Andrew heads to The Eternal City of Rome, Italy for tastes that truly stand the test of time. The international hub has been a work in progress for centuries, and its food is constantly evolving with it. From sampling cheese aged inside caves from the first century B.C. to netting eel with Rome's last eel fisherman, Andrew finds out the just what has kept the city so deliciously rich all these years. On his first stop in Rome, Andrew goes to the city's finest meat shop, Il Norcino Bernabei, for tastes "that prove divinity exists." Meat-cutting master Vitaliano Bernabei hand-crafts his signature porchetta for Andrew, as well as his unparalled capicola and pork head cheese. Andrew digs into the exquisite porcine products and claims to hear Angels singing. No trip to Italy would be complete with pizza, and Italian-American food writer Katie Parla knows just where to get the best pie! Katie brings Andrew to Pizzeria Ostiense for Rome's paper-thin style pizza topped with anchovy sauce and puntarelle, buffalo mozzarella and red sauce, or peas, mushroom and sausage. They also sample Roman classics like zucchini squash blossoms, tripe in tomato sauce, and a cheese calzone with zucchini flowers and eggplant. Across the way in the Testaccio neighborhood, Andrew and Katie try out Stefano Callegari's new sandwich invention, the trapizzino: pizza dough squares, baked, halved and filled with traditional Roman ingredients. Andrew tastes the trapizzino with braised oxtail and celery, as well as the cold poached veal tongue trapizzino and calls them a "work of art." In Testaccio Market, Katie introduces Andrew to quinto quarto cuisine: animals' innards or offal. At the market's Mordi e Vai restaurant, they munch on sandwiches prepared with three chambers of a cow's stomach in tomato sauce and mint, followed by a veal kidney and onion sandwich. Dessert is at the Da Artenio stand, where Andrew would trade everything he's eaten in the last year for another bite of their ciambelline al vino: a sugar-dusted, twice-baked cookie made with wine. At Il Sorriso restaurant in Prima Porta, Andrew devours the symbolic Roman rigatoni carbonara dish topped with Rome's crowning jewel: pecorino Romano cheese, before seeing where the cheese comes from. Andrew is granted entry to the highly-guarded Brunelli cheese factory, where he gets a first-hand look at how the iconic Roman food is preserved and slow-aged for four months. Did we mention the factory is located inside of Etruscan-Roman tufa caves from the first century B.C.? Andrew heads to Velavevodetto restaurant, where chef Flavio De Maio makes him a formerly-illegal dish from the intestines of a young lamb that's never eaten grass, only its mother's milk. Andrew also eats lamb brains, lung, kidney and liver, and artichokes prepared Jewish-style. On the historic Tiber River, once the primary food source for many poor Romans, Andrew meets up with the city's last remaining eel fisherman and learns the dying art of his craft. They take their catch to a friend Irene's house, where Irene fixes lunch for her neighbors every single day, just as she's done for most of her life. Today, classic Roman culture and cuisine, steeped in a rich tradition is once again the keystone of the city itself.
They may be hitting some bumps in the road but a downturn in the economy isn't slowing down the people in the Motor City. Despite the recent hard times, residents of Detroit, both old and new, continue to fuel their city with love and pride,especially true when it comes to the food. From soul food recipes like oxtails and okra, to classic Lebanese lamb brain sandwiches with an American twist, to meat cooked on the engine of a lawnmower, Andrew finds out that the mix of cultures in Detroit is more than enough to rev up his appetite!
Andrew finds out that some amazing things are growing in America's Garden State. From Filipino favorites to an iconic local breakfast meat to a new breed of oyster, New Jersey is home to some surpising flavors!
Andrew delves deep into the rainforest of the South American country of Suriname where he will encounter wild jungle animals that he's never tasted or ever heard of before. His journey will take him to two remote villages and on an expedition through dense wilderness to hunt for food. From fishing for piranha to making bread from a poisonous plant to tasting a rodent-like rabbit, Andrew will experience some of the old traditions and new foods that make the culture in Suriname truly unique.
Andrew explores the big and bold flavors of Dallas and Fort Worth. From the traditional to the unexpected, he finds that people in this part of Texas take an adventurous approach to food. Different regions of Texas are known for different types of barbecue, and fortunately for Andrew, they can all be found in the Dallas Fort Worth area, if you know where to look. Magazine editor and BBQ cookbook author Daniel Vaughn takes Andrew to some of the area's best BBQ joints, beginning with Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ. They specialize in hot and fast Hill Country Style barbecue, including a big pork chop that Andrew says is great! Next, it's the low and slow style of East Texas over at Odom's BBQ where Andrew orders his meal soaking wet with sauce. It's a perfect marriage of meat and sauce! Over at Lockhart's Smokehouse, their specialty is Central Texas style barbecue, which means it's smoked over post oak and has a beautiful black bark. Their beef shoulder clod is nothing short of spectacular! A shared border with Mexico has influenced the cooking across the state and Andrew gets to experience the traditional South Texas barbacoa when he's invited to cook with Chef Tim Byres. They go to the backyard behind his restaurant where they spend all day roasting a whole cow head in an underground pit. There's also heart and tongue cooked in a pot giving it a flavor Andrew can only describe as superb beefiness. Andrew is introduced to multiple layers of fine craftsmanship when he meets the Rojas family. In addition to a gun shop where firearms are hand-tooled family patriarch Arturo Rojas, the family owns the Revolver Taco Lounge where all the authentic Michoacan food is made by his wife Juanita and other family members. Andrew enjoys moronga, a blood sausage with goat intestines and heart and birria de chiva, young goat stew. The cooking and flavor combine to make the most perfect expression young goat can have! In the suburbs outside Dallas, Andrew gets the authentic taste of another culture when he is invited to dinner with a group of immigrants from Thailand. Pastor Ponnatee Nittayapume from the Southern Baptist Church brings Andrew along for a shopping trip where the cooks for the meal, Pat and Amy, pick some fresh ingredients for a meal that includes shrimp paste made with giant water bugs, preserved duck eggs, and chicken feet. It's a treat for Andrew since he gets to dine on some of his favorite Thai dishes that he can't order in a restaurant. Hunting is a way of life in Texas so Andrew's next stop is at a game ranch where Chef Tim Love takes him hunting. Although they come up empty, Chef Tim brings Andrew to one of his restaurants where they sample some of the game meat on the menu. They eat venison backstrap and a paella made with rabbit and rattlesnake sausage. Andrew calls it superb! And finally, Andrew gets a glimpse inside the DFW's Russian culture when he visits a Russian banya where he enjoys a sauna, a bath, and some authentic food. After sweating it out and cooling off in a bath, Andrew dines on delights like cured salmon roe and herring in a fur coat, which is diced fish with grated carrots, beets, and eggs. It's salty, fishy, cured, oily goodness that Andrew describes as great. The banya is a great way to end Andrew's trip to Dallas Fort Worth where the food is bold and the people have adventurous spirit!
Andrew makes a trip to the Big Easy where the food and the culture are a mix of Southern tradition and modern influence. From the bayous to Bourbon Street, New Orleans is a unique food city with a variety of flavors that pull from classic recipes to new twists on old favorites. So whether it's classic Cajun comfort foods like stuffed pig stomach, frog sauce picante, or smoked raccoon served with a side of live jazz, Andrew is ready to experience all the sights, sounds, and tastes the make New Orleans a city like no other!
Andrew makes some tasty new discoveries in Cleveland! From a family company taking extra steps to make its sausage, to a chef creating new varieties of vinegar, to a farmer growing vegetables with a twist, Andrew finds out that it's the spirit of the people behind the food that make it extra special. Cleveland is a city that loves sausage so Andrew begins his visit with a trip to a place that serves up some of the best. Andrew meets up with cookbook author, food writer, and Cleveland native Michael Ruhlman at the Katz Club Diner to sample their signature dish: the deep fried hot dog. It's delicious, but there's another Cleveland style sausage that Andrew needs to try so he and Michael head to Seti's, a food truck that's known for serving the best version of the city's most iconic sandwich. The Polish Boy is a kielbasa sausage that's grilled, then fried and topped with coleslaw, French fries, and barbecue sauce. It's a combination that Andrew enjoys much more than he expected! Andrew gets another treat when he visits Ray's Sausage where he learns how they make their popular souse, a potted meat made from pig snouts, ears, and tongues. They use a secret family recipe that includes extra steps that make a final product that Andrew says is intensely porky, but not swine-y! The combination of the good food and this fun family makes Andrew realize just how much he loves his job! Andrew's next stop is at Catanese Classic Seafood, a business along the banks of the Cuyahoga River that brings in five to ten thousand pounds of fish every week, mainly yellow perch. The big haul is a good sign that the river has rebounded from the pollution that took a toll back in the 1950's and 60's. Andrew gets to taste some of that yellow perch in all its glory when he attends a Friday night fish fry at The American Slovak Club in Lorain. A team of women in the kitchen puts plenty of tmie, hard work and love into making the dinner every Friday week. Andrew admits it's the best tasting fish fry he's ever had and their stuffed cabbage is also unbelievable! At the West Side Market Andrew encounters vendors selling all kinds of food. After stopping at Frank's Bratwurst for their mainstay, he heads to Dohar Meat to try their traditional Hungarian Hurka, made from pork and liver cased in cow intestine. Fantastic! Afterwards, Andrew tries the famous beef jerky sold at Czuchraj Meats. It's already been recommended by TV Chef Michael Symon and Andrew agrees that it's amazing! Next, Andrew joins Chef Jonathon Sawyer to shop the market for fresh ingredients to serve in the dishes at his stand called Noodle Cat. Later, they whip up ramen made with lamb kidneys and chanterelles. Jonathon also invites Andrew to his home to show him they different varieties of vinegar that he's fermenting in his basement, including one made from $135 bottle of wine. Jonathon loves to experiment with food, which is evident on the menu at his restaurant Greenhouse Tavern where diners can order an entire pig head! Andrew digs into all the parts of the head, including the oyster, which is the cluster of muscles found behind the pig's eye. Andrew finds out that's there's also plenty of beef in Cleveland when he meets the meat doctor. Dr. Phil Bass is a scientist trying to encourage people to eat more kinds of beef, like certified Black Angus that's been wet-aged instead of the more traditional dry-aged method. Andrew tastes the difference in the flavor and also gets his first taste of a Denver steak, which comes from the inner shoulder of the steer, a portion usually made into hamburger. Andrew calls it the greatest takeaway in meat he's had in a long time! Finally, Andrew travels to the Chef's Garden, a farm near the shore of Lake Erie where they grow vegetables in the dark, including peas and sweet corn. Andrew makes some of the crops, including squash blossoms, into a dish to eat with Farmer Lee Jones. It's full fresh new flavor!
Denver may be a modern city, but Andrew finds out that you can still get a taste of the Wild West in the food! From ancient hunting methods like falconry, to immigrants cooking traditional foods with American twists, to an Adventurous Eater's Club with people open to tasting just about anything, the pioneer spirit is still strong when it comes to eating in the Mile High City. So whether it's deep fried Rocky Mountain oysters in a biker bar, pheasant cooked over an open flame, or ant larvae beignets in a fine restaurant, Denver is a goldmine of flavors from both yesterday and today!
Andrew makes a visit to Boston, the city where American independence got its start and where people are still doing things their way, especially when it comes to the food. The city is known for its traditional fare, but it's also become a breeding ground for new, exciting food trends. From sliced pig's head in the city's north end to tripe salad and toasted silkworms with a Cambodian family in the suburbs, to learning how to turn sausage into a power in a Harvard classroom, Andrew gets a taste of old traditions and modern innovation as he samples the food in Boston.
Andrew explores the driving forces behind the cutting edge food scene in Chicago. From world class charcuterie, to fresh seafood from the far corners of the world, to restaurants serving up unique dishes with ingredients you've never even heard of before, purveyors in the Windy City are pushing the limits when it comes to food. Whether it's sourcing the right breed for pressed duck, hunting down an exotic element, like whale vomit for a fish dish, or whipping up a fresh seafood concoction that's served in a baby bottle, Andrew finds out that food suppliers in Chicago are turning out fresh ideas to meet the demand!