If you've got the Netflix home screen emblazoned into your brain (who doesn't at this point?), you may have noticed a brand-new series starring former first lady Michelle Obama pop up on your queue today. Waffles + Mochi sends two food-obsessed puppets around the world to learn how to cook with super fresh ingredients.
Though the streaming platform bills the 10-episode series as a kids show, there's plenty for grownups to love, too – namely a barrage of A-list guest stars including chefs José Andrés, Mashama Bailey and Samin Nosrat as well as notable celebrities like Tan France, Common and Rashida Jones.
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The first episode introduces titular characters Waffles and Mochi, a lovable duo from the land of frozen food who hitch a ride to Michelle Obama's (that's Mrs. O to you) produce-packed grocery store. With each new episode, the puppets explore a new-to-them ingredient – think tomatoes, pickles, rice and potatoes – with hands-on guidance from some of the world's best chefs and encouragement from Obama.
Though there are plenty of overtly cheesy scenes geared toward the younger set, adults will find themselves glued to the screen when Nosrat whips up a wonderfully simple pasta dish and Andrés blends a batch of garden-fresh gazpacho while having a dance party in his kitchen. At the very least, it'll drum up inspiration for dinner and intrigue picky eaters, whether you're trying your hand at mole (episode 2) or corn grits (episode 8).
There are tender moments, too, most notably a trip to famed chef Massimo Bottura's Il Tortellante in Modena, Italy, where adults with special needs – including Bottura's son, Charlie – learn how to roll tortellini with help from local women. "Now we have a little shop, and they make tortellini that we sell, and we are always sold out," Bottura says as he dishes out servings of piping-hot, cheese-coated pasta.
While the kids are learning about the importance of a balanced diet, you'll be jotting down restaurants and singular foodie destinations (including Il Tortellante) to check out when the world opens up again. After all, Waffles and Mochi hop around the globe at breakneck speed, pulling viewers from Los Angeles to Peru to Portugal to Japan and beyond. It's the kind of show that will inspire the next generation of food-obsessed travelers and rekindle wanderlust after a year of lockdown.
So go ahead and ignore the judgy voice in the back of your head that says Waffles + Mochi is only for the kids. Obama, a pair of puppets and some of the world's top chefs prove otherwise.