Now Streaming: Street Food — Uniting People Through Food
The creators behind the original documentary series Chef’s Table are back on Netflix with a new docuseries that shines a spotlight on Asia’s street food stars. Street Food is a tantalizing feast for the senses that applies the “Chef’s Table vibe” by celebrating the world’s best global street food and the compelling figures who keep culinary traditions alive and thriving.
Each episode of Street Food is dedicated to one of nine Asian destinations: Thailand, India, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam and features three or four of the local street food celebrity chefs.
The chefs of Street Food are cooking for the people and retaining the cultural memories of their country. The filmmakers’ attention to the beauty of their subjects’ work redirects our expectations of where “good food” can be found, conveying how important street food is to the social and cultural landscape of these East and SE Asian regions.
The Hartman Group’s research has illuminated how global discovery and experimentation are becoming the new everyday eating, and shows such as Street Food demonstrate how hawker stalls and carts can unite people through food. The local street food operations profiled in this series are meeting grounds for individuals of different classes and backgrounds and oftentimes become the neighborhood restaurant.
We see opportunity for parallels to emerge more broadly in America: With fewer people in the U.S. having the confidence or skills to cook at home, consumers are primed for more democratic yet deliciously authentic offerings via food trucks, food halls, fresh perimeter offerings and grocerants.
Cities across America are redefining local food culture to be food of their people, by their people and for their people. When urban cores reach critical population density and diversity, they become incubators for authentic culinary experimentation, entrepreneurism and innovation. Consumers are increasingly trading out mass food brands and chains for these unique, authentic, local and fresh food experiences. They want to be closer to their food!