The small village of Rhinebeck, N.Y., is a hundred miles north of New York City, has less than 3,000 inhabitants and over a dozen delicious eateries. Across Route 9, Chuck tastes the bounty of the Hudson Valley, first at Le Petit Bistro, where Chef Joseph Dalu uses a global inspiration to create an Asian Fried Oyster dish. Chef Josh Kroner from Terrapin brings Chuck to get maple syrup direct from the tree for his Maple-Brined Pork Chops with Apple Jack Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds. And just next door at Gigi Trattoria, Chef Laura Pensiero creates healthy dishes that taste decadent. On the edge of town, Chuck finds Cinnamon, where owner Shiwanti Ridyarathna and her chef husband, Charminda, make South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes.
Home of 10,000 lakes, the only Minnesotan lake that Chuck is interested in is Lake Street in Minneapolis, home to the city's most delicious and diverse cuisine. First stop is at Manny's Tortas, where Chef Manny Gonzalez makes what many believe are the best sandwiches in the whole city. Next, Chuck samples the Japanese Fried Chicken at moto-i, a sake brewery, where Chef Omar Gillego invents fresh adaptations of Asian street food. Chuck and Craftsmen's chef, Ryan Swaim, go ice fishing for the walleye they prepare with sautéed mushrooms and potatoes in a cream sauce made from popcorn. Finally, Chuck pays homage to the city's Scandinavian history with a stop at Ingebretsen's, where owner Steve Dahl explains how old-school favorites are made.
While Austin, Texas, is the eleventh largest U.S. city, a lot of people thinks its food scene is number one. Chuck heads to Lamar Boulevard, where he first meets Chef Jeramie Robison, from Uchi, who oversees a stunning collaboration between black cod, white chocolate and olive candy. Next, at Odd Duck, Chuck helps Sous Chef Sam Hellman-Mass and his crew prepare Pork Belly Sliders With Citrus Cabbage Slaw. At El Meson, Chef Marisela Godinez makes a Chile Nogada, using her family's recipe straight from Puebla, Mexico. Last, Chuck stops at the craft-style barbecue joint, Stiles Switch, where Lance Kirkpatrick teaches Chuck how to stoke the fire for his famous beef ribs.
Houston, Texas, is a huge city with over two million people and to meet its equally huge community of chefs, Chuck heads to Westheimer Road. First stop is Underbelly, where Chef Chris Shepherd is known for his crispy ham ribs with sorghum mustard glaze. At Osteria Mazzantini, Chef John Sheeley uses red snapper straight from the Gulf of Mexico to create a recipe with squash and cabbage handed down from his Italian family. Next, Chuck samples an Indian breakfast crepe at Chef Anita Jaisinghani's restaurant Indika. And no trip to Houston would be complete without Mexican food and Chuck gets his fill at Hugo's, where Chef Hugo Ortega prepares handmade blue tortillas filled with salsa, guacamole and chapulines -- grasshoppers!
Standing tall above the beautiful Arizona desert is Camelback Mountain, and, at the base of it, sits Camelback Road and the heart of the Phoenix food scene. Chuck first samples chef Beau McMillan's Red Dragon shrimp with sesame rice, avocado and kimchee mango prepared high up on the mountain at Elements. Chuck gorges on the Sasquatch Burger that Chef Aaron May turns out at The Lodge. Next, Chef Mark Tarbell shows Chuck how to forage for local cactus for delicious vegetarian tacos at his restaurant, Tarbell's. Last, Chuck gets an unexpected treat at FuFu Cuisine, where Chef Ester Mbaikambey specializes in hearty comfort food from her native Africa, including a goat stew and a starchy side dish made from yam flour.
In West Los Angeles, Sawtelle Boulevard is the main street of Little Osaka, where a new world of influences is turning this street into a hotbed of California cuisine. At Mizu 212, owner Irene Paek teaches Chuck how to cook his own beef, seafood and veggies in a pot of bubbling seaweed broth using chopsticks and an array of fun condiments. Next, Chuck indulges his sweet tooth on snow cream at Blockheads Shavery where Alex Yu and his partners create incredibly tasty frozen treats that combine the best qualities of shaved ice and ice cream. At Bar Hayama Chef Toshi Sugiura teaches cooking students how to make authentic Japanese sushi. Chuck joins the class and tries his hand building the Haneda roll. Last, Chuck visits Primo's Donuts, where Ralph and Celia Primo have been making buttermilk and cake donuts since the Eisenhower administration, and they're not showing any signs of slowing down!
These days, Birmingham, Ala., is known for great cooking, especially in the historic neighborhood of Five Points South. Chuck starts his foray into Southern cooking at Highlands Bar and Grill, where the chef/owner, Frank Stitt, treats Chuck to his signature dish of baked grits with parmesan-thyme sauce, wild mushrooms and country ham. Next, Chef Jan Moon shows Chuck how to make ice cream sandwiches with oatmeal cookies at her food truck, Dreamcakes. At the French-inspired Chez Fonfon, Chef Adam Grusin prepares a kale and egg salad tartine after playing the quick game of boule. Chef James Boyce showcases Gulf seafood at Veranda on Highland, where he and Chuck prepare a crab, avocado and blood orange salad. Last, Chuck stops at Melt, a food truck where Paget Pizitz and Joey Dickerson make over 25 different grilled cheese sandwiches, including the Black and Blue featuring steak and blue cheese.
Nashville will always be known as Music City, but 8th Avenue is center stage for the artists whose instruments are skillets and stoves. Chuck starts with the fiery soul food favorite called hot chicken at Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish where Bolton and Dollye Matthews firmly believe that the dish will perk you up and cure your sinus problems. At the restaurant called Flyte, Chef Matthew Lackey celebrates Tennessee produce with seasonal cooking, like fresh radish, carrot and onion grilled alongside local, organic steak. Next, Chuck stops in at 8th & Roast where Lesa Wood and her highly trained baristas have perfected the art of coffee. Finally, at Bella Nashville, chef/owners Dave Cuomo and Emma Berkey not only show Chuck how to make artisanal pizza with heirloom grains and 15-year old starter, they also treat him to a concert by their folk band.
Chuck is in Lafayette, the cultural capital of Louisian's Cajun country, where he visits chefs both young and old who are spicing up Pinhook Road with new points of view. At Jolie's Louisiana Bistro, Chef Greg Doucet fries up fried fish heads and teaches Chuck about the difference between Creole and Cajun heritage. Bread & Circus Provisions is where Chef Manny Augello's mad charcuterie skills lead Chuck to chow down on a bowl of ramen with miso broth, pork rib and pickled quail egg. At Cafe Vermilionville, Chef Pat Waters elevates a school lunch classic with a PB&J that uses brioche, seared foie gras, cashew butter and pepper jelly. Last, Chuck goes mudbugging for real, live crawdads and Jeff Hernandez and his crew at Krazy Klaws teach Chuck how to wash, boil, season and eat the little critters.
Chuck explores the heavenly cooking deep in the Allegheny Mountains on Washington Street in Lewisburg, W.V. His first stop is at Stella's Tea House where he digs in to Chef Samantha Hall's sticky toffee pudding. Next, he visits a historic landmark that dates back to 1778, Greenbriar Resort, where Chef Bryan Skelding prepares a 14oz veal chop with cheddar grits and fresh veggies. At The Bakery, Sandy Carter makes a jalapeno bagel that rivals any bagel from New York -- or Montreal. Last, Chuck stops by the Livery where Chef Michel Neutlings prepares an Appalachian-style dish with roasted quail, wild rice, apples and fig.
The epicenter of Vancouver, Canada's, fashion, sidewalk society and a lot of really good food is on Robson Street. Chuck's first stop is at Forage, where Chef Chris Whittaker features fresh, local seafood, like BC's chum salmon. Next, Chuck ventures into an izakaya, a Japanese pub with a killer kitchen. At Hapa, Chef Tomoki Yamasaki shows Chuck how to prepare spicy pork ishi-yaki. Next, Chef Ned Bell, from the restaurant Yew, takes Chuck fishing for spot prawns, which they use to make a lightly pickled ceviche right on the boat dock. At Japadog, Chuck samples two hot dogs with tasty toppings, one that features teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and seaweed and the other which is a spicy, Japanese version of a chili dog.
The food culture in Portland, Ore., is famous for being casual, quirky and totally amazing and Chuck checks out the good food on Division Street. Despite the notorious rain, chuck finds sunshine in the Monte Cristo sandwich with an egg on top at Chef Jenn Louis' Sunshine Tavern. At Sen Yai, Chef Andy Ricker specializes in mythbusting Americans' view of Thai food. Next, Chuck stops in at Woodsmen Tavern to sample chef Andrew Gregory's lamb skewers with romesco and pea salad. Chuck's last stop is at Block + Tackle, where chef Robert Lucas makes delicious old-fashioned Oregon seafood dishes like crispy fried cod sandwiches with tartar sauce and brioche buns.
Famed steel town Pittsburgh is going through a food renaissance and Chuck is on a tour of Penn Avenue starting at Meat & Potatoes where Richard DeShantz pays homage to his hometown's culinary roots with updated comfort food like pot roast with horseradish gremolata. Chuck's next stop is at Penn Avenue Fish Company where Chef Henry Dewey runs a wholesale fish market and eatery and uses the belly of a yellowfin tuna to make a barbecued tuna sandwich with guacamole and sweet potato chips. Chuck goes inside an 1860s firehouse and one of the hottest restaurants in town, Bar Marco, where Chef Jamilka Borguez makes imaginative food like gemelli pasta with stinging nettle pesto and ricotta. At the stylish restaurant, Salt of the Earth, Chef Chad Townsend figured that the formula for success comes from using Western Pennsylvania ingredients from a local farm.
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