Comfort food, racism, cultural appropriation, top chefs and comedians in David Chang’s new Netflix series: Ugly Delicious
Outside of visiting the OZC Farmers Market on Saturday morning, this weekend I binged on Netflix’s new food documentary Ugly Delicious.
It was good. Really good.
Hosted by brash but charmingly likeable, Korean-American restaurateur David Chang, the series spans 8 episodes, each running for about 1 hour. In every episode, Chang and friends travel to Japan, Italy, Denmark, and across America in search of authenticity in the soul food that everyone loves. Passing no judgement, Domino’s, KFC, and store bought are not excluded.
Not so much looking for the right answers, Chang collects opinions about food fusion, racist stereotypes and the complexities of preserving soul food. Diving deep into the history of cultural eating, each episode explores how staple regional dishes like tacos, fried rice and fried chicken have become universal and how that affects both traditionalists and gastronomic adopters.
Controversial questions like: Can a Japanese chef in Tokyo make better pizza than a grandma in Italy? Is it cultural appropriation to take traditionally African-American fried chicken and turn it into Korean spicy fried chicken? Is it possible for South Africans to make a good taco without authentic ingredients from Mexico?
Episodes include: Pizza, Tacos, Home Cooking, Shrimp & Crawfish, Barbecue, Fried Chicken, Fried Rice, and Stuffed
Tips for watching: Order in each comfort food before viewing or you will be left disappointed and craving everything that is delicious in this world.
Ugly Delicious official trailer:
The show has been highly anticipated by the food community due to its non-stop stream of top chefs; cue Chef’s Table gods like like Massimo Bottura, chef at Osteria Francescana, Noma Copenhagen’s René Redzepi and, the brilliant Brazilian, Alex Atala of D.O.M..
For everyone else, stars like late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, comedian Ali Wong, and the currently controversial Aziz Ansari, keep us thinking and laughing throughout Ugly Delicious.