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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

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Ever on a quest to learn more about the food he grows and cooks, Rick even vacations with an agenda. This time he's taking us to the mountains to Finca Las Nieves, with its artisanal coffee production and organic gardens. Together we learn about sustainable gardening along with how-to's for amazing vegetarian tamales and sopa de chepil in the kitchens at the Finca. Then it is off on a hike seeking orchids and bromeliads before a lunch of trout at the restaurant of a trout farm. Rick makes his version of the trout with chorizo at home.

Ever travel to a tourist mecca and wonder what the locals eat? Rick does. So he joins his pal Hugo to find the best Mexican food in Los Cabos. Their first stop is at the municipal market in San Jose del Cabo for a quick mid-morning meal of sopes and beef soup. Then they enjoy amazing carnitas at Los Michoacanos, stuffed guero chiles and bacon-wrapped shrimp at Mariscos El Toro Guero and guava tamales at Sabor Internacional. In Chicago, Rick teaches us how to stuff and grill shrimp and make those guava tamales.

Everything tastes better cooked over a wood or charcoal fire - at least that's the Oaxacan credo. From soup to barbacoa, burning embers influence the flavor of Oaxaca's food in just the right ways. For starters, Rick guides us through the "taco corridor" at the 20 de Noviembre market just off the main square in Oaxaca. We can almost taste the richly-burnished chiles and onions as they grill alongside super-thinly sliced beef and pork and robust chorizo sausages.

WGBY Create
Tue Jul 30th, 7:30am
Tue Jul 30th, 1:30pm

The salt marshes of Celestun and a seaside octopus farm are unlikely places for a chef to get inspired. But Chef Roberto Solis' approach to food has always been a little different - just see the menu of his revered restaurant Nectar in Merida, which continues to charm and dazzle. In Nectar's kitchen, Roberto shows Rick how to make three of his restaurant's favorite dishes: cebollas negras, poc chuc de pulpo and deeply satisfying crispy, seared pork belly with grilled pineapple and tomatillo.

Fish tacos embody Ensenada's history in one bite: Fresh fish from pristine waters encased in crispy batter influenced by Asian immigrants, topped with Spanish-inspired creamy sauces, wrapped up in a very Mexican corn tortilla and spiked with chile. We seek out some of the best versions at Mariscos El Norteno, a stall opposite the Ensenada Fish market, and a 30-year old corner stand, Los Originales El Chopipo.

Chef Edgar Nunez wants to change the world. Like Rick, Edgar believes everyone should have access to fresh, local food; he believes Mexican chefs should embrace their own cuisine; and he believes in mentoring the younger generation. Rick and Edgar strategize over a meal of duck carnitas with mole negro at Sud 777, Edgar's strikingly beautiful fine dining Mexico City restaurant. Then they take it to the streets where Edgar's mission continues via food trucks that serve fresh, affordable tacos, tostadas and caldos to all manner of customers.

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