Australia's empress of food television, Maeve O'Meara returns with Food Safari Earth, exploring how multicultural Australia cooks with the delicious variety of fresh vegetables, exotic fruits, herbs, grains, pulses and flowers cultivated by Mother Nature. In this episode, Maeve meets Sydney chef Peter Gilmore, Thai chef Amy Chanta, Middle Eastern chef Joseph Abboud, and one of Australia's most acclaimed chefs, Martin Benn as they celebrate the awesome power of the humble vegetable across the world's cuisines.
Maeve seeks out the deeply satisfying carbohydrates at the heart of many of the great dishes of the world. In this episode Indian, Italian, Lebanese and Cuban recipes are the stars. Acclaimed Indian chef, Ajoy Joshi (Nilgiri’s, Tellicherry) shares his recipe for the textural delight that is gossamer thin Indian dosa with spicy potato, sambhar and dal. Melbourne’s new favourite chef and pasta genius Alberto Fava (Tipo 00) transforms durum wheat into silky pasta shaped into little ‘hats’ called cappellacci, filled with pumpkin and a drop of seductive bergamot oil. Charming Lebanese chef, Emma Sofy (Emma’s Snack Bar) shares her tried and true recipe for Mujaddara, a Middle Eastern staple that takes rice and lentils to new heights, with pink pickled radish, sweet dark fried onions and a fresh garlicky cabbage salad. And celebrated chef, Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s) recalls her Cuban heritage with a magnificent cake made from corn, guava and coconut cooked in banana leaves.
Maeve O'Meara explores the iconic dishes of the world that honour spring, when vegetables are at their sweetest and most tender. Italian food legend, Stefano Manfredi (Pizzaperta) harvests the freshest produce of the season for a Roman Vignarola. Chase Kojima (Sokyo) loves exploring new ways to experience traditional Japanese cuisine, revealing secrets of the perfect tempura batter. Sydney-based chef, Ibrahim Kasif (Stanbuli) is inspired by the Turkish Spring with a dish of slow braised, whole broad beans so fresh and young they’re cooked and eaten with the pod. Zimbabwean-born home cook Dorothy Johnson shares her recipe for Muboora Une Dovi using the new tender leaves of the pumpkin vine as well as the delicate flowers and serving with a rich peanut sauce. Across the world, mulberries herald springtime, and in Lebanon, the rich dark fruit is made into a cordial known as Sharab el Toot. Maeve discovers a traditional village recipe from her friend, home cook, Samira Saab.
Maeve O'Meara pays tribute to the power of pulses and legumes in dishes from around the world. Protein-rich beans have always been the heavy lifters of the vegetable world. Maeve discovers the secrets of a classic falafel with founder of a Middle Eastern food empire Faysal El-Abd (Al Aseel) and tastes a falafel roll made with fresh herbs, pickles and tarator sauce. Chef and culinary teacher Daisy Rajan shares her delicious recipe for Keralan green beans with coconut. Maeve discovers how soy beans are transformed into silky tofu, and enjoys a recipe for a deliciously textured Indonesian Gado Gado with home cook Mariana Purnama. Attila Yilmaz (Pazar Food Collective) shares his recipe for a magnificent spiced red lentil Turkish street food known as Mercimek Köfte. To finish, there’s a Portuguese tart using white beans known as Queijadas de Feijao from pastry chef Joao Cadete (Sweet Belem).
Maeve explores the world of herbs and spices, the plant kingdom's biggest gift to mankind. She spends time in Andrew McConnell's treasured herb garden. He creates roast beetroot salad with pickled rhubarb and nasturtium vinegar. Maeve visits a carefully tended Lebanese home garden where wild thyme known as za'atar is grown, dried and used to make spice mix that is spread on home baked flat bread. Persian chef Sanam Janghorban creates a spectacular flavoursome fresh herb omelette to celebrate the Nowruz, or Persian New Year. Bangladeshi-born chef Tapos Singha showcases the whole spice blend known as Panch Phoron in a Bengali Vegetarian dish called Shukto made with the subcontinent's favourite vegetables. Maeve is finally rewarded with a luscious Sri Lankan Love Cake, fragrant with spices baked by Debbie Solomon.
Maeve O'Meara explores the marvellous abundance of Summer vegetables and fruits in dishes from around the world. Tomato Day is the most special day in the Italian Food Calendar and Maeve joins three generations of the Baggio Family in suburban Melbourne as they preserve the goodness of summer with a home-made passata. Italian food legend, Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino) celebrates the seductive power of the vegetables known as nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes) with a delicious Garganelli Alla Norma. Maeve explores the versatility of the multi-talented eggplant. Iconic chef Tetsuya Wakuda invites us into his art-filled test kitchen to see how his ode to eggplant is created using simple techniques and a range of his favourite ingredients to create braised eggplant with saltbush. Acclaimed young chef Victor Liong (Lee Ho Fook) transforms eggplant into chips with a wicked spicy chilli sauce. Summer is celebrated with an abundance of fresh fruit made into traditional Sicilian gelato by third generation gelato-maker Marco Enea of the Melbourne gelataria Il Melograno who whips up fragrant fresh strawberry gelato.
Maeve celebrates the culinary power of flowers across a delicious range of traditional dishes from around the world. She visits pioneering saffron growers in Tasmania, and joins the harvest of the little mauve crocus flower and the careful drying and preserving of saffron. Italian-born chef Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio), a master of saffron risotto, shares his secrets. In Darwin she meets Top End food legend, Jimmy Shu (Hanuman Restaurant) who magically unlocks the rich blue hues of the tropical Butterfly Pea flower for a Nonya dumpling. Florets are celebrated and we explore a quick and easy cauliflower favourite in the Lebanese world called Arnabeet Mekleh from inspiring home cook Jinan Afiouny. Moroccan chef Aziz Bakalla uses a different sort of flower as the basis for a magnificent vegetable tajine: artichoke, a member of the thistle family. The secrets of stuffing delicate zucchini flowers are shared by top Italian chef, Vanessa Martin who has an easy recipe for a ricotta and parmesan filling and the lightest whisper of batter to coat the flowers. Distilling the essence of flowers into rose and orange blossom water is a must in the Middle Eastern world to add flavour to a whole range of sweets and desserts. We visit the pumping kitchens of sweets palace Abla’s Sweets to see how these delicate essences are used and then share the baklava recipe of Armenian homecook Arpy Iskikian.
Maeve O'Meara explores the concept of vegetable parcels – the delights of stuffing wrapping and rolling vegetables for taste, texture and presentation. Exploring the amazing versatility of cuisines, simple ingredients are used to create incredibly delicious results using the technique of stuffing vegetables. The Mexican favourite chiles rellenos - mild fresh poblano chilli stuffed with a melting cheese, fried and added to a delicious tomato based sauce, is a favourite recipe from Mexican food guru, Chef Rafael Nazario. Maeve explores the complex world of classic Chinese dumplings with Shanghai-born chef Chris Yan (Lotus) who shares his recipe for their best-selling silverbeet and spinach dumplings. Maeve spends an afternoon with the owner of Melbourne's beloved Sweet Greek Kathy Tsaples who shares her show stopping yemista recipe - a range of vegetables stuffed with delicious herbed rice and baked. Lebanese food legend Abla Amad, who started her signature restaurant in 1979, shares the recipe for a mezze favourite that has never been allowed to leave her menu - fresh silverbeet rolls. To finish, a luscious fig paste from Crofu known as pasta me syko, which is ouzo-dipped and wrapped in fig leaf.
Maeve O'Meara explores the delicious world of tropical fruits and vegetables with recipes from Asia, the Pacific and South America. She explores Australia’s enduring love for Asian flavours with a visit to the respected master of Thai cuisine, David Thompson (Long Chim) who shares his recipe for the most delicious, all-vegetarian pad see ew, using vegetables and silky rice noodles, cooked in minutes in a smoking wok. Then, it’s the fresh crispness and astringent power of unripe, green fruit as chef O Tama Carey (Lankan Filling Station) demonstrates her Sri Lankan family recipe for Green Mango Curry. Colombian-born chef, Oscar Espinosa showcases the power of the power of the plantain, transforming them into crunchy chips, served with a guacamole. Maeve discovers the process for extracting real coconut cream with Fijian-Australian chef, Louis Tikaram (EP&LP, West Hollywood) before delving into a world of tropical sweets including a pandan custard and a Goan treat of coconut and jaggery, known as patoleos. To finish, Maeve travels to Far North Queensland in search of the cacao bean and meets chocolatier Thibault Fregoni (Daintree Estates) who demonstrates the many intricate processes needed to make the rich ‘food of the gods’ we know as chocolate.
It’s the season of mellow fruitfulness and Maeve is on the road to Victoria’s High Country in search of a wild mushroom bounty. Maeve joins her friend, homecook Franca Norris and her father, Angelo Bonacci, on a mushroom hunt amongst the pine trees before discovering the secrets of perfect gnocchi with mushroom sauce. Preserving guru Pietro Demaio then demonstrates how easy it is to bottle your own olives, while acclaimed chef Peter Conistis makes magnificent olive and tomato keftedes with a green olive sauce. Pumpkins are an integral part of any autumnal table and Maeve helps create a huge vegetarian lunch and then joins homecook Judy Saba to discover how to make the Lebanese Lenten staple – pumpkin kibbeh. Finally, it’s a visit to picturesque Daylesford where Alla Wolf-Tasker’s Russian parents built a summerhouse to relax and take advantage of seasonal produce. Now, her award winning restaurant, Lake House, celebrates fresh produce from the region, including delicious poached pears with spicy gingerbread and elderberry syrup.
Maeve explores the sweet power of onions with Spanish chef, Pablo Tordesillas Garcia and discovers the delights of a Catalonian favourite – char-grilled baby leeks with romesco sauce. Sicilian-Australian chef, Rosa Mitchell recalls a symphony of recipes from her heritage in her Melbourne restaurant, Rosa’s Canteen – and shares her version of caponata – a sweet-sour vegetable dish that epitomises what the Italians refer to as ‘Agrodolce’. Maeve and Israeli born chef, Michael Rantissi make pomegranate molasses from scratch for use in for a fresh cauliflower and pomegranate salad. Later, Maeve explores the joyous sweet-sour flavour rush of an Indian tamarind and date chutney with mother and son chutney specialists Jaya and Ankit Chopra, before finishing with an elegant Japanese citrus tart made with the newest citrus to reach our shores – yuzu – from innovative Italian chef, Federico Zanellato.
This week Maeve delves into the intricate and specialised realm of preserved and fermented vegetables and fruit from around the world. She meets preserving supremo Pietro Demaio on his Mornington Peninsula farm to learn the key rules of preserving eggplant – which is the basis for a fiery Calabrese mix – a magnificent blend of chopped preserved vegetables perfect for bruschetta. Then, it’s a visit to the Blue Mountains where apple cider vinegar is distilled by German-born Claudia Kindler – and used by chef Martin Boetz in his grandmother’s recipe for a crunchy, creamy ‘gurkensalat’. Korean food ambassador Heather Jeong demonstrates how to make a vegan radish kimchi, before chef Somer Sivrioglu shares his secrets for making the red pepper paste in every Turkish pantry known as Biber Salçasi. Finally, Maeve visits two Japanese expatriates who ferment a flavourful rice known as Koji on the Gold Coast.
Maeve O'Meara celebrates the surprisingly abundant produce of winter across the most heart-warming recipes from around the world. She explores a spicy Singaporean white carrot cake made from daikon radish, known as Chai Tow Kway. Kale is hailed as a superfood, but the Portuguese have been eating it for centuries as part of a delicious warm salad using finely sliced kale, toasted cornbread crumbs and pine nuts, a recipe from Jose Silva. Danish chef Bente Grysbaek shares her recipe for spidskal using sugarloaf cabbage, horseradish, salted lemon and burnt butter. Homecook Ulku Gani makes a delicious healthy touch-your-heart Turkish sweet that's referred to as 'Noah's Pudding' called Asure, with dried fruits, barley, spices and nuts. Food Safari Earth is celebrated with a truffle hunt near Braidwood in New South Wales with the Marshall family, who have spent 27 years creating the ultimate truffle haven, preparing the earth for their hazelnut and oak trees. Maeve joins the hunt for these ‘black diamonds’, before tasting truffle paired with celeriac from acclaimed chef, Ross Lusted for whom they are the most highly prized gift from the earth.