French Food Safari to inspire Francophile adventures

by Forager on June 22, 2011

Ah hello wintery cold Sydney – a bleak, icy contrast from the humid, hot weather and semi-tropical thunderstorms we experienced in New York. We touched down in Sydney only a few days ago, narrowly squeezing in before the Chilean ash clouds, having circumvented the globe, decided to grace our shores again and shut down our airports. But after a grueling almost 24 hours of travel, and the pain of jetlag, the task of corralling my neurons into gear and encouraging them to push through the jetlag is akin to herding fleas. Small, erratic fleas on steroids that refuse to be herded.

It was my first time visiting New York and there I was often asked the questions “What do you think of New York and is it different to what you expected?”  Well, New York was everything I expected, yet at the same time, it exceeded all my expectations – we spent 10 glorious days feasting, exploring and playing in New York – all to extreme excesses. It was a very special holiday and will forever be memorable for me, not in the least because it was one of my top 5 destinations I’ve been meaning to visit. The list was compiled in recognition that whilst the Co-pilot and I love to travel and explore, we have our favourite destinations and it was clearly all too easy to default to an easy Thai beach getaway when planning holidays. With limited annual leave these destinations are the places I haven’t yet visited and decided to consciously keep top of mind when plotting ways to reduce my annual leave. With New York finally struck off the list, the next destination I’m eyeing off is Paris (we’d actually been planning for a French holiday when it morphed into a New York jaunt to coincide with the Co-pilot’s work interests) and I’m very much hoping a French holiday will be booked in the coming year.

What better timing then with French Food Safari launching on SBS ONE tomorrow night! Maeve O’Meara returns as the familiar presenter of the Food Safari series, this time with reknowned French Chef, Guillaume Brahimi.

The nine-part series features French influences manifesting locally in Australia through the likes of Shannon Bennett (Vue du Monde), Mark Best (Marque), Chui Lee Luk (Claude’s), Tony Bilson (Bilson’s) and Damien Pignolet (Bistro Moncur) and many more – to wanderlust inspiring culinary Francophile adventures filmed in France.

Having only just dined in my first Michelin-starred restaurants in New York, the late bloomer in me has developed a taste for collecting shiny stars and I’ll be watching with interest as French Food Safari peeks into the kitchens of Plaza Athéneé in Paris and gains an audience with Alain Ducasse, who has 27 restaurants across the world and an unprecedented 19 Michelin stars! Sweet tooths and macaron lovers should hush the drone of their KitchenAids and pay attention when Pierre Hermé works his magic. Of course, we’ll no doubt see (and seethe with envy) as Maeve and Guillaume sample ludicrous amounts of French bread, butter, chocolate, charcuterie, cheese and Champagne, all in the name of vigorous stringent research. I don’t know about other Food Safari viewers, but whenever watching the show, I’ll inevitably oscillate between always catch myself staring and salivating, my jaw agape and expression in a transfixed “wow” or violently slapping the Co-pilot’s thigh in indignant frustration that, unlike the hosts, I am not in the exclusive private kitchen of a reknowned chef, guzzling something impossibly delicious looking and making bordering on inappropriate noises of appreciation on screen.

And then there’s the truffle hunt. Not on a cultivated truffle farm with sad looking oak saplings, but amongst splendid grand old oak trees. To be meandering through a majestic forest in the French country side, following the frantic Hoover-like snuffling of an astute dog (he’s a slightly rotund little beagle in my fantasies) and with the warm dappled sunlight through the leaves to light the way. Sure, a sow might be more traditional, but given their affection for truffles and how large those sows can get, I don’t like my chances of wresting a prized truffle from the jaws of a sow and still having an arm to show for my efforts. Dammit. That truly is one of those idyllic French scenes I fantasize about (the truffle hunt, not losing my arm to a sow).

I feasted so very well in New York and there will be a slew of posts coming soon to testify to that, but now I lust for a grand French adventure. Et toi?

French Food Safari, Thursdays at 7:30pm from 23rd of June on SBS ONE

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This was a post sponsored by SBS

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard Elliot June 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Looking forward to reading some of your NY posts. The place is amazing. I was lucky enough to live there for a while and for the first couple of weeks I couldn’t get over the fact that I felt like I was living in a movie set. I felt like I knew lots of the iconic buildings, yet I was seeing them all for the first time (in the flesh).
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2 mademoiselle délicieuse June 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I’ve been lusting after a French adventure ever since studying French in high school! And it’s definitely on the to-travel list as well as many others.

Looking forward to the new Food Safari series, as well as your New York posts =)
mademoiselle délicieuse recently posted..Big John’s Sans SouciMy Profile

3 Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi June 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I just got back from New York myself and I can honestly say I’m in love! Ah the bagels, the pizza and my favourite — the Parmesan truffle fries! So can’t wait to hear about your foodie indulgences while in the U S of A. I’m a huge fan of everything French too (hello? Cheese!) so will have to check out the French Food Safari.
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4 Tori @eat-tori June 25, 2011 at 1:17 am

Sounds like a plan. Last time we were properly feasting in Paris and Lyon was on our honeymoon. Feel the need to get back. And can’t wait to read the NYC posts. Literally.
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5 Forager July 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Hey Richard – I now know exactly what you mean – it was amazing – everything in excess! Such an intense action packed experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

Hey Mademoiselle Delicieuse – It’s just not right that I’ve been to such remote areas of Latin America but not France. Hopefully something I’ll rectify soon!

Hey Keely – Parmesan truffle fries, garlic fries, burgers, pickles – my gosh, I indulged in everything too. NY is so good to life lovers.

Hey Tori – Not a bad choice for a honeymoon lady. Could do much worse than Paris and Lyon!

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