Netflix dropped the first trailer for Street Food this week, the network’s more relaxed, playful answer to the glamorous, high-end world of Chef’s Table. And I promise you, we’re in for a treat. While that show is all about showcasing Michelin-star restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, Street Food gives the spotlight to late-night food stands where regular people gather to commune over local dishes.
Based on the trailer, Street Food will focus more on places like India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Korea. Though these countries have strong culinary traditions spanning thousands of years, they hardly get the recognition they deserve for producing some of the best food on the planet (the accolades typically go to European chefs and restaurants).
The chefs at the center of these stories might not be classically trained, but are nonetheless at the very height of their talents. The trailer calls them “local heroes,” people who are making their own mark on dishes that have been popular among their communities for decades.
The premise of the show is, in fact, that if you want to understand the food in these places, you shouldn’t eat at a restaurant — you should eat street food. As one voice-over argues, these places are a “portal to a world of culinary heritage.”
While Street Food focuses on the joy not just that these chefs get from cooking, but the joy their food brings to others, it also highlights the fact that many of the chefs struggled with poverty before becoming successful, and that just like a restaurant, running a food stall in a country with a glut of such outposts takes hard work and sacrifice.
Ultimately, though, Street Food looks like it will be incredibly fun to watch. It’s packed with mouthwatering dishes, and provides a much-needed education on Asia’s lesser-known, but equally deserving, culinary achievements.