Grandmother and math teacher Ruth Teig teaches Mo Rocca how to make classic Jewish cuisine. On the menu is kreplach (or Jewish ravioli) and Ruth's fluffy, modernized version of gefilte fish. Ruth surprises Mo with a large live Carp in her bathtub to teach him how generations of Jews in Europe would keep their fish fresh before the invention of refrigeration. Mo also gets to taste Ruth's magical coffee cake that she uses as currency to feed household workmen and allows her to skip to the front of long lines at the DMV.
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.
Mo Rocca visits grandmother Genevra Higginson at her elegant three hundred-year-old home in Cohasset, Mass. Cohasset is a coastal village so Mo first digs up clams on a nearby beach and then he and Genevra cook up a hearty, super-fresh batch of clam chowder that they enjoy as a midday snack. The next day, Mo hits the high seas to learn how to pull lobster traps up from the briny deep from seasoned lobstermen. Later, he and Genevra put together a lobster feast using seaweed in its preparation and they make fresh peach ice cream for the Higginson family.
Manee Soohoo was born in Thailand and now spends most of her time helping take care of her adorable grandchildren in Harlem, New York. She enlists Mo's help to babysit the kids and also teaches him how to make green curries, and whips up a batch of Pad See Ew for the kids. Despite the fact that Mo has never made Thai food, Manee's grandson gives the dish "five thumbs up."
Grandmother and Irish lass Peggy Guiliano of Caldwell, N.J., devotes much of her life to her grandchildren and also to giving back to those in need. Peggy introduces Mo Rocca to the soup kitchen at New Jersey's oldest church -- St. John's in Newark. Mo and Peggy cook up some mean meatloaf and join other church volunteers to feed nearly three hundred hungry people from the neighborhood. Peggy also shows Mo how to make her famous scones, which they also distribute at the church.
The volunteers at the Delmar, N.Y., firehouse affectionately call their colleague Chris Massie "Gramps," despite being a young grandfather firefighter there, but he's also the best cook. He'll put Mo through all the usual firefighting training exercises and then he and Mo will make a stick-to-your-ribs, mouth-watering Christmas dinner for his squad.
Mo Rocca gets a glimpse of the inner workings of a long, successful relationship -- Tom and Mary Napolitano of Nassau County, Long Island have been married for over sixty years. For Tom and Mary cooking and eating together is a big part of building a strong bond. Mo meets the inspirational couple and cooks some classic Italian food -- the main course is manicotti made from scratch and two appetizers, including zucchini flower fritters and figs wrapped in prosciutto. Mary does most of the cooking and Tom does most of the shopping, it's a match made in culinary heaven.
Mo Rocca meets retired teacher and Fishkill, N.Y., resident Mary Gray and her three dearest friends -- Lillian, Frances and Estelle. The four widows lean on each other for everything and they love to laugh, so family and friends dub them "The Golden Girls." Mary was born in America, but she is of Polish decent, so she teaches Mo how to make multiple varieties of scrumptious pierogi -- some are savory and filled with sauerkraut or meat and some are sweet and filled with blueberries. The episode may or may not end with a polka.
Jamaican born and Bronx, N.Y., resident Venetta Lurine Williams is going to show Mo Rocca how to make some quintessential Jamaican dishes. Jerk chicken could be on the menu or curried ox tail, and there will be mountains of food of it to feed Venetta's very large family. Venetta, a nanny for years, tells Mo about the charity she has created to help give to needy children in her homeland.
Mo Rocca learns how to cook Ecuadorian cuisine from Maria Lopez, a grandmother from Queens, N.Y. On the menu for dinner are classic national dishes such as a delicious fish appetizer Cerviche, and a hearty goat stew Seco de Chivo. To shop for the meal Mo visits Maria's favorite local butcher, who happens to practice Halal butchery and learns about the techniques and traditions for preparing the various meats.
Mo meets Hildegarde "Cookie Oma" Mahncke who lives in River Vale, New Jersey. Wearing leopard print outfits and being outspoken is Cookie's style...she's no shrinking violet. She teaches Mo some classic recipes she was taught by her parents on a farm in the Black Forest region of Germany. The main course is rouladen (rolled up beef slices with pickle and other ingredients) and cabbage and for dessert -- plum cake. In addition to cooking, Mo talks to Cookie's husband Herman about his favorite hobbies -- carpentry and Elvis impersonation.
Meena Deshpande and Mona Vasudev were both born in Mumbai, India, but didn't meet until they moved to the United States over thirty years ago. They have become best friends over time and live close to one another in Princeton, New Jersey, where they love to cook together. Now Meena and Mona's children and grandchildren are all friends with one another. On this episode, Meena and Mona teach Mo Rocca some Maharashtrian-style dishes which are light yet bold -- Lamb Kheema, Cauliflower Green Pea Coconut Curry on Cumin Rice and traditional Diwali rice snack Chiwda.