Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn return to STV for a new foodie adventure

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Brand new cooking series, Paul and Nick’s American Food Trip, follows top celebrity chefs Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn on a culinary road trip along the east coast of America.

The eight part series, which will air from Monday 18th May* at 2000, is produced by Waddell Media for STV and UTV.

Viewers will join the foodie friends, Scot Nick and Ulsterman Paul, for 30 minutes each Monday as they find out about the history of the Ulster-Scots and Scottish immigrants who defined modern America.  Travelling to Maine, New Hampshire, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, they cook a three-course meal for some of the descendants who remain proud of their Scottish and Ulster-Scottish ancestry.

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV, said: “This is more than a cooking show as our famous chefs not only create fantastic dishes on their travels but also meet locals with a story to tell about their Scottish and Ulster-Scottish heritage. The new series combines food, history and travel as we join Paul and Nick on a journey along the scenic east coast of America to learn more about how Scots and Ulster-Scots have influenced the area.”

Nick Nairn said: “It’s unusual to find someone on your wave length who you not only enjoy cooking with but is also your best friend, and Paul and I both love meeting people and chatting about their stories, so filming this series in America was a fantastic all-round experience. It’s also great to be part of a returning format and travelling through the states gave us an incredible history lesson as it really brought to life the stories of the Ulster-Scots and Scottish immigrants who would have arrived in Boston all those years ago. It was amazing to recreate the dishes and I’m excited to see how the series performs in Scotland.”

Paul Rankin said: “What an honour it is to have done this programme! Firstly, to do it with my best buddy Nick, to get to spend time him discovering the trail of the Ulster-Scots and to cook with such a like minded chef was a privilege and joy. Secondly, I think for both of us the story of the Ulster-Scots really came alive! 18 American Presidents came from our stock and the influences can be seen to this day. We reckon we've made a very decent wee show for the telly - enjoy!”

Paul and Nick’s American Food Trip is sponsored by Buchanan's of Scotland.


Episode 1 - Boston

Paul and Nick cook for friends of the Scots’ Charitable Society, the oldest charity in America, set up to help fund the education of Scots in America. They are charmed by an ex-pat who teaches Scottish dancing, and they discover a local butcher who finds it hard to think of the words ‘Scots’ and ‘charitable’ in the same sentence.

Episode 2 - Portland, Maine
Paul and Nick meet Mary Drymon, who has written about how Scottish and Ulster food traditions have widely influenced how America eats today. We’re on the coast of New England, so expect some lobster to feature.

Episode 3 - Bowdoin, Maine
In the middle of rural Maine, Paul and Nick create an outside barbeque for the family of John Mann, an eighth generation Ulster-Scot immigrant. The Manns are true frontier-people and completely self-sufficient from their land.

Episode 4 - Londonderry, New Hampshire
Paul and Nick cook for some descendants of the Reverend McGregor, the Ulster-Scot who led five ships to New Hampshire in 1714. In the same graveyard where Rev McGregor is buried, Paul discovers a gravestone with his own father’s name on it, and wonders if there could be a connection.

Episode 5 - Windham, New Hampshire
Paul and Nick cook for the descendants of the 18th century Scots-speaking poet Robert Dinsmore, and try to source some wild turkey. Will the turkey be a step too far for Brad Dinsmore and his family.

Episode 6 - Philadelphia 1 (suburbs)
Paul and Nick meet with Colin Brooks of the 1718 project, founded to investigate the historical links between Ulster, Scotland and Philadelphia. They also cook for Randall Redman, who claims to be able to trace his ancestry to Robert The Bruce.

Episode 7 - Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Paul and Nick cook for the Pastor and members of Donegal Presbyterian Church. They see what’s left of an old oak outside the church, known as the ‘Witness Tree’, where in 1777 people gathered to pray for independence from England.

Episode 8 - Philadelphia 2 (city centre)
Philadelphia was one of the main entry ports for immigrants to America in the 18th century. Paul and Nick meet Drew McGinty and Joyce Alexander, the founder of the Center for Ulster-Scots Studies. Our chefs try to cook an Ulster-Scots meal but keep being seduced by Italian fare.

Paul and Nick’s American Food Trip is supported by The Northern Ireland Screen Ulster Scots Broadcast Fund.

Paul and Nick’s Big Food Trip, which aired on STV in September 2013, followed Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn on a culinary journey around the coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Recipes from the series will be available on the STV website.


For further information, please contact the STV press office:

Eleanor Marshall
0141 300 3670 / 07803 970 143