Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles are hoping to demonstrate that there's so much more than that.
Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found L.A. lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in L.A..Each aims to celebrate the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.
Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family immigrated to L.A. and found that they didn't recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of LA.
A collective of culturally connected, distinguished chefs work to preserve heritage and push forward the "Alta California" Mexican food movement. By celebrating those dishes and ingredients integral to Mexico's cuisine and its economy, a group of accomplished Mexican-American chefs are working to elevate not only the food, but what people of their heritage can achieve in the food business.
The season premiere steps behind the kitchen doors of one of Los Angeles' premiere restaurants, Providence, to profile Guatemalan kitchen manager Jorge Dugal, whose account of struggle and survival is not unlike his peers who left everything behind for a chance to find a better life in the U.S.
Cast & Details
Premiered: January 3, 2018
Premise: A look at the culinary scene in L.A. through the eyes of up-and-coming chefs whose cuisine is inspired by the immigrant experience.