NEW YORK, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo takes television viewers on a fast-paced informative tour of Italy's limitless food and wine, from the Alps to the southern shores of Sicily in its first season of 13 30-minute episodes beginning July 2013 (check local listings). Whether touring a cheese cave that was once one of Mussolini's bunkers, hunting for the elusive white truffle, exploring Napoleon's wine tunnels, visiting a Slow Foods superstar in her humble kitchen or going 20 meters underground to the very roots of one of Italy's most celebrated wine varietals, Vic Rallo brings a unique perspective to the traditional format of television cooking series. In the New York metropolitan area, the series will air Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. beginning July 6 on WLIW21; Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning July 6 on THIRTEEN; and Saturdays at 5 p.m. beginning July 6 on NJTV, New Jersey's public television network, with an encore Mondays at 8 p.m. beginning July 10.
Eat! Drink! Italy! gets its vibe from the outsized personality of series host Vic Rallo, a New Jersey restaurateur and raconteur who is at once charming, intrepid, confident and humble. His enthusiasm for the information he shares about Italian ingredients, technique, and history is contagious, with the potential to convert even the most casual pizza eater into an Italophile "foodie." Rallo grew up in a restaurant family, attended Villanova and graduated from Seton Hall Law School only to abandon his legal training and return to what really inspires him.
As Rallo explains the inspiration for his first public television series, "When it comes to food and wine, there is nothing more powerful than turning people on to the temptations of Italy. If I used words like 'gustatory,' I'd say it's just one gustatory adventure after another. What it really is just simple, unconscious, sumptuous, sustainable living and always, always using the best and freshest ingredients you can find. For thousands of years these people have used whatever grows outside their door to create the most delectable but simple dishes. When it comes to Italian wine, it's all about passion and pride-the wine lover is always the winner. It's all so seductive!" Rallo is the owner of Basil T's Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank, New Jersey and Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson, New Jersey, and is recognized as one of the champions of truly authentic Italian food and also as an Italian wine expert.
The show's award-winning executive producer and director Mark Ganguzza describes the format of the series as "a tasting menu, or the small plate options in an outstanding restaurant. I want to give the viewer unusual, provocative and tasty bites about the world's most popular cuisine and its wines. Each episode holds something special and practical for the foodie in all of us."
"Vic Rallo brings an innovative outlook and great energy to one of public television's most traditional series genres," says John Servidio, General Manager, WLIW21 and NJTV. "We are excited to share his dynamic approach to food and wine with the rest of the country."
Eat! Drink! Italy! also features wine connoisseur Anthony "Tony" Verdoni, considered among the masters of Italian wines and is noted for his prescient views about Italian wine and winemakers decades ago,well before Italy's wines began their due recognition. He is known by many in his industry as 'Il Professore,' or the Professor. Verdoni's contributions to the series introduce viewers to Italy's most sought after winemakers and the storied histories of generations of delectable nectars.
The series' companion website, eatdrinkitaly.org, will host full recipes featured in the episodes, food and wine features, show archives, station finder, series-related local event schedules, and more.
Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo is a production of Sunburst Creative Group. The series is a presentation of WLIW21 in association with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television. John Servidio is executive in charge of production for WLIW21 in association with WNET.
Episodes will air as follows (check local listings):
#101 – "Close to Home" Cheese artistry; in Piedmont, three quick recipes from Mama Maria-Summer: Bagna Cauda, Herb Fritters and Summer Salad; Vic tries organic beekeeping; Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass) and Organic Honey; Tuscan Chicken Salad.
#102 – "Art Imitates Food" Vic's clean, simple and easy method for frying calamari; Moscato, Italy's "Old New Kid on the Block;" Classic Bean Soup; wine and art.
#103 –"Going Deep" A walk through Napolean's ancient wine tunnels; terroir - how wine gets its flavor; experimental vineyards produce new superstars; Roasted Cauliflower Salad; Canederli (Tyrolean dumplings).
#104 – "Popping the Cork" Yeast in sparkling wines; Bolito Misto mixed meats stew; superstar winemaker Hans Terzer; the truth about Balsamic vinegars.
#105 – "You Can't Judge a Book…" A visit to a fantasy wine cellar and wine label designers; organic winemaking – what to look for; 100 point wines of Giacomo Neri; Ribolita vegetables and bread soup.
#106 –"Light and Luscious" Yodeling and food; light, healthy but faithful cream sauce; American food writer and wine author Alan Tardi in Piemonte; the history of wine writing; Chef Cervelli's Prawns/Shrimp.
#107 – "A Few Basics" Shopping in an open air market; simple but versatile Eggplant Caponata; risotto the right way; Sicilian sweets; wine traditions at the ancient Abbey at Novacella.
#108 – "Put Passion in Your Pantry" Chef Salvatore Toscano's Beef; Funghi Bruschetta; "wine couple" Rudy Kerschbaumer and Gabby Tauber; Emilia Nardi's unique approach to wine making in Montalcino.
#109 – "Gold in Them Hills" white truffle hunt; Truffles and Eggs; Plin (ancient stuffed pasta); wine maker Giovanni Folinari; Chef Stefano Cervelli's Pasta with Sea Urchins.
#110 – "Off the Hook" Vic visits a fish cannery and prepares sardines; the Cheese Taster; deMedici cookie recipe; Pappa Al Pomodoro (bread and tomato soup).
#111 – "Two Passions" Vic visits world bicycling legend and winemaker Francesco Moser; Chef Francesco Bracali's Tuscan Pork; ancient food writers; vineyard micro-ownership.
#112 – "Rice is Nice" Italy's unsung rice varieties; versatile Mascarapone cheese; Braised Beef, vineyard style; Italy's young winemakers.
#113 – "Party Dish" Bagna Cauda - Piemonte's Party Dish; a wine family close-up; wine hotel; Chef Giovanni Bonavita's Chicken Valdanese, a local classic.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York's flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America's public television stations since 1961. For nearly 10 years, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies, including Rick Steves' Europe, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated, Nightly Business Report, Globe Trekker, BBC World News, Lidia's Italy, Rosemary & Thyme, NHK Newsline, Simply Ming, Midsomer Murders, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Best of Soul Train and For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create® TV – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in WORLD™, public television's premier news and documentary channel.