Mike Colameco’s Real Food is one of the most popular and enduring cooking shows on US TV. The unique back-stage format takes viewers behind the scenes in real time to visit with chefs, and restaurateurs. Shot documentary style, it is not reality TV, but a real chefs point of view at how the most influential people in today’s restaurant world are transforming the way we think about food.
Mike and his crew explore Portugal starting with a three-hour surf session in Cascias followed by a one star Michelin lunch, off to Lisbon to hit the markets and few top restaurants and then of course deep into the wine country.
A brand new youth driven Deli scene is taking hold in NYC. We’ll visit Baz bagels on Grand St., Black Seed Bagels on Elizabeth, Montreal Style Mile End Deli, the new Russ & Daughters Café on Orchard St., plus we’ll meet the team behind Gefilteria that make artisanal gefilte fish and pickles.
239 W Broadway is hallowed ground in the NYC restaurant world. In 1989 impresario Drew Nieporent opened Montrachet there to great acclaim, that was followed by the 3 Star Corton and now Batard which earned accolade after accolade including the James Beards best new restaurant of 2014 and another 3 stars from the NY Times.
Great food paired with a huge selection of wines by the glass, well what’s not to like ? Taday's episode we visit Ardesia in Hell’s Kitchen, Corkbuzz with Master Sommelier and owner Laura Maniac at both locations and Ten Bells a funky LES all bio / organic wine bar down on Broome St.
We’ll meet up with veteran NYC Chefs Joey Campanero and Mike Price at their homage to their favorite ingredient, the clam located on a lovely corner spot on Hudson St in the far West Village. Then we meet David Santos at his spot Louro on W 10th another W Village gem.
The LES is on a roll and nowhere is this more obvious than the frenetic food scene on Clinton St. We’ll tour Sushi Ko, Seoul Wings, Ivan ramen, the Black Crescent bar, Azasu Izakaya and Thelma on Clinton.
For lovers of ice cream there has never been a better time. In one action packed day Mike tours Victory Garden frozen yogurt, The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Dave’s, Morgenstern's, A.B. Biagi Gelato, Gelato Ti Amo and Melt Bakery Ice Cream sandwiches.
America’s love for steak houses keeps growing, in this show we visit Keens well over a century old and Mike’s Favorite NY Steakhouse and then we’re off to Costata downtown run by Michael Whites team where along with great steak they serve artisan hand made pasta, and great fish crudo, a sort of The Palm for the 21st century.
In 1994 Donna Leonard opened the original il Buco out back of an antique furniture store on Bond Street steps off the Bowery. Self taught with no experience the place was an instant neighborhood hit. A few years back she expanded with il Buco Alimentari a block north on Great Jones St., which earned 3 stars from the NY Times, both of the places are total stand outs.
A couple of young talented chefs with great resumes wanted to do their own thing so they took over a narrow tiny bar space with a small open kitchen out back on Smith St, in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn and named it Battersby. A few years later they opened second larger spot a few blocks away called Dover. French inspired they are easily two of the best restaurants in all of Brooklyn.
Set in the heart of uber popular Meatpacking district of Manhattan sits this ambitious sprawling space with a pan-Asian fusion menu. The folks that run this location and the two others are total pros running restaurants with the highest gross revenues in the USA. We’ll spend a day with grizzled NY Native chef Ralph Scamardella and his vast team to how this pull off this kind of volume with great quality night after night.
Chicken and waffles are back big time as we tour three places, all downtown putting out excellent versions of fried chicken, waffles, biscuits, doughnuts, pies and other southern specialties.
With two NYC based Philippine-American chefs, King Phojanakong and Neil Patrick Syham in tow Mike tours Manila and a half dozen other islands sampling Lechon, scissor noodles in Manila’s Chinatown, epic Mall food, does a stand-up dorian tasting in the jungle, visits a few markets and tries to figure out exactly what Philippine food is all about.
In 2014 Chef Emma Bengtsson talk over the helm as Chef at Aquavit. She had been the pastry chef and the owner thought she was ready for this next phase. A year later with three stars from the NY Times under her belt she became one of a handful of women worldwide to earn two Michelin Stars. She’s a chef’s chef who loves the craft and we spend a day with her and her staff to see what Emma is all about.
Episode 15 & 16
Chef Melissa Muller own the Sicilian restaurant Eolo in Chelsea she’s also is writing a great new book on Sicilian food for Rizzoli. So when Mike wanted a culinary tour of the Island he’s tapped Melissa to be his Sherpa. In this episode and the next they’ll visit all nine provinces drink wine on Mount Etna, taste the best fresh made cannoli, see cous cous made by hand, drink raw goats milk then the cheese made from it, and the list goes on.
What happens when one of the greatest most avant-garde pastry chefs in America who had worked at Alinea and WD-50 decides he’s done with pastry and wants instead to do authentic Mexican food in NYC. We’ll meet chef Alex Stupak and visit his three downtown restaurants where he may be doing some of the best Mexican inspired ever in Manhattan.
Episode 18 & 19
We’d heard a lot about the amazing new culinary scene in Lima where the vibrant economy plus world class fishing from that Pacific coastline, amazing local ingredients and a lot of native talented chefs pushing the envelope. In these two shows we’ll see ceviche in many variations, visit restaurant Central ranked #4 in Pellegrino’s Best Restaurants in the World 2015 list, eat some great Peruvian Chicken, tour the city of Cusco at 11,000 feet above seas level and of course have a Pisco sour or three.
We feature 2 new Lower East Side restaurants. At Fung Tu, chef Jonathan Wu is doing a sort of modern Chinese fusion putting out brilliant dishes paired with a well-curated wine courtesy of Jason Wagner. A few blocks north, opened in 2014 Contra was a trailblazer with set $55 dollar five course tasting menu from chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske and in 2015 they opened their new wine bar Wildair next door offering small plates and all natural wines by the glass.
We spent a week exploring this northwestern region of France touring the vineyards and meeting with the winemakers while visiting restaurants along the way. Often confused with German wines, the wines of Alsace, especially it’s bone dry Rieslings are some of the best value under appreciated wines available from anywhere on the planet.
Two restaurants that are wine lovers paradise, both affiliated with wine shop. Racine’s is linked to Chambers St Wines down the block, spot on French inspired menu and an amazing selection of wines by the glass or bottle. Wine Disciples is a store right next to a restaurant, here the cooking is American / Italian, ingredient driven and the wine list by glass and bottle is wonderful.