How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

Variety | 7/21/2019 | Will Thorne
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Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin.

The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, Toyo talks about his difficult upbringing and his tooth and nail fight to open the restaurant and keep it that way.

Stories - Toyo - Screen - Beauties - Food

Being able to see stories like Toyo’s on screen is one of the beauties of food TV in the era in which we currently find ourselves. Shows are now travelling all around the world and, in the spirit of the late, great Anthony Bourdain, delving into local cultures and cuisines through the eyes and personal stories of those sweating behind the wok, forming the focaccia and hacking through dense forest to find that special ingredient.

What’s interesting, however, is the different approaches that this year’s shows take to the task of featuring cuisines from around the world.

Janet - Mock - Netflix - Deal - Never

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On the one hand is Gordon Ramsay’s method, showcased in his new Nat Geo series “Uncharted” premiering tonight, which combines learning from the locals, a decent dose of adventure and, in typical Ramsay fashion, a sprinkle of healthy competition.

Ingredients - Shouty - Chef - Venture - Experts

The key ingredients to the shouty chef’s latest venture are the local experts and chefs who guide him, mentor him and challenge him at each destination.

In one episode set in Morocco, Ramsay is put to the task by Najat Kaanache, a feisty chef who was rejected from working at one of Ramsay’s restaurants when she was younger and is not afraid to let him hear about it.

Chops - Executive - Producer - Showrunner

“She busts his chops because he didn’t hire her,” says “Uncharted” executive producer and showrunner...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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