For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you would know that I have been traveling a great deal recently. Lebanon, Malta and now I am writing this from the car, on the road through Iran, on my way to the Caspian Sea!
About twelve months ago I was lucky enough to be approached by Essential Media & Entertainment and SBS Australia with the idea of filming a TV series that would showcase to the world what I love about the Middle East. The plan was that along the way we would travel to some new destinations and gain a firsthand experience of the food in the region. I love traveling to countries that I have only ever had the chance to hear and read about, so I was on board with the idea instantly.
It has been an incredible experience and I’m savouring every day. I have meet some amazing people, made some lifelong friends and eaten some truly beautiful food.
It hasn’t all been champagne and caviar though. Life on the road filming a show is not that easy. Remote locations, scorching heat, long days, all types of language, cultural and political tensions.
Being away from all of my staff and my beloved restaurants is tough! Everyday I’m on the phone to my team asking is everything ok, what can I do, have you done this, is that ok? I must be driving them crazy!!!
I have a million ideas for new dishes, brilliant concepts and exciting new directions for my family back at the restaurants. I have absolutely loved this journey and it feels like it’s only just the beginning of a wild ride ahead.
Last week, SBS announced the show – called Shane Delia’s Spice Journey – will be airing in 2013 as part of their stellar food programming lineup. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there, but from all reports I hear it was a rousing success.
I hope that the viewers really feel what I am feeling over here. I hope they feel the love I have for this very special part of the world and see it for all of its beauty and kindness, not just what the media show on the news.
Yes, it is very different from what we know and accept as “everyday” back home. It is raw and brutal at times, but it is also absolutely breathtaking! If you let it, these cultures and their people will really take over your heart and fill it with passion. I hope to give you an understanding of what gives this region its resilience and the people who live in it their passion for life.
In a part of the world where nothing is certain, it’s the people and their culture that is the shining light in the face of all of the adversity, tension and unrest.
And if nothing else, the food rocks!!
– Shane Delia