The world is Manu Feildel's oyster for 30 days (+recipe)

By Stephanie Holmes

Celebrity chef Manu Feildel is on a global mission — and a budget — in his new show, writes Stephanie Holmes.
Tower Bridge provides the backdrop while filming in London.
Tower Bridge provides the backdrop while filming in London.

We're used to seeing French-born, Australian-based chef Manu Feildel on our screens as one half of the cool, calm, critical judging duo on My Kitchen Rules.

But this week we'll see him in a different light - travelling the world following the footsteps of one of his heroes.

"For many years I've dreamed of travelling the route Phileas Fogg took in Jules Vern's famous novel, Around the World in 80 Days, but with a special twist," Manu says. "My adventure would be a culinary voyage - cooking, eating, and sharing the food of each amazing destination with the people I met along the way."

Sounds easy? Well, in keeping with the reality television shows Manu is famous for, there is an even bigger twist.

"Of course I couldn't just follow the footsteps of Fogg, there must be a modern-day challenge to keep it interesting," Manu says.

In Vern's book, Fogg accepted a bet of £20,000 that he couldn't make it all the way around the world in 80 days.

"When I was dreaming of my own adventure I knew I wouldn't have 80 days, but with modern day transport maybe I could do it in 30," Manu says. "And no one was offering me £20,000 as a reward, however perhaps I could attempt the journey my way - as a culinary expedition - on a $20,000 budget."

Twenty-grand sounds like a lot for a month-holiday, sure. But when you see Manu's itinerary, you may change your mind.

He goes from Australia to the UK, then to Dubai, India, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and New York. A quick calculation on a flight booking website shows you potentially could spend $19,000 on flights alone.

In each destination, Manu is allowed to earn extra money by any means necessary - washing dishes, cooking meals and even busking - but he can't accept travel or money without earning it.

His first stop is London, where he lived for eight years.

Manu Feildel at Hackney's Foxlow bar.
Manu Feildel at Hackney's Foxlow bar.

"I was excited to see how the city had changed and any new offerings they had," Manu says. "London always amazes me in the way that it is such an old city and able to still keep traditions but also has so much to offer in the modern world - especially in the way of the cuisine offered there.

"It's great that you can find traditional food everywhere, as well as modern and exciting new flavours and concepts. Unfortunately, as my time was short and my budget small I didn't get to sample all the great food that I would have loved to."

Manu did have time to visit Dorset, where he'd never been, and popped in to fellow celebrity chef Rick Stein's restaurant, Sandbanks, where he worked in the kitchen for the day. After work, he got to tuck into a seafood platter. "Being so close to the sea, the fish was amazingly fresh and full of flavour."

Manu's tips for a budget trip to London

"Travelling on a budget anywhere nowadays isn't that easy but in the UK, it's possible. They have a great tourist trade so have readily available affordable accommodation. It's not easy but can be more comfortable if you're prepared to work on the way too.

"The UK, London in particular, is a tourist haven and there is endless things to do, to see and of course to eat!

"I hope to return soon and would plan to stay a little longer, in the summer time with a bigger budget!"

The chef tucks in at Cereal Killer cafe in London.
The chef tucks in at Cereal Killer cafe in London.

My advice to anyone travelling there would be:

● Bring an umbrella.
● Bring lots of layers of clothes.
● In London use the Tube to travel around - it's a bigger city than you think. Sometimes you may spend 45 minutes on the Tube but I guarantee you it would be longer by car.
● Get an Oyster Card (a local travel card) and travel after 9.30am as it's a lot cheaper.

Venison and pork chorizo with grand veneur sauce

Manu's journey starts on our screens on Saturday, but he's shared a recipe in advance to help us get in the mood.

Serves: 4-6

Chorizo sausage:
750g venison, minced
750g pork shoulder, minced
15g table salt
10g fennel seeds, toasted and ground
15g smoked paprika
15g fermented garlic OR fresh crushed garlic cloves
2-3m hog casing, flushed

Sauce:
20g salted butter
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
60ml brandy, to flambe
8 venison and pork chorizo sausages, or sausages of your choice
300ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
150ml cream
1-2 Tbsp redcurrant jelly
3 Tbsp chopped chives

For the sausages, place all ingredients into a large metal bowl and mix well, preferably with your hands, to combine. Pass through a mincer using the largest sized blade.

Remove the blade and cutter and fit the mincer with a sausage nozzle, guiding the flushed hog casing over and ensuring that it stays moist so as not to crack.

Turn on the mincer to begin feeding through the mince. As it just begins to come through, stop the motor, remove any excess mince and then take the casing over the end and tie into a knot.

Turn the motor back on and begin to fill the casing, ensuring that the mince isn't too firm or the sausages will split. Once the casing is full, take a 15cm length of the sausage beginning at one end and twist, take the next 15cm length and twist then bring them together to join. Take a third 15cm length and twist, bring around 30cm of length through the joined sausages, fold in half and pinch and twist. Repeat this process until you have wound the length of sausage into 18-20 sausages. Hang in the fridge over night to set and dry a little. Any excess sausages will keep for up to a week or place into freezer bags and freeze for up to three months.

Cook the sausages in an oiled fry pan or on a barbecue for 8-10 minutes until golden and just cooked through.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a large cast iron frying pan over a medium high heat, add the onions and cook for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the peppercorns then pour in the brandy and, using a match taken close to the surface of the liquid, ignite it and flambe.

Once the flames have subsided, add the red wine and reduce heat to low to simmer to reduce by half, then pour in the stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by a third before adding the jelly and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the sausages and cook over a medium low heat for 3-5 minutes for the flavours to meld.

Serve with your favourite mash potato or crusty bread as desired.

Around the World With Manu Feildel, Saturdays from October 29 at 8.30pm on TVNZ1

- Spy.co.nz

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