Jamie’s American Road Trip

7:30pm Sunday, January 27 on Prime

Lifestyle Series

This is the ultimate boy’s trip! Jamie wants to see if the cliches of Hollywood westerns are all they’re cracked up to be. He’s always wondered what life as a cowboy is like, and in Wyoming he finally gets to find out. His trip begins in Sheridan, where Annie Proulx conceived the idea for her novel, Brokeback Mountain. Jamie visits a rodeo before heading into the wilds upstate to see if he can cut it living and working on a real American ranch, and cooking for proper cowboys.

7:30pm Sunday, January 20 on Prime

Reality Series

As the global recession gains momentum, Jamie goes in search of the best cheap food in America. He starts his journey in Georgia, one of the country’s poorest states and birthplace of the civil rights movement. Despite the recession, Jamie finds a hopeful nation following the election of President Obama, and a people determined to make the best food possible with limited finances and ingredients. His journey becomes an exploration of communal dining: pot-luck church dinners, street parties, ladies’ tea parties and family roasts. Edging down the Georgia coast, Jamie hears about a huge barbeque competition in Florida. With a team of people he’s met along the way he decides to try his luck against some of America’s most experienced barbecue cooks.

7:30pm Sunday, January 13 on Prime

Lifestyle Series

The Navajo Reservation

With no experience in backpacking or roughing it, Jamie finds himself in unknown territory during the harsh Arizona Winter. He leaves the tourist trail to spend time with the Navajo Indians on the largest reservation in America. Staying with Mayor Elect Roy Kady, who also happens to be a sheep farmer, Jamie witnesses Navajo traditions up close: from butchery, to overnighting in a hogan, and cooking with elders. It doesn’t take long before Jamie realises that, despite being the original American people, Native American’s are in danger of losing their food culture completely. Isolated from the rest of the country and with no mobile signal, Jamie ventures into some of the most unchartered terrain in the United States.

7:30pm Sunday, January 6 on Prime

Reality Series

Los Angeles is synonymous with glitz, glamour and the American dream. But, just a few miles east of the Hollywood sign lives America’s largest concentration of Mexican immigrants. Jamie isn’t in LA living it up; he’s living the LA lifestyle for real. East LA is notorious for gangs, drugs and violence, but alongside these problems Jamie discovers a community proud of its food, committed to family and striving to make the American dream a reality.

7:30pm Sunday, December 30 on Prime

Reality Series

Jamie touches down in Louisiana just weeks after Hurricane Gustav has wreaked havoc in New Orleans and the surrounding area. On a quest to understand why people continue to live in a place that keeps getting battered by hurricanes, Jamie finds a state full of people who use food as a way to celebrate life and keep the party going through adversity. In New Orleans he meets ‘gumbo queen’, Leah Chase, whose Creole restaurant is finally back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina. He also meets local jazz star, Kermit Ruffins, who is famous for his street barbeque and knows the city inside out.

7:30pm Sunday, December 23 on Prime

Reality Series

Join Jamie Oliver on the adventure of a lifetime and ultimate road trip – travelling around the USA on a journey of discovery into parts of that vast country that few visitors ever see. On his trip, Jamie delves into the underbelly of American society to uncover fascinating personal stories, try real American food and meet the most interesting but unsung chefs and food producers the country has to offer. This epic journey takes Jamie to the heart of America: its people, culture, music and most importantly, its food.

FOOD TELEVISION – Mondays from 26 December, 7.30pm

Join Jamie Oliver on the adventure of a lifetime and ultimate road trip – travelling around the USA on a journey of discovery into parts of that vast country that few visitors ever see. On his trip, Jamie delves into the underbelly of American society to uncover fascinating personal stories, try real American food and meet the most interesting but unsung chefs and food producers the country has to offer. The epic journey takes Jamie to the heart of America: its people, culture, music and most importantly, its food.

7:30pm Saturday, February 13 on TV One

TV ONE’s new series Jamie’s Amercian Road Trip, sees Jamie Oliver embark on a culinary adventure of a lifetime – travelling around the USA, discovering what few get to experience (tonight at 7.30pm).

Oliver looks into the underbelly of American society to uncover fascinating personal stories, try real American food and meet the most interesting, but unsung chefs and food producers the country has to offer. Rather than fancy restaurants and top chefs, he’ll be meeting and learning from real cooks making honest food for working people at street stalls, off-road diners and down-to-earth local restaurants.

Along the way, he picks up delicious new recipes, experiencing tastes old and new, and learning how other cultures adapt when they come to the USA. This journey takes him to the heart of America: its people, culture, music and most importantly, its food.

“I wanted to make the ultimate American food-angled series,” Oliver explains. “We were just not interested in clichés or predictable stuff, you know, junk food and fat people – I wanted to really get under the skin of what is America, how diverse its food is, is any of it any good? We certainly got that. A lot of it was shocking and amazing and at times a little scary.

“The series covers immigration, recession, positive role models in East LA gangland, being in Louisiana just after Hurricane Gustav had hit, being in Georgia just after Obama got in, soul food, slave food, Arizona and the Navajo Indians, the original Native Americans, and their cuisine. It’s just mind-blowing really – and then there’s the scale of this place.”

Although his passion is for food, Oliver says the trip opened his eyes to the soul of the US, its history and how the many different cultures within the country came to shape its cuisine. The road trip also gave him the opportunity to sit around the table with some fascinating characters.

“American food is a melting pot,” he says. “With immigrants comes food – someone who loves food will take it wherever they end up. American food is basically a metaphor for the whole world: you could be eating the most authentic dan dan noodles from Korea; you could be eating amazing pasta from third-generation Italians; and ultimately, the biggest American food icon, the burger, is from Germany.

“What you get in America is some of the original ‘fusion food’, where you get French and Spanish and English and African influences – that’s the cornerstone of Cajun and Creole cooking.”

Oliver says he went looking for the quintessential “American food” but discovered there was no such thing. “Instead there’s a huge wealth of seriously exciting dishes.”

Missed an episode of Jamie’s American Road Trip – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.