“It’s like a painter wanting to know about more colors and more types of canvas or other types of media. It’s like a musician with different instruments or notes or something that can make certain, you know, new sounds.
The second thing that I found most interesting as, you know, a closet intellectual is, you know, why is it that in our country when you say the word bat nobody, you know, thinks it’s possible to eat one. But in northern Vietnam or Cambodia or the Pacific Islands, you say the word bat and everybody gets excited and the children start running for the kitchen.
It’s a cultural thing. And that intersection of what makes food possible to me is the most central part of why we do what we do — to examine that question and be able to tell stories about a culture through the food to me is what it’s all about. I am obsessed with food and with eating. You know, I have been in the food business since I was 14 years old. So to have the opportunity to sit on, you know, in a street corner in a suburb of Louisiana and have a Vietnamese grandpa make me duck blood pizza the same way his grandparents made it for him when he was a kid in Dien Bien Phu is to me what a food life is all about.
And I think it makes for great television and it makes for great teaching. I mean, I have a responsibility to tell stories. At a certain point in my career I developed a platform and once you have a platform I think you have a responsibility to tell certain types of stories and illuminate certain pathways.”
Some of the highlights for this season included going digging for frogs and crayfish and cooking up a bunch of rabbits in Louisiana , going to Austin Texas for some of the world’s greatest barbecues, getting six-year old geoducks out of the ground in Seattle, hunting with a bow and arrow in Minnesota.
I’m a very basic meat and potatoes person, if something looks or smell weird, it isn’t going into my mouth. Just looking at some of the stuff this man eats gives me the willies. How does one know what is edible and to get over that fear?
“I just ask the people that I’m with. I mean, I’m not just, you know, strolling down the highway and, you know, putting bark that I find on the ground into my mouth.
I mean, it’s, you know, I’m with people that I’m - there is a greater purpose to my visits. I’m with people who are experts and they are exposing me to things. Sometimes I’m exploring on my own. Certainly we do more of that in this season because it’s a little easier for me to navigate America than it is the jungle market in Laos.