Cooking has been central to our culture since the inception of humankind. The evolution of food and the development of cooking techniques have grown in different ways across different societies. Cooking culture has grown since the popularization of television, through cooking shows. They’ve brought a new phenomenon to the world and impacted the lives of many individuals, inspiring them to become chefs and create their own dishes. And with the development of the internet, food culture began to submit its hold there, too. More than any other online influence, Munchies has been at the forefront of all the newest developments in food culture in the current digital age.
Munchies is a subsidiary news outlet of VICE that focuses on providing viewers with videos and written content to change the way we look at our meals. Munchies embraces the tradition of television-era cooking shows and combines it with the deep history of various food cultures to develop rich content with practical entertainment value. It has a variety of shows, each with memorable hosts, but these are some of the best shows on the site.
Is there any food better than pizza? Arguably the most popular show, “The Pizza Show” stars Frank Pinello as he tours around cities, eating the best pizza he can find. Pinello interacts with the chefs at all the places he goes to, learning how they make their pizzas differently. There is also a historical aspect to each episode; you learn about the growth of each restaurant and the development of pizza culture in each city.
Pinello goes to popular destinations, such as Chicago and New York City; however, he also has episodes highlighting lesser-known pizza cities, such as Las Vegas and Detroit. Not every episode is centrally focused on a city, though. Some episodes highlight the advent of pizza-making technology, while other episodes travel back to the food’s roots.
Matty Matheson is a foul-mouthed, world-class Canadian chef who started out on Munchies during its launch period in 2014, with a simple “how-to” video. From his success there, he was able to create a show, “Keep it Canada with Matty Matheson.”
Matheson’s show is filmed like a VICE documentary, featuring his tours around places in Canada, finding places to eat, hanging out with new friends and catching wildlife. Matheson shows the viewer around like a local, reminding us of his deep attachment to Canada and his knowledge of the food scene there.
Matheson is an extremely funny host, with high-spirited banter and enthusiasm about all of his activities. During the second episode of the show, Matheson explores Prince Edward Island, climbing a hill of potatoes, hunting for clams and cracking dirty jokes the whole time. And at the end of the episode, Matheson cooks for all the people who showed him around.
“Street Food Icons” is a new show on Munchies that tells the inspiring stories of talented street food vendors, mainly based in NYC. The show goes over the trials and tribulations of owning a food stand. Many of the featured icons come from humble beginnings in poor countries with little opportunity, and they came to America to create a better life for the next generation of their family.
Each episode is based around food that is native to the chef’s culture. The show doesn’t have one particular host; instead, every episode highlights a chef’s journey within the food world. Their food is rated highly in magazines, and each food stand has attracted a large audience. Because a lot of these chefs came to NYC for new opportunities, they bring a slice of their lives to work, and they always seem excited to interact with new customers.
It’s bold decision to name your show “The Cooking Show,” but Farideh Sedighen has created a show that really earns that title. More so than any other show on Munchies, this show takes inspiration from traditional television cooking shows. The editing focuses on showing off cooking techniques, as well as the ingredients that Sedighen uses in her dishes. It establishes a pace to the cooking, making her technique seem very methodical.
Sedighen is a quirky, funny host, who drinks wine while she waits for the food to cook and constantly messes with her staff throughout the course of her videos, forcing them to do miscellaneous tasks and calling them out randomly. But despite all of her antics, Sedighen establishes a good balance between her explanation of cooking techniques and her comedy.
“Chef’s Night Out” is the flagship show on Munchies, starring a new chef each episode. It usually follows the same formula: chefs introduce themselves at their restaurants; then, they go out to eat at local places with their eclectic group of friends, who might be other chefs or artists, or anything in between.
By the end of the episode, the hosting chef is usually pretty intoxicated, and we get a true look into their character. They return to their restaurants inspired by the food they just ate, and they throw a party, cooking exclusive dishes for their guests that can’t be found on the menu.
Chef-turned-rapper Action Bronson, also known as “Mr. Wonderful” (along with a multitude of other nicknames), hosts an extremely popular show on Munchies called “F—k, That’s Delicious.” Bronson is usually accompanied by friends, including Meyhem Lauren, The Alchemist, Big Body Bes and more, as he travels to different countries and explores regional dishes, learns about the development of their food scene and meets local chefs. Bronson, who is known by many solely as a rapper, has a surprising wealth of knowledge in cooking and knows many famous chefs worldwide.
As is the case in a lot of food shows, the host makes the show, and Bronson’s natural charisma vibes well with the nature of show. Bronson isn’t seen in any episode without a joint, and he isn’t afraid to venture out and eat odd foods, such as brains or exotic animals. Bronson is foul-mouthed and direct with everyone in the show, creating some unusually entertaining banter that sparks interesting conversations about different cuisines.
You can watch “F—k, That’s Delicious,” on Hulu, Live TV and YouTube. Bronson seems to have a great relationship with VICE, and, more specifically VICELAND, which is now releasing the second season of his show “Action Bronson Watches Ancient Aliens.”
Munchies has a ton of other great shows that you can find on YouTube and Hulu. But along with their shows, Munchies also has a decent social media presence, and it has a stand-alone website that discusses various aspects of food culture that are harder to represent with video content.