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Review: “Ugly Delicious”

David Chang sparks informative yet entertaining facts about food

Caitlyn Nakatsukasa | Freelancer

The word ‘food’ is sure to capture my attention whether I see pictures of it on social media or physically up close and personal. That is why Netflix’s new food-focused travel series “Ugly Delicious” undoubtedly seized my interest and increased my excitement for their anticipated release date on Feb. 23.

This show is about award-winning chef David Chang teaming up with director and producer Morgan Neville and food writer Peter Meehan to travel across the world and explore the different types of food and the cultural insights behind the food’s value. Each episode has a different food theme that Chang and his crew apply to different countries  they try and see how each of the countries interpret the dish and cook it in a way that represents their culture.

Rather than giving cooking lessons and showing how food should be made, they listen to stories and the history behind how restaurants make their dishes and what makes each piece stand out from a traditional dish. The show depicts how people categorize different dishes to a specific country and establish a certain meaning behind them because of where they originated from. Chang and his crew work together to tackle the culinary stereotypes and see how they use their local ingredients and methods of cooking to create the themed food in their perspective.

I found this show to be quite interesting, as it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting to see more on how different restaurants around the globe cook their authentic dishes. The show mostly focuses on the importance of the dish and how it can relate to everyone whether the food derived from that area or not. “Ugly Delicious” also gave me insight regarding how these other restaurateurs and cooks think when they create the food and how it led to the business’s success. Each episode also lets you get to know Chef Chang a little better. His candid jokes and remarks made scenes more compelling and his snobby attitude made me want to watch more so I could see what he had to say about the dishes he tried.

Throughout the episodes, he meets with celebrities such as actor Aziz Ansari and television host Jimmy Kimmel to try food with them. Their conversations are amusing because of their humorous comments and their insights regarding what they think of the food. It’s interesting to find these celebrities in a different genre of entertainment because I’m so used to seeing them in their own shows.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed “Ugly Delicious” because it highlights cultural contrasts and new facts about food. I found it entertaining how an Australian restaurant can make similar version of Italy’s acquired dish using Australian ingredients and culinary knowledge and vice versa. I’m amazed at the abundance of different alterations people can make for one dish and with it still being a huge hit.

I would definitely recommend “Ugly Delicious” if you’re a person that wants to learn more about different food around the world and listen to the personal stories behind them, or if you just love food like me and enjoy watching anything related to food. I also recommend grabbing some food to eat after watching this you’re more than likely to get hungry and crave the foods you’ll see in these episodes.

Contact the author at cnakatsukasa15@wou.edu

Photo by: netflix.com