Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless
When Rick sets out to explore the distinct flavors that animate and define Mexican cuisine, the journey takes him anywhere from the famous chorizo stalls in Toluca to the cliffs of Acapulco to the bustling markets in Mexico City.
Oaxaca's Most Magical Holiday (#901H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Rick takes us on a remarkable journey through Oaxaca City during the revered D?a de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. We discover that in Mexico, death is embraced as part of the circle of life. During the holiday, people welcome home the spirits of their ancestors who come to commune with their families and friends. Like all visitors, the ancestors are welcomed with food, drink, music and memories. The spirit's presence is a blessing and brings joy to loved ones.
In preparation for the celebration, the last days of October are spent preparing aromatic loaves of pan de muerto (sweet bread), making mole, harvesting special flowers, including marigolds (cempas?chil) and creating commemorative altars in homes. Grave sites are decorated with elaborate sand paintings. The bustling Central de Abastos market in Oaxaca is overflowing with flowers and bread. At the home of Rick's friends, we learn to make Andres' family's black mole, tostadas topped with avocado leaf-infused black beans, a classic, smoky Oaxacan salsa and a simple guacamole. From the Panteon General to Xoxocotlan's Municipal Cemetery, Rick gives us an insider's look at the annual fiesta that richly blends Catholic and indigenous traditions with celebratory food.
- KQED Life: Tue, Dec 30, 2014 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Mediterranean Baja (#801H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The Baja California peninsula boasts a climate reminiscent of those on the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of olive trees and vineyards in Northern Baja capture the distinctiveness of this region of Mexico. We explore the amazing grilled octopus at Tres Virgenes in La Paz and enjoy mesquite-grilled lamb with 9-chile mole sauce. Rick makes tacos of kale and spinach with a green garlic mojo from the gardens of the renowned spa Rancho La Puerta. In Tijuana, Chef Miguel Angel Guerrero Yagues shows off his terrific wood-fired grill to Rick before he cooks lamb three ways. Chef Jair Tellez makes a geoduck ceviche at his dreamy Laja restaurant in the Valle de Guadalupe. At home, Rick grills lamb with fennel and a red chile salsa. Astonishing Baja, indeed.
Tijuana Round Table (#808H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
There's a long heritage of good food in Tijuana: It has an amazing taco culture and is the birthplace of the Caesar salad. Today, Tijuana boasts one of the top culinary schools in the country and some of the best chefs in Mexico. Rick and three fellow food lovers dine at the ultra-modern Mision 19 located in Mexico's newest Leed Gold Certified building. Chef Javier Plascencia wows them with his creative twists on classic Mexican dishes such as braised beef short ribs wrapped in fresh fig leaves and served with black mole and kabocha foam. For starters, Chef Javier layers local tuna with nopales, chicharron and avocado meringue. Between bites, Rick and his guests discuss their own relationships with food, the expanding culinary scene in Tijuana and the future of Mexican food.
- KQED 9: Sat, Jan 3, 2015 -- 9:30am email reminder
Oaxaca's Live-Fire Cooking (#902H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Everything tastes better cooked over a wood or charcoal fire - at least that's the Oaxacan credo. From soup to barbacoa, burning embers influence the flavor of Oaxaca's food in just the right ways. For starters, Rick guides us through the "taco corridor" at the 20 de Noviembre market just off the main square in Oaxaca. We can almost taste the richly-burnished chiles and onions as they grill alongside super-thinly sliced beef and pork and robust chorizo sausages. Then we see hot rocks plucked from the glowing embers and dropped into hot soup for making caldo de piedra (stone soup), a specialty from the village of San Felipe Usila.
La Capilla, a campestre (open air) restaurant, in the town of Zaachilla, has served lamb and goat barbacoa for more than 47 years. Rick's so enamored with the process of burying the chile-seasoned meat in glowing embers that he creates his own version on the backyard grill. Served with Oaxacan pasilla tomatillo salsa, there's meat, fire and smoke in every bite.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 6, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Tijuana Taco Crawl (#802H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
People are passionate about their tacos in Tijuana. Ask any local and they'll tell you their favorite - complete with mouthwatering details. Three local Tijuana foodies take Rick on a taco "crawl" starting with arrachera (skirt steak) tacos at El Yaqui. Piled high with beans, creamy avocado salsa and Mexican "candy" (roasted jalapenos). The feast moves on to include suadero tacos at Los Ahumadores, sauteed and fried shrimp tacos at Mariscos El Mazateno, steamed tacos on Tijuana's tourist strip and ends with smoked salmon tacos at Salceados. At home, Rick creates a taco feast for a casual backyard cookout.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jan 8, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Off The Beaten Path In Huatulco (#903H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The majority of the people who travel to Mexico go for the beaches. Little wonder when the beaches are as pristine as Huatulco's Playa Chahue - complete with the Playa Limpia certification for cleanliness. Still, a man's gotta eat. Not content with a diet of all-inclusive resort dining, Chef Rick Bayless takes us off the beaten path to find great food and even better beaches. You'll be well-advised to follow his lead and start the day at one the local's favorite restaurants, Sabor de Oaxaca, in La Crucecita. There, Rick enjoys Salsa de Huevo (omelets in salsa) before a quick trip to Puerto Escondido for an amazing lunch of wood-fired grilled fish on the Playa Principal. Rick paddle-boards on Playa Carrizalillo, another stunning beach in Puerto Escondido, to work up his appetite for Encamaronadas (crispy, cheesy shrimp tacos). Back in Huatulco Rick enjoys an uber-fresh seafood cocktail at Grillo Marinero before stopping for a nightcap at the Quinta Real Hotel to take in the beauty of it all.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 13, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
A Seafood Dream (#1001H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Ever seen a kid in a candy store? Their excitement pales next to a chef in a market. An early morning trek to the Central de Abastos, one of the world's largest markets, with Rick Bayless and Chef Eduardo "Lalo" Garcia, proves exhilarating. Neither chef can talk fast enough about all the dishes they want to make from the mind-boggling stacks of nopales, the fragrant herbs, the crisp greens, the juicy pitayas and mangos. Chef Lalo's path to his wildly popular Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City includes migrant work on produce farms and stints in fine-dining establishments in Atlanta and New York City. Today, his suckling pig carnitas have a massive following. Lucky for us, he and Rick cook the dish in his restaurant kitchen. Rick and Chef Enrique Olvera, owner of Pujol and arguably Mexico's top chef, talk about the evolution of Mexican food and the challenge to change people's perception of the cuisine. At home, Rick coaxes amazing flavors from humble tomatillos, pork and potatoes.
Artisan Mescal (#904H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Mescal is having a real renaissance, both in Mexico and in fine cocktail emporiums all over the United States. Rick takes us on a journey to see how a small Oaxacan distiller hand-crafts this fine spirit renowned for its rich, smoky complexity and brightness. As with any great artisan product, there's always a great story. With Rick around, there's always great food, from hand-pressed memelas topped with a bright avocado salsa to vinegar-infused snacks. We learn to sip mescal with fresh oranges and sal de gusano - chile-spiked salt. At home, Rick guides us through a mescal tasting and a host of snacks for a do-it-yourself mescal cocktail party.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 20, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
A Chef's Path (#1002H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Restaurateur Gabriella Camara, owner of Contramar, just might be the most energetic woman in Mexico City. Raised by a family that loves food and fine service, she dreamed a dream of fresh fish served simply and respectfully. At 23, she opened her first restaurant, Contramar. Sixteen years later, Contramar remains at the top of everyone's list for phenomenal seafood and superior service. Her vision has expanded to include Baja's top Chef Jair Tellez. Their restaurant, Mero Toro, in the vibrant Condesa neighborhood, features a big city vibe and the passion of two people that truly love pristine seafood. Chef Jair shows Rick his simple, yet stunning, robalo with porcini and green garlic. At home, Rick makes Contramar's famous tuna tostadas and a green adobo grilled fish.
Oaxaca, The Land of Seven Moles (#905H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
So many moles, so little time. That's how most visitors to Oaxaca feel when perusing the choices from mole pastes in the markets to fine examples served up at restaurants and street vendors all over the state. Let's start with two moles, advises Rick, who takes us to Seasons of My Heart Cooking School on the outskirts of Oaxaca City to explore Black Mole and Green Mole with school owner Susana Trilling and her students. We perfectly char the chilies, set the seeds aflame and roast the tomatoes for Susana's black mole sweetened with roasted plantain and a little Oaxacan chocolate. On the simpler side, there's green mole - redolent with fresh herbs, roasted tomatillos and jalape o. At home, Rick makes his Coloradito Mole before we indulge in yellow mole and grilled fish at Topolobampo.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 27, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Island Time (#1003H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
"Eat your veggies" - it's a line children from Mexico to Morocco hear from their parents. In this episode, we meet a pair of chefs who took that advice seriously. As Rick discovers, chefs Israel Montero and Alfredo Chaves of Kaah Siis Restaurant aren't just eating their vegetables, nor just cooking them - they're growing them at Xochimilco, Mexico City's ancient floating gardens. The chefs give Rick a tour of the chinampas, small man-made islands amongst the canals, where some of the city's chefs are growing organic and specialty produce. They talk about sustainability, the future of organic, and, of course, kale. Back in Chicago, Rick takes us to the closest thing he has to Xochimilco: Green City Market, where he visits his favorite vendors and takes their wares home for a taco party.
Cooking on the Sea of Cortez (#803H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Rick is always up for a cooking challenge. After a day spent boating and kayaking on the Sea of Cortez with a local ecotourism group, Rick grills dinner for the group on the beach at Espiritu Santo Island - one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world. The waters surrounding the island support coral reefs, colonies of sea lions and more than 500 species of fish. To stock up on supplies, Rick shops in the La Paz market for local cheese, fresh produce and chiles and on the island purchases seafood from a fisherman. Along the way, Rick learns from his guides about flying manta rays, dolphins and the local flora. Then he grills fish and makes a stunning papaya salsa on the beach.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Jan 31, 2015 -- 4:00pm email reminder
Delicious Eco-Tourism (#906H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Ever on a quest to learn more about the food he grows and cooks, Rick even vacations with an agenda. This time he's taking us to the mountains to Finca Las Nieves, with its artisanal coffee production and organic gardens. Together we learn about sustainable gardening along with how-to's for amazing vegetarian tamales and sopa de chepil in the kitchens at the Finca. Then it is off on a hike seeking orchids and bromeliads before a lunch of trout at the restaurant of a trout farm. Rick makes his version of the trout with chorizo at home. Rancho Pitaya also proves fertile ground for Rick's eco-tour vacation with horseback riding to a cactus grove overlooking the valley of Oaxaca before a picnic lunch of grilled tasajo beef, a salad of fresh cactus paddles and red chile potatoes.
- KQED Life: Tue, Feb 3, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Under The Influence (Of Tacos) (#1004H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
If there's a face of Mexico City's restaurant scene, it might be Jorge Vallejo's. (Of course, it may also be Enrique Olvera's, or Gabrielle Camara's ... who's counting?). Vallejo's cooking, found at his intimate restaurant Quintonil, has long been an inspiration for Rick and Deann. But what inspires Jorge? What propels him to put together dishes such as his stunning mole with beef tongue? In one word: Tacos. So in this episode, Rick follows Jorge on a taco tour, from the simple vegetable preparations at Tacos Gus to the super-rich and satisfying suadero-style tacos at Taqueria Los Cocuyos. Back in Chicago, Rick makes his own amazing tacos at home, complete with homemade tortillas.
- KQED Life: Thu, Feb 5, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Presenting: World-Class Wines of Baja (#804H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Baja California Norte produces many world-class, gold medal-winning wines. That fact may surprise most people in the United States. Rick takes us on a tour of the region along with renowned winemaker and visionary Hugo d'Acosta, founder of La Escuelita, a nonprofit winemaking school that opened in 2004. Hugo introduces Rick to his Casa de Piedra wines before taking Rick on a tour of the school where locals and chefs come to make their own wines. At Tres Mujeres, a charming winery run by three women, Rick tastes each of their wines with their favorite dishes. Their cooking inspires Rick to make stuffed chiles with red wine at home. At L.A. Cetto, winemaker Camillo Magoni tells Rick about his 47-year career with one of the oldest wineries in Mexico. Rick cooks with Ludwig Hussong of San Rafael Winery in the Valle de Ojos Negros and they toast the wines of Mexico.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Feb 7, 2015 -- 4:00pm email reminder
The Kernel of Deliciousness (#907H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The variety of corns available in Oaxaca boggles the mind and the taste buds. Rick introduces us to Amado Ramirez Leyva who believes that corn, domesticated some 9,000 years ago in Mexico, is the basis of Mexican culture. From championing the protection of ancient varieties, to cooking and grinding it into masa for tortillas, Amado just might be the corn guru of Oaxaca. All manner of enticing snacks served at Itanoni, his Oaxaca restaurant, including memelas, tetelas, tostadas, and tacos, use carefully selected types of maiz criollo (native corn). Abigail Mendoza, a superb village cook from Teotitlan del Valle, transforms her handmade fresh blue and white masa into simple, yet amazing village-style tamales cooked in a traditional olla over a wood fire. Rick riffs on her yellow mole to make his own fresh empanadas on his kitchen griddle. With the skyline of Oaxaca as the back drop, chef and restaurateur Pilar Cabrera shows Rick her beautiful squash blossom tamales. Together they make sweet pumpkin tamales laced with Oaxacan chocolate that prove transcendent.
- KQED Life: Tue, Feb 10, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Mexico: It's (A) Wine Country (#1005H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Rick's got nothing against cerveza and margaritas, but in this episode he explores another side of Mexican drinking: Wine. Mexican wine. And no, that's not a misnomer. In fact, the burgeoning craft of Mexican wine is growing, often in unusual places. Marvin Nahmias and partners have transformed a high-rise rooftop in Mexico City into a small vineyard and winemaking facility; after they give Rick a tour, they give him the keys to the kitchen. The winery's brick ovens and grills speak to Rick's inner pit master, so at the San Juan Market, Rick selects cabrito to cook over hardwood, tender chayote to roast in the wood oven for tacos and eggplant to char into a salsa. Salud!
- KQED Life: Thu, Feb 12, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Mercado Madness (#908H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
"You are what you eat." Brillat Savarin's statement fuels Rick's tour of the 21 de Noviembre market in downtown Oaxaca. We uncover the incredibly rich culture of the market and its role in the daily lives and meals of the locals. Mounds of tomatoes, chiles and cilantro inspire salsa. Fresh chickens inspire Rick to spit-roast chickens in his backyard grill. Baskets of black beans motivate a platter of enfrijoladas topped with chorizo. The amazing market day ends with a stop at Chaguita, a 200 year-old frozen ice and ice cream stand and a favorite of Rick's for more than three decades. At home, Rick inspires us with his simple coconut ice and a deep-pink jamaica syrup.
- KQED Life: Tue, Feb 17, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Artisanal Bread In Tortilla Land (#1006H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
In the land of the tortilla, bread can often get overlooked. But if Chef Elena Reygadas has anything to say about it, bread will soon rise as an important player in Mexican cuisine. She certainly has the right tools to effect change: At her bakery, Rosetta Panaderia, she crafts transcendent versions of Mexico's classic pan de pulque (pulque bread) and sugary-topped conchas. Rick swoons over these treats and engages Reygadas in a conversation about their shared philosophies of cooking and building community. We get a sneak peak at Elena's process for conchas before Rick teaches us his foolproof method at home. Then, it's sandwich time: Rick visits Eno, Chef Enrique Olvera's casual spot that serves tuna and chicken milanesa tortas in homemade bollilo rolls. Then we head back to Chicago, where Rick makes a torta at his casual spot, Xoco.
- KQED Life: Thu, Feb 19, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Oaxacan Cheese Primer (#909H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
In Mexico, cheese is all about fresh cheese. So fresh, in fact, that Rick planned his cheese making with two local women in the village of Rojas around the milking of the alfalfa-fed cows. We see that uber-fresh milk turned into the sweet, tender curds known as queso fresco and the tangy, salty quesillo (string cheese) so ubiquitous to many Oaxacan specialties. In his Chicago home kitchen, Rick encourages viewers to try their own hand at fresh cheese. As a reward, he creates a simple dinner featuring the just-made cheeses as well as salsas from his grill with salad from the garden.
- KQED Life: Tue, Feb 24, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder
Shaking Up The Margarita (#1007H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The Mercado Lazaro Cardenas is pretty standard as far as markets in Mexico City go. But turn one corner and suddenly you're in a different world: The world of coffee geeks, of which Rick is a proud citizen. The Passmar Cafe Finos stall brews espresso with natillas and cappuccino with blue curacao using unique brewing methods and award-winning baristas, and Rick geeks out in the best possible (caffeinated) way. Fully charged on caffeine, Rick's ready for a cocktail. So he pays a visit to mixologist Joseph Mortera, who takes Rick through a couple of his delicious creations including a mescal cocktail made with fresh hoja santa leaves and absinthe. Next up: Ricardo Nava, a bartender at Polanco's sleek bar Limantour, who shakes up his margarita by using mescal, pineapple juice and hot chile. Lucky for us, Rick makes cocktails with herbs from his garden plus some very tasty snacks in his home kitchen.
- KQED Life: Thu, Feb 26, 2015 -- 3:30pm email reminder