Travel the culinary world on cable and streaming


Delicious eats here and abroad


Now more than ever, this is a winter of our discontent, what with bad weather and the pandemic conspiring to keep us indoors and in place.

And that, of course, means no travel. Whether it’s a weeks-long vacation in a sunny clime or a weekend away at a B&B, many of us have back-burnered those plans in the interest of keeping ourselves and those around us safe and healthy. And we’re not happy about it.

But you can always travel via your palate. A number of new episodes this week on Cooking Channel, Food Network and discovery+ go to places near and far to sample the local cuisine. So kick back, click on the flatscreen and try to forget you’re not lounging on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean right now.

If exotica is what you crave, then “Bobby and Giada in Italy” is sure to satisfy. Streaming now on discovery+, the series follows chefs and longtime friends Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis as they take a culinary tour of the Old Country, stopping in Rome for the blanca pizza and a sumptuous meal prepared by a Michelin star chef, Siena province for Tuscan-style burgers and wine country for, well, the wine. There are also lessons in cheese-making and beekeeping. Quite the educational experience – for mind and palate.

Over on Cooking Channel, the weird and wonderful foods of Portland, Ore., are front and center on “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations” on Monday, Jan. 25. Here, host Andrew Zimmern tucks into dishes that reflect the city’s quirky personality, including boozy doughnuts, Thai fish sauce chicken wings and crawfish boils. Cuisine that’s a category all its own.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, on Cooking, “Man’s Greatest Food” finds host Roger Mooking sampling 15 incredible dishes around the U.S., such as a gourmet Calabrian pizza in a bowling alley, a lobster roll with bacon cheddar bombs in a minor league ballpark and custard French toast. Unexpectedly delicious.

Immediately following on that night, “Food Paradise” spotlights foreign meals in domestic locations, be it German eats in Wisconsin, Russian comfort food in New York City or Danish cuisine in California. No passport required here.

And over on Food Network on Friday, Jan. 29, the theme is sweet and savory on “Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives,” as host Guy Fieri goes to Sioux Falls, S.D., for a culinary extravaganza at a market-butcher eatery; Fairbanks, Alaska, for hearty, authentic Indian fare; and Fargo, N.D., home of a bakery/cafe that makes sticky pecan rolls and a savory French pastry dish. Yum!


George Dickie

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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