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José explores the wonders of Spanish olive oil in Andalucía, joining workers in the field for the olive harvest and a traditional harvest breakfast. Bringing the oil back home, he uses the liquid gold to put a distinctively Spanish twist on a classic American dish—chicken wings. After preparing a classic Andalucían soup, salmorejo, José heads for a freiduria (a fried fish restaurant) in the beautiful area around Seville, where great Spanish olive oil and delicious fish from the nearby Mediterranean combine for astounding fried fish tapas.

José cooks:
Chicken Wing Confit with Green Olive Puree
Cold Tomato Soup with Ham and Hard-Boiled Egg


José travels to Cataluña, the region where he was raised, to join in the Calçot Festival, a joyous occasion attended by thousands that honors, of all things, an unusual onion. He uses a similar onion to cook a white bean omelet, and shows us how to create two more traditional dishes from this area: One is mar y montaña, (Spanish surf-and-turf), which he pairs with the region’s famed Priorat wines; the other–canelloni. (OH, you thought that was Italian? Not any more!)

José cooks:
White Bean and Scallion Omelet
Pork Meatballs with Squi


Centuries of history and generations of cooking tradition come together in Castilla y León, where José travels to restaurants that have mastered fire. We look on as master chefs roast pigs and lambs, then watch as José prepare the perfect roast rack of lamb. And we meet the Ibérico pig—source of the Ibérico ham that was unavailable in the U.S. until recently, but is now sweeping the nation as the caviar of cold cuts.

José cooks:
Lentil Salad with Valdeon Blue Cheese
Roast Rack of Lamb with Potatoes


After creating a special drunken goat cheese and tomato salad, José ventures through the region of Murcia in search of the truth behind drunken goat cheese. After visiting the great historic sites of Murcia—the Roman theater at Cartagena, the still-working ancient water wheels—José takes us to a wonderful winery, and explores the famed Murcia vegetable gardens and cooks some great vegetable dishes. Finally, José tries his hand at a unique style of fishing—and, of course, cooks what he catches.

José cooks:
Drunken Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad
Artichoke Salad
Artichokes Stuffed with Quail Egg and Trout Roe


José explores the fascinating region of Valencia, famed for its rice fields and paella restaurants. After visiting the best of them, José takes us back to his home in America and teaches us to cook paella at a backyard barbecue with his wife and three daughters!
José also creates a special tapa with Spain’s sweetest citrus–clementines, then visits the fields where the fruit is picked; and, just for fun, José tries his hand at eel fishing before cooking the eels up in the traditional dish all i pebre.

José cooks:
Spherification of Yogurt with Clementines and Honey
Lobster and Wild Mushroom Paella


José travels to Iles Balears where he begins by making a unique omelet with sobrasada, a rare spreadable sausage—then takes us to the islands where those sausages originate. At a black pig farm on Mallorca he rediscovers a delicacy from his childhood–then takes us to a patisserie that makes a famed local dessert from the pork lard! Then onto the island of Menorca for some lobster fishing (and a traditional lobster dish, of course). José visits both a great cheese maker and one of the worlds most renowned gin makers—where he reveals the recipe for the perfect gin and tonic.

José cooks:
Omelet of Mallorquin Sausage and Mahon Cheese
Roasted Vegetables, Mallorca Style


José travels to Andalucía’s Granada, the city that made cold soup famous, and creates two of his own–the famed gazpacho, and the purely Andalucían delicacy, ajo blanco. He dances his way through one of Spain’s most famed festivals, the Feria de Abril in Sevilla, and takes us on a tapas bar-hopping trip to sample the local delicacies —all sandwiched around a visit to La Alhambra, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

José cooks:
Patricia’s Gazpacho
Pepper, Onion, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad with Cured Tuna Loin
Cold Almond and Garlic Soup with Figs and Marcona Almonds


Exploring the fertile peaks, fields and valleys of Cantabria, the area known as Green Spain, José creates a unique tapa pairing Cantabria’s most prized product—anchovies—with a surprising ingredient: nectarines. José returns to Cantabria to follow the anchovy trail and see how the locals eat the–then heads to the thriving capital city of Santander and the beautiful town of Santillana del Mar, to explore ancient cave paintings. After quick stops to a great bakery, a great restaurant, and a great cable car ride, it’s back to Washington D.C. to create a super steak with Cantabria’s creamy blue Picón cheese.

José cooks:
Nectarines with Anchovies and Pedro Ximénez Dressing)
Beef with Picón Blue Cheese



A return to Valencia makes a star out of the region’s nuts. José whips together a nutty dessert called postre de turrón, then heads to Valencia to show how turrón – a nutty paste – is made, starting with the beautiful almond trees in Jijona and ending in the factories and stores that make and sell this regional Christmastime delicacy. He even visits a horchateria where tiger nuts are made into a creamy drink! There are stops at great wineries along the way, time out to cook up a delicious Valencian noodle dish known as Fideua, and a stop at the wild, fire-filled Valencia Fallas festival. José winds up at one of Spain’s most famed restaurants, El Poblet—where he watches his old friend, chef Quique Dacosta, prepare a dish made with real gold.

José cooks:
Almond Nougat Dessert
Noodle Paella with Pork Short Ribs and Norwegian Lobster


After cooking two quick tapas – one with a local cheese from Extremadura, the other with the region’s cherries – José makes a sweet escape to the startlingly beautiful cherry fields of Extremadura, meets the cheese makers (and the sheep) responsible for the decadent creamy cheese known as Torta del Casar. After giving a pinch of pimentón—Spanish paprika —to the traditional Extremadura salad known as Cojodongo, José’s inspired to return to the region to visit the fields and factories where the unique sweet and smoky Spanish spice is made. And he reveals why a French culinary tradition must pay thanks to a small monastery here.

José cooks:
La Serena Toasts with Lemon Marmalade
Cherries as Olives
Extremaduran Cold Tomato Bread Salad


In the mythical forests of Aragón, a heavenly region almost too beautiful to be real, José is inspired to cook two very earthly regional dishes: Migas, an ancient dish based on breadcrumbs (in this case, paired with mushrooms and serrano ham) and pollo al chilindron, a chicken stew made with a green and red pepper sauce. He returns to Aragón to walk the Pyrenees Mountains, fish for trout, and even hunt for truffles, the old-fashioned way.

José cooks:
Bread with Oyster Mushrooms and Spanish Ham
Chicken with Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes and Spanish Ham


José explores one of the most sophisticated regions of Europe, Basque Country, and cooks some of the iconic dishes of the countryside – from pintxos (small regional tapas) including one named after a movie star, to the delicate cod dish known as bacalao al pil pil. He takes us to the traditional place in Spain for eating bacalao – a cider bar; explores the beautiful city of San Sebastian; and he visits Arzak -- the restaurant of one of his mentors, and one of the greatest restaurants in all of Spain.

José cooks:
Basque Tapa of Olive, Pepper and Anchovy and Basque Tapa of Bonita, Soft Onion and Tomato
Salt Cod with Garlic and Olive Oil


Since the United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato, José begins his trip to these stunningly beautiful islands of Canarias by cooking up a fascinating local dish of wrinkled potatoes and two great sauces, a mojo rojo and a mojo verde – then visits the potato fields on the island of Tenerife. While there, of course, José stops off at a great winery and a fabulous restaurant, then ventures on to the island of Lanzarote (but not before creating a superb sancocho–a local version of fish stew).

José cooks:
Fish and Potato Stew
Canary Island Wrinkled potatoes
Canary Island Red Pepper Sauce
Canary Island Green Pepper Sauce

 

 


From his home region of Asturias in northern Spain, José showcases its great cheeses, making a sweet and sour salad of cheese and tomatoes with a honey and vinegar dressing. He fries some golden brown monkfish, and takes to the seas off Asturias to risk his neck while fishing for barnacles.

José cooks:
Sweet and sour salad with tomatoes and Afuegal’pitu cheese
Monkfish Tazones style


José explores the food of the magical, mystical region of Galicia where pilgrims have traveled for centuries. He cooks a simple tapa of green Padrón peppers stuffed with cheese, as well as the traditional pilgrim’s meal of a chicken empanada, or turnover. He fishes for octopus off the region’s rocky coast, eats a traditional Galician dish of boiled octopus with Spanish paprika, and drinks a glass of the pilgrims’ flambéed punch

José cooks:
Padrón peppers with Tetilla cheese
Galician style chicken turnover


José explains the sweet Spanish tooth, cooking pancakes with chocolate before showing us the wonderfully thick hot chocolate of Spain. Just outside the capital, he takes us to a strawberry farm and returns home to prepare strawberries in a wine syrup. He ends at a traditional bull fight in Madrid, finishing off the evening with a traditional stew of bull’s meat.

José cooks:
Olive oil pancakes
Strawberries with Madrid wine
Salt-baked red snapper with potato


Sweet, hand-roasted red piquillo peppers are now sold in jars across the United States. José stuffs some piquillos with cheese, then takes us to Navarra to show how they painstakingly roast and peel the peppers. He returns to his home kitchen to prepare a cheese and white asparagus salad. He ends with a trip to Pamplona, where the young men run with the bulls – while older men try to improve their cooking in culinary societies.

José cooks:
Seared piquillo peppers stuffed with cheese and Serrano ham
White asparagus salad


There’s tuna and there’s Spanish tuna. José prepares a classic tuna salad before joining the extraordinary tuna catch off the southern coast of Spain. He returns home to cook seared tuna with sesame seeds and sweet piquillo peppers. He explains the great sherry culture of Andalucía, and goes bar-hopping to eat the region’s great tapas food.

José cooks:
Potato salad with trout roe
Seared tuna belly w/ sesame seeds and piquillo peppers


José turns Spain’s sparkling wine, cava, into a light dressing for oysters and a refreshing mimosa cocktail. He goes mushroom hunting in the Catalan mountains, before cooking a crumbled pork sausage with wild mushrooms. Back in Spain, he fishes for shrimp and eats Catalan seafood in traditional and modern ways.

José cooks:
Oysters with cava dressing
Cava mimosa with Clementine air
Crumbled Catalan pork sausage with mushrooms


José cooks a cold soup of Basque cheese bought in Manhattan before going to the rustic farms where the cheese-makers live. He introduces us to the great red and white wines of the Basque Country, then returns home to cook a traditional dish of baby squid with caramelized onions. He finishes by eating an extraordinary meal cooked entirely on a charcoal grill.

José cooks:
Cold soup of Idiazabal cheese with wild mushrooms
Baby squid with caramelized onions


José uses widely-available Manchego cheese to prepare a salad of cheese, tomato, thyme and walnuts. He shows us the food eaten by the Man from La Mancha – Cervantes’ Don Quixote. And he is witness to the wonder of saffron, when the remarkable crocus emerges from the earth and is turned into the world’s most expensive spice. José cooks a traditional dish of rabbit with saffron rice before returning to Spain to eat a marzipan dessert.

José cooks:
Manchego with tomato, thyme, and walnuts
Rabbit and saffron rice


José prepares scallops in their shells with Albariño white wine, and visits the dramatic seafood farms of this northwestern region. Back home, he steams mussels with bay leaf and serves them with potatoes and Spanish smoked paprika. He returns to Galicia to watch the magical cooking of the legendary Spanish potato tortilla, or omelet.

José cooks:
Taylor bay scallops with Albariño wine
Steamed mussels with bay leaf and pimentón


Asturias means family for José, and he prepares a simple apple and cheese salad with his mother’s favorite blue cheese, Cabrales. José shows us the region’s traditional hard cider, and returns home to add cider vinegar to some caramelized onions that he serves with light and fluffy corn cakes. Back in Asturias, he joins his family for a hearty bean stew with sausages.

José cooks:
Apples and Cabrales salad
Corn cakes with caramelized onions


José cooks a quick tapa of fried eggs and Spanish chorizo sausage before showing us the artistic and food culture of the Spanish capital. He eats a fried squid sandwich on the streets, and sips an elegant cup of consommé in a historic restaurant. He prepares a refreshing salad of clementines, anchovy and olives, and returns to Spain for a huge meal of Madrid stew.

José cooks: :
Fried egg with chorizo
Clementines with Chinchon, anchovy and black olives


Using a Catalan olive oil bought in the US, José prepares two tapas: marinated olives and toast with cheese and anchovy. He takes us to his beloved market in Barcelona, and gets inspired to cook a creamy rice dish of mushrooms, artichokes and cuttlefish. Back in Spain he shows us two great Catalan artists: Salvador Dali and his own culinary mentor, Ferran Adrià, hailed by critics as the world’s most creative chef.

José cooks:
Herb-marinated olives
Toast with garrotxa cheese and anchovy
Rice with mushrooms, artichokes and cuttlefish


No Spanish wine is more famous than Rioja, and José starts with a quick tapa of apples in a red wine syrup. He takes us to a great Rioja winemaker before cooking his own version of the region’s classic dish of potato and chorizo sausage. Back in Spain, he shows us Rioja’s superb vegetable market and eats at a special restaurant run by a mother and son who cook their own recipes.

José cooks:
Apples in La Rioja wine
Potato and chorizo ravioli