Tuesdays at 9p on WVIA-TV
This summer, WVIA viewers are invited to join internationally renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson to explore vibrant immigrant communities in cities across the U.S. in the new series, NO PASSPORT REQUIRED. Hosted and executive produced by Samuelsson, this new six-part series in partnership with Eater introduces audiences to some of America’s best flavors, as Marcus explores immigrant traditions and global cuisines that are woven into American food and culture.
Premiering this summer on Tuesday nights, July 10-August 14, NO PASSPORT REQUIRED features musicians, poets, chefs, business owners, artists, community leaders and home cooks who have enhanced the nation’s culture and cuisine. From Detroit, where Marcus meets Middle Eastern immigrants who call the city home, to the Ethiopian community in Washington, D.C., NO PASSPORT REQUIRED showcases how food can bring Americans — old and new — together around the table.
“Sometimes you can stay within this great country we call America and it’s the most diverse place in the world,” said Samuelsson. “We’ll bring viewers on the journey into these amazing communities where we get to go deep into the markets, pull up to the roadside stands and be welcomed into homes — all the places where people share and celebrate food together.”
An immigrant himself — born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, now a celebrated chef, restaurateur, author and resident of Harlem — Samuelsson’s personal story brings a particular resonance to his observations as he travels across the country. “I absolutely believe in the American dream,” he said. “It’s inspired people from all over the world to come here. And what would America be without all the immigrants? Not as delicious! Not as tasty!”
During production, Marcus became immersed in more than just fantastic food and exciting new recipes. In New Orleans, he learns how Vietnamese culinary traditions have fully integrated into the fabric of the city, taking center stage with long-established French and African influences. In New York, he’s shown how the Indo-Guyanese culture thrives in a small enclave of Queens, and how this one community has taken the best of its Indian, Caribbean and colonial heritage and incorporated those influences into its customs and cuisine. In Chicago, Marcus ventures into the city’s Mexican neighborhoods and discovers their impact on the area’s food and cultural landscape. Going beyond the borders of South Beach, he also meets with members of Miami’s proud Haitian community.
NO PASSPORT REQUIRED celebrates inclusivity and brings attention to the contributions diverse groups of Americans have made to our country and how despite cultural differences, everyone can come together. “Being an immigrant is something I’m really proud of,” said Marcus. “I’m here because so many Americans opened up their homes and hearts to me.”
Marcus heads to Detroit — home to one of the largest and most diverse Middle Eastern communities in America — to explore its culture, history and food.
New Orleans is known for being one of the most vibrant food cities in America, thanks in part to the Vietnamese community's culinary contributions.
In New York, Marcus learns about the Indo-Guyanese community. This double-diasporic community from Guyana and the Caribbean has roots in India, and has now settled in Richmond Hill
The history of Haitian immigration to Miami is deep and layered. Food serves as a way for the community to celebrate together and helps educate the region about its culture.