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The Next Thing You Eat (2021)The Next Thing You Eat (2021)

David Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan in 2004 when he was twenty-seven. Today his empire includes some thirty-five eateries. But since he's now a bona fide celebrity chef (a moniker he hates), that's only the beginning. He also has podcasts, a best-selling cookbook, numerous prestigious awards, and a new memoir called Eat a Peach (2020). And, of course, he's on television. He's done two Netflix series — Ugly Delicious (2018, 2020), which ran for two seasons and 12 total episodes; and then Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (2019), which lasted one season with four episodes. Now he's back with The Next Thing You Eat (2021), which is a food documentary exclusively on Hulu. There are six episodes so far, each of which explores how broader cultural and social factors are impacting how, where, and what we eat. The first episode, for example, considers the massive disruptions caused by food delivery (Grub Hub, etc.), even while all parties hate it. "The future is convenience across the board," says Chang, "but what's the cost of convenience?" I especially appreciated the episode on the long term consequences of the pandemic for the restaurant industry, which has always been a complicated and very fragile sector. Chang says he is optimistic despite the disruptions. Each of the six episodes is about 30 minutes long.

Dan Clendenin:

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