‘The Food Ranger’ – Patrolling Asia for the best in
Travel with Trevor James and you’ll likely find yourself changing countries with regularity.
While he’s based (at the moment) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Vancouver native and his wife Ting have in past five years traveled all over Asia, the Middle East and Mexico to bring his YouTube subscribers the best in authentic regional cuisine with an emphasis on street food on “The Food Ranger.”
Now, the series comes to CuriosityStream, where in 12 episodes he explores the culinary scenes in China and India, two of his favorite cuisines. In those countries, he samples (among other comestibles) dumplings, noodles and crepes in the ancient silk city of Xi’an, China; dum biryani in Hyderabad, India; seafood and scrambled eggs in Mumbai; and smoked duck, tripe salad and spicy pork brain in Chengdu, China, a hotbed of Szechuan cuisine.
“I remember the first time I traveled to Chengdu,” James says. “The spice was really nice but it’s more about the fragrance and how unique the food is there. And of course, the people are so friendly. The people are so friendly in China and in Chengdu it was even more so. I found a relaxed atmosphere. It was a really nice place to live and Szechuan cuisine is spicy and delicious and I really fell in love with it. I’ll never forget the first bowl of hot chili oil wontons.”
Indeed, those Chinese dumplings look sumptuous on screen and James says they taste even better. And best, a typical meal costs only a few dollars in U.S. currency.
“One of my favorite meals in China … is the wonton and the dandan noodle and the zha jiang noodle and their use of chili oil and peppercorn, and it’s just so delicious.,” James says. “Everywhere you go, little street stalls, little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you can order up chili oil wontons and you can order up dandan noodles and it’s just incredible, really delicious. … I would always hit the street and go for Chengdu noodles and Chengdu wontons whenever we lived there.”
James and his wife, who also is his videographer, are literally a force of two who typically spend two weeks in a location shooting episodes and then move on to the next. With no formal base, the road is this couple’s home and because of that they have an ambitious plan going forward.
“We were just kind of joking around,” James says. “We were saying, ‘Well, why don’t we just go to every country in the world?’ And we thought, ‘Let’s do it!’ So … our goal is to visit all 190-plus countries. I think we’ve been to about 30 already, so if we do one or two every month, it should take 10 years.”