Netflix watchers, ourselves included, seem to be insatiable when it comes to food shows. We are alternating among a few newish ones: Mega Food (dated 2013, released on Netflix early this year); Nailed It (March); and Ugly Delicious, which we've been watching since it came out in February.
The first episode of Mega Food is about a gigantic restaurant/pub in Queensland, Australia. The food there looks fabulous -- watching it made us ravenous, which I can't say any of the other food shows have done. The owners and managers seem incredibly amiable and disciplined, and the atmosphere portrayed in their kitchens is really impressive. They buy local greens and berries from farmers, butcher their own meat, make bread and pasta, and established good supplier relationships. The plates being sent out of the kitchen all look delicious. They even buy beautiful old lumber and serve as their own contractors for building and remodeling their quite large establishment.
|A chef making pasta and talking about his family background.|
|An in-house butcher, cutting up steaks. I noticed that many of the food|
workers wore gloves while handling food.
The second episode of Mega Food was set in Florence, Italy. It followed a caterer who was setting up temporary kitchens and huge cocktail parties and buffets for a major fashion event, including dozens of waiters and service workers. I found it much less interesting than the first episode. We will probably only watch one or two more in this series, which was made in England (I think).
|I noticed that the Italian caterers never wore gloves, even when|
working with food that was not going to be cooked later.
Somehow I seemed to notice a lot of things there that would
be health-code violations here! OOPS.
The third Netflix series is Nailed It. It's not actually labeled a food show but a "reality" show, and it's closely copied from The Great British Baking Show. The judges include highly professional bakers, but the contestants are rank amateurs who are given impossible tasks to perform. At least the contestant who produces the least abject failure is awarded $10,000.
Although the participants seem amused by their inevitable failures, not humiliated, this show just doesn't do much for me. I was enticed to watch by an enthusiastic review in the New Yorker titled "The Joys of Netflix’s 'Nailed It!,' the Baking Competition That Celebrates Kitchen Disaster" by Helen Rosner. Too bad I don't share her enthusiasm.
This week, we watched the Ugly Delicious episode on barbecue -- which Chang defines as anything cooked with lots and lots of flames, including a variety of Asian foods. Here, with friends, including famous food writer Fuchsia Dunlop, he's eating Peking Duck in China: