Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Another Best Show of 2016: Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse
This is sort of an unsung gem from Amazon. This is a very short program, featuring only six half-hour episodes. The episodes focus on Sweden, China, Spain, South Korea, Italy, and Cuba. Each episode is adventurous, informative, and heartfelt. This series reinvigorated my cooking
The New Nordic cuisine featured in the Sweden episode is a wild tradition involving the use of hay and other unexpected ingredients.
The Shanghai, China episode focused on the Shanghai-style soup dumpling and was my favorite as it featured the incomparable Mario Batali. I also learned of Mario Batali's flagship restaurant, Babbo, in New York City, which it never occurred to me to visit before. I learned that Batali actually has sparkling restaurants, one of which I plan on experiencing next time I go. Talk about joie de vivre.
The episode in Spain was a true mind-blower, introducing me to molecular gastronomy and Ferran Adria. Technically, this refers to food science but it is epitomized by mind-boggling and surreal presentations of gourmet food. Since then I researched some restaurant in Orange County that serve this type of cuisine.
The South Korea episode stood out to me for its sense of spirituality and featuring a rare vegan chef. I'm definitely bound for a visit to Danny Bowien's Mission Chinese next time I'm in San Francisco.
The Italy episode featured anchovies and pizza. I learned of the wonders of buffalo mozzarella and only wish I had easy access to some for my own pizzas.
In the Cuba episode, Emeril explores the rich farm-to-table cuisine in Cuba. They also have a totally healthy, green means of keeping pests away from the crops, which I can't believe hasn't been adopted by American farmers.
Each show was brimming with a sincere pride and appreciation for each country and its culture. One thing I took away from this series as a whole is that there is an array of celebrity chef restaurants that await exploration. For instance, Iron Chef Morimoto has a restaurant in New York City, too.
Did I mention that this series made me hungry?