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After rave reviews for Ugly Delicious, celebrity restaurateur David Chang has returned to Netflix with the playful Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Launched on October 23, the four-part show continues Chang’s hugely successful formula (of having no formula) and takes viewers through a quick world tour for—you guessed it—four epic trips centred around breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The first episode sees Chang trawl the streets of Vancouver with comedian, actor and director Seth Rogen. The two indulge in recreational marijuana (it’s legal in the city) and go on a meet-the-munchies binge into the multicultural city, trying samosas, dim sums and more. Future episodes see Chang unravel Chrissy Teigen’s view of Marrakesh via medinas, the desert, and getting their hands dirty in a tagine pot; reminisce nostalgic ‘LA go-tos’ like crawfish and deep-fried brownies with Lena Waithe (Master of None); and jaunt across Phnom Penh with Kate McKinnon to sample durian, rice doughnuts and the country’s troubled history.
Needless to say, the show’s vastly entertaining, with each guest dominating their respective episodes with their unmistakable aesthetics and senses of humour. But the main question, of course, is this: is Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner actually focussed on celebrating food cultures? Or is that merely a base to pique the viewer's interest enough to hit ‘play’, a base that’s quickly overshadowed by three hours of 'celebrities: they’re just like us!'?
We’re midway into the show, but still haven’t come to a decision. Those in the American entertainment industry aren’t exactly the ideal guides to teach audiences about multiculturalism. Even in informal conversations, the guests on Ugly Delicious easily displayed their experience, and added seasoned insights when tackling authenticity and food. It almost felt academic. And though still an interesting watch, that profound deep-dive feels absent from Chang’s latest.
Nevertheless, the star power in Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner should help uninterested viewers abandon stereotypes and want to learn more about foreign cuisines. We’re waiting to see how Chang takes things up a notch in season 2.
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