Chef David Chang Dishes On The ‘Ugly’ Side Of ‘Delicious’ Food
Chef David Chang’s new Netflix show Ugly Delicious dives deep into how some of his favorite kinds of foods — from pizza to fried chicken — are made all over the world.
Chang tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson the term that became the show’s title originated as an Instagram hashtag, and an inside joke with his cooks.
“The most delicious stuff is like a bowl of curry on rice, and that’s not gonna inspire a cookbook or a cover of a Bon Appétit magazine,” Chang says. “And all of this food [history] is sometimes not being told, and it’s not being appreciated enough in the world we live in right now.”
On deciding which foods to focus on in the show
It was hard to figure out what we were even gonna do, so we narrowed it down to just themes, and then those themes became, ‘Wait, why don’t we just talk about specific foods, and go down that rabbit hole, and how that intersects with culture and something like pizza or fried chicken, or the idea of barbecue.’ So that was it. It was like, ‘OK, let’s talk about the stories that sometimes are told. But we’re gonna create conversations in ways that maybe people really wanna talk about pizza, or fried chicken.’
Netflix’s “Ugly Delicious” draws from the likes of “No Reservations” or “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” in that it sees host David Chang exploring the cultural specificity in a dish. The distinction is that Chang’s series sees him travel to different countries to see how a certain food item, like pizza or fried chicken, is reinterpreted by the people who live there. It’s a series that challenges our preconceived notions of food. Both seasons of “Ugly Delicious” are on Netflix now.