Exploring new culinary frontiers virtually on ‘The Globe’

'The Globe' - discovery+ series introduces viewers to worldwide cuisine

Robert Irvine

Imagine having to create a dish from another country with no recipe, no knowledge of its ingredients and using unfamiliar equipment.

That’s the challenge faced by contestants on “The Globe.” Premiering Saturday, July 17, on discovery+, each episode brings four talented chefs to the greatest culinary destinations around the world via immersive 270-degree LED screen backdrops and tasks them with creating a signature dish from that country using only ingredients indigenous to that area.

The catch is the contestants, all of whom are executive-level chefs, have only a pantry of the ingredients and a few verbal clues from guest judges to go on. Nothing written down, no photo of the dish. Nada. Their training, experience and imagination will fill in the blanks – hopefully – and draw the favor of the judging panel, which includes resident judge Daniela Soto-Innes.

Robert Irvine (“Restaurant: Impossible”), the show’s host, chuckles when he discusses this competition’s degree of difficulty.

“They are working off taking those foods and using the techniques that they know in their own world to try and create something that is going to inspire or impress a judge,” Irvine explains. “… (There is only) the picture on the screen that’s 270 degrees, some advice from the judges of what they’re looking for and then it’s go time. … The picture is only the town or the area. There’s no picture of foods. It’s just, ‘Hey listen, you’re flying into Addis Ababa. Here’s the pantry that you’ve never seen before. Create a dish from it in 30 minutes, 45 minutes depending on the challenge. And this is what we’re looking for – taste, flavor, texture.’ You know, nothing more than that.”

In addition to the aforementioned Ethiopian capital, “The Globe” virtually brings contestants and viewers to such culinary epicenters as Beijing, Mumbai, Paris, Tel Aviv; Florence, Italy; and Lima, Peru. The winner of each episode gets a trip to one of the three destinations in their episode and the chance to win a $25,000 grand prize in the finale.

But first, they have to run this unique competition show’s unusual gauntlet, the pressure from which Irvine says can get very intense.

“I like the challenge,” he says, “and that’s what chefs do on a daily basis and that’s what I love about this show. It’s taking you as a viewer probably to new places but introducing you to new ingredients – including me, by the way. So it’s a great journey for me, also.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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