The 'Top End' of Australia is home to crocodiles, fresh water sharks, water buffalo and other wildlife that Eric encounters along his journey. Eric's adventure takes him by boat up the Mary River then by helicopter to a remote fishing spot where he will try to reel in a prized barramundi...all the while avoiding becoming dinner himself. Inspired by his wildlife adventures, Eric will prepare Striped Bass with Green Papaya Salad and Blood Orange with a Citrus Vinaigrette.
Eric ventures out on a quest for spiritual enlightenment where he will have the rare privilege of learning the ancient cooking secrets of the Buddhist Monks. The grounds of the Temple provide the ingredients needed for the meals that they create and the dishes they prepare have medicinal qualities aimed at improving the mind, body and soul. Inspired by the health boosting soup that Eric cooks with the Monk, Eric will prepare a Spicy Tomato Consommé.
The law of the land is food and wine paired perfectly together. In his version of a wine safari, chef/sommelier Aldo Sohm tours the McLaren Vale and Barossa wine regions sampling some of the finest wines while Eric sets out to indulge in the diverse culinary offerings from the food purveyors of the region. The two reconvene over an amazing dinner at Southern Ocean Lodge recalling their adventures and toasting to a successful trip. At home Eric prepares Garlic and Rosemary Studded Leg of Lamb with Potato Puree paired with South Australian varietals.
Eric heads out into the coastal region braving crashing waves and searching for abalone with Josh Whiteland whose family has inhabited the land for centuries. After visiting an Aboriginal cave dating back thousands of years, Eric continues his journey to the Aravina Estate, an impressive vineyard that respects traditions in a modern setting. With an appreciation for local and seasonal produce, Eric prepares a Goat Cheese Parfait with golden beets, apples, potatoes, and an olive vinaigrette.
On his journey to explore the influence of Korean cuisine in the culinary world Eric seeks the counsel of famed New York chef David Chang, to understand the Korean influences more fully and must stop places to see. Meeting with the recognized masters who employ preparation techniques that date back centuries, Eric is taught how to make these cooking staples from those who know it best. The student becomes the teacher as Eric prepares Korean Style Shrimp Cioppino with Gochujang inspired by his journey.
Realizing New South Wales is more than Sydney, Eric heads outside of the city to do some fishing and foraging and gets to cook kangaroo on the farm owned by one of Australia's most heralded chefs James Viles of Biota. Venturing back to Sydney, a cosmopolitan and iconic city with world class dining, Eric enjoys one of his best meals ever at Sepia. Back at home Eric prepares Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri and a side of Byadli.
Puerto Rico, an island rich with amazing food, vibrant nightlife and natural beauty has become an annual destination for Eric to visit his dear friends and enjoy this tropical paradise. Eric along with dear friends/Chefs Mario Pagan and Jose Santaella attempt to catch some big sport fish while exploring the city's burgeoning food scene. The three friends' adventures in San Juan inspire Eric to prepare Cod Serenata.
Melbourne, a growing dining destination, situated in Victoria where the hip and eclectic coexist with vast culinary diversity. Eric will visit the city's most famous food market and hit some of the hottest restaurants in town. Just outside the city is the home of David Blackmore, a Waygu cattle farmer recognized and embraced by Japanese traditionalists. Eric will get to sample what many regard as the most exclusive cuts of meat. His culinary diverse experiences in this territory inspire Eric to prepare Seared Tandoori Spiced Hamachi with Pickled Cucumbers.
Known more for its white beaches and calm turquoise waters, Puerto Rico also boasts what many consider the premiere surfing spot in the Caribbean. Eric, having visited the island annually for over 30 years, has never tried surfing so he heads to Rincon to ride some waves. His coastal journey affords him the opportunity to sample delicious local foods while en route to meet up with his oldest friend and mentor famed Chef Alfredo Ayala. Eric and Alfredo enjoy a picnic on the idyllic Gilligan's Island where they dine on spiny lobsters that Eric has caught and rice and beans that Alfredo has prepared. This aquatic adventure inspires Eric to prepare Snapper w/ Sofrito Emulsion.
To showcase their local produce, exotic foods, and great wine, three of Australia's most esteemed chefs, Ben Shewry, Neil Perry, and Peter Gilmore, hold a dinner for the world's culinary elite. Honored to be a featured guest, Eric attends the gala along with familiar faces such as Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman and Australian Chefs he has met during his travels. This culinary celebration, coupled with his excursions in and around Tasmania, inspire Eric to prepare Seared Tasmanian Sea Trout, Watercress, finger lime and trout roe sauce vierge.
Eric has been going to Puerto Rico for 30 years, to celebrate his adventures Eric decides to host a tribute to Puerto Rican culture. Eric meets with legendary master "Apa" Ramos to share his pig roasting techniques and secure the lechón for his party, and he travels to artisanal rum producer Ron del Barrilito to taste rums that will be served at the fiesta. As the sun begins to set the party heats up and Eric along with his friends celebrate over delicious food and live music from beloved local band Groupo Plenarium. Inspired by his travels through Puerto Rico Eric prepares Pan Roasted Pork Chop Encebollado with Rosemary Scented Bananas.
Tensions run high along the border between two nations that used to be one. Eric visits the DMZ where he explores Unification Village, an area where war, nature and people cohabitate. While standing in a daikon radish field Eric is startled by the sounds of shots being fired. Contrasted with this show of military presence is Eric's visit with local farmers who harvest an abundance of amazing produce from the fertile land that sits perilously close to the divided nations. Eric's adventure to the DMZ truly illustrates the power of food to bring people together inspiring him to prepare Poached Daikon with radish salad and kimchi chicken broth.