In the whimsical world of ‘Julia,’ Daniel Goldfarb artfully transports viewers to 1960s Cambridge, Massachusetts. This delightful comedy-drama, streaming on HBO Max, chronicles the life of culinary icon Julia Child during the creation of her groundbreaking TV cooking show, ‘The French Chef.’ Sarah Lancashire leads a stellar cast, embodying the charismatic and legendary Julia, surrounded by talents like David Hyde Pierce, Bebe Neuwirth, Fran Kranz, Fiona Glascott, Brittany Bradford, and Robert Joy. With its nostalgic charm and culinary flair, ‘Julia’ captivates audiences, providing an enchanting glimpse into the vibrant era that birthed the world of food television. Here are 8 more shows like ‘Julia’ you must see.
8. Chef! (1993-1996)
‘Chef!’, a British sitcom created by Peter Tilbury, serves up a delectable blend of comedy and culinary chaos. The series revolves around Gareth Blackstock, played by Lenny Henry, a talented and irritable chef navigating the challenges of the kitchen and his personal life. Much like ‘Julia,’ ‘Chef!’ explores the dynamic world of cooking, though with a distinct British flair. Both shows share a love for culinary arts, infusing humor into the kitchen drama. While ‘Julia’ is based on the life of Julia Child, ‘Chef!’ offers a comedic take on the trials and tribulations of a passionate chef, creating a delightful parallel for fans of culinary-themed shows.
7. Foodie Love (2019)
‘Foodie Love,’ a Spanish drama series created by Isabel Coixet, serves a romantic feast for the senses. The show follows the intertwining culinary and romantic journey of two food enthusiasts brought together by their shared love for gastronomy. Similar to ‘Julia,’ ‘Foodie Love’ explores the connection between food and personal relationships, weaving a narrative around the diverse flavors of both. Coixet’s creation captures the essence of culinary passion and its role in building connections. While ‘Julia’ delves into the life of Julia Child, ‘Foodie Love’ offers a unique blend of romance and gastronomy, making it an appetizing choice for those seeking a love story seasoned with culinary delights.
6. Sweetbitter (2018-2019)
‘Sweetbitter’ is a compelling drama series created by Stephanie Danler, based on her novel of the same name. Set in the vibrant culinary world of New York City, it follows Tess, played by Ella Purnell, as she navigates the complexities of working in a prestigious restaurant. The series delves into the intoxicating mix of ambition, romance, and culinary artistry. Alongside Purnell, the cast includes Tom Sturridge, Caitlin FitzGerald, and Paul Sparks. While ‘Julia’ immerses viewers in the life of culinary pioneer Julia Child, ‘Sweetbitter’ provides a modern, atmospheric exploration of the restaurant scene, connecting through its shared theme of culinary passion.
5. The Great British Bake-Off (2010-)
For those who relished the culinary journey of ‘Julia,’ ‘The Great British Bake Off‘ is a delightful treat. This beloved baking competition, created by Love Productions, celebrates the art of baking with a warm and supportive atmosphere. Contestants showcase their skills, creativity, and love for baking in a charming tent. Much like ‘Julia,’ the emphasis is not only on the final product but also on the joy and camaraderie that cooking brings. Hosted by comedians Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and judged by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (later Prue Leith), ‘The Great British Bake Off’ captures the heart of baking enthusiasts and offers a cozy escape into the world of sweets.
4. The Mind of a Chef (2012-2017)
Narrated by Anthony Bourdain, ‘The Mind of a Chef’ is a documentary series that delves into the creative processes and culinary philosophies of renowned chefs. Each season features a different chef, exploring their inspirations, techniques, and personal connections to food. The show provides an intimate look into the minds of culinary innovators, sharing their stories and showcasing diverse cuisines. Akin to ‘Julia,’ which explores the life of a culinary pioneer, ‘The Mind of a Chef’ invites viewers into the world of passionate cooks, emphasizing the artistry and dedication that elevate cooking beyond a mere task, creating a sensory and intellectual experience for food enthusiasts.
3. The Gilded Age (2022-)
Embark on a journey through ‘The Gilded Age,’ an American historical drama crafted by the brilliant Julian Fellowes. Set against the opulence of 1880s New York City, the series unveils the societal tapestry of the time. Follow a young woman navigating the rigid social landscape, entwined in the daily dramas between the nouveau riche Russell family and the old-money van Rhijn-Brook family. As neighbors on the Upper East Side, conflicts unfold across 61st Street near Fifth Avenue. With a stellar cast led by Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Cynthia Nixon, and Christine Baranski, ‘The Gilded Age’ mirrors the intricate societal dynamics explored in ‘Julia,’ creating a captivating tapestry of wealth, class, and intrigue in a bygone era.
2. The Bear (2022-)
In ‘The Bear,’ a comedy-drama series by Christopher Storer, Jeremy Allen White takes the stage as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a gifted chef returning to Chicago to manage his late brother’s sandwich shop. Tasked with reviving the rundown kitchen and handling a spirited staff, Carmy grapples with unresolved debts and familial trauma. The show, with a talented supporting cast including Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Abby Elliott, unfolds the poignant journey of a young chef navigating the chaos of both the kitchen and his personal life. A must-watch for fans of ‘Julia,’ it serves a delectable blend of humor, drama, and culinary passion, resonating with the spirit of culinary exploration and family ties.
1. Lessons in Chemistry (2023)
Step into the captivating world of ‘Lessons in Chemistry,’ a period drama miniseries crafted by Lee Eisenberg. Drawing inspiration from Bonnie Garmus’ novel, the show unfolds in 1960s America and stars Brie Larson as Elizabeth Zott, a pioneering chemist who ignites a feminist culinary revolution with her own cooking show. Much like ‘Julia,’ which celebrates the culinary prowess of Julia Child, ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ weaves together the realms of science and cooking, showcasing a strong female lead breaking barriers. As Elizabeth Zott embarks on her televised culinary journey, the series promises to be a flavorful exploration of empowerment and innovation, echoing the spirit of ‘Julia.’
Read More: Best Cooking Shows