Documentaries and Movies for Chefs and Cooks

Discover the Top 9 Documentaries and Movies for Chefs and Cooks

Chef movies are not just feel-good films for all audiences but can serve as an inspiration to great chefs. These cooking movies range from light-hearted to fun and even educational. If you need movie night ideas, this guide will highlight a few to start with.

Why You Should Watch These Chef Movies?

Besides the heartwarming component of chef movies, they can teach you a lot about cooking, life, and more. Chefs can also learn how to persevere and build their skills. It is true that movies are not real life, but good cooking movies reassure chefs that their goals are valid. 

Benefits of Watching Chef Movies

There are other top benefits to indulging in movies about the culinary world. They include:



To become a master chef, you need to relax and unwind sometimes. Having a movie night is one way to do this. It is a perfect distraction to help you relax and refresh your mind.

Reduce Stress

Reduce Stress

Food films can reduce stress as much as any comedy. It releases feel-good hormones in your brain that reduce your stress. Merely looking at food does a number on our brains. If it is also a heartwarming story, the feeling is ecstatic. 

Must-Watch Culinary-Themed Films and Documentaries

We are mostly used to celebrity chef movies and live shows where chefs test their skills. While these films are fun to watch, you’ll find more inspiration as a chef by watching the best movies about the industry. Below is a list of the top nine films and documentaries you should check out. 

1. Ratatouille

This 2007 movie follows the culinary career of a mouse named Remy. It focuses on the challenges the rat faced with cooking French cuisine and opening his own restaurant in the end.  The movie also featured a food critic. Chefs can learn about determination and perseverance from this film. It also emphasizes the need for chefs to build a community and be willing to learn from others. 

2. A Tale of Two Kitchens

The 2019 film is a Netflix documentary that showcases the life of a Mexican chef named Gabriela Camara as she brings Mexican cuisine to a new city. She ran two restaurants in different cities. The film gives chefs and others a new perspective on how a restaurant works. It shows chefs how to manage restaurants and build their business relationships. 

3. Chef

This 2015 food film follows a head chef, Carl Casper, who loses his top job and starts afresh from an old food truck. During the course of this arduous journey, Casper reconnects with his son. It not only teaches chefs to stay true to their goals but also emphasizes the importance of family. Chefs can also learn that it is never too late to start over. A food truck can be the first step to owning a sushi restaurant in the future. 

4. King Corn

This heartwarming movie, made in 2007, follows Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney as they leave college to grow corn in Iowa. In the process, they learn about the American food system. The documentary can give chefs insight into food production and the potential challenges a restaurant can face in the process.

5. Julie and Julia 

This 2009 film follows young New Yorker, Julie Powell and Julia Child in the past and present as both women share a passion for cooking. Julie tried to emulate Julia by cooking every single recipe for a whole year. The film is a true story of how cooking can bring people together in the culinary world. Chefs can learn to find and embrace their passion, but they should not let it blind them. 

6. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The 2011 movie follows Jiro Ono, whose sushi restaurant was awarded its third Michelin star. The restaurant only has 10 seats and showcases the owner's effort towards perfecting his cooking craft. The movie was awarded best foreign language film, while the restaurant got three Michelin stars. Chefs can learn how to manage small businesses and strive for perfection in the process. The film also teaches you to maintain a clear goal and remain dedicated to your business. 

7. The Hundred Foot Journey

This 2014 movie follows an Indian family that moves to France to set up a restaurant. The hundred foot is the distance between the restaurant and a rival French restaurant that is across from each other. Chefs can learn a thing or two about perseverance. Like young Hassan, chefs would learn not to give up on their dreams but to continue to pursue them to a logical end. Another lesson it teaches is self-belief. It can go a long way toward preparing a chef for the food industry and its challenges. 

8. No Reservations

This movie was made in 2007 and is one of the best movies for lovers of the romance genre. It follows Kate, a chef who has to navigate her cooking career while training her niece. In the movie, Kate learns to balance her personal and professional life while working in a restaurant so that no aspect will suffer. Chefs can learn how to do the same thing. Cooking should not be the only activity a chef engages in. It is great to find the perfect balance between cooking and family life because both are equally important. 

9. Barbecue 

This 2017 documentary takes viewers to around 12 countries and explores barbecuing techniques from each one. It features lots of delicious food along with the cultures accompanying the good meal. The documentary won an Emmy for its incredible storytelling. As a chef, you will learn about some amazing techniques for grilling meat. You will also learn to appreciate ingredients and the role each one plays while cooking. 


Films like The Hundred-Foot Journey and others on the list are some of the best recommendations to start with if you need some inspiration or just a fun way to pass the time. You should watch a great movie or documentary like this from time to time to get a new perspective on your journey.

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