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Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey

Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey“The magical, colourful Far East is the
  setting for Rick Stein’s Far Eastern
  Odyssey
as the charismatic chef takes
  to the streets to sample the food,
  marvel at ancient temples and meet
  the people in such exotic places as
  Thailand and Cambodia...”


RICK STEIN CERTAINLY KNOWS HIS STUFF. When it comes to cooking exotic meals, he has experience by the pan-load and the courageous chef is not backwards in coming forward when it comes to learning traditional cooking methods from around the world.

Toss in a bit of culture, ancient history and local personalities and Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey is much more than just another food adventure — it is a journey of discovery that gets right to the heart and the culinary delights of the real people of the Far East who enjoy talking about food.

Rick seeks out traditional family-run restaurants, street vendors, night markets, fishing villages and local farmers to learn about the authentic food in each area he visits, finding the delicious spectrum of flavours. From ruby red chillies to an incredible variety of seafood, fresh fruit and exotic vegetables, this is a mouth-watering trip bursting with new taste sensations, vibrant flavours and unusual recipes.

In Cambodia, with Mr Vuthy as his guide, Rick learns more about The Killing Fields, where several million Cambodians were murdered by the Khmer Rouge; the magnificent Angkor Wat, which is the symbol of Cambodia; and he samples the distinctive and unusual Khmer cuisine.

One of the poorest countries that Rick visited, it is interesting to note that small hotels are now opening in the dilapidated Kep-sur-Mer, once known as 'The French Riviera of the Far East'. There he samples the national dish Fish Amok with hotelier Stephàne Arrii before meeting Jerome Benezech, who is helping to re-establish a local co-operative for Kampot pepper, and Ah Meng, who is known as "Grandma" to the locals.

Rick is introduced to the baguette factory at Siem Reap Market by French chef Johannes Rivere and he recalls how long Julia Child takes to explain how to roll out baguettes in her book Mastering The Art of French Cookery.

Everywhere he goes, Rick finds delicious food cooked using the aromatic pastes so important in South East Asian cooking and fresh ingredients from the "inspirational" food markets. Travelling down the Mekong River on a vessel modelled on an old rice barge to the more populated and once dangerous Vietnam, you could be forgiven for thinking you have taken a trip back in time as you sail past the wooden houses along the crowded banks of the river that are the Vietnamese fish farms.

In Hanoi, Rick takes a turn in a 1956 Citroen Traction 15 Familiale and in the town of Can Tho, he samples Pho before heading for Saigon — or rather, Ho Chi Minh City — and the Hotel Majestic, once the haunt of French officers and where Graham Greene stayed to write.

Rick meets American-born Vietnamese Cathy Danh, who is passionate about food, experiences the heady mix of Chinese and French influences that characterise Vietnamese food and meets the man who raised the flag at the end of the bloody regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Next stop is Thailand where he again samples the varied, tasty street food and catches up with Christopher Change, whose infectious love of food fires Rick's imagination before trying out Bangkok's China town and the oldest pad thai shop in the city.

Finally, taking in the light and fragrant flavours of Bangladesh that have helped shape the menu in many of the UK curry houses, Rick also makes food discoveries in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bali.

As one of Britain's most revered chefs and successful authors, Rick Stein sets off on an epic culinary journey to explore the Far East's most diverse food cultures which are now popular the world over. Featuring new recipes to make your mouth water and breathtaking on-location photography that evokes the magic of bustling markets, exotic locations and exciting flavours, Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey is a culinary and visual delight. The sight of such delicious food sizzling in the pan is enough to send you scuttling off to the kitchen to prepare it for yourself!

Join Rick Stein on his latest culinary adventure — an ambitious journey through the food and culture of the Far East that also captures the rich and varying cultures of the Far East — away from the beaten track and tourist hot spots in search of the authentic food of South East Asia. Also included is the special Christmas Odyssey episode in which Rick uses the delicious new ideas he brought back from the Far East to brighten up our festive dishes.

Rick Stein recreates food discovered on his travels for the tantalising DVD Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey that is released on 22 February (2010). RRP: £19.99 | Catalogue No: BBCDVD3136 | Duration: 420 Minutes approx | 2 discs.

"The sight of such delicious food sizzling in the pan is enough to send you scuttling off to the kitchen to prepare it for yourself!" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

Check out bbc.co.uk/food.