David Chang is omnipresent: ramen joints, fine dining, fried chicken, magazines, and so forth. Now, he has his own Netflix show, “Ugly Delicious,” that is obsessed with the meaning and value of authenticity.
Teen, Filip and Eliza discuss what sets it apart from your typical foodie TV series and why David Chang might be the most original Asian American celebrity out there today.
The following are edited excerpts from “David Chang’s ‘Ugly Delicious’”, the 16th episode of Plan A’s podcast, Escape From Plan A.
I didn’t expect that pro-Asian part at all. I thought he was going to talk about politics, but come at it from a… not white American, but a neutral, race-free American look at politics. But it turned out to be pro-Asian in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. Down to the last one. I didn’t really expect that.
He got me really thinking about anti-assimilation and what it means to be pro-Asian. Like, he basically shits on Cajun food and says it would be so much better if all of them just did it the Viet-Cajun way.
This I did understand about [David Chang’s] Noodle Bar. It was exciting. It was the first time that you felt that you weren’t in a bastardized version of a restaurant that really should be in Tokyo. Which is the feeling that you get by going to Nobu, which is the feeling you get by going to Buddakan, which is the feeling you get even going to Masa. You go there and you pretend you’re in Tokyo… David Chang’s Momofuku was like, no this cannot be found anywhere else but in New York.