As we’re all in quarantine, most of us are cooking a lot more. But even now, not all of us have the time to devote to overly intricate dishes or know exactly where to start, especially as virtually all of us are still adjusting to this new reality. Thankfully, beloved cook and baker Nadiya Hussain has arrived on our streaming services to guide us. In her seven-part Netflix-BBC series, Nadiya’s Time to Eat, she shows us her techniques for making delicious dishes fast and without hassle or overcomplication, showing that the potential to be a great chef is in all of us.
Nadiya always radiates such palpable joy while cooking and sharing her dishes with the audience. Her kitchen is inviting, warm, and full of color. While being an exemplary chef and baker, Nadiya also keenly understands that not everyone has the time or accessibility to work on highbrow dishes. Her show is all about doing away with pretension and encouraging her audience to make delicious recipes with easy store-bought ingredients, like canned goods that unfairly get a bad rep. You don’t necessarily need the “freshest” ingredients to make a great dish, and Nadiya refreshingly emphasizes that with each recipe.
Nadiya shows us all the cooking and baking hacks while making amazing combinations of ingredients. The innovative and efficient use of the oven particularly stands out, as she uses it to cut the time from otherwise tedious and time-consuming cooking tasks. From Poke bowls to banana tarte tatin, to shawarma, to the innovation of a pancake traybake with peanut butter and jam, to a mouthwatering chocolate lime roll, Nadiya has so many great recipes to share.
The series is focused on making cooking more efficient, faster, and enjoyable. Additionally, Nadiya is focused on the science of cooking and food production, informing where some of our favorite food comes from and how best to make it. Uniquely among cooking shows, Nadiya visits factories and farms that produce a core ingredient she uses for a dish. She takes an informative tour of the facility each time and gives viewers tremendous insights. She also brings the dish she made in the previous segment to the workers who show her the facilities, adding an extra layer of warmth to these illuminating visits.
The salmon farming segment, in particular, is refreshing in how it doesn’t shy away from showing how this fish is farmed. The series notes how our high demand for this fish has resulted in such high production while showing the whole farming process. It’s important for all of us to know where our food comes from, and know the full extent of the choices we make in buying certain products. Nadiya’s Time to Eat is a standout among cooking shows in educating its viewers about this and the other products we cook with.
In each episode, Nadiya visits a different household, teaching someone to cook her unique innovations of various dishes efficiently. She introduces them to the joys of cooking that their livelihoods may have kept them from while offering her excellent, fast, and efficient techniques in the process. It’s a lovely set of segments, as we basically get to see new friends cook together and talk about how much fun the process is, and it vicariously encourages us to sit at home to try some of these recipes and techniques to make our daily lives easier and even more enjoyable.
Overall, Nadiya’s Time to Eat is an absolute delight of a watch. It empathizes relatability and empathy for viewers with busy lives while being decidedly informative about how our food is made. I cannot recommend this series enough, and I hope that more cooking shows take inspiration from Nadiya.
Nadiya’s Time to Eat is streaming now on Netflix.
Nadiya's Time to Eat
On Nadiya’s Time to Eat, Nadiya Hussain shows us her techniques on making delicious dishes fast and without hassle or overcomplication, showing that the potential to be a great chef is in all of us.