A year ago, on Saturday night, May 8th, the exuberant nature of Commune of Ibitipoca popped up on the screen CNN Brazil with its forests, waterfalls, trails and typical farm food. For me, one of the most amazing places in the whole world. For viewers, it was the CNN Travel & Gastronomy’s first program On TV.
But the hard work began long before that date. Paraty, Amazon, Pantanal, Fernando de Noronha and many other national destinations that make the Brazil a place of dreams were some of the trips I embarked on months before to film and deliver quality content to you, readers and viewers.
After more work, other filming, editing and agenda meetings, that first episode of Ibitipoca marked the kick-off to get to where we are now: there are 39 episodes, three seasons (with a fourth coming out of the oven!), 21 destinations and countless laughs, tears of emotion and stories to tell.
So, the debut anniversary of our series is symbolic for me and for the entire team that makes CNN Viagem & Gastronomia happen, since we launched a travel and experience program in the midst of a pandemic Covid-19 . The intention, however, matched the moment: we sought to be a window, a breath in the midst of the troubled period we were living.
hope was transport the viewer from the couch directly to incredible experiences so that he could feel inspired, glimpse a plural Brazil, meet new people through the screen, fill his eyes with exciting landscapes and taste with me local dishes worthy of being repeated.
And I believe I managed to accomplish the mission. I went to different places, each one special in its own way, but which brought traits in common: surprise, emotion and unique experiences. I say and repeat that we are never the same after a trip and that one of the riches of wandering the world is letting yourself be surprised by the smallest details.
Show the public a new program proposal, which integrates the products of CNN Soft , with a curatorship of experiences and a true immersion in the local culture – mixing the traditional with what is more “outside the curve” – is what motivates and fulfills me. From here, in this paragraph, I offer my most sincere thanks for the program and I also look to the future: a lot of good things are still to come.
National destinations: a plural Brazil
From north to south, I explored places in our country that only reinforce that Brazil is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. Paradise beaches, cozy mountains, large urban centers, cities with very few inhabitants and the visit to important biomes, from wetland The amazonare part of the scenery I discovered over thousands of kilometers.
be experiencing the gastronomic versatility of São Paulowith its hectic routine, or even staying in farm hotels in the mountains of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeirowith its characteristics of slow travelone thing is certain: our Brazil is huge and offers us diverse experiences like nowhere else.
Still in 2020 and at the beginning of 2021, when we were adjusting the details for the first season, I could attest that tourism was changing: with closed borders and restrictions due to the pandemic, we all wanted to have greater contact with nature and live, at least for a short time, outdoor experiences.
THE ecotourism it was the word of the day, which came to stay and present us with a model of responsible travel full of experiences in tune with our exuberant fauna and flora.
This was the chance to visit destinations like Beautiful, whose waterfalls, caves and ponds amaze anyone; go to Fernando de Noronha, where the most beautiful beaches in the world are located; enter an Amazon beyond Manaus, as in Crystalline Reserve or not Anavilhanas National Park; and still see alligators up close and the conservation work of hyacinth macaws and jaguars in the splendid Pantanal.
In the midst of trying typical foods, presenting the wonders of destinations and telling stories of people who inspire, I was also able to take a little risk. In Rio de Janeiro, I chose to show another side of the city: I rappelled on Morro Dois Irmãoswhich guaranteed me adrenaline spikes and unimaginable views of the Marvelous City, and I could still get emotional for being one of the few people to climb into the arms of Christ the Redeemermore than 700 meters high.
At Serra do Caraçain Minas Gerais, in addition to all the religiosity of this unique place, the visit of the maned wolf was one of the most welcome surprises during the trip, and I could see it up close in the middle of a starry night on the stairs of the local church .
Diving in a flooded area with a cylinder in a gold mine that was explored from 1719 in Mariana, Minas Gerais, was also one of the most memorable experiences for me, and my racing heart betrayed the anxiety of visiting that place. It is unparalleled to descend about 10 meters between the stones in the clear and transparent water, which is even more photogenic with the lights of the lanterns.
International destinations: Discoveries around the world
With the success of the first season, thanks to the joint work of the CNN Travel & Gastronomy team and your positive responses, a second season came in September 2021 and, with it, a novelty: the debut of an international destination.
The place chosen was symbolic and warms my heart when I think of it, full of affective memories… and lots of wine! I speak of Bordeaux, region in France world-renowned for its award-winning vineyards and chateaux historical. Well-preserved buildings, sweets in typical shops, appetizing gastronomy, river walks, special hotels and, of course, an immersion in the best wines in the world were part of a series of five episodes.
With that, the third season landed on your small screen earlier this year and, with it, more international destinations: have you ever thought about walking side by side with gorillas in the forests of Rwanda, in Africa? Drink classic drinks while enjoying yourself jazz in the oldest houses of the genre in New Orleans? Or still explore the gastronomic novelties and the vibrant cultural hustle of Miami, city in the United States adored by us Brazilians?
All this was just the tip of what I showed you over these initial months of 2022, which arrived with relief from travel restrictions and showed enormous potential in the recovery of the sector with the advancement of vaccination around the world.
flavors and knowledge
I also say that trying typical dishes from the places I visit is like a trip within a trip. Through the wisdom of regional chefs, who imprint their knowledge and value local ingredients in their creations, we can enter a new world. It’s an explosion of flavors that comes with a lot of knowledge, a mixture that finds balance on the plate and in the glass.
There’s no way not to go to Rio de Janeiro, for example, and not fall in the graces of its Bohemia: Cold beer and mouth-watering snacks are an excuse to fall even more in love with the city and then fall in with its samba.
On the air bridge, São Paulo also impresses with its secret restaurants: Chefs turn the unusual into a desire factor for customers – the result is a lot of curiosity and “eat on your knees” recipes.
You municipal markets of the cities are also a great escape to see and taste, in fact, what the local cuisine is like. Whether in New Orleans, with its sandwiches and seafood stews, in Bordeaux, with cream cheese stuffed with truffles and the beauty of the breads coming out of the ovens, or in Belo Horizonte, with the rescue of a market that is now point from the mining capital, these places are mandatory stops for good food and typical regional experiences.
And, recapping the show, I can’t help but talk about one of my favorite foods in the world, the Crackling . I ate several of them throughout the episodes!
Crunchy on the outside, succulent on the inside, I tried this delicacy wherever I went: in Conceição do Ibitipoca, in “Beagá”, in Rio, in Bonito, in Tiradentes and in Ouro Preto. Do you have a favorite food discovery from your travels? I challenge you to step out of the ordinary and experiment with your mind – and your mouth! – open the best each destination has to offer. Surprise yourself!
What to expect for the future?
If so far I’ve looked back on the program to how far we’ve come, it’s time to talk about the next steps. So, what does the future look like?
In addition to some more than special destinations, I advance the most important thing: I will continue to fulfill my promise to take you to the most interesting places on Earth by my side, immersing myself in culture, gastronomy, slender landscapes and continuing to make real connections with people who make difference in their communities.
After all, I like to emphasize that CNN Viagem & Gastronomia is “ours”, since it belongs to the plural.
And make a note of it: for the next programs, the wines, the food and the tradition of Portugal will be on our route. Adventures in nature and discoveries of trails and hotels next to a volcano in Costa Rica also. The sets that look like they came out of a movie in Patagonia with its sub-zero climate and remote regions, promise to take them to the extremes of South America.
In the near future, of course, we will continue to carry out our daily work: the site will continue to be active, mirroring my adventures around the world and bringing news about tourism and gastronomy; at social media they will still be like a window for new discoveries amidst the contents of your feed; it’s the YouTube channel will make the programs available in full so that you can accompany me on trips without having to leave your home.
Whether in the past, present or future, I say that what remains are the inspiring stories of the most diverse people I meet along the way, in addition to the desire to instigate you to live experiences around the world that change our perspectives and shape our vision of world. Shall we go with me to the next adventure?
Source: CNN Brasil