“Somebody Feed Phil” is a travel documentary TV series which premiered on Netflix on 12 January 2018. The show follows the famous TV producer, actor and food aficionado, Phil Rosenthal as he travels across the world in search of the best culinary experiences. “Somebody Feed Phil” is often considered to be a successor to “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”, Phil’s old show which aired on PBS. Across four seasons, Rosenthal visited 22 cities, including Venice, Marrakesh and Seoul. As the fourth season of “Somebody Feed Phil” concluded in late October 2020, a lot of Phil’s fans were left hungry for more – pun definitely intended – and wondering whether the series would be continuing with more episodes.
“Somebody Feed Phil” season five
According to “The Hollywood Reporter”, “Somebody Feed Phil” fans and Rosenthal himself should be delighted to hear that Netflix has officially renewed the show for another season.
Netflix's Somebody Feed Phil Rosenthal invades Buenos Aires, and there are a lot of familiar foods and faces. https://www.netflix.com/title/80146601
Reportedly, the series will return on 25 May 2022, and season five will be longest season the series has had so far, consisting of ten episodes. If you’re a fan of “Somebody Feed Phil” – or just a fan of food and travel in general – you should know that Netflix will host an early screening on 3 May, as part of their yearly comedy festival “Netflix is a Joke”. Phil himself is set to host the screening of the premiere episode, and later take part in a Q&A session, moderated by Jimmi Simpson.
The upcoming season will start with an episode set in Oaxaca, Mexico, which Phil had expressed interest in visiting for a long time. The city is known for authentic tacos, chili rellenos and crane asada, as well as more unusual options such as corn fungus, grasshoppers and goat’s head soup. Following episodes are set in Madrid, Helsinki, Portland (Oregon), and Portland (Maine).
In previous seasons, we saw Phil visit American cities such as New Orleans and Chicago, as well as world-wide locations including Seoul, Cape Town and Tel Aviv.
Based on Phil’s interviews, we can notice that he’s particularly interested in visiting Australia in the future. Although most of us associate the Australian cuisine with Vegemite sandwiches and ‘shrimp on the barbie’, the country actually offers a lot more exciting foods, even including grilled kangaroo meat, making it a potential future location for an episode of “Somebody Feed Phil”.
However, with some Covid-19 related restrictions still in place, it may prove difficult for Phil and his team to fulfill their travel wish list, so it’s safe to assume that they will opt to visit more cities in the US. It’s been speculated that an episode of the show could take place in Boston, Massachusetts, which has been long overdue for a visit from Rosenthal. If Boston makes the series’ roster, Phil will surely try out the famous Boston lobster, perhaps in a combination with macaroni and cheese.
Diners in the city are also known for seemingly simple dishes, such as Yankee pot roast and baked beans, while cream pie is their most popular dessert.
Who is Phil Rosenthal?
Born on 27 January 1960, Philip ‘Phil’ Rosenthal has built a long-lasting career on television, primarily as a producer and writer, before becoming a TV host himself in recent years.
Phil was born to Jewish parents, who immigrated to the US after WW2. He grew up in New York City, attending the local Clarkstown High School, where he became an active member of the school’s drama club, Cue N’ Curtain. After matriculating in 1977, he enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, from which he graduated in 1981.
In the following years Phil worked as an actor, before making a transition to producing, his earliest works including shows such as “Baby Talk” and “Coach”. However, his biggest commercial success up to date was the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, which aired on CBS from September 1996 through May 2005.
The series centered on Raymond Barone, an Italian-American sportswriter, who lives with his family on Long island, New York and takes nothing in life too seriously. The series received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, and is ranked the 49th all-time funniest TV comedy by the magazine “Complex”, and the 35th best sitcom of all time by “Rolling Stone”. Phil himself wrote a number of episodes of the series, along with being the executive producer, and was nominated for three Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, in 2000, 2002 and 2005.
In 2006, he published his first book entitled “You’re Lucky You’re Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom”, in which he recounts how his life led to the success of “Everybody Loves Raymond”. In the following years, he worked on numerous other projects, including the documentary film “Exporting Raymond” (2010), centered on his own efforts to adapt “Everybody Loves Raymond” for Russian TV, despite knowing very little about the local culture.
In September 2015, PBS debuted Phil’s culinary documentary series “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”, in which he travelled to locations around the world and explored their cuisines. Although the series only lasted for six episodes before it was cancelled by the network, Netflix picked up on the idea, which led to the creation of “Somebody Feed Phil”.
Phil Rosenthal is also known for his philanthropic endeavors; he serves on the creative council of the non-profit anti-corruption organization Represent.Us, focused on ending political corruption by pushing for reforms to protect voting rights, stopping gerrymandering and lobbying, and promoting financial transparency during elections. In 2020, inspired by his show “Somebody Feed Phil”, Rosenthal launched the “Somebody Feed the People” campaign, to support organizations that provide for voters waiting in long lines during Presidential Elections.
Since 1990, Phil has been married to the “Everybody Loves Raymond” star, Monica Louise Horan, with whom he has two children, daughter Lilly and son Ben.
“Somebody Feed Phil”
While the idea of a professional TV producer starring in a culinary show may seem to be out of left field, Phil turned out to be the prefect pick for the role. He actually first thought about doing that kind of a show while he was still working on “Everybody Loves Raymond”. In the interview he gave for the magazine “Fine Dining Lovers”, Phil recounts talking to the lead actor of the series, Ray Romano, and asking him whether he’d ever thought about travelling to Italy to explore his Italian heritage. As Ray responded negatively, saying ‘I’m not really interested in exploring other cultures’, Phil decided to make an episode about sending him to Italy. Ray (the actor) ended up being incredibly impressed by everything, but especially food. In regards to the episode, Phil said ‘That Italy episode expressed everything I love, not just specifically about Italy, but in the larger sense, how I feel about travelling. And personally, there is no greater high than turning people on to stuff you like.’ From that moment on, Phil wanted to do just that.
Phil likes to jokingly refer to himself as ‘Anthony Bourdain – if he was afraid of everything’, however, unlike the late Bourdain, Phil is very light-hearted and comedic in his approach to a culinary show. In the interview he gave for the “I’m So Obsessed” podcast, Phil said: ‘I figured there might be more people out there who, like me, watch Bourdain and go, ‘He’s amazing. I’m never doing that.’ And yet, there should be some kind of travel show for them’. ‘What do I want out of a vacation? Well, I’d like a hotel with a bed and a pillow. I’d like food that I recognize as food and not bugs, which are things that we don’t necessarily eat.’, he continued. Luckily, Phil’s show is produced by his brother, Rich Rosenthal, who frequently pushes him out of his comfort zone, which makes for Phil taking on more daring choices on the show.
In the past four years, “Somebody Feed Phil” has accumulated significant critical acclaim, due to Phil’s radiant positivity and sense of humor, which are the selling points of the show.
Catch all new episodes of “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix! @phil.rosenthal @netflix
As a test, the series has been nominated for two Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program Category. At the Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards, the show won the title of the Best Travel/Adventure Show, while Phil received the award for Male Star of the Year in 2021.
Phil published his second book in 2022, entitled “Somebody Feed Phil the Book”, which consists of behind-the-scenes stories and photos from the eponymous Netflix series, as well as frequently requested recipes, so that fans can recreate the dishes from the show at home.
Netflix food shows
While we wait for a new season of “Somebody Feed Phil”, there are plenty of culinary shows to catch up on in the meantime.
One of the best-rated food shows available on Netflix is Jon Favreau’s “The Chef Show”. Back in 2014, Jon met the famous cook, Roy Choi, who was a consultant for his movie “Chef”, which started their friendship, based on their mutual love of food. In their series, the duo cook, eat and learn about new foods, with the help of their celebrity guests.
Another culinary show worth watching is the docu-series “Chef’s Table”. Directed by David Gelb as a follow-up to his critically-acclaimed documentary film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, each episode of the series follows a different chef, exploring their lives, talents and passions which influenced their successful careers. “Chef’s Table” started airing in 2015, has since spawned six seasons and two spin-offs, and been nominated for a variety of awards, including eight Emmys.
Based on Samin Nosrat’s bestselling book of the same name, “Salt Fat Acid Heat” is a four-part documentary which explores all four elements from the title, and their use in cooking in depth. During the series, we see Samin visit restaurants in California, Japan and Italy, among others, while investigating the process of preparing food. Given that the show is a combination of a travel documentary and a cooking guide, it’s a must-watch for every home cook.
In the Netflix documentary series “Ugly Delicious”, celebrity chef David Chang explores foods often overlooked in the high-class culinary world, such as pizza, tacos and fried chicken. Each episode is dedicated to a different dish, and follows Chang and his friends as they visit a variety of restaurants in the US and abroad, and delve into what makes good food good. The series also focuses on cultural aspects of foods, how they became popularized, and how they are being interpreted by cooks in different parts of the world (spoiler alert: apparently the best pizza you could eat is actually being made in Japan).
One of the most popular cooking series right now is certainly BBC’s competition show “The Great British Bake Off”. The series has been airing for 12 seasons, starting in 2010, and follows a group of baking enthusiasts as they compete for the title of UK’s Best Amateur Baker. The series has been warmly received by TV critics and audiences alike, often being praised for the lack of drama, with “The Guardian” calling it ‘the nicest show on television’. The popularity of “The Great British Bake Off” in the UK has reportedly spurred interest in home baking, with British supermarkets reporting sharp rises of baking ingredients and accessories. Furthermore, the series is even being developed into a stage musical, set to premiere in July 2022.