In Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, celebrity chef David Chang tows his famous friends to Vancouver, Marrakesh, Los Angeles and Phnom Penh. Like the countless food and travel shows out there, the idea here is to explore the culture of a place by way of food. However, even with celebs as bait, Chang’s show is half-baked and wholly unappetising.
Directors: Blake Davis, Jason Zeldes
Cast: David Chang, Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Kate McKinnon
Seasons: 1 (2019)
The show is a bland celebrity soup
David Chang, whose previous Netflix outing was Ugly Delicious, travels to Vancouver with Seth Rogen, Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen, Phnom Penh with Kate McKinnon and Los Angeles with Lena Waithe. While the idea of the show is to explore the culture of a place by way of food, the mission is frequently lost. For instance, in Vancouver, Rogen’s home city, host and guest drive around, get stoned and polish off munchies.
The second episode featuring Chrissy Teigen in Marrakesh is a more engaging, if cliche-riddled, window to the city. Teigen who visits the Moroccan city frequently seems to know the place well. She warns Chang about rampant racism as they walk through souks, where Chang gets called Jackie Chan. They speak to locals, eat spit-roasted lamb, take a camel ride and have dinner with a local.
McKinnon, one of the faces of Saturday Night Live, says, “I like countries that there’s no cohesive American conception of what is there.” Given her travel preferences, going to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, her other options, might have made for better a episode. Unlike the popular tourist destination of South East Asia, these countries are less frequent tourist choices.
Lena Waithe provides the only spot of flavour
The episode with Lena Waithe is the strongest. It’s a personal account of her experience of LA and the significance of seafood. Waithe, who’s from Chicago, moved to Los Angeles for work. Back home in Chicago, seafood was synonymous the restaurant chain Red Lobster and celebration. Seafood signified luxury. In LA, she found the familiar taste of home in counterparts such as Hot and Juicy and The Boiling Crab. “It’s the one place that brings Asian people and black people together,”, she says, as she and Chang dig into pounds of crawfish and crab legs out of a plastic bag. The episode is a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood sights-filled image of LA. Yet, on the whole, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is a forgettable show that fails to come close to similar series such as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Parts Unknown.