If you’re a fan of travel, food, and dishes spontaneously crafted by some of the country’s top chefs, then we suggest you tune into Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking which was produced by WGBH and will be premiering on public television Sept. 8.
In the 13-episode series, host Pete Evans, an award-winning Australian chef, cookbook author, and fisherman, travels across America, spending time with top chefs in each city. He travels with them to local markets, where they’re tasked with improvising a menu on the fly based on what they discover. Each episode culminates in a feast, where each city’s culinary elite are invited to taste what the chefs prepare. These aren’t no-name chefs, either; Jacques Pépin and Marc Forgione show up, for example, and in the New York episode, the season finale, chefs Andy Ricker, Anita Lo, and Matthew Lightner are the chefs involved.
We spoke with Evans, and he gave us some insight into what it was like traveling across America, cooking with some of its most renowned chefs.
The Daily Meal: What was it like traveling around the country, meeting so many amazing chefs?
Pete Evans: I loved every second of it, all of the Moveable Feast locations. Our crew and the people I met along the way were incredible, and I learned something new from everyone. Every day was an adventure, and I feel you get the sense of that when you watch the show, which is ideal because we really wanted each episode to take you on a stimulating journey.
Did you have one particular favorite city you visited?
I thoroughly enjoyed every city we visited, but I absolutely loved Seattle. Everyone was so friendly and completely on the positive buzz, and despite what I'd been forewarned, the weather was beautiful and the fresh produce in Seattle was absolutely amazing.
What was the most delicious dish you sampled?
Honestly there have been so many on this pilgrimage, but the first one that blew me away was the Wise Sons liver pâté in San Francisco. I can't even begin to describe how good it was. I went back to the hotel and raved about it to my girlfriend so much so that when we returned to San Fran on our way back to Australia it was the first place we both wanted to go, along with Bar Tartine for a quick delicious meal before our flight.
Has this experience changed your view of the culinary industry at all?
It's definitely made me well aware of the fact that the U.S. has many passionate, inspiring, mindful chefs, so for me it's really exciting to think of what culinary delights are presently being created. I love the fact that so many young up and coming chefs are educating themselves about nutrition, too, because it's so important to cook not only divine tasting food, but food that's going to nourish you as well. Also I'm now certain that the enthusiasm around food is only just beginning and the best is yet to come.
What’s next for you?
Well, I've got five months of full-on filming all over Australia for a show that I co-host called My Kitchen Rules, my seventh and eighth books are on the go, lots of nutritional study/exams, as many sunrise surfs as possible, and plenty of quality time with my beautiful family.
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking will premiere Sept. 8 on American Public Television. Check your local listings.