Travel and food go hand in hand. There is no more accessible way to discover a country’s culture, history and environment than food. We love travel and we love food. I love food so much I jacked in my nicely paid job in digital marketing to become a chef (or try to become a chef) at a lovely London restaurant. Maybe my dream job would be to be a chef travelling the world sampling the diverse flavours the world has to offer. In the meantime I’m still enthralled by travel cooking TV shows where chefs and presenters immerse themselves into local culture and cuisine. Here we round up our favourites and what we think are the best travel cooking TV shows.
Eddie Huang from Fresh off the Boat fame has a great show on Vice originally called Fresh Off the Boat but now renamed to Huang’s World. It’s on Vice so you know that you’ll get honesty in a hip fashion that isn’t restricted by network TV regulations. Eddie takes us through Taiwan, USA, Russia, UK and China in the first 2 seasons. He not only get’s down with local food but highlights cultural issues in each place he visits. Season 3 is out soon, here’s the trailer.
A little less known than it perhaps should be, Nomad Chef features Jock Zonfrillo who is a Scottish/Italian chef working in Australia. Jock visits indigenous tribes and remote communities around the world to explore food at its most pure level. He lives with the communities and goes hunting and gathering whilst learning to cook as the locals do whilst sharing his own skills. He then takes what he’s learnt and showcases it at one of his restaurants in Australia. If you’ve ever seen Tribe with Bruce Parry, Nomad Chef a little like that with a culinary twist. Jock visits remote communities in Ethiopia, China, Belize, Faroes, Vanuatu and many others.
Floyd On …
The original TV chef who combined travel and food to great effect. Keith Floyd may have scolded his cameraman like a commis chef constantly, and a glass of red wine was never far away from his hand but he forged a path for other TV chefs to travel the world with his entertaining and illuminating views on world food. At a time when food was not so hip and fashionable (in the UK at least) and considerably blander than now, he opened our eyes to the world of flavours that were possible. Not only that but like an excited child he had an infectious enthusiasm that made viewers want to explore food and the world. Too many shows to mention that feature Keith Floyd’s energetic view of the world but a few are Floyd On Fish, Floyd On Food, Far Flung Floyd, and Floyd Around the Med.
Part’s Unknown / No Reservations
Taking up the mantle of Keith Floyd, Anthony Bourdain adds more rock ‘n roll to food and travel. After the brilliant Kitchen Confidential memoir he presented A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, The Layover and now Part’s Unknown. All are similar in concept whereby Bourdain travels and experiences some of the best food around the world. His bluntness and honesty is probably what makes him so watchable, none of this “mmm, tastes delicious” to absolutely everything that is tasted. But along with his honesty and bluntness he’s not aloof and gets involved as all travellers should do. He tries things, he eats at expensive restaurants and he eats at cheap joints, above all he’s after good food and good times.
These guys have one of the best jobs in the world, and it shows through the great work they are doing on the best travel cooking TV shows.