In "As the Meat Turns," the last episode of Ugly Delicious's second season on Netflix, chef David Chang explores Levantine, Arabian Gulf, and Iranian food.
Chang doesn't explicitly say so, but the episode seems like a paean to cultural appropriation:
It shows Oaxacan Angelenos experimenting with LebaneseMexican cuisine (chorizo kebabs, black bean hummus, and tahini salsa verde) and Lebanese brothers making "the I most disrespectful sandwich ever created"--bacon, egg, and cheese Levantine flatbread, with the added bastardizing influence of Hot Cheetos. The result is tasty but so anti-traditional that it's scorned by oldtimers in their Dearborn, Michigan, immigrant community. (The critics eventually became regulars, and their creation is now copied in Beirut.)
Baker Reem Assil praises Mexicans' Lebanese shawarma appropriation (tacos al pastor), and in her...