Romantic comedies — including the Hallmark variety — seem to believe that cooking together is incredibly romantic. Okay. I mean, I’ve never really experienced that myself, but I’ve also never been in a snowball fight that didn’t end up with someone shouting or crying. So maybe it’s a me and my people problem?
Maybe. Or maybe it’s just been too long since I cooked for fun (as opposed to cooking because these people who live at my house demand to be fed three times a day, every day of my life). Either way, I vacillate between cynical amusement and heart-eyed inspiration when I see a couple of people flirting around a hot stove or a counter covered in flour and egg shells.
But now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I should be a little more open-minded to movies (or scenes) where romance grows in the kitchen. After all, if I take off my grouchy old lady lenses, I can see that it makes sense. Humans connect over food. And working on a project together–like frosting dozens of cupcakes for the bake sale or perfecting a pot of chili for the cookoff–can definitely bring people together.
Okay. I’m on board now. Which is a good thing, because the Hallmark Channel is not lacking for movies about cooking. And cooking contests, in particular. So many cooking contests!
I noticed this earlier in the summer when I realized that, out of five Hallmark movies I’d recorded on my DVR, three of them were about cooking contests. So I thought I’d see just how many of these movies are out there. And what a fun list I have now! Of course I had to share it with you.
If you love watching people fall in love in the kitchen, here are some delicious movies you shouldn’t miss. (You can find out when they’re airing next in the Hallmark Checklist app or on the Hallmark Channel website.)
Note: I’m not including holiday movies in this list because THEY ALL INVOLVE COOKING OF SOME SORT.
14 Delicious Hallmark Movies About Cooking
A Dash of Love: An aspiring chef and executive chef discover their boss is stealing recipes and decide to open their own restaurant. Stars Jen Lilley and Brendan Penny.
A Taste of Summer: Two restaurant owners compete in a summer food festival. Stars real-life couple Roselyn Sanchez and Eric Winter. (This is the only one on the list I haven’t seen yet, but my DVR is set to record it the next time it’s on!)
Appetite for Love: Corporate woman is sent to her hometown to convince her ex-boyrfriend to sell his restaurant to her company. Stars Taylor Cole and Andrew Walker.
Cooking with Love: Busy television producer must work with a “bad boy” celebrity chef on a children’s cooking show. Stars Ali Liebert and Brett Dalton.
Falling for You: A radio producer and traveling businessman compete in a small-town bake-off for charity. Stars Taylor Cole and Tyler Hines.
Just Add Romance: Former culinary school classmates reconnect as they compete on a cooking show. Stars Meghann Fahy and Luke Macfarlane.
Love on the Menu: A chef makes a deal with a frozen food executive to save his restaurant. Stars Autumn Reeser and Kavan Smith.
Love, Romance and Chocolate: A woman travels to Belgium alone after a breakup, where she meets a chocolatier and helps him compete in a chocolate competition. Stars Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp.
The Perfect Catch: A struggling baseball player returns to his hometown and reconnects with family and his restaurant-owning ex-girlfriend. Stars Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker.
Pumpkin Pie Wars: Two people from rival bakeries compete in a local pumpkin pie contest. Stars Julie Gonzalo and Eric Aragon.
Season for Love: High school sweethearts–one a celebrity chef, one an unemployed sous chef–return to their hometown for a barbecue competition. Stars Autumn Reeser and Marc Blucas.
Summer Villa: A romance novelist and celebrity chef, both struggling with their art, are forced to share a French villa for the summer. Stars Hilarie Burton and Victor Webster.
The Secret Ingredient: A small-town baker and French chef, who just happened to be formerly engage, compete in a cooking show. Stars Erin Cahill and Brendan Penny.
You’re Bacon Me Crazy: An aspiring chef and food truck owner competes with another food truck owner, whose whole truck is about bacon. Stars Natalie Hall and Michael Rady.
And for a bonus? Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has not just one but TWO mystery movie series about cooking! I adore the Murder, She Baked series and have watched all the movies at least twice. Starring Alison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison, the movies are based on a book series about a baker and a police chief who solve crimes together in a small Minnesota town. (The other movie series about cooking is called Gourmet Detective, starring Brooke Burns and Dylan Neal. I haven’t watched it yet.)
One last note: Hallmark has long struggled to feature diverse actors, characters, or storylines in their movies, and this post makes that abundantly clear. A couple great movies about cooking you might also enjoy are The Hundred-Foot Journey and Uncorked (both on Netflix).