It’s hard to put Hairy Bikers, a BBC Worldwide Production, together with the History Channel, but that is, in fact, the name of a new show, premiering Friday October, 14 at 10PM ET on HISTORY. It is also the name of a British TV show that follows two other bikers, Simon King and David Myers, through the UK and around the Globe.
This American show follows Paul Patranella, a classically trained French chef and his buddy, Bill Allen, a renowned motorcycle mechanic, as they take a road trip to discover the hunting, cooking, and eating habits of Americans. These two will remind you of the Two Fat Ladies, who roamed the UK in search of good nosh. Their appetites, curiosity, and friendliness seem to open up the rituals of Americana in a way that is not as stage-y or contrived as in other road shows. They are not pretty to look at, but they will make you look.
The premier show has them spearing frogs in a swampy area of Arkansas. Remember that episode of The Muppet Show with guest star John Denver who invites Kermit and the rest of the gang to a frog-hunting trip? Well, it seems Kermit has bitten the dust, and been fried up to be a tasty morsel in Arkansas. After trying their luck spearing frogs, they teach their host how to make frog’s legs Buffalo wings style. They take their host’s gift of a bag of legs, and head to a BBQ joint to help prepare ribs. There, they get a gift of BBQ sauce and hot sauce. Finally, they judge a cast iron cooking competition, trying all 50 dishes – creating their own frog’s leg and BBQ sauce stew.
The recipes aren’t the focus – the folkways are, and that’s why the show works. When foodies travel, they want to experience the places they go through the local food – and understand another place through how and what they eat. They don’t make fun of what they find or pass judgment, they just experience it.
These bikers take us along on their road trip – and it highly enjoyable.