Monday, February 9
Self-explanatory title? Perhaps. Still, here's the lowdown:
The adventures begin as Jeff hikes northwest to the remote mountain region of Mae Hong Son to sample local delicacies like deadly wasp and bamboo larvae straight from the groves. In the nearby Pai River, Jeff and his guide use traditional bamboo materials to catch and cook catfish mixed with forest-grown greens and spices. Next, Jeff veers off the beaten path in Bangkok for an extraordinary feast including silk worms, grasshoppers, and live shrimp that literally “dance” into his mouth. In the southern Trang Province, Jeff helps prepare Moo Yaang Trang, the region’s famous roasted pig cooked in underground ovens. Then, in the Muslim fishing village of Palian, Jeff learns the extensive production process of fish sauce and trudges through coastline mud to harvest and eat the area’s surprising treat: fresh blood cockles. Loy Krathong (The Festival of Lights) and delicious street food wrap up Jeff’s entertaining culinary quest through Thailand.
While some will certainly write this off as another unoriginal idea by Food Network, the practice of TV networks trying to reproduce proven concepts is not new or even out of the ordinary. (Just look at basically every reality show out there right now.) Also, this is just a primetime special, not a regular series--at least not yet. And finally, Food Network doesn't just say, "We want to copy No Reservations. Now make it happen!" They get approached by production companies with fully developed treatments. So let's give Extreme Cuisine a chance. Jeff's a better looker than that Zimmern dude, anyway.