There’s no denying that David Chang’s new Netflix docuseries, “Ugly Delicious”, is aesthetically gorgeous. The show’s underlying concept—”ugly” food like tacos, barbecue, and fried rice all have intrinsic values that surpass its creation born out of necessity and a lowly legacy—is a sui generis angle for a well-worn genre that has long shifted to food porn rather that pursuing and examining the cultural and geopolitical value that food possesses.

In a recent interview with Grub Street, “Top Chef” judge and chef Tom Colicchio mentioned the rise of “unfussy” food on the program’s 15th season: “The chefs were doing more, I wouldn’t say rustic, but a much more conventional style of food.” Translation: This shift isn’t occurring in a vacuum.

As the New Yorker‘s Helen Rosner explains in her review of the eight-part series, “What makes “Ugly Delicious” compelling, ultimately, is Chang’s commitment to rejecting purity and piety within food culture…In…

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