed by Scott Hicks, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as Kate, a highly talented and obsessive chef in a top Manhattan restaurant, and Aaron Eckhart as Nick, an unorthodox and charming sous chef who joins her staff. The film follows Kate’s journey as she becomes the guardian of her young niece, Zoe (played by Abigail Breslin), after a tragic accident, and how her life changes with Nick’s arrival. “No Reservations” explores themes of love, loss, and the healing power of food.

It is a remake of the German film “Mostly Martha” and brings to the forefront the challenges of balancing personal life with the demanding environment of professional kitchens, all while serving up a deliciously heartwarming story.

On HBO

“The Automat” (2021)

“The Automat” is a 2021 documentary directed by Lisa Hurwitz, showcasing the history of the iconic Horn & Hardart automats, pioneering fast-food restaurants in Philadelphia and New York City known for vending machine-style food service. It highlights the chain’s inception in 1888, its popularity for offering meals for a nickel, and its closure in 1991, featuring interviews with notable personalities like Mel Brooks. The film, appreciated for its nostalgia and detailed exploration of the automat’s cultural significance, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and received positive reviews for its engaging storytelling and historical insights​​.

“Chef” (2014)

“Chef” by Jon Favreau is a heartwarming road comedy-drama that follows Carl Casper, a chef who loses his restaurant job and embarks on a food truck venture with his young son. The film, praised for its direction, music, writing, and performances, explores themes of creativity, family, and the pursuit of passion. Favreau’s personal connection to the story shines through, offering a rich, flavorful cinematic experience that resonates with audiences and critics alike​.

“The Menu” (2022)

“The Menu” is a 2022 American comedy horror film directed by Mark Mylod. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nicholas Hoult, among others. The story revolves around a couple visiting an exclusive island restaurant, where the perfectionist chef has prepared a shocking menu. The film was released in the United States on November 18, 2022, and has been praised for its screenplay and performances. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2022​​

On Amazon Prime

“Butter” (2012)

By May be found at the following website: IMP Awards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36855264

“Butter” is a comedy film set in the quirky world of competitive butter carving in Iowa, blending satire with a heartfelt story. The plot centers around a talented young orphan who discovers her knack for butter sculpture, challenging the reigning champion, played by Jennifer Garner. The film uses the eccentric backdrop of butter carving competitions to explore themes of ambition, jealousy, and redemption, all while delivering laughs and showcasing the bizarre yet fascinating art form.

“Diner” (1982)

Directed by Barry Levinson, “Diner” is a slice-of-life film that captures the nuances of male friendship in the 1950s. Set in Baltimore, it revolves around a group of friends who frequent a local diner, where they discuss life, love, and the impending responsibilities of adulthood. The film is celebrated for its witty dialogue, realistic portrayal of friendships, and its ability to evoke nostalgia, making it a seminal piece in Levinson’s career and an enduring classic in American cinema.

“Dinner Rush” (2000)

By The cover art can be obtained from Movieposterdb.com., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33786074

“Dinner Rush” is a drama that delves into the bustling atmosphere of a New York Italian restaurant over the course of one eventful evening. The film intertwines the lives of the restaurant’s owner, his son, the staff, and various patrons, creating a rich tapestry of narratives that explore themes of family, ambition, and the art of cuisine. With its dynamic storytelling and authentic portrayal of restaurant life and the personal lives of its subjects, “Dinner Rush” offers a compelling look at the personal and professional pressures faced in the culinary world.

“Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994)

Directed by Ang Lee, this Taiwanese film explores the complex relationships within a family headed by a master chef father and his three unmarried daughters. Through the lens of sumptuous Sunday dinners, the film delicately unfolds the personal struggles and desires of each family member, using food as a central metaphor for love, communication, and cultural identity. “Eat Drink Man Woman” is a flavorful mix of drama and comedy, celebrated for its rich storytelling and exquisite culinary scenes.

Fuel your creative fire & be a part of a supportive community that values how you love to live.

subscribe to our newsletter

“El Bulli: Cooking in Progress” (2011)

This documentary provides an inside look at the renowned Spanish restaurant El Bulli, known for its innovative and experimental cuisine. It follows chef Ferran Adrià and his team as they spend a year developing new dishes in preparation for the next season. The film captures the creative process behind their culinary creations, offering a glimpse into the dedication and artistry required to push the boundaries of gastronomy. It’s a fascinating watch for food enthusiasts and anyone interested in the creative process.

“Estômago – A Gastronomic Story” (2007)

By The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. – http://www.movieposterdb.com/poster/539800f6, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42089031

This Brazilian-Italian film combines elements of comedy, drama, and crime to tell the story of Raimundo Nonato, a migrant who finds his calling as a chef in the city. Through his culinary talents, Nonato navigates the complexities of love, power, and society, eventually finding himself in prison where cooking takes on a new level of significance. “Estômago” is a compelling narrative that uses food as a metaphor for human desires, survival, and the social hierarchy.

“Fast Food Nation” (2006)

This restaurant industry movie might not be about a celebrity chef or all the guests who frequent a fabulous bistro, but it does address real issues. Inspired by Eric Schlosser’s bestselling non-fiction book, this dramatic film directed by Richard Linklater delves into the dark side of the American fast food industry.

Through interwoven stories, it exposes the environmental, social, and health issues associated with fast food, touching on everything from meatpacking practices to consumer culture. The film is a gritty, eye-opening look at the impact of fast food on society and individuals’ lives.

“God of Cookery” (1996)

By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26471382

Directed by and starring Stephen Chow, “God of Cookery” is a Hong Kong comedy film that parodies the world of culinary arts. Chow plays a fraudulent “God of Cookery” who is dethroned and must earn back his title through a journey of redemption that involves rediscovering his passion for cooking. The film blends slapstick humor with heartfelt moments, all while showcasing mouthwatering dishes and celebrating the art of cooking.

“Haute Cuisine” (2012)

By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47670808

Based on the true story of Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch, “Haute Cuisine” is a French film that tells the story of a provincial French cook with her own bistro who becomes the personal chef for the President of the Republic. The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Elysée Palace’s kitchens and the challenges of balancing culinary tradition and innovation. With its focus on the passion for food and the intricacies of French cuisine, “Haute Cuisine” is a delightful watch for food lovers.

“Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” (2011)

By The poster can or could be obtained from rottentomatoes.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35918604

This documentary film directed by David Gelb offers an intimate look at Jiro Ono, an octogenarian sushi master and owner of the Michelin-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. The film explores Jiro’s relentless pursuit of perfection, the artistry of sushi making, and the dynamics within his family as his son prepares to inherit the legacy. “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a testament to the dedication, craftsmanship, and philosophy behind creating the perfect sushi.

“Kitchen Stories” (2004)

By Official site of the American distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21308583

Set in post-war Norway, “Kitchen Stories” is a quirky comedy that explores the friendship between a Swedish researcher and a Norwegian farmer during a study intended to optimize kitchen layouts. The film humorously delves into the dynamics of observation and the unexpected bonds that form between people from different worlds. Its dry humor and unique premise make “Kitchen Stories” a charming and insightful film about human connection and the idiosyncrasies of life.

“Like Water for Chocolate” (1992)

Based on the novel by Laura Esquivel, this Mexican film blends elements of magical realism with a passionate love story set in early 20th century Mexico. It follows Tita, who expresses her emotions through her cooking, affecting those around her in extraordinary ways. The film beautifully captures the connection between food, emotion, and tradition, making “Like Water for Chocolate” a sensuous and enchanting tale of love and culinary magic.

Final Thoughts on Movies About Real-Life Chefs—And Their Imaginary Counterparts

In the world of cinema, few themes are as universally relatable and profoundly engaging as the culinary arts and the bustling atmosphere of the restaurant industry. From the precision and passion of sushi masters to the frenetic energy of a busy New York kitchen, the films highlighted in this article offer a rich palette of flavors that cater to every taste. Whether you’re drawn to the comedic antics of a fraudulent chef finding redemption, the meticulous artistry behind a Michelin-starred sushi, or the dramatic tales of personal and professional trials within the walls of a kitchen, these movies serve up a feast for the senses.

Available across streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, they provide a window into the diverse and often intense world of gastronomy, celebrating the creativity, dedication, and love that fuel this universal language. So, grab your favorite snack, settle in, and prepare to be whisked away on a cinematic journey that promises to delight, inspire, and, most importantly, tantalize your taste buds.

Please do let us know which film you pick for your next night in!