Movies & TV

Netflix’s Street Food Fills a Bourdain-Sized Hole in Food TV

A new series from the creators of "Chef's Table" puts a long-overdue spotlight on the heroes of street cuisine.
IMAGE Courtesy
Comments

Between the high-flying CGI mayhem of Avengers: Endgame and the blood-spattered final episodes of HBO's Game of Thrones, there's very little room at the proverbial pop culture water cooler to discuss much else lately. But if you need a break from Thanos and dragons and outraged Twitter fanboys, there's a new Netflix series that puts the spotlight on a completely different world, one that exists inside our very own: The world of street food.

From David Gelb and Brian McGinn, the creators of the acclaimed series Chef’s Table, Street Food is a look at the dishes, traditions, and most importantly, the people behind the cuisine found in corners and open-air markets in some of the world's most vibrant cities. It's a group that doesn't always get the shine of its culinary counterparts—but it's safe to say that street meat is a hell of a lot more important to a hell of a lot more people than your favorite three-star Michelin chef.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Osaka’s Toyo is an easy favorite from Street Food’s first season. IMAGE: Courtesy

The first season is set in Asia, a decision that was inspired by the creators' travels as much as it was data: As Gelb told Eater, the producers learned from the team at Netflix that a "large portion of our Chef’s Table audience" came from the continent. Hey, give the people what they want.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

That decision more than paid off, because the stories of life they found, simply by asking, are the kind that demand to be told: From "Truoc" Phuong in Vietnam, whose father's snail recipe helped her put her son through college; to Osaka's Toyo, a vendor with a radiant personality who began cooking merely as a way to survive.

The spirit of Anthony Bourdain is alive and well in these episodes—Gelb and McGinn both readily pointed to him as an inspiration to Food & Wine. All that's missing is the late, great host himself. But it takes nothing away from the subjects featured, whose long-overdue close-up will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate your local street vendor that much more.

The places the appear in Season One are Bangkok, Thailand; Osaka, Japan; Delhi, India; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Chiayi, Taiwan; Seoul, South Korea; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Singapore; and Cebu, Philippines.

Street Food is available to stream now on Netflix.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Nate Erickson
View Other Articles From Nate
Comments
Connect With Us