Food connoisseur Carlo Rota hosts The Edible Roadshow – a gastronomic adventure across Canada. In a fun, hip style, Rota explores regional and ethnic influences around various locales. Take in Canada’s breathtaking scenery while learning about Canada’s mouth-watering cuisine. Learn everything from the art of the pig roast in Southwestern Ontario, foraging for porcini mushrooms in the Gatineau Hills, discovering whether Regina is the pizza capital of the world, to catching and preparing Giant Bluefin Tuna in Prince Edward Island.
Meet the Hosts
Episode #1 – Mushroom Hunt
In the Gatineau foothills just outside Ottawa, the Nation’s capital, Carlo hunts for the elusive porcini mushroom and then treats his fellow mycologists to a mushroom feast al fresco. We also go to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for a taste of the wild Saskatoon berry, and then to Digby, Nova Scotia for their world famous scallops.
Episode # 2 – Lac Portage
Carlo goes to lac Portage in Southern Quebec for the best trout fishing in world at an exclusive camp featuring a French chef and extensive wine cellar. We also go to Astorville in Northern Ontario for their annual parish picnic as the whole community gets together and makes the traditional “ceipaille”, and we profile a young couple in Prince Edward Island with a wonderful little restaurant in the middle of nowhere famous for all-island cuisine.
Episode # 3 – Sooke Harbour House
Carlo visits the Sooke Harbour House, recently voted as one of the best restaurants in the world by Gourmet Magazine and samples the exquisite food served in this little bit of paradise overlooking the Juan De Fuca Straights. We also indulge the sinful pleasures of down home caviar from Pelee Island Ontario and we cook with the wild berry wines in Nova Scotia.
Episode # 4 – Chinatown
Carlo takes us through Vancouver’s world famous Chinatown. We visit two very different markets for exotic veggies and spices and sample Cambodian noodle soup, Japanese sushi, Chinese dim sum and Vietnamese sandwiches.
Episode # 5 – Quebec City Bistros
Carlo and Natalie Richard explore the romance and gastronomy of Quebec City. Join them as they walk the cobble stone streets and sample the yummy offerings from Le café Du Monde, Le Marie-Clarisse, Le St. Amour and Graffiti.
Episode # 6 – Heli-hiking
Carlo takes us on a heli-hiking adventure in the Bugaboo Mountains as we experience an all-Canadian bar-b-cue at 7000 feet featuring venison bratwurst and bison burgers! We also follow the executive chef at the prestigious Royal York hotel as he prepares dinner for The Queen of
England, and in Northern Quebec we meet a couple who harvest wild indigenous Canadian delicacies from a converted sugar shack.
Episode # 7 – Cave Springs
Carlo takes us to the vineyards of the Niagara Peninsula in Southern Ontario to decork, debunk and demystify the simple pleasures of a glass of wine. We also do some wine cooking with celebrated chef Michael Olson and learn a sure fire never fail wine sauce.
Episode # 8 – Grand Prix
Carlo goes to Whistler, British Columbia and takes part in a culinary grand prix. We also visit a very special green house 3 hours north of the Arctic Circle.
Episode # 9 – Ottawa Food & Wine Festival
Carlo visits the annual Ottawa Food & Wine festival to find out what really is “Canadian Cuisine”. We also go to New Brunswick for some old fashioned Acadian cooking as made 300 years ago, and then to Richmond British Columbia for a cranberry harvest with a twist in the beautiful Okanagan valley.
Episode # 10 – Balsamic Vinegar
Carlo has discovered a couple who own a small organic winery on Vancouver Island where they make “balsamico traditionale” made in casks imported from Modano Italy. We also go to Montreal and visit Schwartz’s, home of the best smoked meat in the world.
Episode # 11 – Perogies
The ladies of the Catholic Ukrainian League in Kamsak Saskatchewan (pop. 2300) are world famous for their hand made perogies. Carlo spends the day with them and learns the secrets of this ultimate comfort food. We also go to Norman Wells in the North West Territories to sample Aboriginal fusion cuisine like grilled Caribou, Caesar salad with seal oil, caribou fat ice cream and arctic char sushi.
Episode # 12 – Feast of fields
Carlo ventures to Kleinberg Ontario for the annual Feast of Fields gala where local organic farmers team up with some of Canada’s most renowned chefs and present delicious nibblies to guests as they wander the beautiful grounds of the McMichael Gallery. We also go to
Christmas Island in Nova Scotia for a traditional Celtic Ceilidh and then to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in the heart of Montreal as Chef Paul Bocuse and Les Chefs Des Chefs are inducted into the venerable Beaver Club.
Episode # 13 – Wheat
From Winnipeg Manitoba, Carlo indulges in the art of pasta making and bread baking with some new wheat lovin’ pals, after which he treats them all to a fab sit down dinner with lots of wine and song. Then we’re off to Whistler British Columbia to meet Oyster Boy, master shucker and connoisseur of Canadian Oysters, and then to Lunenberg Nova Scotia to indulge in the mouth watering pleasures of Canadian Atlantic lobster.
Episode # 14 – Crab Boil
Carlo journeys to Ingonish for the first day of the crab season. We go out onto the Atlantic Ocean with captain Chester Whitty and his crew in search of the biggest juiciest crab in the world. Later, everyone returns to shore for an old fashioned Maritime crab and corn boil with foamy butter sauce.
Episode # 15 – Bacchus
What’s the secret to being a great chef? We’re off to Bacchus, the much celebrated restaurant in downtown Vancouver, to find out how a kitchen brigade works and what makes a passionate chef tic. Along the way Carlo also cooks “the greatest meal ever made”.
Episode # 16 – Rocky Mountain Cuisine
A celebration of Rocky Mountain Cooking, western Canada’s nouveau cuisine from The Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. This episode features all manner of game meats and berry chutneys set against the stunning big sky backdrop of Alberta’s rolling foothills and the Rocky Mountains.
Episode # 17 – Viking Feast
A thousand years ago, Vikings came to L’Ance Aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland to spend several winters. We return to the UNESCO world heritage site 1,000 years later to recreate a millennium feast exactly as the Vikings would have back then, dinning on caribou, seal, local greens, flat bread and grog, all cooked up over open flame in replica Viking sod hut.
Episode # 18 – College Street
This street in the heart of little Italy is Carlo’s home. After all the time he spends criss-crossing the country trying other regional foods, it was time for him to invite us back to his place. This episode features stops at an Italian bakery for cannoli, Porco Brothers for fine cured meats, Gato Nero for real coffee, a Sicilian ice cream maker for granita and an al fresco feast from Giancarlo’s restaurant.
Episode # 19 – Lobster Supper
This wonderful little place in a town of 250 serves up some 50,000 lobster suppers to hungry tourists every summer. Everything from the breads, the potato salads, the desserts (including the must-have lemon meringue pie) are all made from scratch. It’s a real family affair with some of the ladies having been there for more than 25 years.
Episode # 20 – BVQA
Is Canadian bubbly as good as French Champagne? We’re off to the Okanagan Valley to find out how champers is made, how good we are at making it and how good it is in the kitchen. This episode feature lots of great champagne flavoured dishes from The Cellar Door Bistro.
Episode # 21 – Manoire Richelieu
A visit to the restored Manoir Richelieu on the Gulf of St. Lawrence is our start to this adventure in one of Canada’s most beautiful and unique micro-climates that positively bursts with wonderful foodstuffs. Featuring local artisan cheeses, world renowned veal and heirloom veggies.
Episode # 22 – Aboriginal Feast
We follow a young Aboriginal chef to the shores of lake Simcoe as he hunts for wild bullrush hearts and edible greens for a fusion feast of traditional aboriginal dishes prepared with decidedly modern twists.
Episode # 23 – The Train
Carlo signs onto the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train as a chef. Savour the breathtaking scenery as Carlo tries his hand at cooking in a tiny rock ‘n roll kitchen hurtling through the Rocky Mountains.
Episode # 24 – The Brewer’s Feast
Canadians love their beer, but does it have a place in the kitchen? In Ottawa, we create a multi-course feast featuring every dish prepared with a different beer, from caribou to waffles.
Episode # 25 – Montreal Bread
Explore the cultural diversity of Canada’s first city of food as seen (and tasted) through bread. Carlo’s adventure takes him to James McGuire at Le Passe-Partout, then on to the best bagels in the world. There’s more as he visits an artisan fillo maker and an Indian tandoor oven for succulent Nan bread.
Episode # 26 – The Greatest Pizza
Is Regina Saskatchewan the “Pizza Capital of the World”? Find out as Carlo eats his way across this Prairie oasis indulging in Greek pizza, breakfast pizza, thin crust, thick crust and the monster all-dressed from Houston Pizza.
Episode # 27 – Montreal Greek
Most Canadians think salad & souvlaki when they think Greek food. Uh uh, no way. We uncover true Greek noshing in Montreal’s Parc Ex district. Our day begins at the crack of dawn in a Greek fish market unloading fresh catches just flown in from the Mediterranean. Then we go to a Greek baker for a primer on Greek bread. Next, we’re at a Greek rotisserie for an entire lamb cooked on the spit, and finally to Milo’s, a Montreal dining tradition for 30 years for a Greek seafood feast.
Episode # 28 – L’eau à la Bouche
The overlooked condiment. To the Laurentians we journey to L’Eau à La Bouche (French for “mouth watering”), a lovely little Inn & restaurant in the town of St. Adèle. The special menu they have conjured up for us is all honey. We’ve found a supplier who makes 5 different honeys including a knock-your-socks-off wild mint honey. They also distill mead, the ancient nectar made from honey and water. Later, we pop off to the local orchards for fruit for the sauces at dinner that night at the Inn.
Episode # 29 – Les Fougères
To the beautiful foothills of the Gatineau Park we travel to Les Fougères restaurant. There, a wonderful husband and wife team are redefining traditional Quebec cuisine with a modern twist including venison & goat’s cheese tourtiere, split pea soup with pear juice and smoked haddock. We also visit an artisan goat’s cheese maker and find out how two married people can work together side by side in the pressure cooker of a kitchen without killing each other.
Episode # 30 – Domus
In Ottawa we visit celebrated chef John Taylor and his wife at Domus Cafe for a primer on fresh herbs, their uses, tastes, prep, etc. We go to this fantastic herb farm in the small town of Almonte and to an incredible french baker who will supply us with croissants. Brunch will be a chilled herb soup, poached lobster & eggs in herb/wine sauce.
Episode # 31 – Danforth
Most Torontonians think of “Taste of the Danforth” as a Greek experience. We visit this food event to sample Cuban, Indian, Celtic, Japanese, Chinese and Greek to find out which country has the best cuisine in all the world.
Episode # 32 – Niagara
We’re off to sunny Niagara in Southern Ontario for a series of vineyard al fresco dining experiences featuring the perfect wine sauce (which we show you how to make). Carlo goes on a bike tour of the region and learns about the importance of ‘Le Gout Du Terroire’ and the culinary circle of life.
Episode # 33 – Marj’s Kitchen
Carlo’s van breaks down on the way to a hoitey-toitey dinner and he spends the day working at Marj’s Country Diner in Alma Ontario (population 450). This is more than just a restaurant, it is part of the soul of the community. Carlo waits tables, works the grill, makes meatloaf and pies from scratch and learns the values of down-home cooking.
Episode # 34 – Pig Roast
The Swinefellows, internationally renowned pig bar-b-quers, come to an Ontario farm for an all out porkfest. Carlo indulges the secrets of the ultimate bar-b-que sauce as a whole pig is tenderly roasted through the night culminating in the ultimate bar-b-que pig-out.
Episode # 35 – Guerilla Cooks
Carlo and a famous telegenic chef, Ned Bell, ambush someone coming out of a grocery store. The person is chosen completely by random, the concept being that you don’t need a lot of expensive fancy-shmancy ingredients to make a great gourmet dinner. Carlo charms the person into letting us go back to their place and cook dinner for their family/friends with whatever is in their bags and at home. Will someone acquiesce? What will we find when we get there? Will Ned be able to cook dinner?
Episode # 36 – Treuburg & The Egg
When most people think Cape Breton & Nova Scotia they think “Scottish”. But in the small town of Port Hood, Cape Breton a wonderful German couple have bought an Inn and are now living their dream on these picturesque shores. Join Carlo on his wishful day as a chef-innkeeper and discover the secrets of authentic spetzle, stroganoff and strudel.
Episode # 37 – P.E.I Shellfish
To Summerside we go for an all Maritime mollusk feast at “Seasons In Thyme” restaurant. But first Carlo must earn his dinner by harvesting the sweetest most delicious oysters in the world. Then to the famous PEI mussel beds we go for a workout of the bi-valve kind. Dinner features oysters done numerous ways, mussel soup and salad.
Episode # 38 – Glenora Whisky
A little bit o bonnie Scotland is alive and well in Cape Breton as Carlo pays a visit to the only single malt whisky distillery in North America. Cape Breton approximates Scotland in more than just its looks. The spring water is the secret to this fine drink (although we’re not allowed to call it Scotch). The delicious Glenora 8 year old single malt cask is opened and tasted for the first time on our show. We then enjoy a traditional meal featuring Haggis and whisky sauce and a few surprises.
Episode # 39 – New Brunswick Scallops
Some of the biggest, juiciest scallops in the world are found off the coast of New Brunswick. Big fat pink scallops that sit up proud and succulent on a plate. Carlo joins local divers in a supa-dupa-scuba adventure as they harvest the sea floor for these taste treasures from the deep. Then it’s back to an old sea captains Inn for a scallop feast as never seen before.
Episode # 40 – A Newfoundland Adventure
Carlo journeys to fabled Newfoundland in search of local indigenous delicacies, searching out seal flipper pie, rare wild berries and Atlantic cod. Later, he is treated to a royal feast at the venerable Hotel Newfoundland.
Episode # 41 – The Pitchfork Fondue
Join us in sampling Prairie cowboy hospitality at an old-fashioned barn dance in Saskatchewan. Meet Merv the Pitchfork Fondue King for a bar-b-cue like you’ve never seen before!
Episode # 42 – The Gimli Vikings
To Gimli Manitoba we travel where we explore the heritage of Icelandic cuisine as handed down from generation to generation of settlers on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.
Episode # 43 – Alberta Beef
Canada is world renowned for the quality of its beef. We’re off to working cattle lands in the foothills of Alberta where Carlo rides the range, herds cattle, and partakes in campfire cookout and a bunkhouse roast beef feast!
Episode # 44 – The Girls Who Dish
In Vancouver British Columbia Carlo meets up with 7 dynamic female chefs who are breaking all the rules in the male dominated world of professional cuisine.
Episode # 45 – Sea Goo
What treasures lie beneath the salty waters of the great Pacific Ocean? Carlo and Chef Daryl Nagata search out such underwater delicacies as giant sea clams and sea asparagus in preparing a mouth-watering feast for friends on the shore of Vancouver harbour.
Episode # 46 – Ice Fishing
On the frozen shores of Lake Nippissing in Ontario, Carlo learns the patient skills of ice fishing at an old fashioned fishing lodge. This episode features a Bombardier half-track, fishing huts and pan fried lake trout.
Episode # 47 – Royal Room Service
While Carlo dines on fois gras, lobster and veal in his palatial penthouse suite, we go behind the scenes to find out how room service works in a world famous 5 star hotel.
Episode # 48 – The Ice Wine Harvest
To the snow covered wine region of Niagara Peninsula in Southern Ontario we journey to partake in the annual moonlight Ice Wine Harvest, followed by a sumptuous dinner at the famous Prince Of Wales Hotel in Niagara-On-The-Lake.
Episode # 49 – Calgary
In Calgary Alberta Carlo learns the secrets of chocolate from Bernard Callebault and then is treated to a multi-course dining extravaganza as prepared by acclaimed chef Michael Allemeier at Teatro’s.
Episode # 50 – Emerald Lake
Carlo and his love retreat to secluded Emerald Lake Lodge in the heart of the Rocky Mountains for a snow covered culinary rendez-vous of a romantic sort.
Episode # 51 – Orchestra
In Toronto Ontario, Carlo discovers the similarities in passion, discipline and commitment of a master Chef and a renowned Orchestra Conductor.
Episode # 52 – Maple Syrup
Carlo’s adventures take him to Quebec for a feast of duck and maple syrup like you’ve never seen before.
Episode # 53 – Food You Eat Standing Up
The end of summer fair & exhibition is a long-standing Canadian tradition. We spend the day with Carlo as he goes to work on the Midway as a line cook. From serving breakfast to the Carnies at dawn to cotton candy and pogo sticks under the bright lights of the nighttime rides, we’re there every step of the way.
Episode # 54 – Atlantic Tuna
Atlantic blue fin tuna has long been recognized as the best in the world. We journey out onto the ocean with 3 generations of maritime fishermen in search of the giant blue fin and then back to The Inn at St. Peter’s for a tuna feast
Episode # 55 – Casino Royale
Shot in a James Bond-esque style, Carlo samples the culinary delights of greater Halifax through the Halifax Casino’s award winning restaurant, Bacchus. Our trip includes old fashioned smoked salmon and a caviar tasting.
Episode # 56 – Annapolis Apple Queen
Carlo meets up with the newly crowned Apple Queen who spends the day showing Carlo all things Apple. We harvest, do a taste comparison between different apple types and finally to table for an all apple feast.
Episode # 57 – Tomatoes
We’re off to Leamington Ontario, tomato capital of Canada for a primer on all things Pomo D’Oro. Our trip features Carlo working the fields at height of harvest, a varietal tasting, the perfect tomato sauce and ketchup.
Episode # 58 – The Hunting Lodge
Lending a helping hand, Carlo finds himself whisked away by float plane to an exclusive 5 star hunt camp north of Churchill Manitoba where we sample such delicacies as goose & caribou and witness the sighting of an uninvited guest…the hungry polar bear.
Episode # 59 – The Tailgate Party
It’s Thanksgiving in Calgary & that can only mean one thing – the fall classic battle between the Stampeders & the Eskimos. Carlo is joined by a couple of cowgirls for the biggest honkiest tailgate party cum barbeque of the year.
Episode # 60 – Slow Food
We’re off to Vancouver Island to witness the first ever attempt at making North American water buffalo mozzarella made in the traditional Italian method.
Episode # 61 – The Cordon Bleu
Carlo enrols as a first year apprentice at the world famous Ecole Cordon Bleu where he is put through his paces in earning Le Grand Diplome. Does he have what it takes to pass the rigorous requirements of the renowned school, owned by André Cointreau (of the Cointreau liqueur family)?
Episode # 62 – Montreal
Eating has long been part of the Montreal experience. We join the regulars at some of Montreal’s long-standing restaurants, which have become legendary in their own right, and see for ourselves what it takes to run a successful eating establishment that will last throughout the years.
Episode # 63 – Pheasant
Carlo sets out, on an investigative search, to find out more about the elusive pheasant, tracking them to a pheasant farm and through the wild. Once found, he has the Chef at the historical, Hogan’s Inn prepare both the farm raised and wild pheasant for a tasty, game dinner.
Episode # 64 – Après Ski
From the frosty slopes of Whistler, British Columbia, Carlo tastes all manner of the good life as a skiing accident puts him into a cast, forcing him to spend his nights indulging in all culinary treats of Après Ski.
Episode # 65 – Wakefield
Fab food and ribald romance are on the menu in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec as Carlo samples the local fare in the funky little town of Wakefield. Featuring an elegant steam train brunch, a gourmet picnic and intimate bistro dinner for two.