Often left off the culinary map because of its reputation for world-class skiing, the area surrounding Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada is rapidly changing. Starting in Reno – the biggest little city in the world – Leslie finds the hottest food spots. Then, she takes a step back in time to visit historic Virginia City famed in the mid-1800s for silver mining, gun-slinging, and Mark Twain. Today, the region’s spectacular mountains (and clear waters) are inspiring creators of developing distilleries, grass-fed beef producers, and local chefs.
Covering 24 blocks and five zip codes, San Francisco’s Chinatown is home to barbecue pork, steamed bao, dragon beard candy and enough dim sum to fill the table. There’s no one better than local celebrity chef, Martin Yan, to show Leslie around and discover hidden gems tucked in these busy streets. These two are quite the duo singing and laughing their way through the labyrinth of shops and eateries. But she couldn’t leave the enclave without a lesson in tea and a visit to famed Chef George Chen’s elegant Shanghai-style retreat.
Vienna, city of music and city of dreams, is a study in history and good taste. From dramatic architecture on the stately Ringstrasse to cozy coffee houses, sausages and schnitzel to Sachertorte and Sekt, it’s a culinary traveler’s delight. Leslie unlocks childhood memories of Vienna while visiting traditional spots, and uncovers new local hangouts including a sunny beach perfect for a picnic in this land-locked country.
Ancient hot springs and volcanic rock define modern vineyards and a new way to dine in Calistoga. Visiting geysers erupting from deep within the earth, Leslie joins with local wine growers to discover the secrets around American wine’s place in the world. In the process, a little relaxing romp in the mud, a lesson at the potter’s wheel, and eclectic recipes for fried chicken and kale salad from a Michelin-starred chef make the visit to Calistoga rewarding.
Undiscovered Danube, Europe
Small towns hug the Danube – one of the world’s most picturesque rivers – on its journey through Austria, Germany, and Slovakia to the Black Sea. Anchored by medieval fortresses, Leslie lets down her hair indulging in local delicacies in one village’s castle tower. The steep river hillsides are laden with vineyards and apricot orchards producing world-class libations. Leslie explores this rich agricultural area, tasting and making the ancient and famed Linzertorte along the way.
Asheville, North Carolina
Just outside the city of Asheville, North Carolina, lies an American landmark — The Biltmore. The Vanderbilt family built their sprawling estate in the late 1800s. Not only is this magnificent property reminiscent of Downton Abbey, it houses the most visited winery in the country. Downtown Asheville has a vibrant and growing beer brewing industry, too. Combined with North Carolina’s pork BBQ, it’s a winning combination. Leslie hikes off the calories in the area’s stunning state parks where movies from the Hunger Games to Dirty Dancing were filmed.
Spring 2020 episodes highlight journeys in France’s bucolic Normandy region sampling Camembert and Cider, the city of Budapest, Hungary, with a visit to the treasured town of Tokaj, music, whiskey and hot chicken in electric Nashville, Tennessee, a trip to bustling Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico, and much more.