SEASONS 7 – 10
(for earlier seasons 1 – 6 please contact us for details) Produced on five continents, CULINARY TRAVELS takes viewers on a scrumptious joyride. Seeking out the delicious and indigenous, CULINARY TRAVELS highlights food, wine, and spirits by transporting viewers directly to the source. Here, you’ll meet the personalities, experience the destinations, and learn of the products that make culinary travels so enticing. Host, Dave Eckert, says "While I thoroughly enjoy all the experiences, I remember the stories are about the people who live and work in those destinations, not mine….I’ve traveled up the side of a volcano to pick strawberries, and sample mussels fresh from the waters of New Zealand. I’ve watched cheese makers continue a thousand year tradition in an alpine dairy over an open fire in Gruyere, Switzerland, and toured and tasted in a Belgium brewery dating back hundreds of years,” says Eckert. “And, the best part is viewers get to come along for the ride.”
If you love food, wine, spirits, travel, culture, and adventure, and how could you not, this is the place for you!
SEASON TEN #1001-Las Vegas-On and Off the Strip
We all know what a great dining city Las Vegas has become, but how about the local places outside the casinos? This show takes you on, and off, “the strip,” from the Vintners Inn and Agave restaurants in Summerlin, to Marssa at the Loew’s Lake Las Vegas, Then back on “the strip” for visits to the unforgettable Joel Robichon in the MGM Grand to Simon’s at Palm Place. Don’t miss this guide to some of Vegas’ best eateries.
#1002-Chilean Wine-Starting from the South (Balduzzi, San Pedro, Casa Silva)
I love Chilean wine, and the great thing for me is that it keeps getting better every time I return. This trip brings me, for the first time, to the Maule Valley where I discover the family offerings of Balduzzi. Then, it’s into the Curico Valley and San Pedro, and finally, the magnificent Colchagua Valley for the horses and wines of Casa Silva. Three very different stories and settings, but three terrific wineries!
It’s my hometown, so I’m not going to even try to be objective. Chicago is one of the truly great food cities of the world. Here, I’ll return to my old stomping grounds for something old-Café Ba Ba Reeba and Bin 36, something new-Graham Elliot Restaurant and, The Witt Hotel, and something out of this world-Chicago’s own gourmet festival.
It’s Chicago Gourmet, and trust me, it will leave your mouth watering.
#1004-Chile-Colchagua & Cachapoal (Montes, Estampa, Vina LaRosa)
Back in Chile, my travels continue in Colchagua with visits to the always impressive Montes winery, which continues to improve and impress, and Estampa, an up and comer with an emphasis on blending. In the neighboring Cachapoal Valley, I’ll tap into the history of Vina Larosa, which has been growing grapes in Cachapaol for more than a century.
Glenfiddich was celebrating a special release during my visit, a 50-year old single malt-only the second in the distillery’s history. But, that’s just a small part of the spirit experience at Glenfiddich, which I will explore in detail. Next door, it’s the beautiful single malt expressions of sister distillery Balvenie. Operating its own cooperage and malt floor, Balvenie does things the way they used to be, and that means some great single malt whiskeys! Scotland, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Culinary Travels-not that’s a great combination.
I’ve only been to Japan once, and then, only Tokyo, and only for a few days. This trip was different. I got out of the city and into the Ehime prefecture, the least populated of this densely populated country. In Ehime, the emphasis was on seafood-in particular, farm-raised yellowtail. I’ll head to the market, the yellowtail farm, and the processing plant. Along the way, we’ll get some advice on how to prepare and best appreciate yellowtail from both sides of the Pacific. It promises to be delicious.
#1007-Scotland-A Connoisseur’s Guide
With undeniable beauty, award-winning single malt whiskeys, and much underrated cuisine, who wouldn’t want to come to Scotland? Add in magnificent accommodations, and you’ve got it all, and that’s exactly what I’ve got for you. I’ll profile two members of a group of properties called Connoisseurs Scotland-the Cameron House and Prestonfield. Cameron House sits on the banks of Loch Lomond outside Glasgow, while Prestonfield is just minutes from the heart of Edinburgh. You’ll find golf, 270-single malt selections, and a host of dining options at Cameron House, while at Prestonfield, they’re waiting to personalize your experience in some of the most unique and memorable décor you will find anywhere.
I didn’t know much about sake before this trip, but I can’t say that anymore. Although only using three ingredients: water, rice, and yeast, sake is extremely complex. Come along on this show as I introduce you to some of the people responsible for crafting this time honored beverage. You’ll meet a rice farmer, a sake brewmaster, and two owners of sake companies. All will share their passion for sake, which will put to the test with a variety of cuisine.
#1009-Puerto Vallarta-Mexican Gourmet
No doubt, Puerto Vallarta is one of my favorite Mexican cities. Situated at the heart of Bandaras Bay, Puerto Vallarta has the allure and charm of an old Mexican puebla and the amenities of a modern Mexican resort. Oh, and did I mention the cuisine? It’s excellent. I’ll highlight that cuisine during Vallarta’s annual gourmet festival in visits to several restaurants and two resorts. After, don’t be surprised if you hanker for Puerto Vallarta too.
#1010-Chile-In the Heart of the Maipo Valley (Santa Ema, Undurraga, Haras de Pirque)
Maipo Valley is the heart of the Chilean wine industry. It’s where things got started, and these days, several centuries later, it’s still going strong. On this show, I’ll introduce you to three outstanding Maipo wineries: Santa Ema, Undurraga, and Haras de Pirque. Here, you’ll find history, innovation, and, of course, outstanding wine!
#1011-Ontario: Love the Winter!
Ontario, Canada experiences four seasons and loves them all, Winter included
Festivals across the province celebrate the plus side of snow and ice, exotic ice wine for example, and a large part of those celebrations involve food. Many Ontario resorts provide a winter wonderland getaway, whether you want to read in front of a fieldstone fireplace or go for a spin with some sled dogs. Surprisingly, these winter resorts are also locivor hotbeds and great destinations for regional cuisine, proving that local food movements don’t stop when the growing season does.
Three full-season, year-round, Ontario resorts also stand out as culinary destinations: Elmhirst Resort, near Rice Lake northeast of Toronto; the remarkable Domain of Killien in the Haliburton Highlands; and Muskoka’s famous Deerhurst Lodge. You’ll get heaping helpings on all three on this show!
#1012-Chile-Organically Speaking (Concha y Toro, Emiliana, Residencias Historicas)
Concha y Toro is the largest Chilean winery, and the most well-known. But, on this show, I’ll tell you a story not many folks have heard, the story of the devil’s cellar-Casillero del Diablo. Beyond the story, there are the wines, some of the best values from Chile or anywhere. Then, it’s onto the Colchagua Valley and the biodynamic offerings of Emiliana. Hear, and see, the biodynamic story, and learn why Emiliana believes this is the only way grapes should be grown and wines made!
#1013-Napa Valley-Great Meals, Great Stays
Not much, in my opinion, beats a visit to The Napa Valley. This trip focuses on some terrific accommodations at the incomparable Auberge du Soleil, the lovely Solange Calistoga, and the unforgettable Carneros Inn. I’ll focus on the cuisine at each, and let you choose the experience you’d like. Wining and dining in Napa Valley, what’s better than that?
SEASON NINE #901 Magical Mendoza
Witness the magic of three incredible Mendoza wineries, and learn what makes this part of the world so special when it comes to grape growing and winemaking. With Terrazas de los Andes, Kaiken, and Trivento, you’ll find some of the best wines this region produces. Throw in a little tango in the wine cellar and a traditional Argentine barbecue, and you’ve got yourself the Mendoza experience.
#902 Crystal Clear
The tag line is “where imaginations run free,” but I didn’t imagine the great food, scenery, and people along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. I experienced it all first-hand.
From the bounty of the Atlantic, to the people who make a living on the water, to the restaurants that put it all on the table, this is one destination, and one show, you won’t want to miss!
#903 Discovering Mendoza
Come into the foothills of the Andres for a journey into one of the hottest winemaking regions the world over. We’ll venture into the vineyards, the cellars, and the culture that makes Mendoza, Argentina one of my favorite places on earth! Winery visits include Psacal Toso, which will serve up a sumptuous feast, Bedegas Norton, where a foreign vision has deep roots, and Catena, where the search for quality has led them to new regions and heights.
#904 Baltimore-Old and New
It’s Baltimore like you’ve never imagined-diverse, delicious, and amazing accessible. From a one-of-a-kind shrimp farm outside the city, to one of the main restaurants that features its incredible products, to a local micro-brewery turning out some sumptuous suds, and much more, this culinary trip will leave you licking your lips and making your travels plans.
#905 Wine Finds in Mendoza
Mendoza, Argentina is the setting for this program, which will cover two very different wineries with two very different stories. Both are family operations. One, Familia Zuccardi, has been around for generations. Another, O.Fournier, is a new venture launched by a Spaniard looking for make the best wines in his native Spain, in Chile, and in Mendoza. There are gourmet restaurants, world-class artwork, and, of course, many beautiful wines to be sipped and savored.
Quebec City celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008, and Culinary Travels with Dave Eckert was there to soak it all in and bring it back to you. Culinary delights abound in the upper and lower parts of the city with outstanding restaurants, great local and regional products, and a bevy of talented chefs. Count on Culinary Travels to whet your appetite for all things Quebec!
#907 Wining your way through Napa and Sonoma
There are no destinations I enjoy more anywhere in the world than Napa and Sonoma.
This year, I’ll hit both sides of the Mayacaymus Mountains with winery stops at Peju and Judd’s Hill on the Napa side, and Ledson and others on the Sonoma side. Learn the history, meet the personalities, and of course, sample the product-you won’t be disappointed!
#908 Montreal-Diverse and Delicious
I always knew Montreal had great food, but I didn’t know how good till I finally got there this summer. Wow! Upscale eateries, bagel legends, poutine palaces, and one of the best markets in North America makes Montreal one of the most interesting and delicious destinations in Canada, North America, or anywhere in the world!
#909 High on Jasper
Nestled in the heart of the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper, Alberta has been voted a top world destination. I can see why. Jasper features stunning scenery, pristine wilderness, and some wonderfully creative chefs who make every meal a dining experience! From Christmas in October at the Fairmont Jaspar Park Lodge, to the Jaspar Brewing Company, to the largest wine selection west of Edmonton, Jaspar is a city full of surprises and delights.
#910-The Best of Banff
It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, high up in the Canadian Rockies, but did you know Banff is also home to some mouthwatering cuisine? Of course, it helped that I visited during the Festival of Food and Wine hosted by the amazing Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. But, even beyond the festival and the hotel, Banff is a collection of some amazing eateries. Don’t worry, I’ll do the dining homework for you!
#911 Ontario-Going Green
The setting is the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in the great city of Toronto, and our theme is local, sustainable, and delicious. From the best cheese, meat, apples, and vegetables you will find to the restaurants that put the products on their diner’s plates, this show will give you a whole new perspective on going green, touring green, and eating green. In fact, green never tasted so good!
#912 What Happens in Vegas
They like to say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but not on this trip. Nope. I’m putting it on all high definition videotape and bringing it back to you. On this show, I’ll go behind the scenes at The Venetian and The Palazzo, two of the most renowned casinos / hotels / resorts on The Strip. Find out what it takes to operate 30-restaurants, room service, private functions, and more! After, visit some of the finest restaurants these establishments have to offer, and learn what makes them so good. Top it off with one very special wine bar and this is one trip to Vegas where you can’t possibly lose.
#913 Down on the Farm
Visit some great Kansas City restaurants, including authentic Italian, real Chicago deep dish pizza, and unbelievable barbecue. Then, head to Southern Missouri for a trip to the farm-the Newman Farm, a place where they do things the right way, for the animals and for the environment.
#914 Marvelous Miami #914 The Mile High City #915 Mazatlan-Secrets Revealed #916 Cabo-the Lap of Luxury #917 California Wine Country-Stay and Play
There’s always great food where there’s great wine, and you’ll definitely find that in Napa and Sonoma. On this show, visit the restaurants at three of the area’s top resorts: Auberge du Soleil, Solange du Soleil, and The Carneros Inn. The cuisine is exquisite and the resorts at top-notch. You might not ever want to leave.
#918-Staying and Playing-Great Resorts #919 It’s Vegas Baby!
We all know by now the incredible line-up of restaurants they feature in Las Vegas, but did you know the selection goes well beyond the casinos on The Strip? On this program, I’ll take you to The Strip and either side of town to visit some of the finest eateries Sin City has to offer. There’s classic American and Mexican in Summerlin, Asian fare at the Loew’s Lake Las Vegas Resort, and back in town, steaks and much more at Simon’s at The Palms, and Joel Rubichon and gourmet in-room dining at The MGM Grand. Unlike the Super Bowl, this show’s a lock!
#920 Chilean Wine-Beyond the Norm!
I’ve been to Chile about a half dozen times, so I like to think I know a little about the wine industry there. But, on this program, I discover two new regions and two new wineries. First, it’s Balduzzi Vineyards and Winery in the Maule Valley, about two and a half hours south of Santiago. Here, amidst an historic park and stunning scenery, Balduzzi produces world-class wines. North of the Maule Valley is the Curico Valley. That’s where we find the wines of Vina San Pedro. From its popular Gato Negro offerings to the standard bearers under the Cabo de Hornos label, San Pedro offers a true taste of Chile in every glass.
SEASON EIGHT #801-Northern Italy Gems-Speck Alto-Adige/Asiago
Come along to Northern Italy and explore two of the region’s most prized possessions: Speck Alto-Adige and Asiago. Speck Alto-Adige, a cured ham produced only in the Alto-Adige region of Italy, dates back thousands of years. From the family farmhouse to the modern factory, you’ll see how Speck Alto-Adige is made and consumed, and learn of its enduring role in the history and culture of the region. Not far away, in the pre-Alps, we’ll visit the home of another Italian classic-Asiago cheese. Learn how this cheese was created centuries ago, and how quality cheesemakers continue the tradition today.
#802-A Calgary Stampede
As delicious as it is attractive, Calgary, Alberta is one great dining destination. I’ll dive into Calgary’s restaurant scene, but first, I’ll stop on the farm-visiting an organic operation that supplies herbs, vegetables, and even edible flowers. I’ll profile several of Calgary’s top eateries, and we’ll head out on an “Urban Safari,” a whirlwind trip to four restaurants in just two hours. If you’re not full after this show, you’re not trying.
There’s little I enjoy more than a trip south of the border. And, what better destination in Mexico than Jalisco, the birthplace of tequila? Partida tequila is one of my favorites. Here, we’ll watch the agave harvest, witness the tequila making process, and of course, taste some of the best expressions around. Later, we’ll head over the mountains to Puerto Vallarta and a stay at the Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa. Learn what this boutique property has to offer with regards to location, accommodations, and, of course, great cuisine!
#804-Marching Through Mendocino-Fetzer and Parducci
Not nearly as famous as its wine-producing neighbors of Sonoma and Napa County, Mendocino County nonetheless has a long and proud winemaking tradition. And, in these days where greener is better, Mendocino is about as green as it gets. On this show, I’ll highlight three of the most prominent Mendocino producers: Fetzer, Bonterra, and Parducci. We’ll see how Fetzer and Bonterra continue to make better wine with each passing vintage, and we’ll learn how new money and a new vision is breathing new life in the venerable Parducci label. I’ve also got time for a visit to an organic market and for some fantastic food and wine pairings at a standout local restaurant.
#805-Great Stays-The Hotel Healdsburg, The Carneros Inn, The Azul Beach
Great cuisine and great accommodations don’t always run hand in hand, but they sure do on this show. You’d better be pretty good at both if you’re in the heart of wine country, which is where you’ll find the Hotel Healdsburg and the Carneros Inn. The Hotel Healdsburg is where celebrity chef Charlie Palmer has set up shop. We’ll visit with him as he crafts some memorable dishes. It’s no less serious cuisine at the Carneros Inn with three restaurants from which to chose. Then, head down to Mexico, just south of Cancun, for one of the most relaxing and tasty stays you will find at the Azul Beach Hotel and Resort.
Lodi and the Sierra Foothills might be a little off the beaten path, but who likes beaten paths anyway? In this episode, I’ll introduce you to four family run wineries and a host of terrific wines. In Lodi, it’s Borra, Berghold, and Mettler, and in the Sierra Foothills, it’s Ironstone. From the gold rush theme at Ironstone to the growers turned producers at Mettler, these are stories worth hearing and wines worth tasting!
#807-Jerez, Spain-Sherry Baby!
I’ve wanted to go to this part of Spain forever, and this year, I finally got my chance. In the very south of Spain, just a ferry ride from Africa, comes a product known the world over-Sherry! A fortified wine produced in a myriad of styles, Sherry, real Sherry, can only come from Jerez. We’ll explore the history and tradition of this remarkable beverage, visit the bodegas, both large and small, and sip and savor some of the finest sherries around.
#808-Martinique-The French Caribbean
They call Martinique “the land of rum,” and after spending some time here, I understand why. There are more than a dozen working rum distilleries on Martinique. I’ll visit the largest to witness the rum making process first-hand and sample the rum. I’ll also take you to the island’s wonderful downtown market, visit some of the best restaurants on Martinique, and give you a glimpse of a few places you just might when to check out should you visit here. It’s a bit of France in the heart of the Caribbean, and it’s an island you won’t soon forget.
Portugal’s Duoro Valley is perhaps the most striking wine region in the world. The slopes of the vineyards are unmatched. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how they were ever first planted. But, how lucky we are that they were because it’s from those vineyards that we derive perhaps the finest dessert wine in the world-port. As concentrated and long-lived as any wine produced, port has many styles and expressions. We’ll visit the bodegas in the Duoro Valley and the huge cellars in the coastal city of Oporto. We’ll also show you how wonderful port can be with a wide range of cuisine. Don’t miss it as we dive into the Duoro.
#810-St. Croix-A Gastronomic Delight!
I came to St. Croix for its annual culinary extravaganza, A Taste of St. Croix, which was terrific. A Taste of St. Croix gathers the island’s finest food purveyors-restaurants, resorts, even an organic farm-and puts them all in one place for the public to see and sample. It’s an incredible event and a showcase for St. Croix’s outstanding dining scene. We’ll tap into that too, head out on the water to try our luck at a little sport fishing, and even give a little beer (non alcoholic, of course) to some local pigs. It’s tough to explain, so you’ll just have to watch.
#811-Austin-No City Limits
You don’t have to go to San Francisco or New York to find authentic, homegrown restaurants producing outstanding cuisine. If you’ve never been, Austin is a hidden gem-attractive, diverse, and delicious! I’ll shine the spotlight on everything from barbecue to Italian, Chinese to international, and everything in between. We’ll also hook up with Damian Mandola of Carrabba’s fame for a visit to his unbelievable Italian market, and we’ll visit the Chinatown Center, which is bringing a whole lot of China to a little slice of Austin. I think you’ll find that dining is delicious deep in the heart of Texas.
#812-Chicago-Big City Dining at its Finest
Okay, I grew up in Chicago, so I’m going to admit right up front that I’m a little biased. Okay, a lot biased. But, come spend some time in my hometown, and I’ll think you’ll agree that Chicago’s one of the best dining destinations in the world! This trip left my head spinning and my waistline expanding. From classic regional Italian, to modern international interpretations, to upscale steaks and seafood, and anything else you can possible imagine, Chicago has it all. Come along for some great windy city dining!
#813-Toronto-Ethnic and Ethereal
I’ve been to Toronto a bunch, and it’s always been one of my favorite cities to visit. From the peameal bacon sandwich at the St. Lawrence market, to the upscale offerings at a hot and hip new wine bar, there’s a little something for everyone in Toronto. Dip into the dim sum in one of the city’s many Chinatowns, grab some Japanese comfort food and wash it down with an impressive array of sake, or try a Buddha dog-Toronto’s food expressions are endless! This show captures the city’s diversity and highlights its many engaging neighborhoods.
#814-Stratford-An Ontario Jewel
The Stratford theater festival helped put this rural Ontario community on the map decades ago, but there’s a whole new generation re-inventing Stratford these days. At its core are some serious foodies- cheesemakers, organic farmers, and agro-tourism experts. As you might imagine, with that kind of diversity, Stratford’s dining scene is dynamic. We’ll highlight some of the finest restaurants, take not one, but two, trips out to the farm, and we’ll ham it up with one of the region’s best cheesemakers. We’ll drop by the theater too and show you why Stratford continues to pack ‘em in year after year.
#815-Sailing Sailing-Maine’s Glorious Coast
Climb aboard a 19th century schooner and spend five days sailing Maine’s coast on a gourmet food and wine adventure. That’s what you’ll get on this episode, and what could be wrong with that? Highlights include a lobster boil on the beach, nightly wine tastings featuring different countries, and gourmet cuisine crafted in the belly of the boat in a space so tiny you’ll be amazed. Add in some unbelievable scenery and picture perfect weather and you’ve got the makings of something special.
#816-A Tuscan Harvest
I never tire of Tuscany, especially when my visit coincides with the grape harvest, sunny skies, and sumptuous Tuscan cuisine. I got all of that and more on this trip. It all starts in Chianti with Castellani, the world’s largest Chianti producer, and a house dedicated to reviving nearly forgotten native grape varietals. We’ll cook you a meal that will blow you away, take you into town for a visit to a pasta plant, and visit a man who’s made the simple egg an art form. Later, it’s the amazing Castello Banfi-the vision of two American brothers who’ve transformed a castle into a one of a kind wine estate. There’s a new luxury hotel at Castello Banfi, a world-class gourmet restaurant, and some of the best wines you’ll find anywhere!
These are new stops for me in Napa, but then, with some 400-labels now calling the Napa Valley home, there’s always something new. At Signorello, it’s all about estate wines and allowing the grapes to best express their terroir. At Domaine Chandon, the theme is sparkling wines and stupendous cuisine to go with them. And, at Don Sebastiani & Sons, the motivation is providing the consumer the best value around in an entertaining and innovative package. Three very different producers with three very interesting stories.
#818-The Sonoma Valley-Greatness Unearthed
From the cooler southern end near San Pablo Bay, to the warmer northern just past Kenwood, there is perhaps no Sonoma County wine region so diverse. From classic sparkling wiens produced with a Spanish accent, to Rhone Rangers, Pinot Noirs, and Chardonnays, to California classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, the Sonoma Valley has it all, and Culinary Travels with Dave Eckert will do its best to bring it all to you!
Monterey is a huge county, and while the areas by the coast are often quite cool, the more you head inland, the more the temperatures heat up. That makes for some different wine choices, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. You might stay at Bernardus Lodge and sample the culinary acumen of Cal Stamenov, then head out on the wine trail. The choices are varied in Monterey County, but I’m guessing you’ll not be disappointed no matter which route you choose.
#820-New Discoveries on the Wine Trail
On this episode we’ll visit a Tuscan estate in the heart of Texas wine country. We’ll meet a man with a knack for finding the prime vineyards and coaxing the best out of the grapes. And, I’ll showcase a winery within a winery that allows a larger producer make hand-crafted wines. From Sonoma County to Texas Hill Country outside Austin, these are new discoveries on the wine trail-discoveries I hope you enjoy as much as me.
SEASON 7 #701-Discovering Australian Wine-Deliver
People conjure up all sorts of images when it comes to Australia: the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House, Melbourne’s exciting Australian Open tennis tournament, that strange beast that is Australian rules football. But, for me, when I think about Australia, I think about wine-great wine. That’s what this show is all about-fantastic wine. Our hosts are the McWilliam’s family as we visit two of their estates-Lovedale in the heart of the historic Hunter Valley north of Sydney, and Lillydale in the Yarra Valley outside Melbourne. From Semillion to Shiraz, and everything in between, learn what makes these regions, and these wines, so wonderful!
A pearl on the Pacific Ocean, Mazatlan is waiting to be discovered. This is “real” Mexico, with a history dating back hundreds of years, an historic center being re-developed into a mecca for food, art, and entertainment, and some raw products that are truly amazing. They call Mazatlan, the “shrimp capitol,” and with good reason. Its shrimp boat fleet is one of the largest in North America. We’ll visit the market and check out the fresh goods. We’ll also sample some of the finest resorts Mazatlan has to offer: El Cid, Costa de Oro, and Emerald Bay. Beautiful, accessible, and delicious-can you ask for anything more?
#703-California Wine Classics-Louis Martini-Gallo Family Estates
Sonoma County and The Napa Valley-are there any two areas more synonymous with American wine?
And, if you love Californian wine, then you can’t miss this program. We’ll start in Sonoma at one of the county’s most prominent wine estates-Gallo Family Estate. Led by brother and sister team, Matt and Gina Gallo, Gallo Family Estates launched the Gallo family into the fine winemaking business. These days, the terroir-driven wines from Gallo’s Frei Ranch have never been better! On the Napa side, my attention turns to the wines of Louis Martini-a venerable estate turning out stunning world-class wines. Led by longtime winemaker Mike Martini, the wines of Louis Martini cover both Napa and Sonoma, and they do so beautifully. Come inside the making of some of the best wines in Northern California, and in fact, all of the world!
#704- Old Kentucky Home
Kentucky can’t possibly be as beautiful as all of those images we see around the running on the Kentucky Derby, right? Wrong! And, this state isn’t just beautiful, it’s also delicious! In my opinion, there’s little more delicious, and nothing more indigenous, in Kentucky than bourbon. In this case, it’s the bourbons of Buffalo Trace distillery. The largest distillery in the state, Buffalo Trace is forging a new future in an old industry, offering a wide variety of bourbons to please every palette. Out of bourbon country and into the city of Louisville, I’ve got some exciting cuisine to track down. I’ll stop at four of Louisville’s finest eateries, each with its own distinct style. I’ll also anchor my stay at the historic Brown Hotel right in the heart of downtown. My old Kentucky home? If it tastes like this, I’m moving in!
#705-Wine Country Explorations-Raymond, McMurray Ranch, Five Rivers, Bridlewood
I can’t think of too many places in the world I enjoy visiting more than California Wine Country. And, with good reason-the wines, cuisine, and scenery are among the best in the world! Come along the California wine trail as I explore four wineries, and four wine regions across the great state of California.
There’s Raymond in the Napa Valley, McMurray Ranch across the way in Sonoma County, Five Rivers in Paso Robles, and Bridlewood in Santa Barbara County. From the classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons at Raymond, to the tongue-teasing Pinot Noirs of McMurray Rancy, to the classic varietal expressions of Five Rivers, to the beauty and elegance of the offerings at Bridlewood, these are four stops, and one show, you don’t want to miss!
#706-Florida’s Forgotten Coast
Ever eaten eight dozen oysters in three days? I have, and I’m not just here to tell you about it, I’m here to show it to you. Apalachacola Bay oysters are some of the tastiest I’ve ever eaten, and they’re just one of the taste treats you’ll find along Florida’s Northwest Coast. There’s also shrimp, Tupelo Honey, smoked mullet, and in general, more fresh seafood than you could ever tire of. From the beautiful Watercolor Inn and its outstanding Fish Out of Water Restaurant, to the incredible oyster and other seafood delicacies in Apalachacola, this is a seafood lover’s dream.
#707-The Spirit of South Africa
I’ve wanted to travel to South Africa for as long as I can remember. I’ve known for a long time how good their wines were, and in recent tastings, I’ve seen them get even better. But, this trip wasn’t about wine-it was about a discovery-the discovery of a magical elixir called Amarula Cream Liquor. Created from the indigenous Marula fruit, and harvested by native tribesmen, Amarula Cream Liquor is like no other spirit I’ve ever tasted. See the elephants who eat the Marula and spread the seeds, meet the natives who gather and sell the precious fruit, and see the process that turns the fruit into something I can only describe as
“otherworldly.” From the sophistication of Capetown to the unforgettable experience of a real African safari, this show has a little something for everyone.
#708-Ontario’s New Gem-Prince Edward County
Everyone knows of Ontario’s Niagara on the Lake region: its wines, its rustic charm, its excellent cuisine. But, here, I’m going to introduce you to the new kid on the block-the emerging wine and tourism region known as Prince Edward County. Right on the lake, Prince Edward County has it all: great wine, great scenery, and, of course, excellent cuisine. It’s another reason to head north of the border, and one more chance for me to get back to one of my favorite destinations the world over-Ontario, Canada!
#709-Beaujolais-Here and There!
Travel to the beautiful and bucolic region of Beaujolais, France. It’s harvest time, and the Gamay grapes are ripe and ready. This show gives you a first-hand look at the vines, wines, history, passion, and personality of Beaujolais, before bringing it all home for some great ideas for Beaujolais and Barbecue. Guests include the Barbecue Queens, Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, and wine guru Doug Frost, one of only two holders of the titles, “Master of Wine” and “Master Sommelier.” If you love wine and food, this show’s for you, and if you don’t, what they heck are you doing on my website?
#710 – Caribbean Getaway-Turks and Caicos
It’s not exactly a name that rolls off your tongue, but the Turks and Caicos is a true Caribbean gem. I’ll take you inside this island paradise, starting with two wonderful upscale resorts-The Grace Bay Club and the Turks and Caicos club. Both offer outstanding amenities, pristine white sand beaches, and excellent cuisine! Come along as I dive into some island classics!
#711-Wining, Dining, and Reclining in Style!-Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, Silverado Resort, Wolf House, Benziger
One of the great things about a trip to Napa or Sonoma is all of the great places to stay and play. Of course, the wines are great, and we’ll sample those too at Sonoma standout Benziger, but we’ve also got a couple of terrific resorts for you to check out. In Napa, it’s the Silverado Resort-a haven for golfers and diners alike. On the Sonoma side is the classic Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. Whether you’re just in for a visit, in search of some spa pampering, or on the prowl for a world-class meal, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa has it all. And, should you choose to venture out in search of sustenance, and I encourage you to do so, one of your best choices in the Wolf House-a relatively new venture offering really excellent cuisine just up the road from the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa in the tiny town of Glen Ellen. If you love to wine, dine, and recline, this is the program for you!
I love great hotels! When the service, amenities, and cuisine come together in a special environment, a hotel stay can be magical. These are two of the finest hotels on the planet, and they both happen to be in my hometown, Chicago. At The Fairmont Chicago, the main eatery is Aria, and it carries quite a tune. Located just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and just a block off the famed Magnificent Mile, The Fairmont has it all, and I’m going to show you all that I can. Two of Chi-town’s finest indeed!
At the Peninsula Chicago, the experience is no less world-class. Built atop and existing development, the Peninsula Chicago reaches rarified air. It’s dining options, meantime, from The Shanghai Terrace to Avenues, are some of the best in the city. Two great hotels, one great show, now that’s worth tuning in for!
#713-The Best of Napa and Sonoma-Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars, B.R. Cohn, Ravenswood, Carneros Inn, Hotel Healdsburg
So, what does the manager of The Doobie Brothers do for a hobby? Well, how about starting a winery? That’s what Bruce Cohn did, and these days, the offerings of B.R. Cohn winery are some of Sonoma’s finest. If you love Zinfandel, then you’re already a fan of Ravenswood. If not, you’ve got to check out this eclectic producer. Over in Napa, meantime, I’ll introduce you to wines like Petite Syrah and Viognier from Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars. I’ll also visit The Carneros Inn in the southern part of The Napa Valley, and The Hotel Healdsburg on the square in Healdsburg over in Sonoma. I don’t know how I’m going to squeeze it all in, but then, that’s my problem. All you have to do is watch and enjoy!
#714-Mining for Gold-Edmonton, Alberta, Canada This is my first trip to Alberta, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I got was a culinary sensation!
This program covers the city of Edmonton in this western province. Using local products and plenty of creativity, chefs are carving out quite a niche for themselves on the Canadian plains. I’ll take you inside Edmonton’s excellent dining scene, cook up a storm with a local chef who hosts regular cooking classes, and visit an organic farm that turns out some of the most impressive produce I’ve even seen or tasted.
It’s Culinary Travels in Edmonton-a show you don’t want to miss.
#715-Praise for Piedmont
The wines of Piedmont in Northwestern Italy are among my favorites in the world. On this show, I get the honor of introducing viewers to two great producers: Gancia and Batasiolo. At Gancia, the focus is on Asti Spumante. This is my first visit to an Asti producer, so it will be fascinating to taste the grapes, and witness the process, responsible for making this sparkling Italian treat. At Batasiolo, the grape is Nebiolo, and the wines the classic Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s. Smooth like velvet, rich like chocolate, these are some of the greatest wines of Italy and the world! Start with an Asti Spumante and finish with a Barolo? There’s nothing wrong with that.
#716-Chi-town’s Finest-The Four Seasons & The Ritz Carlton
Come along as I explore two great hotels in the great city of Chicago. With its unparalleled views and unequaled service, The Four Seasons Chicago has long been one of my favorite stop in the world. Add in the extraordinary cuisine you’ll find at Seasons, and you’ve got an experience you’ll remember for a very long time. At the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, I’ll take you inside one of the Chicago’s longstanding great properties-a hotel that focuses on excellence from the accommodations to the cuisine. Two Chicago hotel classics on one great show, Culinary Travels with Dave Eckert!
#717-Northwest Gems-King Estate Wine/Northwest Pear Bureau
It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to the Pacific Northwest, and after this trip I was wondering what the heck took me so long. Beautiful and delicious, this is a great part of the country. In Oregon, I had the good fortune of sampling the wines of King Estate, some of the finest in the state. From Pinot Noir to Pinot Gris, the wines of King Estate are true expressions of terroir. Up in Washington State, my focus turns to pears. The best pears in the world come from this part of the country, and I’ll take you inside the harvest, and give you some ideas for creating culinary classics with these Northwest beauties. Pinot and Pears-quite the combination!
#718-Ontario-Fine Wine-Super Spirit-Canadian Mist Whiskey-Prince Edward County
The spirits clearly moved me in this program, where my travels take me to Ontario and Mexico for two very different, but very delicious, spirits experiences. First, Collingwood, Ontario, the home of Canadian Mist Whiskey. I’ll visit the distillery with Master Distiller Harold Ferguson, and mix up some incredible cocktails with Chief Cocktail Officer Tim Laid. Later, I’ll head to Prince Edward County-one of Ontarios up and coming wine and food regions. There, I’ll introduce you to the world’s most unique hot dog-Buddha Dog, some of the best hard cider you’ll ever taste, and the county’s oldest, and perhaps best, winery. Don’t miss this visit to Ontario only on Culinary Travels with Dave Eckert!
I can’t think of many places I enjoy visiting more than Tuscany. With incredible wines, fantastic cuisine, and a history so rich you can cut it with a knife, Tuscany is the perfect place for a show like mine. Come along as I explore the great Tuscan wines of DaVinci. Produced by a collection of growers featuring their finest vineyards and grapes, DaVinci’s wines are efforts with real Tuscan soul. I’ll pair them with cuisine, show you where they come from and how they’re made, and of course, do my share of tasting.
Whether you’ve been to Tuscany or not, this show will make you feel as though you have.
#720-On The Boardwalk-Atlantic City
Taking a page from Las Vegas, Atlantic City has upped with ante with regards to its dining scene. This program focuses on the newest addition-a tremendous upscale shopping and dining development known as The Pier at Caesars Palace. Focusing on well-known Philadelphia restaurants, The Pier at Caesars is giving Atlantic City visitors a myriad of options for fine dining. I’ll take you inside The Pier and its restaurants, and show you a side of Atlantic City you might not have known existed.