Try out the best heirloom recipes from the world's top cooking experts –– grandparents.
Watch web-exclusive videos of Mo with the grandparents that we couldn't show on the air.
Clida Ellison, 76, may live in Detroit, but this southern transplant prefers to cook the dishes she grew up with in her native town of Natchitoches, La. Mo learns how to make Clida's favorite Creole dishes; gumbo, pralines and stuffed crab.
Aslaug Warmboe, 86, of Hastings, Minn., is originally from Iceland, in fact, on a recent trip to her homeland, she brought back some culinary specialties for Mo to taste. Traditional smoked lamb called Hangikjot, and some pickled shark with a chaser of the national liquor, Brennivin, are some of the delicacies Mo will try. Aslaug also teaches Mo how to make creamed potatoes, and a brown bread that in Iceland is traditionally baked for over two days with the heat of a natural spring. The episode culminates with a lovely family dinner complete with some traditional Icelandic outfits (but no Bjork swan dresses).
Lita is short for the Spanish word "abuelita" which means "little grandmother" -- but there is nothing little about her personality. Lita, 82, who lives in Hoschton, Ga., is a cheerleader for her homeland Costa Rica and its hearty cuisine. Lita shows Mo Rocca how to make some Central American staples including rice and beans and plantains maduros. She also introduces him to the furry loyal friend Canela.
Millie Martin, 70, who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., teaches Mo Rocca how to make down home Southern cooking. Hot cabbage, sweet potato pie and mac and cheese are served for lunch. And Millie's friend Pete breaks out the coals and hickory chips to grill up some ribs. In between cooking and eating, Mo and Millie sing in her church choir.
Ninety-something Ruth Taube is an institution on New York City's historic Lower East Side. She teaches Mo Rocca many things, including how to make a mean Matzo ball soup and farfel, as well as how to sew. Ruth and Mo also hit some classic Manhattan specialty stores to buy pickles and black and white cookies before they head to dinner with her daughter and grandkids.
Meena, 70, and Amar Giri were born in Nepal (land of Mount Everest) but they currently reside in Amish country, Lancaster, Pa. This charming couple takes Mo Rocca to new culinary heights by showing him how to make the dumplings known (coincidentally) as momos. They also visit a local goat farm and later make the traditional dish goat curry.
Ilene and Freddie Tsuhara, 71 and 73 respectively, are throwing a bash at their Concord, N.C., pad. Mo helps the couple assemble some fabulous appetizers including a twist on the classic: shrimp cocktail. There's also grilled pineapple and short ribs. And what's a cocktail party without cocktails? Mo learns some great potent potables from mix master Freddie including the Harvey Wallbanger.
Pakistani grandfather and Sarasota, Fla., resident Riaz Gilani is 96-years-old, but you wouldn't know it by the way he swings a golf club. Mo Rocca and Riaz hit the links and also cook some delicious Punjabi cuisine including the flatbread paratha and an aromatic beef and rice dish Riaz has dubbed "Rocca Rice." Riaz's voice is so rich and mellifluous, he can make reading the phonebook sound like Shakespeare!
Dave Whitney, 77, has fished all his life and he introduces Mo Rocca to the pastime on a lake in Lakeland, Fla. And of course, fish is also on the menu: bass fillets coated in potato chips. Since it's southern cooking, there's certainly going to be fried foods; hush puppies and biscuits. And there's a surprise for dessert!
If you have trouble remembering Ki Sook Yoo's name, this 72-year-old grandmother from Laguna Woods, Calif., suggests you think of the words "Kiss You!" Ki Sook's life story of survival is beyond inspiring, but also is her ability to prepare delicious Korean specialties. Ki Sook shows Mo how to make kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine and one of the ingredients in Ki Sook's mung bean pancakes. The main course is classic Seoul food, galbi, traditional marinated grilled beef.
Mo meets the charming grandfather Dave Pearson, 75, who has been a chef with the Los Angeles Dodger organization for the past fifty years. Dave trains Mo to cook like a major leaguer without too many drops, errors or rookie mistakes. Dave shows Mo how to make his buddy Tommy Lasorda's favorite dish, lasagna, at Dodger Stadium, and later they prepare short ribs and green beans for a family dinner at his home. Mo also learns once and for all what getting to third base means.
In this episode, Mo is safe in the kitchen because both Sally Starin, 70, and June Ploch, 68, are nurses, living in Montclair, N.J. Sally is the head cook of the household, and she shows Mo how to make a delectable roast chicken with a three-nut stuffing and a colorful side dish of vegetable hash, while June supervises the frosting of a yummy marble cake.
Vincent, 57, who hails from Palm City, Fla., teaches Mo Rocca his father Pop's secret technique for making homemade mozzarella cheese along with some other delicious Italian specialties. Also, Vincent's cousin Sal stops by to make a shrimp bruschetta pizza and later Vincent and Mo pump some very serious iron.
George Martin, 79, is a Native American grandfather, he is of the Ojibwe Nation and lives in Hopkins, Mich. In this episode, George teaches Mo how to make a big pot of corn soup. Sound simple? Think again -- the first step in the recipe is to light a fire without a match. George teaches Mo that handy skill, along with many beautiful traditions of his people. George also plays a mean game of mini golf.
Ninety-one-year-old Gaetano is determined to make a rugged outdoorsman out of Mo Rocca. Gaetano has recently hunted and eaten moose, bear, elk, varmint, but today he cooks up a stick-to-your-ribs venison stew like the ones he often prepares in the wild. No need to peel veggies when cooking in the great outdoors, this is "manly food." During the episode Gaetano teaches Mo how to shoot a rifle at a range and also teaches him various unusual Moose calls. The episode ends with a large, outdoor party in Gaetano's backyard.
Grandpa Louis McMillan, 69 of Fannin, Texas, is a master at the art of barbecue. He knows what temperature to cook the meat, how to apply dry rub, how long to smoke it and cook it. His eatery was a former post office -- and the food there always delivers. It was deemed one of Texas' top barbecue joints many years running. If you like brisket, ribs and the South, you will not want to miss this episode.
Mo Rocca meets the energetic and always amiable Sonny Young, 71, of Rutland, Vt. Sonny and Mo walk through woods behind Sonny's house and tap a tree to make homemade maple syrup for a big family breakfast. On the morning's menu: pancakes, homemade country bread and other goodies.
Pete and Louie -- 63 and 61 -- live in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Central New York. Dinner consists of fresh-off-the-farm local fare including grilled lamb spiedies, Cornell chicken and peach crisp. Non-culinary activities include canoeing and naming favorite female vocalists.
Thursdays at 9pm ET