‘Lee Chan’s World Food Tour’ – A foodie travelogue
These days, most of us can't go out to dinner at a local restaurant let alone travel halfway around the world to try something exotic. Which makes "Lee Chan's World Food Tour" the perfect antidote to life in quarantine.
Filmed before the pandemic and currently streaming on Journy, the travel/entertainment app and online platform from Ovation TV, the half-hour series follows Australian-born Chinese presenter Chan (Australia's "My Kitchen Rules") as she travels on her stomach to places around the world, meets local chefs and cooks up and tries the cuisine, be they local favorites, modern delicacies or sumptuous desserts.
As she's expanding her culinary horizons, she's also taking in native cultures as she ventures to France, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Singapore, China, Germany and her homeland Down Under, among other locales. It's a lifestyle she cherishes and something she wants viewers to be able to do for themselves once it's safe to travel again.
"I want them to feel like there is hope," the exuberant Chan says with a laugh, "that one day they can go and visit these countries themselves and experience the food and the culture. You know, at this time we’re all sort of traveling from the safety of our armchairs, aren't we? We’re all armchair travelers. And even me now watching travel shows, all I’m doing is planning an itinerary for when I get out. I want them to feel joy when watching it."
In the first episode, Chan landed in Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, where she tried the pho, a beef noodle soup that is a staple of the Vietnamese diet.
"The energy there was insane," Chan says. "... Everything about it, the wonderful aromas from the street cooking, you know, they’re so hospitable there and you can eat pho in the morning for breakfast, which is probably not something I would think to do in Australia. But over there, it’s like you smell the waft of the broth and all of that and you just go, ‘Oh why not? Let’s have it for breakfast. This’ll be great.’ I love Vietnam. Great place."
In Lyon, France, escargot was on the menu though Chan admits an apron might have been appropriate attire.
"I poured like garlic butter all down my top, it was so bad," she says. "My producer was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I can’t remember the sequence of it but I had to eat these snails, escargot, with garlic butter inside. And I’m clumsy as it is; I’m a clumsy person. And they gave me these tongs for these slippery snail shells that are dripping with butter and he’s saying to me, ‘Just tip it in your mouth,’ and so I go, ‘Oh, OK, cool.’ And I’ve gone and tipped all of the garlic butter down my top. And we just started filming. It was hilarious."