Still flipping through episodes on Chef’s Table? Time to change the channel, fellow foodies – Ugly Delicious is what you should be tuning into right now.
Hosted by celebrity chef David Chang of Momofuku fame and food writer (and Chang’s foodie-in-crime) Peter Meehan, Ugly Delicious is a refreshing take on gastronomy that covers everything from amazing, every day eats to the sociological and culinary history of popular foods.
Forget about white tablecloth restaurants. Instead, step out onto the streets as Chang and Meehan draw your attention back to food at its very core. Join the duo as they travel to Naples for AVP-certified pizza, tuck into street-side tacos in Los Angeles and Mexico, and gather over Thanksgiving at Chang’s family home. Each episode touches on thought-provoking discussions with revered chefs (Spago’s Wolfgang Puck from Spago, René Redzepi from Noma) as well as TV personalities (comedian Aziz Ansari, actress Gillian Jacobs), challenging them to think about what food means to themselves and to the community.
A word of caution: make sure you have tonnes of snacks with you as you watch – hunger is guaranteed. There’s nothing this docuseries hasn’t served that won’t whet your appetite.
Cr: The Daily Meal
Highlighting critical cultural dialogues through light conversations – all packaged and presented in true Lucky Peach* fashion – Ugly Delicious is an epicurean delight that can be enjoyed by experienced gourmets and everyday foodies due to its relatability. The episodes have so much depth, and yet they maintain extremely digestible at the same time.
Since its debut, numerous popular food sites such as Food52 picked up the usage of the hashtag #uglydelicious. Chang frequently uses the hashtag on his social media platforms. The title in itself epitomises the whole series, prompting viewers to remember that good food isn’t always Insta-ready. In fact, sometimes the messiest or ugliest dishes are the best ones that you’ll ever come by.
Both entertaining and enlightening, it comes as no surprise those who have watched the series are hungry for more (spoiler alert: there are only 8 lip-smacking episodes in the first season). True to its name, Ugly Delicious is proof that food doesn’t need to look pretty to be “food porn”. When you binge-watch this (and you will), it’s almost impossible not to drool the piles of crawfish boils, piping hot fried chicken tossed in sticky, sweet hot sauce, and more.
We’re not kidding – you WILL get hungry.
Whether you agree with Wolfgang Puck that people should steer away from “originality” or if you have second thoughts about Ali Wong’s stand on what makes a good Asian restaurant, there’s one takeaway from this series that we can all get behind: Food is a human experience, and no two experiences are ever alike.
To quote Chang: “There’s good food everywhere. It just may not be where you’re looking.”
*Lucky Peach is a now-defunct magazine originally founded by Chang and Meehan