F*ck, That’s Delicious is a food and lifestyle show airing in Australia on Viceland and can be streamed for free via SBS on Demand. The series follows an awesome foursome – New York rapper Action Bronson (real name Arian Asllani) and his crew Big Body Bes (Besnik Sadikay), The Alchemist (Daniel Maman) and Meyhem Lauren – as they travel their native USA and the globe playing to sold-out crowds, smoking forests of green and eating vast quantities of wild, native and delicious foods. The show has spanned 2 seasons and 20 episodes thus far, starting out in early 2016.
The son of an Albanian Muslim father and a Jewish New Yorker mother, Action cuts an impressive figure, standing at around 170cm tall and tipping the scales at 136kg. He is an extremely charismatic and warm character, and as a chef in a past life, his love of food and culture bleeds into everything he says and does. His crew are all equally fascinating creatures, with “Body” being the loosest and most opinionated of the group, “Alchemist” being the grumpiest and most averse to trying new foods, and Meyhem being the funniest and sweetest.
Their travels take them all over the world, including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands, Morocco, the West Indies, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Japan. The gang is always high on life – and other things, it must be said – and willing to immerse themselves deeply into the culture of their current whereabouts. They seek out hip, creative and experimental chefs and cuisines and work tirelessly to really connect with intriguing and exciting dishes, all done with an open mind and, always, open mouth!
The success of F*ck, That’s Delicious, particularly with younger generations, largely stems from the engaging and enigmatic makeup of its cast and the wonderfully vibrant locations they visit. At the centre of it all is Action. If they are at a baseball net, he’ll have a swing, if they are at a glass-blowing factory, he’ll create his own piece, if there are divers near shark-infested waters, he’ll dive in, if they are rolling pretzels, he’ll have a go. His unwavering desire to connect with and understand different traditions is infectious and charming, and offers the viewer a more hands-on and captivating experience as a result. He is respectful, supremely confident, warm and very informed – able to speak fluent Spanish, discuss the finer parts of wine tasting and cheese making, and able to bond with the wide array of characters and inspirational people he and his boys encounter on the road. None of it feels forced or staged; there is an ease and flow to it all, and the result is truly is infectious.
Given this, I found myself learning much about civilisations I knew little about, subcultures I had no idea existed, and foods that I’d never tried. The info is piped in organically and subtly, without the need to jam anything down the viewer’s throat (but they sure do jam a LOT of food down their own). In fact, the production as a whole seems largely content to simply shoot and present the situation as it happens and let the viewer interpret and decide how they feel about it all.
My favourite moments are when the boys awake after a big night or large show with a serious hunger. They are grouchy and snappy with one another as they roll in (and roll up) to town in search of masses of delicious and traditional food. In such cases, they’ll often warmly greet the owners or staff then point to the menu and say “we’ll have one of everything please”. At their table they’ll argue, philosophise and pontificate, and then once the fare arrives they literally proceed to eat everything that is sent their way. The show captures the deep connections between the gang and their food experiences, and Action’s poetic and unique descriptions of their encounters paint vivid and pretty pictures for the viewer to enjoy.
Yes, F*ck, That’s Delicious is obviously a food show, one that is hosted by a rapper and his squad, and yet it’s a show that largely transcends the need for the viewer to have an active interest in either food or rap music. It is so highly entertaining, enthralling and faithful to its desire to capture societies as they are – warts and all – that you’ll be enraptured from the get-go. However, if you are anything like me, there are side-effects to all this viewing pleasure. The watching of such feasts from such an extensive array of cultures creates a hunger and thirst for wondrous food and wine and an untreatable itch to travel. Consequently, it may impact upon your bank balance, credit card and/or your waistline. But it’ll be a pleasure, and it’ll be (f*cking) delicious alright, that’s for sure.