Just over six weeks to go until our summer break to New York! I’m super excited – it’s been over 10 years since I last visited! I’m busy gathering ideas of what to do and where to go, and naturally, FOOD is also on my mind!
And “food-spiration” can come from anywhere – even while watching Netflix! Read on to find out what I’ve been watching, and how New York features 🙂
If you don’t know who David Chang is, then you should definitely watch the docu-series, Ugly Delicious. He’s an American chef-restauranteur with a rock-star personality – he founded the Momofuku group which has 15 restaurants and counting across the globe in locations including New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Toronto.
Whether you’re a foodie or not, I highly recommend this show. Whilst it does have an element of David Chang basically hanging out with his celeb mates, whether chefs, actors, comedians etc, (who are all hilarious by the way) in exotic locations, it is also much more than that. Each episode explores a different type of cuisine (pizza, bao, fried chicken etc), the history and evolution of that cuisine – but sometimes it’s not even about the food, and that’s when the show gets really interesting. There’s amazing rapport between Chang and his friends, since they are actual friends, so it feels like you’re a fly on the wall when they’re having a chat about polarising topics. They’re also brutally honest; they examine people’s opinions on food, delve into the connotations that certain foods have and why they matter. Informative for sure, but definitely not boring.
So, what does that have to do with New York? Well, the show wasn’t about David Chang’s restaurants, but I definitely want to go to one of them! Good thing he has quite a few options to choose from in New York, like Ssam Bar or Ko! But also, there’s a couple of pizza places in Brooklyn that they go to in the first episode, specifically Lucali by Mark Iacono – who made the most delicious looking, amazingly thin pies, and also, Totonno’s Pizzeria in Coney Island which looks like a great example of a traditional pizzeria. Yummm.
Watch it:Ugly Delicious, season 1
This show is another one of my favourites, but this time, it’s all about the chef – their life story, their inspirations and their personality. The show is beautifully shot and produced, but the storytelling really shines through. And man, do they have inspirational stories!
Take for example, Ivan Orkin, the chef behind Ivan Ramen. This guy, although a trained chef, had no experience in making ramen… but proceeded to open a ramen shop. In Tokyo, Japan. Yep, he opened a ramen shop in the home of ramen. People didn’t think he would make it BUT he absolutely made it a success. Having opened two restaurants in Japan, he returned to the US and now has two ramen shops in New York. The food looks amazing there. We are absolutely going to visit the restaurant on Clinton Street, after all we are staying near Chinatown so it’s pretty close – no excuse!
Watch it:Chef’s Table, season 2 episode 4 – Ivan Orkin
Chef’s Table: Pastry
The latest season of Chef’s Table is all about pastry chefs! Which is great since I absolutely love desserts. First up, was Christina Tosi. And whaddya know! David Chang pops up again! It turns out that she worked with him and created the concept of cereal milk during that time which caused a sensation and for to be recognised in her own right as an amazing pastry chef.
She’s now part of the Momofuku group with her own place, Milk Bar. When we visited Toronto in 2016, I’m pretty sure that we walked past this place and it had major queues! And watching the episode, I can understand why – I wanna try the crack pie! And the cereal milk soft serve! And the cookies! I’m hungry just thinking about it…
Watch it: Chef’s Table: Pastry, season 4 – Christina Tosi
What do you think? Do you have any other NY food-spiration recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!