Food Safari is the ultimate journey into new culinary worlds on our doorstep. We aim to make the exotic familiar by guiding you through key ingredients and easy recipes across 13 delicious cuisines. Each episode explores a new cuisine with the help of professional chefs and homecooks who show us their tips and secrets, cheat's recipes and classic favourites. It's like Cooking for Dummies across the world. Presenter Maeve O'Meara takes us deep into our cities and suburbs to uncover the very best of ingredients for Moroccan, Malaysian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Indian, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Lebanese and Spanish food. Along the way, we meet people who really know their food and who make this series so real. Many of them are Maeve's old friends, and they happily share simple tips while preparing easy, mouth-watering dishes. It's a bit like getting a kiss on both cheeks as you pull up a chair to learn great new recipes from a food savvy friend. Episode 1 Moroccan Food Safari Food Safari journeys into the beguiling, gently spiced world of Moroccan food and meets a range of top chefs and home cooks who are passionate about their delicious cuisine. Food author and broadcaster Maeve O'Meara joins her friend restaurateur Omar Majdi who gives tips on the top spices and ingredients needed for Moroccan food and makes a dressing for fruit salad using sugar syrup, orange-blossom water, cinnamon and lemon juice that he predicts will be the hit of summer...Homecook Malika Ennaim shows how easy it is to make your own harissa and preserved lemons, we learn from Saana Zaki how most of us are missing out on the fluffy narvellousness of couscous and some tips to make the instant variety taste amazing. Chef Hassan M'souli - the Tajine King - explains why this conical terracotta cooking pot makes food taste especially good and demonstrates with one of the favourite dishes of Morocco - chicken with green olives and preserved lemons. Chef Aziz Bakhalla marinates lamb for the barbie with a handful of spices and whips up a dip using fava beans. Student Sarah Ennaim shows how easy and delicious a Moroccan carrot salad is to make and shares the recipe that all her friends keep clamouring for. And finally Rashid Benz shows the elegant way of serving Moroccan mint tea and gives tips on the easiest way to make it. Episode 2 Malaysian Food Safari Food Safari journeys into the intense spicy world of Malaysian food whose devotees cross oceans for the best laksa, roti and curry. Food author and broadcaster Maeve O'Meara joins her friend, 5 star chef Jess Ong (Sofitel, Sydney) who demystifies the endless range of sauces and spices, dried fish and fresh noodles and comes up with the top ingredients needed to start a workable Malaysian pantry. He then takes us home to cook the simplest noodles on earth - Maeve's favourite dish - char kway teow. Chef Alvin Tan (Seri Nonya Restaurant), then dials the flavour up to 11 with a magnificent beef rendang anyone can make at home, especially using Alvin's tips. Even the non-cook will love the simple way of making rice more delicious by adding coconut milk, a twist of pandan leaf and a small knob of ginger. We see how staples like rice and wheat flour noodles are made then join young architect Aryan Mansour who whips up a cheat's laksa in 10 minutes using a spice paste and a handful of ingredients, Chinta Ria's Simon Goh demonstrates the art of roti and sweets makers Paul and Alice Tan show how those multilayered bight rice coconut sweets are made. And with just 4 ingredients, Suzanne Goh makes a dessert of tiny pearls - sago gula melaka. Episode 3 Portuguese Food Safari Food Safari plunges into the fiery passionate world of Portuguese food where all the best food has a close relationship with fire, starting with the now famous Portuguese charcoal chicken. Food author and explorer Maeve O'Meara prizes a recipe for the famous marinated flattened chicken with peri peri sauce from her friend Luis Fernandes (Portuguese Charcoal Chicken) whose family brought the recipe from Angola to the world - simple, delicious and made for the great Australian barbie! Exclusive caterer Fatima Barroso who started the first Portuguese restaurant in Australia guides Maeve through the essential ingredients to make Portuguese food - how to choose the best oil, paprika, bay leaves, the famous cod or bacchalau and how to cook it to beautiful white-fleshed flakey perfection in a dish called baccalhau a broa - flaked cod on a bed of baby potatoes baked with a crust of cornbread, garlic and parsley, scattered with black Portuguese olives and red capsicum. We visit the Alves family (Talho Portugues) who make and smoke their own chourico, one of the staples of the cuisine, see how baker Carlos Fernandes bakes the traditional bread of Portugal - broa - made with cornmeal, then meet young homecook Andrea de Souza who whips up a simple delicious salad that wows her Aussie friends - using golden fried cornbread crumbs, pinenuts, black eyed peas and a fine chopped kale - Portugal's favourite green vegetable - the nearest substitute which Andrea uses is Chinese broccoli. Then Cidalia Rendeiro who has been making the simple food of her homeland for many decades shows the tenderest easiest lamb dish using the cheapest cuts of meat - they're marinated in wine and spices then slow-cooked to falling off the bone perfection. Baker Fernando Ramos shows how to appreciate a good pasteis de nata (custard tart) then pastry chef John de Almaeda shows a foolproof way of making the national dessert creme caramel using a handful of ingredients. Episode 4 Vietnamese Food Safari Food Safari journeys into the fresh healthy world of Vietnamese food to savour dishes that are both balanced in flavour and good for the body and the soul. Food author and explorer Maeve O'Meara joins her friend Peter Nguyen, engineer, food expert and Gourmet Safaris guide in Australia and Vietnam to learn which fish sauce is used for cooking and which for salads and why its similar to olive oil in both purity and health benefits, how to choose the right rice paper, where to find coconut juice used to make a delicious comfort food - Tet pork and egg, fragrant with star anise and other spices (and made by vibrant chef Nhut Huynh from RQ Restaurant). As herbs feature so widely in the cuisine, Peter takes us to his aunty's huge market garden fragrant with Vietnamese mint (polygonum), purple stemmed basil, and mint. We then see Peter's corporate lawyer sister Hanh use some of those herbs to make a simple nuoc cham or dipping sauce and the fresh crunchy green papaya salad. Maeve's friend chef Angie Hong teaches her to eat and appreciate the now famous soup - pho - and gives a sometimes hilarious rundown of the many types of Vietnamese tropical fruit available in Australia, rating their aphrodisiac appeal as well as their taste. While some of the cuisine is intricate many dishes stand out for their simplicity including the delicious vermicelli salad called bun bo xao made by young chef Luke Nguyen (Red Lantern) who marinates lean beef with lemongrass, tosses fine slices in a wok and mixes with fresh herbs, salad vegies and noodles - lunch in 10 minutes! Episode 5 Indian Food Safari Food Safari journeys into the colourful spicy vibrant world of Indian food and learns how to make some fabulous 10 minute dishes as well as the secrets of great curries from the subcontinent. Food explorer and broadcaster Maeve O'Meara joins her friend chef Ajoy Joshi in a spice emporium to learn the secrets of choosing the right spices - and comes up with some surprising finds- spices used for fertility and antiseptic properties as well as taste. Chef Daisy Rajan shares her recipe for the comfort food she whips up after a night in her restaurant "The Raaj" - high protein, delicious fresh tasting dhal fragrant with spices and fresh herbs, her restaurant style palak paneer made in under 10 minutes and sensational - and easy Gujarati potatoes made in 5 minutes. Top chef Kumar Mahadevan (Abhi's, Aki's) shows the easy steps to a tender flavoursome rogan josh while Ajoy Joshi cooks Hyderabadi chicken in spices and its own juices. Scene stealers are two vibrant women - Kuki Singh who extols the virtues of Indian sweets and Raini Singh who makes a cheat's version of coconut and cardamom burfi with just 4 ingredients. Episode 6 Greek Food Safari Food Safari journeys into the warm, welcoming, delicious world of Greek food where "I'm not hungry" is never an excuse not to try something yummy. Food explorer and broadcaster Maeve O'Meara joins her friend chef Peter Conistis in a Greek emporium to find out what olive oil is best to use, how to pick a good fetta cheese, which little tin holds the best tarama to make taramosalata, great spices like mastic, herbs such as rigani and much more. We enjoy a yeeros break and then see how filo was made traditionally and how a busy young mum makes a fast delicious spanokopita (spinach pie). George Calombaris from Melbourne's Press Room takes us home to demonstrate how to make a Greek lamb that's finished on the barbie and melts in your mouth, whips up the easiest and most delicious Greek salad and extols the virtues of a good glass of ouzo. Caterer Savva Savvas makes an easy tzatzki, watermelon and fetta salad and whacks some calamari on the barbecue. Across bakeries in Sydney and Melbourne we explore the syrupy deliciousness of Greek sweets then learn how to make fig loukoumades from Peter Conistis, chef and owner of Omega Restaurant in Sydney. And Liz Kaydos, Greek Gourmet Safari guide and coffee maker of some years, demonstrates how to make the perfect Greek cup of coffee using the briki. Episode 7 Chinese Food Safari Food Safari plunges into the intricate, balanced, thoughtful world of Chinese food where flavour and using fresh seasonal produce reign supreme. Food explorer Maeve O?Meara joins one of the senior statesmen of Chinese food ? chef and teacher Robert Ho to learn what basic ingredients are needed for a Chinese pantry. Chef Anthony Lui from Melbourne?s acclaimed Flower Drum shows some of the behind the scenes secrets to a good stir fry. Shanghai born chef Chris Yan shares his favourite comfort food recipe ? a melting flavoursome eggplant dish. We learn how to look like an expert when ordering yum cha! Maeve also prizes the recipe for salt and pepper squid from her friend, veteran restaurateur Ying Tam and learns how to make a healthy delicious steamed snapper with chilli, lemon and black bean sauce from rising star Frank Shek at China Doll on Sydney?s Finger Wharf. Apprentice chef Connie Kam from Golden Century gives the rundown on some of those often mysterious Chinese vegetables and what to do with them...plus the extraordinary noodle-pulling skills of Chef Happy Kuk Cho Kok of Melbourne?s Fortuna Village Restaurant in Melbourne and a wobbly wonderful mango dessert by Rosetta Lee from Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant. Episode 8 Italian Food Safari Food Safari journeys the world of the people who taught us how to drink coffee and appreciate good olive oil; those who showed us the simple deliciousness of pizza and pasta, scaloppine and saltimbocca: the fabulous Italians. Learn how to choose the top ten ingredients to begin an Italian pantry as Maeve joins her old friend, hospitality consultant and coffee expert, Sam Cosentino who explains how to choose the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar; which tinned tomatoes Italian housewives love; how to pick the best olives, prosciutto and biscotti, in addition to extolling the virtues of crusty bread, garlic and exceptional coffee. Next, John Buonavoglia of Paesanella Cheese gives Maeve a rundown on Italian cheeses. Rising Melbourne star Maurice Esposito (Il Bacaro) shows Maeve how to make perfect pasta using the golden rules for both fresh and dried pasta and shares his midnight snack recipe ? plus we meet his beautiful mother Maria who lets you in on a few well-kept secrets. Young chef Graziella Alessi (Sapore) goes shopping at the Queen Victoria Market for fresh salad vegies and whips up two simple delicious salads: panzanella, using ripe tomatoes, day old Italian bread, basil and balsamic vinegar; and the other salad brings a fresh burst of flavour with baby fennel and blood orange. Master chef Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino) shows off his "Ferrari of a stove" and takes us home to demonstrate the simplicity of saltimbocca with creamy discs of semolina gnocchi ? all whipped up in under half an hour. Also in this episode, we visit artisan sweets-maker Tony Sulfaro and see gelato made at Pasticceria Papa. Maeve then joins chef Vanessa Martin (Il Piave restaurant) who shares her Venetian family's recipe for tiramisu: the lightest, most luscious and easy dessert in the world. Episode 9 Thai Food Safari This week Food Safari enters the fresh, clean world of Thai food where the flavours are intense and yet are balanced together to create harmony for both the palate and for overall health. While many ingredients are available in supermarkets, Maeve visits Thainatown in Sydney with her chef friend Sujet Saengkham of Sydney's popular Spice I am Restaurant to learn about fish sauce and noodles, seasoning sauce and dried prawns, while shop owner Ari Walpole gives a rundown of the many types of eggplant, chillies and herbs needed for simple dishes. Maeve prizes a recipe for the most flavoursome red curry paste from Sujet who then cooks up a delicious red curry duck with lychees and fresh pineapple, fragrant with basil and kaffir lime in under 15 minutes. She gets the low-down on one of Australia's favourite noodle dishes ? pad thai from young chef Jay Phao-chinda and learns the secrets of everyone?s pick of summer salads: a simple waterfall beef, flavoured with lime, coriander and mint from chef Kham Signavong. Also this episode shows you the correct way to stir-fry chicken and basil; how the mung bean sweets loved by Thais are made, how to make your own coconut milk, plus there?s a really easy recipe for black sticky rice with caramelised coconut and coconut cream from chef Pacharin Jantrakool from Sailors Thai and Benzin Restaurants. Episode 10 Lebanese Food Safari Food Safari goes in search of the fresh green flavours of Lebanese food and host Maeve O?Meara finds the biggest mound of fresh parsley being chopped for use in falafel, the delicious fried snacks made from chick peas that go so well with creamy hommous and smokey eggplant dip baba ghanouj and which Aussies have taken to with gusto. Maeve journeys into one of her favourite big Middle Eastern emporiums with master chef Greg Malouf ( of Melbourne?s acclaimed Momo restaurant) to discover how to choose the best tahini, yoghurt, burghul, chick peas and spice mixes for use in the Lebanese kitchen. Maeve?s friend Jinan Afiouny discusses the concept of the many delicious dishes that make up mezza (?think Spanish tapas or Italian antipasto but bigger, better and more delicious!? she says) and young chef Katia Faraj makes a really simple baba ghanouj. Next, a visit with friend Samira Saab whose tabbouleh is legendary and who has simple tips on making it taste amazing, then to butcher Ahmad Fettayleh who talks about the lamb mince speciality mixed with fresh herbs and spices called kafta. Maeve joins pioneering restaurateur Fouad Sayed for a barbie with kafta and learns the secret to all good Lebanese cooking is ?the touch of the hand?. We see the incredible process by which Lebanese bread is made with Elias Moawad and we?re introduced to the very different, very delicious Lebanese style pizzas with Sam Fakoury. Greg Malouf then bakes the most fabulous Tasmanian salmon with a tarator sauce and salad and to finish, we have a rundown of the incredible range of sweets with young pastry chef Rabih Chami. Episode 11 Mexican Food Safari Mexican cuisine is one of the most ancient and developed on earth but is little known outside its borders and too many restaurants are more ?Tex? than ?Mex? according to the small number of Mexican expatriates in Australia, some of whom welcome Food Safari host Maeve O?Meara into their kitchens to explain some of the recipes and tips. Author and chef Rafael Nazario explains some of the top ingredients needed for the Mexican kitchen ? from chillies both dried and fresh; tomatillos which look like green tomatoes but are members of the Chinese gooseberry family; sauces and pastes and much more. We see tortillas made by a machine and by hand at home and then fried for use in a very easy soup made by expatriate home-cook Gina Castaneda. The art of making refried beans is demonstrated by cook Emilio Gomez and a fresh delicious guacamole is whipped by his daughter Guadalupe Feint who then quickly turns her hand to a fast pico di gallo salsa. Chef Rafael then uses those ingredients to demonstrate the intricacies of a burrito, taco and quesadilla. Tortilla maker and importer of Mexican products Marycarmen Aguilera makes a very simple marinated chicken for the barbie then Maeve joins a gang of women who could have stepped out of the movie ?Like Water for Chocolate? who have got together to make tamales, made with corn masa and steamed in corn husks. We couldn?t have a Mexican episode without mole ? and young social worker Kimberly Chiswell demonstrates a very simple green mole using pork. And we finish the episode with a smooth velvety cup of spiced Mexican hot chocolate. Episode 12 Turkish Food Safari This week Food Safari enters the delicious colourful world of one of the cuisines we know least about in Australia ? Turkish food. While kebabs and Turkish delight are well known, some of the amazing array of vegetable dishes, salads, dips and marinated meats are yet to be discovered. Host Maeve O?Meara journeys into an emporium filled with ingredients for Turkish cooking with her friend, chef Serif Kaya from the acclaimed Ottoman Restaurant in Canberra and now Sydney ? capsicum paste, pomegranate molasses, bulgar, dried beans and pulses, even something called Turkish viagra are all in the shopping basket. In his home kitchen, Serif shows Maeve the famous meat dish kofte ? made in under 30 minutes. Young makeup artist Esma Koroglu discusses the Turkish love of colorful dips and whips up two beauties ? a beetroot dip and a carrot dip. Ishil Ihtiyar also works in the glossy fashion world but loves the tastes of her mother?s Turkish cooking ? she makes two dishes that are winners with her friends ? a salad made with golden roasted eggplant and a bulgar pilaf made with the adored cracked wheat and capsicum paste ? it?s like a no stir risotto and is easy and delicious. Turkish Delight maker Bill Pektuzun takes us home and makes the famous stuffed vegetables using a rice filling and a range of vegetables as well as mussels. We see how Turkish Delight is made to a classic recipe at Real Turkish delight in Auburn and have a quick sampling of some Turkish sweets before joining passionate home-cook and great baker Gulbahar Kaya who whips up the lightest easiest Semolina Syrup Cake. Episode 13 Spanish Food Safari The final episode of Food Safari ends with the fire and passion of Spanish cooking ? you can smell the heady scents of saffron, paprika and garlic as host Maeve O?Meara investigates the key ingredients needed to create a Spanish pantry and visits chefs and home-cooks to gather some really easy recipes. Learn about the art of Spanish tapas and then join young drama student Penelope Lopez who grew up in her father?s acclaimed restaurant in the Basque country ? she whips up garlic prawns in the twinkling of an eye then a simple refreshing gazpacho which is a hit with all her Aussie friends. Economist Paula Horta takes her Spanish omelette to barbecues and says everyone always wants the recipe ? she shows how easy it is to create a creamy, delicious result. Carlos Lopez is one of the masters of the no-fuss paella which he makes on the small balcony of his apartment and has all the neighbours salivating. Chef Frank Camorra from Melbourne?s hip Movida tapas bar gives a rundown of the key ingredients from Spanish paprika to Olive oil to saffron then whips up his favourite Sunday lunch dish using Spain?s favourite meat ? pork. Veteran deli owner Ramon Regueiro shows us why Spanish jamon is so prized and how to slice it and serve it. Finally, grandmother of five Rosalia Ugarte whips up rice pudding using her mother?s secret ingredient ? condensed milk! Its divine.
A journey within your very own kitchen, making the exotic familiar