Jonathan Phang Travels by train in new series

2014-02-11 17:30
Cape Town – Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains, starting tonight at 21:00 on the Travel Channel (DStv 179), sees the presenter of Jonathan Phang's Caribbean Cookbook setting off on a brand-new culinary adventure across the globe – this time by luxury rail.

In this new series with new episodes every Tuesday and 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.

Phang and Travel Channel executives recently jetted into South Africa for a launch of the new series. Travel Channel did a media launch in sweltering heat in a stationary train carriage of the Atlantic Rail Steam train which didn’t actually go anywhere, but the oppressive heat while launching the show next to a Cape Town train station platform didn’t dampen Phang’s boisterous mood.

"The trains in the show obviously look more or less the same, but the destinations and the feel of the journey is what's interesting to me on the show," Phang told Channel24.

Luxury railway journeys in Jonathan Phang's Gourmet Trains include Venice to London and 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 Phang 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, 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.

"Each city has something has something great,” said Phang. “There are 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."

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