Netflix ‘Ugly Delicious’: A Nerdy, Foody, Documentary Fusion You Need In Your Life

Johnny Carson is the reason Wolfgang Puck sells a frozen pizza, but, we'll get back to that. ugly delicious chef david change dusts off his hands in white chef coat on Netflix food documentary screen shot

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Johnny Carson is the reason Wolfgang Puck sells a frozen pizza, but, we’ll get back to that. More importantly, Netflix’ Ugly Delicious is the genuinely geeky, foody, documentary fusion gastronomic you need in your life. If you aren’t into deep consideration and discussion of food, food history, food lore, food opinion and food sacrilege (or purity) and humor, what are you into?

David Change, famed celebrity chef hosts this 8 part Netflix food documentary, an original series. It starts out slow, with a yawning, dry humor and genuine love of all things food. Everyday conversation, delving into the food we eat and the minds of the great chefs creating it. Each episode comes to a full-bodied finish, with a great taste left on your palate when it’s done. It has an almost hipster (in a good way) appeal to those who truly get the intricacies of high (and low) cuisine.

This documentary explores the misconceptions, cultural and social differences, and barriers, in our food.

Ugly Delicious Delivers an Off-Beat Foody-Heaven

Covering everything from the oldest pizza in Italy, to the oldest pizza restaurant owned by the same family, to Dominos delivery, the first episode is like a Pizza almanac. This show doesn’t talk you through the secrets to making the best pizzas in the world, it shows you how those creating it feel about their food. And, blows your mind a few times along the way.

FYI: Buffalo mozzarella, brought to Italy by the Normans, is a real thing really used on Pizza.  No seriously, that is cheese used on the Neopolitan Pizza — basically, the holy grail of original Italian pizza. If you already knew that, you are going to love this show, if you didn’t but now need to know more, it is definitely for you.

About David Chang

Chef David Chang is famous for running the Momofuku Restaurant Group out of New York.

This is Chef Chang’s second foray into the world of food broadcasting. His first was with PBS, hosting the first season of Anthony Bourdain’s The Mind of a Chef. 

When interviewed by the Daily Beast, Chang seemed unhappy with television, and wasn’t going to do any more of it. However, meeting Morgan Neville changed his mind. the Oscar-winning director of the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom and Chang are a perfect match, if this series is any indication.

What Neville told the Daily Beast about Chang:

“The thing that impressed me about Dave and everybody in Dave’s world is that they were always talking about food in a way that I’d never heard it talked about before,” Neville adds over dinner in majordōmo’s private dining room. “We pitched it as a punk rock TV show, a show about breaking down all expectations and borders.”

The Reviews are In:

Danica Lo from Food and Wine calls Ugly Delicious, “one of the most important (and probably the best) documentary food series I’ve watched in years.” And honestly, we can’t see where she went wrong in that estimation. They also give a full list of all the exotic, lovely, historical and, of course, delicious destination restaurants featured in the series.

Daniel Hart for Ready, Steady, Cut said that the reoccurring theme applied in the documentary, “is that it is not important how a certain food type came to be, it is important how other cultures have embraced it.”  Hart continued, “You begin to learn that David wants food to be available to everyone, in all shapes and sizes.” And that is about the best description we have read on the subject.

But, What About Johnny?

So, back to the reason that Johnny Carson is the reason Wolfgang Puck sells frozen pizza. Back in the day, Johnny Carson bought large volumes of Puck’s pizza. When Puck asked Carson how he was able to eat it all, thinking Carson was feeding a lot of people, he was informed that Carson was actually freezing them. Carson claimed they tasted great thawed and eaten. After some initial anger that his creations were meeting the ice box, Puck himself tried it.

And thus, Wolfgang Puck launched a frozen pizza line. And now you know.

Ugly Delicious Trailer


Featured image via Facebook, promotional image for Ugly Delicious

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