Moroccan food is one of the most cleverly balanced cuisines on earth – spices are used to enhance the flavour of dishes & there is nothing like the warm waft of beautiful spices that seduce you when you open the lid of a tajine. The essence of Moroccan food is a communal style of eating, with many dishes shared by the family. The meal time is very social & eaten at a leisurely pace with much laughter & talking.When entering a Moroccan home, you would be offered food & usually tea within a heartbeat. Hospitality is a very important part of Moroccan culture & making guests welcome is also part of the Islamic teaching.
Malaysian food is heavily influenced by the food of other countries including Chinese, & Indian as well as the native Malay or Peranakan style of cooking. These influences extend from the use of the wok as the main cooking pan, to a combination of a number of spices in many of the dishes. Malaysian food uses an amazing blend of flavours aimed at making your 'tastebuds jump up & down' & the thing that raises it to an art form is the combination of textures, tastes & colour. & nothing is more colourful than the cleverly layered riceflour & coconut sweets called Kueh.
Portuguese cuisine is born from the earth - hearty peasant fare full of strong flavours, many charting the culinary history of the country. For instance, the famous dried salt cod or bacalhau changed the course of Portuguese history - when it was discovered the beautiful white fish caught in the cold Scandinavian waters could be dried & kept for long periods, sailors were able to go on long voyages of discovery to new lands, which then opened up trade routes. So loved is bacalhau that there are recipe books enirely devoted to it, with a range of recipes from around the country. Paprika, bay leaves, garlic & wine feature largely in many dishes, olive oil is adored & used to cook food as well as finish dishes. Pork is a favourite meat & is used in the famous chorizo sausage, smoked over wood with heady aromas of garlic & paprika. Also cooked over charcoal is the now familiar Portuguese chicken which has been a huge hit in Australia - we all love the flattened marinated chicken served with chilli spiked piri piri sauce - a recipe developed in Angola when it was a Portuguese colony. Desserts rely heavily on eggs - think creme caramel, rice pudding & the famous custard tarts or pasteis de nata.
Vietnamese dishes are fresh, have a depth of flavour & seem to have amazing health properties at the same time. Have you ever eaten a bowl of pho with all the accompaniments when you’re feeling less than 100 %? One chef friend calls pho the Vietnamese equivalent of Jewish chicken soup – it's good for the body & the soul. Or have you had a few mouthfuls of green papaya salad when your palate is feeling jaded? Instant zing! More than any other cuisine, Vietnamese food centres on herbs & uses an amazing array along with salad greens in many dishes. These are eaten for their healing properties as well as for their taste.
The vibrant, intensely colourful world of Indian food in Australia found an ever increasing fan base when Australians began to travel through India during the 1960s & 70s. Each region of India has its own style of cooking & distinct flavours – North is known for Tandoori & Korma dishes, South is famous for hot & spicy foods, the East specialises in chilli curries, the West uses coconut & seafood & the Central part of India is a blend of all.
In Greek culture, food is so much more than sustenance – it’s everything – culture, comfort, family, life. “If you grow up Greek, you grow up with your mother chasing you around the house with a spoon”, jokes Greek Australian chef Peter Conistis. From one of the ancient civilisations on earth comes simply prepared food that uses the best of what’s in season & adds just a little magic to help it sing off the plate. From some of the best lamb dishes on earth to fresh seafood, vegetables, beans & pulses & of course good olive oil, Greek food is simple, colourful & incredibly good for you.When Greeks taste something delicious, they have a lovely phrase “Yia Sta Heria Stas” which translates as “I kiss your hands”, celebrating the skill of the cook.
Chinese cuisine is familiar to Australians & a recent survey found that two thirds of Australian households own a wok & use it regularly, but not everyone knows how to use it properly. With authentic ingredients now being more widely available it is possible to cook recipes that once were only available in restaurants. The spread of traditional Chinese food began with Cantonese style cooking from the south of China & includes instantly recognisable dishes such as stir-fries, sweet & sour & chop suey. In recent years Northern style & spicier food from Szechuan & Shanghai have followed.
Ever since Italians migrated to Australia and introduced us to spaghetti bolognese and pizza, Australians have embraced this wonderful, satisfying cuisine. Spaghetti Bolognese is now so popular that it could almost be classed as an adopted national dish. Italians were among the first to show us how to appreciate good coffee, use olive oil and understand the joy of fresh pasta. Antipasto is another Italian introduction. The literal translation is 'before the meal'. Small morsels are offered to guests as they arrive and these might include zucchini fritters, carciofi (artichokes), olives, stuffed peppers, tuna carpaccio. Remember not too much so that your guests don't get full before the main meal.
Thai food has been a huge hit in Australia with Thai restaurants in many suburbs and parts of our cities serving a range of curry puffs, soups, curries and stir fries. At its best, the flavours of sweet, sour, salty and tangy are balanced and when used cleverly, you feel your taste buds dance. Eating Thai style is to be served all the dishes at the same time in the centre of the table – no entrée/maincourse/dessert here. Rice is an integral part of every meal, along with soup, a couple of curries and side dishes. Thai people eat with a spoon and fork and use the fork to push the food onto the spoon; the fork is never used to actually eat with.
“Sahteyn” is a word you will often hear in a Lebanese home – loosely translated it means “twice your health” – a form of welcome to join a family and share delicious food. And this is some of the most exquisite food in the world. Lebanese cuisine is generous and abundant. The reason is the age-old tradition of hospitality which exists – your host will never believe you don’t have just a bit more room for something utterly delicious that’s been prepared with love. In a Lebanese household, food is life and sharing it is one of the great joys of being alive. And even for simple dinners at home, there are a variety of dishes on the table, the meal starting with small portions known as mezza which centres around dips and salads. As well as having great variety, Lebanese food is one of the freshest and most delicious on the planet. Lamb is the meat of choice and appears in many dishes including kafta in which minced lamb is rolled into sausage shapes and cooked on the barbecue or in the oven. Sweets are pure artwork, as a visit to one of the palaces of Lebanese sweets will attest – there are many variations of filo pastry combined with nuts and syrup; there are creamy sweets filled with a clotted cream called ashta plus melting shortbread sometimes filled with a date paste or nuts and much more. Sweets are generally served separately to a meal with black coffee or tea. So, Sahteyn – welcome to a great cuisine.
Mexican cuisine is one of the most ancient and developed on earth but is little known outside its borders and too many restaurants are more “Tex” than “Mex” according to the small number of Mexican expatriates in Australia Authentic Mexican food is vibrant, delicious and fun and varies according to which region its from. It is also colourful, spicy and uses an amazing array of chillies, both fresh and dried. Many ingredients are available everywhere – tomatoes, limes, coriander, red onion, avocado, corn…and its easy to cook. Some people think Mexican food is too spicy – but true Mexican food has a depth of flavour with its combination of savoury and earthy flavours, and use of fresh herbs.
What a wonderful mixture of cooking styles exists within Turkish cuisine. Due to its geographical location nestled between Asia and Europe, Turkish food is a unique and exotic fusion with influences from many countries. Since the days of the powerful Ottoman empire, Turkey has also been at the centre of trade, especially in spice, and the Ottoman chefs borrowed, adapted and perfected dishes from many other cuisines. The results of this distillation spread far beyond its borders with Turkish style pastries using filo and nuts being used in many neighbouring countries plus the use of spices in many dishes and the popular method of grilling food , particularly meat, over charcoal. In Australia we are gradually learning that true Turkish food extends far beyond colourful vegetable dips, delicious pide bread and kebabs – however it’s a great way to start! In the past 10 years we’ve seen Turkish bread become a staple in many homes and loved in sandwich shops and cafes across the country. Becoming popular is the Turkish answer to sliced ham or pastrami – bastourma – air dried beef coated and cured in a mixture of dried ground spices. And how could we go past a locally made authentic Turkish delight with traditional coffee to finish a meal.
Spanish food is incredibly varied, the first recipes were written in the fourteenth century and the cuisine was enriched by the Moors, Arabs, Sephardic Jews, French and Italians as well as the voyages of discovery to the New World which resulted in a huge range of new ingredients. With its very different regions – the long coastline, rugged mountains, baking plains and rich farming land, there are a vast range of dishes but they all have one thing in common – they’re all simple, unpretentious and use beautifully fresh seasonal ingredients. Eating is more than simply looking after hunger pangs – food is savoured and enjoyed communally and many traditions have evolved over the years including the famous tapas – the series of small snacks eaten with a drink as the prelude to a meal. In Australia we’re familiar with some of the main culinary exports like paella, and sangria and still coming up to speed with the lesser known zarzuela (seafood stew) and fino - the dry sherry that makes for a great aperitif and goes so well with the strong flavours of some of the tapas dishes. Its worth seeking out the best ingredients – a good Spanish paprika, saffron, olive oil, being generous with garlic and wine and having a go at making some of the simple Spanish recipes here. Enjoy.
Japanese food is refined and elegant, its preparation and presentation honed over the centuries so its flavours are pure and delicate. Like many of the most highly developed cuisines on earth, Japanese food celebrates and highlights the flavours, textures and colours of seasonal produce. The first produce of the season is prized. As well as exquisite flavour, visual beauty is paramount; the type of plate or dish is as important as what is on it. The Japanese have also perfected the concept of negative space; where the empty parts of a serving platter serve to emphasise the beauty of the food placed on i
The French have elevated food into an art form... nowhere else on earth is so much attention paid to what people are going to eat and how they eat it. The reason is steeped in history - the fostering of the royal court, the subsequent revolution, the discipline of the apprentice system, the quality of ingredients and creativity of the chefs, and simply, the love of good food. The focus on food has elevated French chefs to almost godlike status and one of the symbols is the coveted Michelin star system that rates chefs and restaurants. Published since 1900, it awards stars to a very small number of European restaurants of outstanding quality
The French have elevated food into an art form... nowhere else on earth is so much attention paid to what people are going to eat and how they eat it. The reason is steeped in history - the fostering of the royal court, the subsequent revolution, the discipline of the apprentice system, the quality of ingredients and creativity of the chefs, and simply, the love of good food. The focus on food has elevated French chefs to almost godlike status and one of the symbols is the coveted Michelin star system that rates chefs and restaurants. Published since 1900, it awards stars to a very small number of European restaurants of outstanding quality
Indonesian food is one of the most vibrant and colourful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavour and varied textures. With 6,000 islands, there is a huge range of regional specialties, but wherever you are in Indonesia, most meals, including breakfast, are based around rice. There is also an abundant use of sambals, an accompaniment based on chilli and garlic which can be raw or cooked. It's said that because of the hot and humid climate chilli and sambal help maintain your appetite. Indonesians need a 'kick start'; to their palate from chilli and from pickles, a burst of sour crunch. So each meal is generally rice, sambal, pickles with small amounts of meats, seafood or vegetables, often in curry form. People eat either with their right hand or with a spoon and fork
The rocky island of Malta is home to some beautiful rustic recipes that sing of Mediterranean flavour and freshness. Maltese cuisine is truly peasant cuisine, using vegetables in season, home-made cheeses and some of the cheaper cuts of meat. These are cooked slowly with fresh tomatoes, parsley and garlic to create tender stews with lots of flavour. One of the famous meat dishes is bragioli or beef olives, a rolled stuffed piece of meat cooked slowly. Rabbit is also extremely popular and many Maltese families raise their own. Meals are large and served communally - the famous baked pasta pie timpana generally feeds a small army of people.
Pakistani cuisine is the lesser known food of the sub-continent and is rich in tradition, full of marvelous and diverse dishes. Pakistan was created in 1947 when India was partitioned and has a predominantly Muslim population. Although Pakistan is relatively new, the cuisine has developed many more years and incorporates elements from its neighbours - India, Afghanistan and Iran. The varied regions also means there are a whole range of different foods - from the fertile valleys and the sea of Sindh province; to pastoral Baluchistan, from neighbouring Iran; to the Punjab with its five rivers and the rugged North West Frontier, home of the chappli kebab.
Croatia's central location in Europe means its cuisine offers the best of many different regions. From the pristine Dalmatian coast, the food is Mediterranean, with many distinctly Italian influences. Further inland, what's known as continental Croatia is full of rich Austro Hungarian style dishes. The common factor in both regions is the emphasis on getting extended families together and devouring a delicious meal. Along the coastline, families get together especially in summer and cook in a bell shaped oven called a pekawhich (a peka). The peka steams the food in its own natural juices, which enhances the flavour. Devotees claim anything cooked under the peka tastes incredible, turkey and pork are favourites
Not only has Singapore transformed itself in the last 150 years from a fishing village to one of Asia's most dynamic cities, it's also a centre for some of the best food in South East Asia. Settlers and traders from China, India and Malaysia have helped make the cuisine the unique mix it is today along with a strong determination from Singaporeans to eat very well. Food is the national obsession, a constant topic of conversation and for many, eating out is standard practice
Hungarian cuisine is a combination of simple peasant food which originated many centuries ago when nomadic tribes rode the great plains of Hungary, some new ingredients which arrived with the Italians and Turks in the 15th and 16th centuries and the elegant, highly developed cuisine which came from the days of the Austro Hungarian Empire. The result is delicious, sometimes hearty, to help people withstand long cold winters and sometimes incredibly indulgent, especially when it comes to pastries, cakes and desserts
Sri Lanka, the beautiful spice island once known as Ceylon, is a rich melting pot of cuisines. It seems every nationality that has visited and traded over the years has left a mark on the cuisine - the Dutch, Portuguese, English, Arabs, Malays, Moors and Indians. With a tropical climate, fresh fruit, vegetables and spices are in abundance and used in many ways. Freshness is the key to the food with households regularly shopping more than once a day for produce. In this episode, Maeve O'Meara, features acclaimed chef Peter Kuravita, and the queen of Asian cooking in Australia - Charmaine Solomon OAM.
Brazilian food is an exuberant, colourful mix of Portuguese, African and native foods including some from the Amazon. The native Indians developed ways of preserving meats by smoking and drying them, they cooked corn porridge, cassava meal and sweet potatoes and discovered delicious foods such as heart of palm. In the middle of the 1500s, when Portuguese sailors discovered they could venture on long sea voyages by taking salted cod along with them for food, the area known as Brazil was discovered and colonised, and is now the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.
Korean food is some of the healthiest on earth, with an emphasis on vegetables, meats cooked simply and without much oil and a near obsession with the fermented vegetable kimchi. Much of the food that exists today and the customs surrounding it have come from royal cuisine and the complex customs of the ancient court. The food is a study in balance with consideration given to temperature, spiciness, colour and texture along with careful presentation. Tonight, Maeve O'Meara visits Chung Jae Lee at Mapo Korean Restaurant - voted Adelaide's top Asian restaurant.
One of the great Creole cuisines, Mauritian food is a combination of native African, French, Chinese and Indian, with many dishes created that are unique to the island of Mauritius. Indian curries, breads and pickles are cooked alongside slow-braised European daubes and stir-fried noodles from China, all using locally available ingredients. The most common ingredients used in Mauritian recipes are tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies, which cook up with a couple of spices into a delicious fresh tasting sauce used every day called a rougaille. Vegetables, meats and seafood can be cooked in the rougaille and eaten with achards (pickles) and dhal or rice. Spices are also a big part of Mauritian cuisine with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves used liberally.
From the tango dancing couple who show us how to create the perfect Argentinian asado to the empanada queen and her recipe; from Chilean all purpose salsa to simple Peruvian ceviche (lime marinated fresh fish), plus the secret to making luscious caramel, this is a beautiful colourful episode and a great start to the series.
In this episode we learn how to make true dukkah (the aromatic mix of spices, nuts and seeds) from two experts, discover how easy it is to make a feast from okra and lamb, and see the ancient and treasured national dish called molokhia come together. A belly dancing expert teaches us to make ful medames and we learn to make the Aussie version of Nile perch cooked in clay – barramundi cooked in a tagine (Egypt’s version of the Moroccan tajine). Look out for the easy recipe for the wicked sweet called basbousa.
What fun we had meeting German expatriates and filming some of their treasured dishes – pork knuckle cooked with caraway seeds, a hearty comforting lentil soup, incredibly flavoursome marinated beef in red wine and spices, a quick clever cabbage recipe plus an absolutely showstopping wonder of a Black Forest cake – this will be the one you’ll beg to be made for your birthday!
Elaborate and ancient, delicious and lovingly spiced, we discover how to cook the prized rice dishes of celebration, fragrant with saffron and scattered with nuts and barberries. We also join a crowd for one of the most unusual breakfast dishes on earth, learn how to make slow cooked duck with green herbs, and spend time with one of the top kebab makers.
A journey into some of the flavours, dishes and ways of eating across the Horn and West Africa. Recipes include a traditional doro wat (a fabulous slow-cooked chicken dish with spices and chillies which starts with a mighty 5 kilos of onions being cooked in a huge pot with no oil or fat); Somalian corn in coconut milk; the one-pot wonder from Nigeria – joloff rice; some hints on eating with your hands; and the delights of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
A cuisine full of fresh flavours and clever use of spices. From the marvellous salad called fattoush (made under the Hills Hoist and with herbs just picked from the garden) to a delicious baked minced meat dish with burghul, pine nuts and spices; a wonderful ancient grain called freekeh, and a sensational pistachio baklava.
The fascinating world of Jewish food stretches across many cuisines. As well as joining an extended family for their Shabbat feast, we join a number of accomplished home cooks to learn the secrets of favourites including Jewish penicillin (chicken soup) with matzo balls, some slow-cooked beef dishes, and a classic orange and almond cake.
Italian Food Safari opens with a celebration of the wood-fired oven, which many Italians constructed in their backyards when they arrived in Australia. Maeve visits the inspiring Ricupero family who settled in Jarrahdale outside Perth where they grow vegetables on a large scale and bake 140 loaves of bread every 2 weeks in the huge oven they built themselves – the crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside pane di casa so adored by Italians. Guy then shows a recipe for delicious bruschetta, using day-old bread. Guy joins olive oil producer Joe Grilli from Primo Estate in McLaren Vale at harvest time and learns about mixing oils for the perfect blend. Vongole harvester Tony Petruzzelli takes us to work as he rakes waist-deep in water off Adelaide’s Outer Harbour then Sydney chef Eugenio Maiale cooks up the classic spaghetti alla vongole, the one dish that he always keeps on his menu at his popular inner city restaurant A Tavola. For sweets, the crunchy fried biscuit cannoli filled with fresh ricotta is close to heaven, especially when its made by second generation Sicilian sweets master Achille Mellini from Grossi Florentino. .
Italian Food Safari goes to Fremantle to join the last sardine fisherman on the Western Australia coast, the charming Jim Mendolia who supplies the fresh fish market. Melbourne cook Rosa Mitchell from the Journal Canteen, better known as Rosa’s Kitchen, shows Guy the secrets of her delicious classic recipe for stuffed sardines. Italian cuisine wouldn’t exist without pasta and Maeve visits the Baldino family at L’Abruzzese Pasta in Adelaide to learn how all the various shapes of extruded pasta are made including the “little ears” or orecchiette which Guy cooks in his restaurant kitchen with cime di rapa, a favourite dish from Puglia, where Guy’s family is from. He then ventures into the Victorian Alpine country to visit Simone’s, a beautiful country restaurant run by Umbrian chef Patrizia Simone who shares her recipe for roast duck stuffed with local chestnuts, the centre-piece of an al fresco feast set out by a mountain stream.
Italian Food Safari focuses on the glorious tomato, with presenter Guy Grossi joining tomato grower John Monigatti on Echuca’s black soil plains during harvest. Maeve then shares tomato day with a large Calabrese clan – the Cipri family in suburban Sydney who have made fresh tomato sauce every year since the patriarch Severio arrived in Australia 45 years ago. The woman who introduced much of South Australia to Italian food, cooking teacher Rosa Matto, makes a marvelous eggplant parmigiana. Sardinian chefs Giovanni Pilu from Sydney’s Pilu at Freshwater who’s from the north of Sardinia and Pietro Porcu from Melbourne’s Da Noi and The Tea Rooms at Yarck and who’s from the south, get together to show presenter Guy Grossi beautiful rustic dishes from their respective regions. Melbourne chef Graziella Alessi shows how to make the luscious all-time favourite dessert - tiramisu.
Presenter Guy Grossi visits dedicated Melbourne artisan baker Daniel Chirico and tastes bread straight from the oven drizzled with olive oil and learns why loaves with soul take a little longer to make…and to prove that nothing in the Italian realm goes to waste, Guy then demonstrates a delicious bread-based salad called panzanella. Maeve learns about the Italian passion for veal and joins Western Australian butcher Vince Garreffa on the farm south of Perth where his veal is raised. Celebrated Sydney chef Nino Zoccali from restaurant Pendolino explains the joys of using secondary cuts of meat and shows how easy it is to make a beautiful osso buco, rich and full of flavour. Guy takes us to the beautiful pine forests of Mount Macedon with chef Aron Michielli to forage for pine forest mushrooms and slippery jacks. Aron takes Guy to his Melbourne restaurant Biricchino to whip up magnificent pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms.
Italian Food Safari goes to the far western end of Australia to visit the crayfishermen of the stunning Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton and Maeve spends time with Justin Pirrottina to learn how his father and other Italian fishermen came to fish the area and tastes how good a ‘cray on the barbie” can be. Guy pops in on Melbourne chef Maurizio Esposito to learn the secrets of his delicious crayfish gnocchi recipe. Maeve seeks out the best pizza and visits Melbourne pizzaiolo Alessandro D’Auria of Pizze e Fichi who has made thousands of pizzas in his years perfecting the art of pizza. Artichokes are loved throughout Italy and were brought to Australia by growers like the Faranda family in Werribee South on the flat plains outside Melbourne. Joe Faranda shows Guy what to look for to get the best and Guy then makes delicious stuffed artichokes using a recipe passed on to him by his father. Italian gelato has colonized the world’s taste-buds and Sicilian gelato-making brothers Ciccio and Salvatore La Rosa from Gelatomassi in Sydney explain why it’s so good.
Italian Food Safari presenter Guy Grossi meets passionate gardeners Lina and Antonio Siciliano who have created a huge vegetable and herb garden in Melbourne’s suburbs that provides them with most of their meals and even the wine to drink with it. Maeve visits her friends the Marino family in Adelaide who show how they cure prosciutto on a large scale at San Marino Smallgoods. Legendary chef Armando Percuoco from Buon Ricordo restaurant invites Maeve to his country estate and cooks up the simplest dish of pasta with beans, demonstrating how exceptional ‘cucina povera’ can be. In Melbourne, cheese-maker Giorgio Linguanti takes Guy back to his childhood with the delicious fresh cheeses he makes including luscious burrata, mozzarella and ricotta. Loretta Sartori who once ran her own sweets palace in Melbourne but now spends her time educating troubled youth, cooks a spectacular ricotta cake.
Italian Food Safari joins professional rock fisherman Alex Bellissimo from Rock and Beach Charters at dawn to learn why so many Italians are drawn to the sea to fish for dinner. Respected Melbourne chef Robert Castellani from Donovans Restaurant shows Guy an ingenious way of baking snapper and explains why Sicilians put a coin in the mouth of the fish. Luciana Sampogna who started her own Sydney-based Italian cooking school Cucina Italiana demonstrates the lovely little pretzel-like snacks called taralli that are popular right throughout the south of Italy. Guy meets the Pizzini family who come from Italy’s alpine regions and settled in Victoria’s King Valley, growing tobacco and later some exceptional Italian grape varieties. Fred Pizzini shares his standout recipe for duck ragu which the whole family enjoys alfresco with some of their wines and Nonna’s delicious apple strudel.
Italian Food safari visits Mario Mammone and his family who own large citrus orchards in the fruit bowl of Australia outside Mildura – they came to pick oranges and now own the farm, growing some varieties adored by Italians, including blood oranges. Presenter Guy Grossi visits the fennel growing Mason family on the fertile plains outside Melbourne and Amedeo Mason explains just how versatile the winter vegetable can be. Mildura chef Stefano Di Pieri from Stefano’s restaurant, who helped to put the area on the culinary map, then shows Guy how he uses the best blood oranges and fennel in season to make a kingfish carpaccio with shaved fennel, a dish that sings with freshness and flavour. In Adelaide, one of the Central Market’s favourite characters, butcher Tony Marino invites us to join his family to cook up an exceptional Abruzzese banquet including the classic porchetta on a spit and the most unusual way of serving polenta - spread on a laminex table and served with a rich ragu. Young pastry chef Alexandra Rispoli from Buon Ricordo restaurant then shows how to mix and cook fragrant pistachio biscotti.
This episode of Italian Food Safari celebrates the tradition of preserving the best in season. Maeve meets the effervescent Italian Australian GP Pietro Demaio whose self-published book “Preserving the Italian Way” has been a bestseller and inspired thousands – after a taste of home cured tuna, Maeve is a convert. On the outskirts of Adelaide, Pat D’Onofrio and Lina Verrilli grow and cure their own olives to sell in local markets and Maeve is introduced to the women’s olive cracking tradition. Guy spends a few cold winter days with the Momesso family making their own salami, as many Italian families do during winter. Melbourne chef Riccardo Momesso explains why its so important to keep the old traditions going – and how delicious the results are. Maeve joins Sydney restaurateur Lucio Galletto at home as his picks basil from his garden to make a regional favourite from his home region of Liguria – a classic pesto. In Adelaide, one of the “Cibo boys”, Claudio Ferraro who is a partner in the city’s Italian café chain Cibo, shows how intricate and delicious the pastry sfogliatelle are to make – they’re shaped like a lobster tail with fine layers of pastry and filled with creamy lemony ricotta.
Italian Food Safari discovers an Italian breed of cattle called Chianina now being reared in Australia by Daniela Mollica, who brought the Slow Food movement to Melbourne. Chianina are large, white and long legged and their meat is prized for the classic dish Bistecca alla Fiorentina, which calls for high quality aged meat cut thick. In a beautiful house in the Adelaide Hills, Adelaide chef Salvatore Pepe, a partner in the Cibo café chain, cooks perfect bistecca served with white beans. Presenter Guy Grossi shares his recipe for fresh pasta and Andrew Cibej from Sydney restaurant Vini makes a wonderful spinach, ricotta and potato-filled ravioli. Maeve is surrounded by almond blossom in South Australia, visiting Munno Parra Downs and grower Phillip Costa. Guy then joins Melbourne sweets queen Marianna Di Bartolo from Dolcetti as she folds fresh almonds into her luscious soft nougat
Presenter Guy Grossi goes hunting with his chef friend Daniel Airo-Farula in the wintry hills of Bulla, later cooking up a marvelous Sicilian style sweet and rabbit dish called coniglio in agrodolce which they cook in a wood-fired oven. In Sydney, well known chef Danny Russo from the Beresford Hotel shows off a delicious family recipe from Calabria for quail involtini. Maeve visits her friend Stefano Manfredi from Bells at Killcare on the NSW Central Coast where he has planted a vegetable garden full of Italian produce which he uses to make a classic minestrone from his home region of Lombardy. In Melbourne Adelina Pulford from Enoteca Vino Bar adds her special touch to silky creamy pannacotta by adding the light bubbly Italian wine prosecco. Coffee punctuates Italian life from morning until evening – Italian expatriate Aldo Cozzi from Di Lorenzo and his coffee roaster George Sabados explain why coffee is so important and the rules of enjoying good Italian coffee.
Italian Food Safari savours the seafood introduced to us by Italians – the squid that was once used as bait and is now a delicacy. Maeve joins Claude Basile whose grandfather was one of the pioneers of the Italian fishing fleets off the western Australian coast and he shares the recipe for his adored black ink pasta using ink sacs. Pioneering Sydney restaurateur Beppi Polese has been responsible for introducing many Australians to new flavours in his East Sydney institution Beppi’s – he shows Maeve how his famous baccala mantecato is made using the salted dried cod called baccala. Melbourne specialist butcher Roger Ongarato from Largo butchery explains what makes pork and fennel sausages such a favourite in Italian households. The rice growing area of Italy’s north is where its said the best risotto comes from and Brescian-born chef Alessandro Pavoni from Ormeggio restaurant in Sydney demonstrates the techniques and tips to make the perfect risotto. Rising star Vanessa Martin from Sydney’s Il Piave shows Maeve how easy and delicious crostoli are to make – they’re the deceptively light fragrant pastries that are fried and dusted with icing sugar.
In this final episode, Italian Food Safari visits the Vanella Cheese Factory in Far North Queensland and presenter Guy Grossi learns how buffalo mozzarella is made and the secret of its great taste and texture. He then shares his recipe for a simple but exquisite classic Caprese salad with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Suckling lamb is a dish of celebration in Italy and Robert Marchetti, executive chef of Sydney’s Icebergs Dining Room invites us into his home to share his recipe for this tender flavoursome dish. The episode builds to a cresendo with a huge Calabrese lunch hosted by Perth butcher Vince Garreffa from Mondo Di Carne butchery, a man who never does anything by halves, firing up his wood-fired oven, cooking up a delicious veal shoulder on the spit, served with homemade pasta. Vince and his wife Anne also show the secrets of delicious cotoletta with a capsicum and tomato sauce. We finish at the home of presenter Guy Grossi who keeps Sundays sacred for the event of the day – lunch - the epitome of the Italian philosophy of “La Dolce Vita” – life is sweet! Ciao!
French Food Safari opens with a tour of the world’s largest wholesale produce market, Rungis, on the outskirts of Paris. It’s as big as a suburb and sells every food you can imagine, from Icelandic sea urchins to French forest mushrooms. It’s a food lover’s dream, and Guillaume and Maeve are in heaven, tasting as they go.
French Food Safari journeys under the ground in Paris to the secret bakery of one of the great Parisian bakers – the rock star of bread Jean-Luc Poujaran, who supplies all the top restaurants in the city. A perfect loaf of his naturally leavened bread takes three days to prove and the results are golden crusted and fragrant.
In this episode, we explore the delicious, relaxed, inexpensive style of eating at the bistro – a tradition that's been popular for hundreds of years. We spend time in the kitchen of St Germain chef Yves Camdeborde, who trained in the top restaurants but believed he would have more fun in a bistro. The diners love it, too – his bistro Le Comptoir is now booked six months in advance.
Maeve and Guillaume travel to the mountainous Ardeche region of France to meet artisan goat cheese maker Jérôme Herphelin and his happy herd of goats. Then it’s back into the cellars below the Parisian streets to see how beautiful cheeses like Jerome’s are carefully tended to be at their delicious best for customers. This is the work of a craftsman called an affineur. Plus, we meet Laurent Dubois, whose work with cheese has been so appreciated he was awarded a medal of honour from the President.
In this episode, we travel to Lyon and get swept up in the fun of eating in the local bouchons – relaxed eating houses which have existed for hundreds of years, starting as canteens for the local silk factory workers.
French Food Safari spends a delightful day in a small French village in the Ardeche with top selling cookbook author Stephane Reynaud. This is a celebration of the butcher and the baker, the closeness to the land and the slow calm of village life, followed by a demonstration of warm French hospitality – from the groaning cheese platter with 16 different choices to the huge pot au feu and local delicacies of pork mince cooked over the open fire.
French Food Safari experiences the thrill of the hunt amongst the oak trees of Perigord. Trained dog Alfonse leads Guillaume, Maeve and truffle king Pierre-Jean Pebeyre to find the edible underground fungus referred to as the “black diamond”.
French Food Safari gets the lowdown on how a top-class kitchen works by joining Guillaume Brahimi for a busy night at his restaurant. We witness how hundreds of exquisite meals are created and served.
French Food Safari is taken on a tour of one of the top Parisienne kitchens with three Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy, who cooks up some of his signature dishes for Maeve and Guillaume.
SBSs highly acclaimed and hugely popular food series, Food Safari, returns with an enticing mix of some of the latest cuisines to be making their impact in Australia. With flavours and recipes from around the world that have now become a part of Australia's culinary landscape, this new series begins by exploring the many cuisines of Darwin, including recipes from the city's large Greek population, the numerous Asian fares represented in the area as well as classics from local Indigenous cooks. Maeve OMeara and the team then travel the country meeting chefs and home cooks. These rising stars of the new Australian food scene feature in episodes highlighting the cuisines of Peru, Cyprus, the Philippines, South Africa, Laos, Poland, Afghanistan, Denmark and finishing with the unique creole food scene of Broome. In the first episode, Maeve explores the diverse culinary influences of Australia's Top End - from Chinese inspired fresh mud crab steamed with Chinese rice wine, to barramundi cooked in bush alfoil (paperbark) on a perfect beach, and from a Greek Sunday lunch to a Thai feast. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) *Series Return* G CC
In the second episode of Food Safari, Maeve O'Meara explores the country considered the gourmet destination of South America - Peru - and its infiltration into Australian culture. Maeve meets Alejandro Saravia from Morena restaurant in Surry Hills, who shows her some of the key ingredients in Peruvian cuisine including chillies, corn, potato and the high protein grain of the Andes - quinoa. Maeve then joins a group of Peruvian women making humitas, known as the 'bread of the Incas'. Chef Jorge Chacon shows how to make the world's best chips using cassava, which cooks up to a very crunchy outside and smooth creamy inside, served with a mellow chilli-based huancaina sauce, while Luis Almenara shows how to make the famous cocktail of Peru - the pisco sour - using plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice and finishing with a touch of Angostura bitters. Chef Danny Parreno shows off the Japanese influence in Peru with a marinated raw scallop and kingfish dish with a chilli dressing called tiradito. Then it's back to the high mountains to learn about some of the popular meats of Peru. Finally, Maeve joins an Andean outdoor feast known as a pacha manca or ground oven feast that is dedicated to the Earth Mother, hosted by Carlos Barriga and family. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) G CC
Maeve O'Meara explores some of the simple dishes of Cypriot food, full of goodness and fresh flavour, based on a handful of key ingredients. In Adelaide, Maeve joins Miroula Kastrappi, who has made haloumi cheese for her family and friends for decades, and then meets a family preparing for Greek Easter. Melbourne chef Ismail Tosun demonstrates how to make bulgur kofta, which are zeppelin-shaped parcels made of cracked wheat made into a dough and stuffed with spiced minced meat. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) G CC
This week Food Safari explores the exciting mix of ingredients and flavours that make up Filipino food. Maeve meets the Adelaide Hilton's executive chef, Dennis Leslie, who describes the melting pot of influences he grew up with in the Philippines, and introduces her to one of his favourite noodle dishes: pancit palabok, a mixed seafood dressed with crunchy pork crackling. Banker Trissa Lopez hosts a morning breakfast for her family and friends to highlight Filipino food, an extension of her work hosting a Filipino food blog with devotees around the world, while chef Joel Ignacio specialises in the wicked but very tasty twice cooked pork hock called crispy pata. Sydney cafe owner Ricky Ocampo shares his grandmother's recipe for a soy sauce and vinegar chicken dish called adobo, the national dish of the Philippines, which cooks to a lovely sweet and sour flavour with the chicken moist and tender. Restaurant owner Raquel San Juan invites Maeve home to share the recipe for one of her most popular dishes - kare kare - a curry of oxtail and tripe in a thick peanut sauce, while food and travel writer Yasmin Newman makes her recipe for a cre�x0300me caramel like dessert called leche flan. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) G CC
This week Food Safari explores the many cuisines that are part of South Africa's culinary landscape. Cape Town-born chef Graeme Shapiro introduces Maeve to indigenous staples like mealie meal and the sweet-sour Cape Malay dishes that were a legacy of the spice traders - and comfort classics inherited from the Dutch, German and British settlers. Another favourite comes from Philile Zwane who grew up in Kwa Zulu Natal where a samp (white corn) and beans dish known as umngqusho is a staple. One of Perth's finest biltong producers Johann du Plooy shows Maeve the secrets to perfect air-dried meat. The South African barbeque - or braai is a national past time and restaurant owner Lance Rosen demonstrates how to grill perfect boerewors, marinated chicken and the adored marinated lamb skewers known as sosaties. Maeve also learns the secrets to the South African one-pot-wonder, the potjiekos, and finishes her journey with the comfort and sweetness of a malva pudding. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) G CC
This week Food Safari explores the many fresh herbs and vegetables used in Lao cuisine and looks at the special techniques and utensils employed in its preparation. Lao-born chef Tony Inthavong introduces Maeve to the fragrant flavours of his Southeast Asian birth place. Mountains of fresh herbs, lime, chilli and fermented fish sauce combine to produce fresh salads and soups - all served with the ubiquitous sticky rice. Tony also shows how to cook barbequed ox tongue and the delicious noodle soup, khao pun. It's a family affair for the Inthavongs - Tony's father makes batches of Laos sausage packed with lemongrass and his sister Ketty reveals how to make the adored parcel of sweet sticky rice, khao tom. Maeve then meets Sourina Simmalavong who makes a legendary tam mak hoong (green papaya salad). Freshness is key to this salad and Sourina gives Maeve a lesson in how to cut a papaya like a professional. Keng nor mai is a bamboo soup popular in Northern Laos - it's a favourite of Keo Vanthanavong's and he prepares it especially for Maeve. (Commissioned by SBS) (Food Series) G CC
Food Safari explores the delicious world of Polish food, finding pine forest mushrooms, baking sensational duck, indulging in a huge variety of smoked sausages, crunching on pickled gherkins, enjoying bigos, pierogi and an unbeatable cheesecake.
Maeve explores the best chargrilled street food from around the world, including Greek pork souvlaki, Abruzzese arrosticini, Malaysian satay, Vietnamese beef in betel leaves and Mexican fish tacos. This episode is a celebration of street vendors' passion for charcoal, wood and fire. As Maeve can attest: “There’s nothing as enticing as food cooked in the open air where the spices and marinades come to meet you halfway down the street, drawing you in like a magnet, preparing your taste buds for heaven”.
From a healthy, six-minute ‘stand-up’ fish to Neapolitan pizza, slow-cooked goat, sourdough bread and sensational Greek pie, Maeve explores the versatility and uniqueness of cooking with a wood-fired oven. Dating back to Ancient Egypt and early Mediterranean civilisations, wood-fired ovens begun as both heat source and cooking device. Today, they are a symbol of ‘the good life’. In this episode, Maeve chats to a baker, a universally acclaimed pizza maker, and several chefs with a fiery passion for this style of cooking.
Over the past 5,000 years, the basic design of the tandoor oven has not changed, making it one of the oldest cooking devices on earth. In this episode, Maeve seeks out recipes from the subcontinent and Armenia cooked with this ancient oven, including tandoori chicken and prawns, naan, lamb kebabs and an elaborate roast pumpkin. Don't be surprised if you end wanting a tandoor in your own backyard!
The ancient tradition of roasting a whole animal over a fire has always been visually spectacular and incredibly delicious. In this episode, Maeve explores the Argentinian style of a la cruz cooking, and learns the secrets to Brazilian churrasco, Sardinian suckling pig, Portuguese piri piri chicken and a crowd-pleasing Greek Easter lamb.
This high-energy episode celebrates classic Asian recipes cooked over coals. From the Vietnamese lunch staple bun cha (marinated pork), to Chinese cumin lamb, Thai grilled chicken, Korean barbecue and the popular Japanese cooking technique, kushiyaki, Maeve enjoys a sensuous feast of Asian flavours.
Maeve explores the ancient art of smoking, a cooking technique that was originally used as a preservative, but is now applauded for its ability to impart flavour and texture. Meeting smoking masters from across Australia, Maeve tastes hot-smoked salmon and kingfish, the West African condiment shito, flavoursome smoked lamb, Irish cold-smoked green bacon and Kansas City-style ribs.
In this series finale, Maeve celebrates the ingenuity of the homemade barbecues and learns just how adaptable a 44-gallon drum can be! She meets a former pearl diver who uses the vessel to smoke barramundi, and a Jamaican chef who prefers to harness its cooking capabilities for jerk chicken and pork. Catching up with other barbecue devotees, Maeve discovesr there are many ordinary objects, including fridge parts, wheelie bins and lawnmowers can be welded into cooking devices. There’s even a car boot barbecue, a homemade Cypriot kleftiko oven and a Samoan umu feast.
Maeve talks herbs and vegetables with Sydney chef Peter Gilmore in his extensive garden before delving deep into eggplant territory with Thai chef and restaurant owner Amy Chanta and her daughter Palisa Anderson at Boon Luck Farm in the NSW Northern Rivers. Melbourne’s Middle Eastern chef Joseph Abboud, re-imagines the golden smoky delight of eggplant in a dish he calls ‘the whole baba’ – like the famous baba ganoush before it's blended. Then Maeve gets a rare insight into the science-meets-food-art kitchen of Sepia's owner and Executive Chef Martin Benn.
This week, Maeve seeks out the deeply satisfying carbohydrates at the heart of many of the great dishes of the world. Indian chef, Ajoy Joshi shares his recipe for the textural delight that is gossamer, thin Indian dosa with spicy potato, sambhar and dhal. While down in Melbourne, she then visits pasta genius Alberto Fava who shows us how to transform durum wheat into silky sheets before shaping them into little ‘hats’ called cappellacci, before meeting Ethiopian bakers Karim Degal and his mother Meftuha Osmen who give Maeve a hands-on lesson in injera bread-making.
Spring is the season that chefs around the world look forward to most and Italian food legend, Stefano Manfredi harvests the freshest produce of the season for a Roman vignarola. Chef Chase Kojima reveals the secrets to a perfect tempura batter as Ibrahim Kasif is inspired by a Turkish spring and shares his dish of slow- braised broad beans. Maeve then visits the garden of Zimbabwean-born home cook Dorothy Johnson as she prepares muboora une dovi – a recipe of pumpkin shoots and delicate flowers served with a rich peanut sauce.
Protein-rich beans have always been the heavy lifters of the vegetable world. In this episode, Maeve discovers the secrets of a classic falafel with Al Alseel's chef and restaurateur Faysal El-Abd. Culinary teacher Daisy Rajan shares her delicious recipe for Keralan green beans with coconut and Maeve also discovers how soy beans are transformed into silky tofu with the Kim family. And to finish, pastry chef Joao Cadete showcases his Portuguese tart using white beans known as queijadas de feijao.
This week, Maeve explores the wild thyme known as za’atar and finds out how it is grown, dried before using it in a home-baked flatbread. Young Persian chef Sanam Janghorban creates a spectacular flavoursome fresh herb omelette kuku sabzi before Bangladeshi-born chef Tapos Singha showcases the whole spice blend known as panch phoron in a Bengali vegetarian dish called shukto. After this spicy bash, Maeve is then rewarded with a luscious Sri Lankan love cake baked by Debbie Solomon.
Tomato Day is the most special of day on 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 homemade passata. Italian food legend, Guy Grossi celebrates the seductive power of the vegetables known as nightshades (eggplant and tomatoes) with a delicious pasta dish, garganella alla norma. With an abundance of fresh fruit over the summer, third generation gelato-maker Marco Enea of the Melbourne gelateria il Melograno whips up fragrant fresh strawberry gelato, Sicilian-style!
A touch of saffron as Maeve cooks up a saffron risotto with Italian-born chef Alessandro Pavoni. From Tassie, Maeve travels up north to Darwin to meet food legend Jimmy Shu who unlocks the butterfly pea for a Nyonya-style dumpling. And as the world of flowers are explored, Maeve goes behind-the-counters and into the kitchen of sweets palace Abla’s to see how those delicate essences are used before taking some of those notes and layering them in a baklava recipe by Armenian home cook Arpy Iskikian.
From the Mexican favourite of mild fresh poblano chillies stuffed with a melting cheese, fried and added to a delicious tomato-based sauce, Maeve begins to explore the amazing versatility cuisines take in stuffing your vegetables. This week, she explores the intricate and complex world of classic Chinese dumplings with Shanghai-born chef Chris Yan who shares his recipe for their best-selling silverbeet and spinach dumplings. Then it's an afternoon of showstopping yemista – a range of vegetables stuffed with delicious herbed rice then baked before getting on a roll with easy silverbeet and fig leaf mezze sensations.
Exploring Australia’s enduring love for Asian flavours, Maeve visists the respected master of Thai cuisine, David Thompson who shares his recipe for the most delicious, all-vegetarian pad see ew. Then, it’s the fresh crispness and astringent power of unripe, or green fruits, as chef O Tama Carey demonstrates her Sri Lankan family recipe for green mango curry. Colombian-born chef, Oscar Espinosa showcases the power of the plantain and then Maeve discovers how to extract real coconut cream before delving into a Goan treat of coconut and jaggery, known as patoleo.
It’s the season of mellow fruitfulness and this week, Maeve hits the road and joins her friend Franca Norris and her father, Angelo Bonacci on a mushroom hunt before discovering the secrets of perfect gnocchi with mushroom sauce. Autumn’s olive harvest is one of the highlights of the food world as Pietro Demaio demonstrates how easy it is to bottle your own olives. Then modern Greek chef Peter Conistis makes magnificent olive and tomato keftedes with a green olive sauce, before joining home cook Judy Saba to discover how to make the Lebanese Lenten staple, pumpkin kibbeh.
Explore the sweet power of onions with Spanish chef, Pablo Tordesillas Garcia and discovers the delights of a Catalonian favourite of char-grilled baby leeks with romesco sauce. Sicilian-Australian chef, Rosa Mitchell shares her version of caponata - a sweet-sour vegetable dish and Maeve visits Israeli born chef, Michael Rantissi who shows us how to make pomegranate molasses from scratch which then goes into a vibrant fresh cauliflower and pomegranate salad.
In this week's episode, Maeve meets preserving supremo Pietro Demaio who shows her the ropes to a fiery Calabrese ‘Explosive Mix’ – a magnificent blend of chopped preserved vegetables perfect for bruschetta. From there she visits Korean food ambassador Heather Jeong who 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.
Root vegetables come into their own during winter and Food Safari Earth explores a spicy Singaporean ‘white carrot’ cake made from daikon radish known as chai tow kway which is a hawker stall favourite and an easy recipe shared by Maeve’s friend, home cook Helina Lee. Cabbage is another winter favourite and Maeve meets Danish chef Bente Grysbaek who shares her recipe for spidskål using sugarloaf cabbage, horseradish, salted lemon and burnt butter. The comfort of warming puddings and desserts never goes unnoticed and home cook Ulku Gani makes a deliciously healthy touch–your-heart Turkish sweet that’s often referred to as “Noah’s pudding” called asure with dried fruits, barley, spices and nuts.
Maeve journeys into the Top End of Australia to seek out wild barramundi with local fisherman Billy Boustead and his chef friend, legendary Darwin and Alice Springs restaurateur Jimmy Shu (Hanuman). Next stop is the Sydney Fish Market with De Costi’s chief buyer Carmelo Lombardo, and renowned seafood chef Steve Hodges shares some of the secrets of cooking fish perfectly. Alberto Fava (Tipo 00) makes his inspired signature dish of squid ink tagliolini and calamari with salmon roe and bottarga. Maeve discovers how sea salt is produced in the Spencer Gulf South Australia by Olsson’s, and sea salt and rock salt are then used in a classic Sicilian recipe for whole baked snapper in a salt crust by chef Lino Sauro.
iver James Palanowski works in the eight-degree water off Tasmania’s east coast to harvest abalone, which is then used by acclaimed Chinese chef Frank Shek (China Doll) who teaches a home sous-vide method to achieve a spectacular spiced seafood omelette. Forager Peter Hardwick shares his favourite place on the NSW North Coast to find sea vegetables including samphire, seablite and pig face. In Tasmania James Ashmore (Ashmore Foods Tasmania) demonstrates how he preserves wakame and Tasmania’s favourite Japanese chef Masaaki Koyama (Masaaki’s Sushi) uses wakame to create a salad with octopus finished with a dressing using dashi. The salmon roe harvest in the Yarra Valley is spectacular as the fish laden with eggs are anaesthetised in a bath of clove oil-induced water and their jewel-like orange roe ‘milked’. Caviar is the crowning glory of pioneering Greek chef Peter Conistis’ (Alpha Restaurant) signature dish moussaka of eggplant, seared scallops and taramasalata.
Food Safari Water joins the pumping kitchen at the popular Golden Century which specialises in live fish and seafood and Eric Wong explains the cultural significance and meaning of eating a whole fish. Thai chef and restaurateur Amy Chanta (Chat Thai) deep-fries snapper and serves it with a fresh green mango salad with lots of herbs. Chef Tan (Malacca Straits) cooks a fish head curry with a creamy coconut curry base and Simon Lee (Masak Ku) teaches the secrets to the rich curry sauce. Self-described ‘fish nerd” chef Josh Niland (Saint Peter) shows how to break down a 15 kilo wild kingfish and develops recipes for an “eye chip”; smoked heart, pan-fried liver, seared milt (sperm sac) and deep-fried scales to add extra salty goodness to dishes. Last stop, assured master of the French kitchen chef Jacques Reymond (Bistro Gitan, L’Otel Gitan) shows how to prepare rouget (red mullet) roasted ‘en papillote’.
The pure clean taste of the ocean is celebrated in this episode which explores the natural briny flavour of the three main types of oysters with Clyde River ‘oyster affineur’ Steve Feletti (Moonlight Flat Oysters) and Lee and Suzanne Macefield (Get Shucked) on Bruny Island. Japanese sashimi and sushi chef Chase Kojima (Sokyo, Gojima) shows the knives and precision needed to create the most exquisite mouthfuls using the best raw fish for sashimi and sushi. Chef Louis Tikaram (EP&LP, West Hollywood) shares his recipe for making “white gold” Kokoda. Australia’s most acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya’s, Waku Ghin Singapore) celebrates the less popular species of fish which he says are actually more delicious, especially blue or slimy mackerel which he uses raw and cures with slices of dried kelp to create an inventive salad with shaved fennel. Italian chef Gabriele Taddeucci (Balla) slices beautiful red emperor for a classic crudo, dressed with blood orange and olive oil. Celebrated international Lebanese chef Greg Malouf uses the same techniques used for Lebanon’s national dish kibbe nayeh with raw salmon, adding spices and serving it with the lightest mountain bread.
Exquisite snacks based on seafood star in many cuisines around the world. Chef Frank Camorra (Movida Aqui) shares his recipe for luscious salty buñuelos de bacalao. Larger than life Greek chef Thomas Deliopoulos (Mykonos Restaurant, Kalimera Souvlaki) shows how to create two perfect dishes using a mighty five-kilo octopus – preserved in oil and cooked over charcoal. In the Thai world, the perfect seafood mouthfuls come from Northern Thailand in the form of miang kham - a multi-textured wake up for the taste buds from chef Pacharin ‘Air’ Jantrakool (Chon Thai). Louisiana style seafood sandwiches in the form of po’ boys using battered fried oysters and marinated prawns are prepared by chef Chris Weysham (Po’ Boy Quarter and East of Everything). Chef Danny Russo (Candelori’s, Russolini Group) uses neonata mixed with fermented chilli to create a Calabrese speciality known as “poor man’s caviar”, while Kiwi expatriate home cook Kate Kennedy whips up New Zealand’s beloved white bait fritters which are served with buttered square white bread.
Cooking fish over fire is an instant call to the tastebuds. Chef Lennox Hastie (Firedoor) takes his grill to a NSW south coast beach to cook a perfect whole flathead over coals, served with an ingenious pil-pil sauce. In Sydney’s Western suburbs, Vietnamese man of fire chef Ben Nguyen (Hai Au) cooks periwinkles and cockles while former Hanoi-born restaurateur Liên Yeomans shares her recipe for Chả cá lã vọng. Andrew McConnell (Cumulus Inc, Cutler and Co, Supernormal etc) forages for coastal vegetables on the Mornington Peninsula and cooks calamari over charcoal, making his own oyster sauce from scratch. Croatian chef of 40 years Ranko Despot (Balkan Seafood Restaurant) shows the traditional Gardella grill and cooks up a number of different fish, sharing tips and techniques on cooking perfect fish.
Shark-defying scallop diver Paulie Polacco harvests some of the world’s most prized queen scallops off Kangaroo Island. Adelaide-based Calabrese chef Salvatore Pepe (Pepe’s Cucina) uses queen scallops to create a delicious mouthful called capesante gratinate. Mussel farmer Lance Wiffen harvests his ‘black gold” at Port Arlington on Port Philip Bay, Victoria explaining how sustainable and delicious these shellfish are. Turkish chef Somer Sivrioglu (Anason, Efendy) shares his recipe for midye dolma and how to eat them Istanbul style, using the shell as a scoop. Italian dynamo Paola Toppi (Bar Machiavelli), loves the delicate sweetness of blue swimmer crab and uses it to star in her three-minute masterpiece, cooked with fresh pappardelle pasta. Continuing the Italian love of shellfish, chef Danny Russo (Candelori’s, Russolini Group) reckons scampi is the best gift of the ocean and cooks the delicate shellfish in a wood-fired oven.
The simplicity of cooking and serving seafood in one pot is a hallmark of cuisines around the world. Chef Angie Hong shares the secrets of Vietnamese claypot and Cajun chef Chris Weysham (Po’ Boy Quarter, East of Everything) cooks his version of a crawfish boil with a spicy base and a mountain of prawns and crabs. Belgian chef David Coumont (Moxhe) cooks up a pot of mussels using eschallots and a splash of wine. Peruvian chef and teacher Jorge Chacon cooks the renowned hangover cure parihuela. Thai-Australian cafe owner and farmer Palisa Anderson (Boon Café) makes jungle curry using butterflied whiting while Spanish chef Gerardo Iglesias makes fideua in a paella pan on the jetty at Geelong, Victoria.
Food Safari water captures the sheer adventure of one of the world’s great marine migrations – following the mullet run up Australia’s east coast, harvesting the roe to make the age-old preserved product bottarga, used as “the parmesan of the sea” by Sardinian chef Giovanni Pilu (Pilu at Freshwater) in a simple but fabulous spaghetti alla bottarga. BJ Plummer (Woodbridge Smokehouse, Tasmania) explains hot and cold smoking of salmon and ocean trout and the care taken to hand slice the rosy fish. Also in Tasmania, Japanese chef Masaaki Koyama (Masaaki’s Sushi, Geeveston) introduces how dashi is made and uses leftover bonito flakes to make a calcium rich sprinkle for rice called furikake. Malaysian Chinese chef Victor Liong (Lee Ho Fook) shares his version of the Chinese tradition of making XO sauce while chef Frank Camorra (Movida) shows a simple Spanish recipe for pickling sardines with an escabeche sauce.
Pairing the proteins of ocean and earth leads to an intriguing episode with some diverse and inspired flavour combinations. Vietnamese chef Dai Duong (Uncle, Uncle Collins) makes the classic Chao Tom, grilled to golden perfection. In the pre-dawn hours we join legendary brothers Meng and William Woon (Malay Chinese Takeaway) in making their rich prawn and pork stock, sharing their secret recipe that’s the basis of their iconic har mee soup. At the mouth of the Murray River, pipis are harvested by Alistair Scott-Young (Goolwa Pipi Company); Diogo Ferreira (Village on Cloey) and his mother Lucia use pipis combined with pork for a classic carne de porco a Alentejana. The elegant pairing of veal and tuna make vitello tonnato, shared by Pugliese chef Giuseppe Fuzio (Chiosco). Chef Martin Benn (Sepia) creates food as art as a tiger prawn morphs into a silky single sheet served with umami-rich broth made with the world’s most expensive jamon iberico.
Tasmanian-based chef Masaaki Koyama (Masaaki’s Sushi Geeveston) heads out in the misty mornings on the Huon River to haul up eel nets set the night before, grilling his catch and brushing with a delicious soy glaze. Founder of the acclaimed Tasmanian cooking school The Agrarian Kitchen chef Rodney Dunn (The Agrarian Eatery) prepares local eels in a brine and cold smoke them on his farm. On a pristine mountain stream in Victoria’s High Country, chef Anthony Simone (Baby Café & Pizzeria) takes us to his favourite trout fishing spot from childhood and shares his simple recipe for smoking trout using a wok, hickory chips and eucalyptus leaves. Dynamic Vietnamese chef Jerry Mai (Annam Restaurant and Bar) cooks a spectacular grilled Murray cod with herbs, including a wicked dipping sauce. Revered chef Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong) shares his signature Australian dish of red claw yabbies and buckwheat pikelets.
A cheese and leek topped pie made with perfect white fish, smoked fish, salmon and plump prawns is chef Nelly’s Robinson’s (Nel Restaurant) favourite dish from childhood. Refugee and fisherman Nigethan Sithirasegaram (Tamil Feasts), makes a classic Sri Lankan crab curry. Talented home cooks Aurora Charabati demonstrates a fish and chips variation from Lebanon using the whole garfish. The fish that launched a thousand ships – salted dried cod – is a delicious comfort food treat for chef Jose Silva (Bibo Wine Bar) – his Bacalhau à Brás recipe sees cod soaked and cooked in a rich sauce with slowly cooked onions, eggs and shoestring potatoes.
Every year Singaporean chef Alex Lee (Alex Lee Kitchen) makes Yusheng to celebrate the new year. The cold clear waters off Bruny island Tasmania are where lobster fisherman Clive Perryman harvests Southern Rock Lobster, a delicacy close to the heart of chef and wok master Chris Jin (China Doll), who grew up in Shanghai and always associated the lobster with a lucky dragon. Jin demonstrates how to cook the lobster with ginger and shallots, flamed with cognac for a truly show-stopping dish. In Senegal, the national dish of fish and rice is called thieboudienne, served on a huge communal platter. Aissatou Ba (Tastes of Senegal) shows how thieboudienne is made. In Brazil, seafood is very popular and the Bahia region in the north is home to a much-loved dish called bobó de camarão which is made with prawns, cassava and dende oil, a favourite of chef Luiza Yu Gomes (1821, Civic Hotels, Universal Hotels Catering) who serves it with the beloved staple farofa made with cassava flour. One of the best seafood dishes of celebration comes from Lebanon – sayadieh, the pinnacle of many banquets and cooked by wholefoods chef and writer Fouad Kassab (Quirky Cooking's Life-Changing Food).