bostonglobe.com – I don’t watch much food television. What it serves up — competition, showiness — has never really made me hungry.
Until now. David Chang’s series “Ugly Delicious,” on Netflix, makes me ravenous. I’ve had to hit pause in the middle of an episode and go whip up a snack, so intense were my cravings for the flavors crossing my eyeballs. The taco omakase at Pujol in Mexico City; the food of Hue province served at Houston Vietnamese restaurant Nam Giao; the braised fried chicken Chang makes in his mother’s kitchen. It’s the first time I’ve understood the term “food porn” in anything more than a theoretical sense.
But it’s not just me and it’s not just my stomach. “Ugly Delicious” is a clear and potent distillation of the food moment we are all in together — gastronomically, ideologically. For anyone who has ever said to quit writing about politics, identity, culture and just get back to the food already, I direct you here. There is no talking about food without talking about these other things. Or: Why talk about food if not to talk about these other things?
If you haven’t yet seen it, the show takes on a different subject in each of its eight episodes — pizza, tacos, home cooking, and so on. Chang, the chef behind the Momofuku empire and new LA restaurant Majordomo, is our guide. (Shortly after “Ugly Delicious” appeared, Chang announced he would launch Majordomo Media, and it’s slightly hard to watch the series without seeing it in part as an advertisement.) With a team of all-star friends — actors Aziz Ansari and Steven Yeun, chefs Rene Redzepi and Mario Carbone, food writers Jonathan Gold and Peter Meehan (also a costar, producer, and former collaborator on Lucky Peach magazine, which closed last year) — he visits US cities like Houston and New Orleans, as well as Japan, Mexico, China, Italy. They are looking for good food, but as much as that, they are looking for the meaning behind it.
Going to have to add this to the binge watch list, looks right up my alley