Celebrity chefs return to STV with new Big American Food Trip

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Celebrated chefs Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn return to STV this August with a brand new series of Paul & Nick’s Big American Food Trip.

The eight-part series of 30 minute programmes, which will air from Monday 8th August at 2000, is produced by Waddell Media for STV and UTV.

Firm friends Ulsterman Paul and Scot Nick follow in the footsteps of the first Ulster-Scots who travelled and settled in America. In this brand new series, the chefs stop off in eight different culinary locations, including Virginia, North and South Carolina, East Tennessee and Washington D.C. to meet local producers and learn more about the history of the Ulster-Scots from their descendants.

Nick Nairn said: “In the year of the American Presidential election all eyes are on the United States so there is no better time to be returning for another food trip. From bison farms in Madison County to oysters in Chesapeake Bay and fine dining in Washington D.C., Paul and I will be exploring great American produce and discovering some of the surprising Scottish and Irish history behind what they eat. From experiencing the hottest chilli in America to cooking a dinner fit for a President, the series is an amazing adventure through the world of food and the shared heritage uniting Scotland and America.”

Paul Rankin said: “What a privilege it was to film this series. To travel and experience so many iconic places in America where our ancestors settled and formed communities was just fabulous. Chesapeake Bay, Shenandoah Valley and Smoky mountains - it was like being in the movies! And to film it with my best buddy Nick was, well, unbelievable. Ask yourself what could possibly go wrong? The food was spectacular - real southern BBQ, bison, sun-ripened Carolina peaches, Rappahannock oysters and Virginia country ham ... mmm ... I could do it all again!”

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of content at STV, said: “It’s great to see Paul and Nick return to our screens in this foodie road trip as they cook their way across some of America’s most historical locations, meeting locals and Ulster-Scots descendants on route. The new series is a great insight into history and travel, as well as a fantastic opportunity to learn some new recipes from these celebrity chefs.”

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


EPISODE 1: Washington D.C. 
Paul and Nick are in Washington D.C. - the capital city and political stronghold of the United States.  This week they’re cooking for former White House Press Secretary and Ulster-Scot - Mike McCurry - and his friends and family.

The chefs also find out about the Ulster-Scots heritage of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States. They pick up local seafood at Maine Avenue Fish Market, and discover some fabulous seasonal vegetables at the Fresh Farm Market at Dupont Circle all to prepare a three course presidential meal at the UK’s Deputy Ambassador’s Residence.

EPISODE 2: Lexington, Virginia
Chefs Paul and Nick are in Lexington, Virginia to cook for descendants of the Ulster-Scots Lewis family who settled in the area in the 18th century. Along the way they visit a heritage pig farmer, taste some sparkling cider and discover some delicious goat’s cheese in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont region where Paul has a close encounter with a friendly goat.

EPISODE 3: Madison County, North Carolina
Paul and Nick are in Madison County, North Carolina in the heart of Southern Appalachia. The roots of Appalachian music and dance can be traced to the 18th century Ulster-Scots settlers. The chefs meet 7th generation ballad singer Sheila Kay Adams and Appalachian dancer and musician Phil Jamison – both of Ulster-Scots descent - to find out more about these traditions. They fish for trout in a mountain river, visit a bison farm and delve into the folklore of moonshine. With these fabulous ingredients they prepare and cook a three-course meal for Sheila, Phil and their friends and family.

EPISODE 4: Knoxville, East Tennesse
The chefs head to the city of Knoxville, East Tennessee, to meet and cook for descendants of the first Ulster-Scots settlers in the area – the Ramseys and the Whites. They hit the Market Square Farmers’ Market in downtown Knoxville and visit a 6th generation farmer to find some great beef.

EPISODE 5: Williamsburg, Virginia
Paul and Nick visit Colonial Williamsburg, a living history exhibition to find out about one of the United States of America’s founding fathers – Patrick Henry - and his role in the American Revolution.

They take a trip out to Chesapeake Bay and discover some amazing oysters and sample Virginian Ham and the Virginia peanut. Using these ingredients they prepare a bespoke three course meal for descendants of Patrick Henry.

EPISODE 6: York County, South Carolina
The chefs head for York County in the central region of the South Carolina Piedmont or ‘foothills’ to cook for descendants of the influential Bratton family. They visit the producer of the hottest chilli pepper in the world, get a taste for the Carolina peach and find out about the State’s tradition of ‘slow and low’ barbecue.

EPISODE 7: Wears Valley, Smoky Mountains
Paul and Nick head to the Smoky Mountains to meet descendants of Samuel Wear who played a key role in Tennessee history. They visit an exotic vegetable farmer, taste some fruit pies at a farmers’ market and go deep into the mountains to get some smoky bacon.

EPISODE 8: Staunton, Virginia
Paul and Nick make their way down the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton, Virginia. Here the chefs forage for wild edibles and visit famed alternative farmer Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms to check out his chickens. They also pay a visit to the Frontier Culture Museum to find out about the impact and influence the Ulster-Scots settlers had in the valley.