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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

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Thu Jun 6th, 7:30am
Thu Jun 6th, 1:30pm
Thu Jul 25th, 7:30am
Thu Jul 25th, 1:30pm

Cooking in underground pits is an elemental part of Yucatecan cooking. In fact, it's downright sacred, as seen during the preparation of mucbil pollo at an intimate candlelit Hanal Pixan ceremony (think of it as the Yucatan's version of Dias de Los Muertos.) Rick heads to Yaxunah to see the entire process of making cochinita pibil, from the digging of the pit to the garnishing of the tacos. Rick also visits the smoky ovens in Temozon, a village known throughout Yucatan for its purveyors of smoked meats.

Rick and local guide Luis Garduno of REDTours venture out on a skiff to learn about sustainable fishing on Magdalena Bay. They catch up with local lobster fishermen and learn about sizing lobsters. Then they watch as clam divers haul up the local chocolate clams from the bottom of the bay. On the Isla de Magdalena shore, Rick and Chef Hubert turn the spiny lobsters into an impressive stuffed entree and mouthwatering salad. Rick gets to tag and release a protected sea turtle while the stuffed clams roast on the grill.

Rick introduces viewers to some of Los Cabos top chefs and their restaurants then cooks dinner for them at a luxurious beach house. Margarita Carrillo, chef/owner of Don Emiliano Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo, joins Rick to purchase the local cabrillo fish and to visit Tamarindo's Farm for organically grown produce. Rick makes a tamarind chile sauce to go with his fish and eggplant course. Margarita makes her special tomatillo tart for dessert. Together they cook chocolate clams on the beach with their guests.

Rick is always up for a cooking challenge. After a day spent boating and kayaking on the Sea of Cortez with a local ecotourism group, Rick grills dinner for the group on the beach at Espiritu Santo Island - one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world. The waters surrounding the island support coral reefs, colonies of sea lions and more than 500 species of fish. To stock up on supplies, Rick shops in the La Paz market for local cheese, fresh produce and chiles and on the island purchases seafood from a fisherman.

Rick takes us on a remarkable journey through Oaxaca City during the revered Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. We discover that in Mexico, death is embraced as part of the circle of life. During the holiday, people welcome home the spirits of their ancestors who come to commune with their families and friends. Like all visitors, the ancestors are welcomed with food, drink, music and memories. The spirit's presence is a blessing and brings joy to loved ones.

The Mercado Lazaro Cardenas is pretty standard as far as markets in Mexico City go. But turn one corner and suddenly you're in a different world: The world of coffee geeks, of which Rick is a proud citizen. The Passmar Cafe Finos stall brews espresso with natillas and cappuccino with blue curacao using unique brewing methods and award-winning baristas, and Rick geeks out in the best possible (caffeinated) way. Fully charged on caffeine, Rick's ready for a cocktail.

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