This is Jamie's first time in Marrakesh and his excitement shines through as he explores the city and its cuisine born out of the French, Arab and Berber cultures. In the alleyways of the old Medina and the cafes of the wildly exotic Dja El Fna square he dodges snake charmers and tooth sellers to try out the street food of the city – slow-roasted lamb in cumin, prune and beef tagines, almond and rose water cakes. n Marrakesh the best food is in the home so Jamie has lunch with a Moroccan family.
Los Angeles is synonymous with glitz, glamour and the American dream. But, just a few miles east of the Hollywood sign lives America’s largest concentration of Mexican immigrants. Jamie isn’t in LA living it up; he’s living the LA lifestyle for real. East LA is notorious for gangs, drugs and violence, but alongside these problems Jamie discovers a community proud of its food, committed to family and striving to make the American dream a reality.
Jamie visits the Nicoyan Peninsula in Costa Rica, where living to 100 isn’t unusual. He meetsm cooks and eats with five generations of the same family, including 106-year old Jose. Later, Jamie visits the Greek island of Ikaria, where people live ten years longer than elsewhere in Europe and North America, and meets 84-year-old goat farmer Nikos to find out the secrets of the locals’ long lives. Bringing that knowledge back to the UK, Jamie creates super-nutritious and delicious meals.
The ultimate boy’s trip! Jamie wants to see if the clichés of Hollywood westerns are all they’re cracked up to be. He’s always wondered what life as a cowboy is like cowboy and in Wyoming, he finally gets to find out. His trip begins in Sheridan, where Annie Proulx conceived the idea for her novel, Brokeback Mountain. Jamie visits a rodeo before heading into the wilds upstate to see if he can cut it living and working on a real American ranch, and cooking for proper cowboys.
The food in Athens is all about simple ingredients simply put together. Jamie goes spear fishing off a Mama Mia-style island, meets bee keepers who produce the most amazing honey and makes goats cheese with a Greek Orthodox monk. He is inspired to cook Greek salad, Honey and Pistachio Cake, Wicked Kebabs, fisherman’s stew and fresh Tuna with Lemon Sauce.
The French Pyrenees is a peasant country where, although the people are not wealthy, they eat like kings. The food here is rich and fatty, yet they have the highest life-expectancy in France. Jamie goes truffle-hunting with a pig and boar hunting with dogs. He is knighted into an order of serious bread makers and makes sausages with a professional. He cooks Rustic Roquefort salad, Fresh truffle Omelette, Classic Tarte Tatin, Old school Confit of Duck, and makes a Country style Terrine.
Venice is not famous for its food, much of which has been spoilt by tourism, but Jamie goes off the tourist track to find the real regional food of Venice; rice, polenta, seafood and fresh vegetables. He meets aristocrats in a palazzo and the lady prisoners who are growing vegetables behind bars in Guidecca. He learns at the feet of the Risotto King and goes fishing for sweet prawns with some venetian fishermen. He cooks Spaghetti Vongole, 3 Blinding Risottos and Chocolately Tiramisu.
Jamie loves Swedish cuisine as it is based around clean, fresh produce, pickling and preserving. He goes mushroom hunting on one of the islands surrounding the city, tries a delicacy called surstromming – fermented herring that stinks like nothing on earth. He checks out what’s served for lunch in the Royal palace and manages to avoid joining in a skinny dip at a crayfish party. He cooks gravadlax, Sexy blueberry buns, Campfire creamy mushrooms, and pike perch for the Royal Guards.
Jamie travels to Andalucia, Spain and joins trainee bullfighters practicing in Spain's oldest bull ring – with a trolley with horns. He eats Heavenly Cakes cooked by nuns from a closed order, cooks rabbit stew with gypsies, joins in the festivities as a giant statue of the Madonna is carried from a church by 100 men to the sea and cooks a giant paella for a whole village. He cooks Garden Gazpachio, Fish Baked in Salt, 'Pimped' chorizo and tomato salad and a quails’ egg breakfast.
Jamie finds himself in unknown territory during the harsh Arizona Winter. He leaves the tourist trail to spend time with the Navajo Indians on the largest reservation in America. Staying with Mayor Elect Roy Kady, Jamie witnesses Navajo traditions up close: from butchery, to overnighting in a hogan, and cooking with elders. He also gets a crash course in Navajo spirituality. It doesn’t take long before Jamie realizes that, Native American’s are in danger of losing their food culture completely.
As the global recession gains momentum, Jamie goes in search of the best cheap food in America. He starts his journey in Georgia, one of the country’s poorest states and birthplace of the civil rights movement. Despite the recession, Jamie finds a hopeful nation following the election of President Obama, and a people determined to make the best food possible with limited finances and ingredients. Edging down the Georgia coast, Jamie hears about a huge barbeque competition in Florida.
Jamie touches down in Louisiana just weeks after Hurricane Gustav has wreaked havoc in New Orleans and the surrounding area. On a quest to understand why people continue to live in a place that keeps getting battered by hurricanes, Jamie finds a state full of people who use food as a way to celebrate life and keep the party going through adversity. In New Orleans he meets ‘gumbo queen’, Leah Chase, whose Creole restaurant is finally back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina.
Even though Jamie has been visiting New York for over 10 years, he has never ventured out of Manhattan. This trip takes him away from high-end restaurants and 5-star hotels and drops him in the middle of the world’s most ethnically diverse area: Queens. On his forays into the city Jamie uncovers things he’s never imagined: a restaurant run in a family’s living room and another making home-cooked Colombian food for illegal immigrants. He also stumbles across an ‘anti-restaurant’ scene, where people open their homes to strangers; provide them with restaurant quality food for wallet-friendly prices and send them away happy. These are known as supper clubs. After exploring the Egyptian, Peruvian and Szechuan communities in Queens Jamie decides to host his own supper club, with a menu that pays homage to New York’s eclectic mish-mash of food cultures.
On the Greek island of Ikaria, Jamie finds out how whole grain cracked wheat is prepared the traditional way and helps make a tasty Ikarian specialty, Trahana. Meanwhile, on Okinawa, Jamie discovers the super food secrets behind local fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and learns the islanders’ belief in Nuchi Gusui – ‘let food be your medicine’ – from 95-year-old Shoei Kingo who incorporates all the health-giving food he grows into his diet to build a life bursting with vitality.
Jamie’s on the Japanese island of Okinawa. He harvests and eats seaweed, a super food packed with immune system-boosting iron. Later he heads to the tropical paradise of Costa Rica to discover how local people’s love of fruit, packed with Vitamin C, could help to explain why they live so long. In the UK, Jamie cooks up a breakfast of Baked Eggs in Popped Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta on Toast, Tasty Miso Broth, Chicken, Mushrooms and Wild Rice for lunch and Sizzling Prawns for dinner.
Jamie’s on the Greek island of Ikaria. He helps 84-year-old Giorgios as he works his land and enjoys the fruits of his host’s labors for lunch overlooking the sea. Then he heads to a Costa Rican cattle ranch to eat black beans that keeps the cowboys riding day and night. In the UK, Jamie creates super-nutritious meals, including: Sweet Potato, Chili, Cheese and Seed Muffins for breakfast and a healthy twist on two hearty dishes for lunch and dinner – Skinny Carbonara and Smoky Black Bean stew.
Jamie’s in the Greek island of Ikaria. Under sun-kissed skies he forages for wild greens and herbs with local cook Tula, before sharing a healthy hilltop feast with four generations of her family. Later in Okinawa, Jamie joins local people and discovers the wonders of local ancient ingredient. Jamie creates a days’ worth of super-nutritious and delicious meals, including: Cheese, Ham, Mushroom and Tomato Breakfast Popovers for and a healthy twist on two fast food favorites.
Jamie’s in the Nicoyan Peninsula in Costa Rica, where he joins fisherman Otto for a meal of freshly caught fish with family and friends on the beach. Later, Jamie travels to Okinawa, to join 74-year-old Grand Karate Master Sensei in his dojo to learn some Karate moves before lunch, which features local hero ingredient, sweet potato. Bringing what he’s learnt back to the UK, Jamie creates scrumptious Cheese and Corn Pancakes topped with Smoky Bacon and Caramelized Banana, and Tasty Fish Tacos.