Anyone up for raw beef isaw, marinated in pig’s blood with goose barnacles on the side? Meet Chef Jock Zonfrillo, the star of TLC’s new series Nomad Chef, a show that redefines what a culinary adventure is all about!
There’s a new TV chef in town, but this one don’t wear the typical white-apron-and-hat for his OOTDs.
His name is Jock Zonfrillo, a full-time chef and part-time adventurer, and he is the star of TLC’s all-new 10-part series Nomad Chef, a show that redefines what a culinary adventure is all about.
Just what exactly is a "nomad chef"? Is it a euphemism for a homeless cook? Not exactly.
In the show, Nomad Chef Jock embarks on a journey to some of the world’s most exotic communities in search of ingredients and techniques not commonly seen in your mom’s kusina, which he then brings home to his own kitchen. Join Chef Jock (a name that has women falling over themselves) as he hunts, harvest, and forages with indigenous people for the ingredients that go into their native dishes along with their culture-specific preparation techniques.
The show is a glimpse at the diverse ways that food is prepared (and devoured) in far-flung, oft-forgotten locales. In the South Pacific, Chef Jock faces the perils of hunting for fruit bats. In Spain, he goes to great lengths just to harvest goose barnacles. In Ethiopia, he braces his stomach for a brunch consisting of raw beef isaw. And in China’s Yunnan province, he experiences the thrills of eating dinuguan…except in this case, the pig’s blood is served raw.
Yup, the length to which his exotic food trip has gone is far more extreme than forcing a foreigner to have some balut.
Of course, not wanting to be selfish with the obviously mouth-watering dishes he has tasted, he goes home to his restaurant, Orana in Adelaide, Australia, to prepare a dish inspired by his travels. Anyone up for raw beef isaw, marinated in pig’s blood with goose barnacles on the side? Thankfully, he isn’t going to prepare something as ghastly as that (we hope.) Whatever it is he’s cooking though, Orana’s exotica-inspired dishes have put Adelaide back on the map for destination diners.
Of particular note is that the Philippines will be under the spotlight in the show’s fourth episode. In it, Chef Jock travels to northern Luzon to visit an isolated tribe of former headhunters called the Ayangan. There, he learns the strange tastes hiding in a chicken’s bile sac, hunts down a bayawak to eat, and finds out old-school ways to cook rice.
Whether you like exotic food or not, the show definitely appeals to anyone who likes seeing people squirm at the thought of eating what many would consider as non-food (i.e. bayawak) For those who love to eat, but won’t be able to travel to Adelaide anytime soon to taste Chef Jock’s creations, the closest we could come to it is to tune in to Nomad Chef when it premieres on October 6, 10 p.m., with encores every Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m.
“It was both the most exciting and the most humbling of experiences,” notes Jock of his travels. “So many culinary traditions on this rock we all share are being lost in this ever-expanding global modern world we live in. Nomad Chef was both an education and the most exciting trip of my life, and I am honored to share my experiences.”
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