Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul Series 1
Rick Stein embarks on a new gastronomic road trip from Venice to Istanbul through the countries of the former Byzantine Empire – a melting pot of east and west.
His journey begins in the city of Venice, and on the idyllic Greek island of Symi he cooks some of his favourite Venetian dishes including seafood risotto, tiramisu and gnocchi with spider crab.
The chef continues his gastronomic road trip from Venice to Istanbul taking in the countries of the former Byzantine Empire – a renowned melting pot of East and West. This instalment finds the gastronome in the city of Ravenna, where he discovers Piadinas, a thin Italian flatbread street food dating back to Roman times. He then crosses the Adriatic Sea to Croatia – a first for Rick – and a gets a chance to discover new a wealth of dishes such as pasticada, goat stew with peas and lamb peka.
The chef continues his journey through Croatia and savours the native oysters of Ston, before crossing the border into Albania, where he is joined by his son Jack and the pair sample local dishes such as chicken jufka and kokoretsi. In his own kitchen on the Greek island of Symi, Rick cooks traditional Albanian dishes, including Lepur Comlek and Tave Kosi.
Rick’s gastronomic road trip brings him to northern Greece where he enjoys traditional dishes including veal stiffado and kotopita – which Rick declares to be the best chicken pie he has ever tasted. In the coastal city of Preveza he goes out prawn fishing and follows in the footsteps of poet Lord Byron visiting Messolonghi, a city where seafood is a highly regarded commodity. Rick also rolls up his own sleeves to cook his favourite Greek dishes of stuffed peppers and tomatoes and souvlaki.
The chef continues his 900-mile road trip from Venice to Istanbul, sampling that array of gastronomic delights that lie on the route. In the penultimate episode Rick arrives in the Greek Peloponnese where he samples mouth-watering dishes such as rooster stew hilopites with mizithra cheese, and a home-made moussaka he claims is the best he have ever savoured. In his Symi island kitchen, Rick rolls up his sleeves to prepare galaktoboureko, a dessert of semolina custard in filo pastry, a favourite dish in Greece.
The chef’s gastronomic road trip from Venice to Istanbul through the countries of the former Byzantine Empire is nearing its end as he leaves southern Greece for the shores of western Turkey. On the Cesme Peninsula Rick enjoys creamy Armola cheese matured in goat skins, Urla’s famous red wine and the ultimate Turkish breakfast. He also cooks the country’s iconic dish sultan’s delight – a mouth-watering lamb stew on a bed of aubergine puree. On his return to Blighty, he may find that fish and chips never seem the same again.
Rick’s road trip reaches a conclusion as he arrives in Istanbul, just in time for the bluefish season, which allows him the chance to enjoy a fishing expedition on the Bosphorus, one of the world’s most strategic waterways, which divides the city into two continents. Rick also cooks two much-loved local dishes – lavish kofte kebabs with pistachios, and kapuska, a hearty traditional Turkish cuisine stew from the Black Sea region, whose name is derived from the Russian word for cabbage.