Since the wonderful unobtrusive Anthony Bourdain left this world, there has been no-one filling the hole left in the scheduling. I love a good food-documentary. Between the celiac and the food allergies I don’t get to eat what I want to, but I do enjoy looking at food. I decided to give “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix) a fair trial. Yowch. Twee, irritating, odious, far too handsy and doesn’t interact with women very well. His voice is irritating, he is terminally uncool, and the descriptions of what he is eating are plain dull. The chocolate in a croissant was declared “great”. Bitter? Dark? Creamy? No. “Great.” Just a subjective description which leaves us wanting.
There just hasn’t been anything made as fantastic as Bourdin’s No Reservations. He knew food so intimately, was so at ease with everything from street food to fine dining, that he was a pleasure to watch. Somebody Feed Phil is just dumbed down bullshit. Not only that, Bourdain travelled well, he was cool, hip, interesting and engaging.
When I say I would rather watch Bourdain’s nemesis, Guy Fieri, you know things must be bad, and it is true, I would. It is not the kind of food I am interested in, but at least guy has pep, at least he has a bit of energy, at least he isn’t as dweebily irritating.
Street Food Asia, has some lovely episodes, including one from Osaka, Japan. These are far more thoughtful, intelligent and focus on foods, instead of the schmoozing with food celebrities and kissing ass of Somebody Feed Phil.
I am also a huge fan of Ugly Delicious. There is a real affection and passion in this series, which takes a deeply personal look at eating and cooking with Dave Chang. I would love to see this series get a bigger budget and some more time poured into it. I would far rather go travelling with Dave than Phillip Rosenthal.
There is a gap in the market for a hip, cool, knowing and unselfconscious travel show, it needs someone with a few miles on the clock who is not afraid to go places that the chattering classes would not consider. I hope it happens soon…I’m bored witless!