Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New series, Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains, on Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 21:00, embarks on a culinary journey by rail.

Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains, starting on Tuesday 11 February at 21:00 on the Travel Channel (DStv 179) sees the presenter of Jonathan Phang's Caribbean Cookbook setting off on a culinary adventure across the globe on luxury rail.

In this new series inspired by "the allure of old world glamour" according to the Travel Channel, Jonathan Phang, a self-confessed bon viveur with a passion for gastronomy, goes on a gourmet journey on luxury trains, stopping off and interviewing some interesting people along the way.

Luxury railway journeys in Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains include Venice to London on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, Bucharest to Istanbul on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, England (Kent and Rutland) on the British Pullman and Northern Belle, Singapore to Penang on the Eastern and Oriental Express, and Budapest to Vienna on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

On board the trains Jonathan gets to know the staff and fellow passengers and helps out with the chefs, including Christian Bodiguel and Yannis Martineau, who between them have worked on the trains for over 50 years.

In the cities he stops off in, Jonathan Phang explores what's new on the food scene, meeting people who are pioneering in their culinary field and tries the unexpected and cutting edge.

"The trains obviously looks more or less the same, but the destinations and the feel of the journey is what's interesting to me on the show," Jonathan Phang told TV with Thinus.

"Each city has something has something great. There's cities I've never been to like Bucharest - and not destinations I would necessarily choose to go to. So it's quite nice to be forced to go to them and to discover something you don't know".

"Also Istanbul I think is an amazing city. That's certainly a place I'd go back to."

Jonathan Phang said "apparently English people love train shows. Which I didn't know, because I don't particularly like trains. I've never been particularly interested in trains. The producers went to the channel with the idea and then the channel suggested that I might be the right person to front it. So I came in after it was commissioned".

"Trains are not my thing but after having experienced it I understand why it would be somebody else's. If you have an affection for trains, it's about as good as it gets," Jonathan Phang told me.

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