In an upcoming episode of ‘No Passport Required,’ an acclaimed chef visits three Somerville eateries.
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Internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson has been traveling the country exploring the diversity of immigrant traditions and cuisine for “No Passport Required,” produced by Eater for PBS. For the Boston episode, which airs Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. on WGBH 2, Samuelsson stopped at three Somerville eateries.
The episode explores the food and culture that has evolved from the Portuguese, Brazilian and Cape Verdean diasporas; Samuelsson visited East Somerville’s Pastelaria Vitoria Broadway as well as Nucleo Sportinguista Da Area and Oliveira’s Steak House.
“I love being able to highlight different cultures and provide a platform for people to be exposed to traditions they may not have known about,” he said. “The immigrant story is the American story. Diversity is what makes us so unique, so we want to encourage people to think about diversity when they think about America.”
Samuelsson said he loved the diversity of Somerville’s food scene, and especially enjoyed trying the traditional and “delicious” Cape Verdean stew cachupa at Nucleo Sportinguista Da Area on McGrath Highway. The highlight, though, was connecting with the community through shared stories.
“The show’s goal is to not only highlight culture, but to highlight these incredible cities,” said Samuelsson. “We want people who visit these cities to be informed of its amazing culture. Also, people who live in these places, we want to expose them to what’s happening in their own backyard. It’s about feeding curious minds. The more we learn about other cultures, the better.”
Swedish Ethiopian chef, restaurateur, and author Samuelsson is passionate about sharing and celebrating the food of America’s vibrant communities. For this Boston episode of the second season of “No Passport Required,” Samuelsson also visited Fall River’s Portugalia, New Bedford’s Izzy’s Restaurant, and Cambridge’s Muqueca and Zing Bowl.
“These three distinct Portuguese-speaking communities – comprised of over a million people in Massachusetts – reflect the reach of a once-mighty empire, stretching from islands in the mid-Atlantic and off the coast of West Africa to South America,” read a press release from WGBH. “While learning about this often painful history, Marcus tastes the food of the chefs who are continuing and transforming these traditions – sampling Portuguese chowder with halibut on a fishing boat, visiting a Portuguese marketplace where he tastes the dried cod known as bacalhau, learning the history of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira over açaí bowls, tasting Cape Verdean specialties like cachupa and jagacida, and, of course, heading to a churrascaria for lots and lots of meat.”
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