‘Master of None’ Co-creator Alan Yang’s Grub Street Diet

At the original Il Buco, where he eats regularly.

Photo: Liz Clayman

Last week, the second season of Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari’s hit Netflix show, Master of None, premiered, with an even stronger focus on food than the first. It’s no surprise, then, that Yang lives to eat. As he warns, last week’s dining schedule was even more intense than usual, spanning two countries and countless multicourse meals. “What you’re about to read is a description of one of the craziest series of meals I’ve ever had,” Yang says. “I love to eat good food, but this is not normal. You’ll see what I mean. Apologies for the absurdity in advance.” See for yourself, right here.

Thursday, May 11
My day starts with breakfast: a glass of water, main course of nothing, side order of nothing. This is pretty typical for me. I usually skip breakfast and try to eat a little bit healthier at lunch on weekdays, and for my first official meal of this Grub Street Diet, I immediately break this rule. It’s for a special occasion: Today is the premiere of season two of Master of None. My dad’s flown in from Los Angeles. We go to Maialino to meet up with my friends and co-workers on the show: Aziz and Aniz, their parents, their cousin Harris, and Eric and his parents. We did a version of this lunch last season at Maialino, too, and it was a huge success, so we decided to repeat the tradition.

Aziz asks me to order for the table. As the people I know and love to eat with know, I have a policy where I just order as much stuff as possible and share it all. Basically, if you don’t want to share food, you can’t be my friend. Sorry. Here’s the list of what we order: three cheeses and blood-orange marmalade; salumi misti; a green salad with anchovies; roasted beets with whipped ricotta; burrata; white-bean soup; seared octopus with ramps; tonnarelli cacio e pepe; bucatini all’amatriciana; fettuccine alla carbonara; pappardelle alla Bolognese; malfatti with braised suckling pig; cavatelli with pork sausage; chitarra with charred ramps; chicken cutlet; poached trout; roasted carrots; and charred asparagus. I have a bite or two of every dish, I think. This is the power of sharing! Don’t you want to eat all of that instead of one boring entrée? Seriously, get onboard or get out.

The lunch is so fun. It’s amazing to see all our parents interact and pick out what qualities their sons inherited from them. After our light 18-course meal, we decide not to order dessert.

The premiere is a truly delightful experience. Seeing everyone who worked on the show again is like another family reunion, except some of your family members are writers and actors and editors and production designers, and burly men who carried heavy things, rigged cars, and lit your show so it could look the best…

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