Video Transcript

The BBC logo appears on screen.

A male Narrator says SIX COOKS...
[laughter]
SIX COUNTRIES, SIX INCREDIBLE
JOURNEYS.

Iconic buildings and landmark views run in fast clips.

Monica Galetti raises her arms and says WOO!

Monica is in her forties, with short, braided brown hair. She wears a brick red long-sleeved top and an army gray cap.

Dave Myers sits as children play with his hair.

He says AH!

Dave is in his fifties, with long wavy graying hair and a full beard. He wears glasses and a floral shirt.

The Narrator says STEPPING OUTSIDE
THEIR COMFORT ZONES.

A fast clip shows them riding horses and trekking in the jungle. Monica wears a lilac tank top.

A caption reads "Monica Galetti. France."

Monica says IT'S NOT FOR
THE FAINT HEARTED, FOR SURE.

The Narrator says OUR COOKS WILL
TRAVEL FAR AND WIDE...

John Torode drives a car. He’s in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears a blue shirt.

He says ROUTE 7 ALL THE WAY.

The Narrator says TO FIND SOME OF
THE MOST EXCITING FOOD ON THE PLANET.

The caption changes to "Tony Singh. India."

Tony is in his late forties with brown hair and a thick beard. He wears a red turban and a floral shirt.

He says IF YOU'RE BACK
IN THE UK, YOU GOT TANDOORI
CHICKEN -- NOTHING LIKE THIS!

The caption changes to "Dave Myers. Egypt."

Dave sits on a colourful mat and says IT'S BEAUTIFUL.
THIS IS THE BEST FOOD I'VE HAD
IN EGYPT. IT'S PURE, IT'S GOT HERITAGE,
IT'S GOT LOVE IN IT, YOU KNOW.

The Narrator says THEY'LL GO OFF
THE BEATEN TRACK.

Mountainous and heavily forested areas appear.

Rick Stein is at a market, in the meat section. He’s in his sixties, balding and clean-shaven. He wears a lilac shirt.

Rick looks up in surprise and says CROCODILE,
CROCODILE SAUSAGES!

The Narrator says MEETING
EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE, EXPLORING
WAYS OF LIFE UNCHANGED FOR CENTURIES.

A fast clip shows Argentine gauchos with their horses, then Asian dancers in colourful garb and a native in the jungle showing a tourist how to use a blowpipe.

The caption changes to "Rachel Khoo. Malaysia."

Rachel is in her twenties with long straight brown hair in a braid and wears a blue blouse.

Rachel says says NO ELECTRIC BLENDERS IN THE JUNGLE...
HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING BY HAND.

She mashes some peppers with a rock.

Tony says TAKE YOUR LIFE
INTO YOUR OWN HANDS.
WE'RE ON THE ROAD NOW.

The Narrator says AS THEY TRAVEL,
THEY'LL SEE HOW THE LANGUAGE
OF FOOD TRANSCENDS CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES.

Dave says I'VE NEVER HUFFED
ON A CHEESE BEFORE.

The Narrator says AND A WORLD AWAY
FROM HOME.

Rick sits on a beach with rocks and foamy breakers in the background.

Rick says THIS IS WHY I
LOVE AUSTRALIA!

At a food cart, chef 1 says THERE'S NO EXCUSE
FOR A BAD PIE IN AUSTRALIA.

Chef 2 says NO.

The caption changes to "Rick Stein. Australia."

Rick says THIS IS THE
BEGINNING, WHERE DO WE END?

The Narrator says THEY'LL LEARN
LESSONS THAT COULD CHANGE THE
WAY WE COOK FOREVER.

The caption changes to "John Torode. Argentina."

As he drives, John says I'VE BEEN
COOKING A BARBECUE WRONGLY ALL MY LIFE...
WOW!

Music plays. The title "A Cook Abroad" appears against a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle tended by a gaucho on horseback.

Fast clips show views of downtown city traffic and then of endless roads crossing rolling plains with fields of wheat and soy and grazing cattle.

The Narrator says THIS TIME, BEEF
CONNOISSEUR AND MASTERCHEF
JUDGE, JOHN TORODE, TRAVELS
TO WHAT COULD ALMOST BE HIS
CULINARY HOMELAND -- ARGENTINA.

A huge open-air iron four-legged grill, covered with cuts of beef, other meats and offal, stands over a pile of charcoal embers. A man stands by, tending the barbecue.

John says IT'S A BLOKE'S
DREAM, THIS IS!

He hoists hmself into a saddle with obvious effort, watched by an elderly gaucho who can't hide his amusement.
[grunting]

The Narrator says HE'LL GO NATIVE
WITH THE GAUCHOS...

They are shown herding cattle.
[shouting]

The Narrator continues LEARN THE SECRETS OF COOKING
WITH FIRE...

Hardwood logs burn brightly in a raised fireplace, producing embers for grilling meat.

John says THIS, FOR ME,
IS A REVELATION.

The Narrator says AND SEARCH FOR
THE BEST PIECE OF STEAK IN
THE WORLD.

John, relishing a hunk of beef, says WHAT A WAY TO
EAT. WHAT A WAY TO COOK! WHAT A WAY TO LIVE!

Against a photo of John standing by a rural building, an episode title reads "John Torode's Argentina."

(music plays)

An animated coloured Atlas shows the relative positions of the countries visited in the "A Cook Abroad" series, with Argentina labeled and circled. A close-up shows Argentina in red, and the position of Buenos Aires, its capital and northernmost port. A fast clip shows scenes in the city and the sky-blue and white Argentine flag flying.

John says I'VE TRAVELLED
HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD TO
REACH ARGENTINA'S CAPITAL CITY,
BUENOS AIRES.
THIS IS THE COUNTRY THAT, FOR
THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, HAS
CONSUMED MORE BEEF THAN
ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET.
WE ARE STANDING IN BUENOS
AIRES, IN A SUBURB, ON THE
ROADSIDE, AND HERE WE GO, A
BARBECUE, AND IT SMELLS GREAT,
ABSOLUTELY GREAT.

Hands holding tongs turn the beef cuts on the simmering and steaming barbecue grill. John walks through the downtown area.

In off, John continues IN MY 35 YEARS AS CHEF, I'VE
RUN RESTAURANTS BUILT ON BEEF
AND WRITTEN BOOKS ABOUT BEEF,
BUT AMAZINGLY, THIS IS MY FIRST
TRIP TO ITS SPIRITUAL HEARTLAND.
AND I CAN'T WAIT TO GET STARTED.

Standing on a street corner, he says I WANT TO GO TO THE PAMPAS.
I WANT TO MEET THE HERDSMEN.
I WANT TO MEET THE GAUCHOS.
I WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE BUTCHERY.
I WANT TO FIND THE BEST
POSSIBLE CUT OF BEEF, AND I
WANT TO BE ABLE TO FIND OUT THE
BEST WAY TO COOK IT.
I'VE COME HERE TO FIND OUT
ABOUT THE FOODSTUFF THAT
DOMINATES MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE
AND THE COUNTRY THAT CREATES IT.

The Argentine National Anthem plays as the flag flies.
(Classical music)
On an open-air platform, formally-dressed gauchos, wearing white loose-fitting trousers and shirts and black hats, boots and belts, give an exhibition of gaucho-style tap dancing, involving rhythmical stomping and gesturing.

John continues BEEF IS IN ARGENTINA'S DNA.
AFTER THE END OF THE SPANISH
COLONIAL RULE, THE NEW COUNTRY
CAPITALIZED ON THE CATTLE
GRAZING THE LUSH PLAINS
SURROUNDING BUENOS AIRES.
IMMIGRATION HELPED BUILD THE
COUNTRY INTO ONE OF THE WORLD'S WEALTHIEST.

A clip shows iconic buildings and tourist images of central Buenos Aires. A lightweight Sulky horse.drawn carriage appears and typical gaucho mounts with ornate leather and silver harnesses.

John continues BEHIND IT ALL WAS BEEF.
IN A CITY BUILT ON THE FRUIT
OF THE COUNTRYSIDE, HOW
APPROPRIATE THAT ONCE A WEEK
THE COUNTRYSIDE COMES TO THE CITY.

Hugging a horse, John says BEAUTIFUL, AREN'T YOU?
AREN'T YOU BEAUTIFUL!
HERE AT THE MATADEROS MARKET,
THE PEOPLE OF BUENOS AIRES
CELEBRATE TRADITIONAL RURAL
LIFE AND THE COWBOYS OF THE
PAMPAS, GAUCHOS, WHO REAR THIS
CITY'S DAILY MEAT.

A gaucho wearing a beret spears a hanging ring at full gallop in a games event.
[cheering/applause]

John continues I FEEL AS THOUGH I NEED TO
PINCH MYSELF.
THIS IS THE START OF MY VERY
OWN BEEF ODYSSEY.

Gauchos do a traditional dance with their female partners. A heavily-laden waist-high fireplace barbecue grill appears with an "asador" or griller turning the cuts.

John continues IT IS MAGICAL, ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL!
IT'S A BLOKE'S DREAM, THIS IS.
THERE IS BEEF EVERYWHERE.
AND HE OBVIOUSLY EATS QUITE
A BIT OF IT.

A heavily-built asador inspects the cuts on the grill.

John continues THAT'S BEEF, THAT'S BEEF, I GET
THAT, BUT THAT...
IS AN ARMADILLO!

John points to three yellow armadillo shells at one end of the grill.

A man stands beside John.
(Speaking Spanish)

The man says "peludo." A caption reads "Armadillo from the countryside."

The cook scoops the armadillo out of its shell.

John says GREAT.
THE JURY'S OUT ON ARMADILLO,
BUT THERE'S PLENTY MORE ON OFFER.
SOME I'M MORE FAMILIAR WITH.
LOADS OF LADIES OVER HERE
MAKING "EMPANADAS," EVERY SINGLE
ONE OF THEM BEING HANDMADE.
IT'S A PIECE OF PASTRY, INSIDE
IS A FILLING OF MEAT OR
VEGETABLES OR FISH, AND IT'S
DEEP FRIED.

The process of making the meat pies is shown. The meat is scooped into the round pastry disc, which is folded and pinched, then thrown into a pot of boiling oil.

John continues EMPANADAS MAY BE A LOVELY
STARTER, BUT THEY'RE REALLY
ONLY THE WARM-UP TO THE MAIN
COURSE, AND TO HELP ME GET MY
HEAD AROUND ARGENTINA'S LOVE
AFFAIR WITH BEEF, I'VE HOOKED
UP WITH NARDA LEPES,
ARGENTINA'S "NIGELLA LAWSON."

Greeting a growing crowd, Narda says OLA!

John says THAT'S THE
PROBLEM WITH HANGING OUT WITH
CELEBRITIES, YOU SEE.
SHE'S FAMOUS HERE.
I MEAN, YOU'D HAVE TO BE BLIND
NOT TO SEE THAT BEEF IS EVERYWHERE.

Narda says YES, IT IS.

John says HOW IMPORTANT IS
BEEF TO ARGENTINEAN CULTURE?

Narda says THE REGULAR
ARGENTINEAN THINKS THAT IF HE
DOESN'T EAT MEAT, HE DIDN'T EAT
AT ALL. HE LOST A MEAL.

John says RIGHT, WHAT ARE
WE GOING TO EAT FROM HERE THEN?
WHAT SHOULD, WHAT'S...

Narda says WELL, WE HAVE THIS.
WHEN IT COMES TO MEAT
SANDWICHES WE CUT OUR "MEAT WORD."
IN HALF AND WE PUT "PAN" BESIDE IT.

John says SO WHAT'S A
VACIOPAN? WHAT'S "VACIOPAN?"

Narda says THAT'S WITH THE
BIG PIECE OF MEAT.
VERY WELL DONE, WILL BE,
OF COURSE.

She greets a girl and says OLA!
(points) VACIOPAN Y CHORIPAN.

John says IN THE UK,
BARBECUES ARE BECOMING EVER
MORE POPULAR, BUT THIS IS A
WHOLE NEW LEVEL.
HERE IT'S CALLED AN "ASADO" AND
IT ISN'T A PASTIME; IT'S A WAY
OF LIFE.

On a platform, a female dance group performs a traditional dance, waving handkerchiefs.

Narda says CELEBRATION IS
AROUND MEAT.
EVERY SUNDAY, YOU WILL HAVE A
FAMILY ASADO.
THAT'S SOMETHING YOU WILL HAVE,
SO THAT'S WHAT WE ALL DID.

John says AND WHEREVER
THERE'S AN ASADO, THERE'LL BE
A CERTAIN ACCOMPANIMENT.

Narda says YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT
WITH CHIMICHURRI.

A hand spoons a brown sauce from a plastic dish.

John says CHIMICHURRI...

Narda says CHIMICHURRI.

John says IS GARLIC...

Narda says GARLIC, OREGANO,
CHILI FLAKES, VINEGAR, OIL, HAS
SOME BRINE.
IF IT'S REALLY GOOD, IT'S MADE
WITH BRINE AND NOT SALT.

John says SEE, MY
FAVOURITE CUT OF BEEF IS A
RUMP STEAK COOKED REALLY
QUICKLY OVER FLAME.

Narda says HAVE IT.

In off, John says BUT IT LOOKS
LIKE MY FIRST TASTE OF
ARGENTINEAN BEEF IS GOING TO
BE FROM A PIECE OF FLANK
THAT'S BEEN COOKING ALL MORNING
AND THEN SERVED IN A BUN.

On site, viewed by a smiling Narda, he says (with mouth full) DELICIOUS.

In off, John continues IF BEEF COOKED SIMPLY ON THE
STREETS IS THAT GOOD, IT BODES
PRETTY WELL FOR THE REST OF MY TRIP.

Standing with Narda, he says THIS IS PROPERLY DELICIOUS.
OH, MY GOD!

Against a clip showing gaucho dancing and grilling, John says
SO I'VE HAD MY FIRST TASTE OF
COOKED BEEF, BUT IF I'M GOING
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES
ARGENTINEAN BEEF SO RENOWNED,
I NEED TO SEE IT A BIT MORE FRESH.
(Gaucho guitar music plays)

A man pulls a bell rope. Covered walkways separate long cattle pens divided into sections, which are shown empty at first, then full of cattle.
[bell ringing]

On site, John continues HERE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF
BUENOS AIRES IS THE LINIERS CATTLE MARKET.
EACH WEEK, UP TO 50,000 HEAD
OF CATTLE COME HERE TO BE SOLD
AT AUCTION.
THEIR NEXT STOP IS THE
SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
THE OFFICIAL PRICE OF BEEF
NATIONWIDE IS SET HERE.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle appear, tightly packed in the pens. Then more cattle arrive and are herded by expert horsemen.
[cattle bellowing]

John continues AND THE FIRST THING I NOTICE
IS THE BREEDS LOOK PRETTY FAMILIAR.
GREAT LOOKING ANIMALS.
IN FACT, THEY'RE BRITISH,
HEREFORDS AND ABERDEEN ANGUS,
A LEGACY FROM THE 19th CENTURY,
WHEN BRITISH EXPERTISE AND
INVESTMENT LAUNCHED
ARGENTINA'S BEEF INDUSTRY.
AND THE ATMOSPHERE IS ELECTRIC.
I MEAN, THEY ARE ACTUALLY
AUCTIONEERING LIVE ANIMALS HERE
RIGHT NOW.

In off, John continues AMONGST THOSE BIDDING, I'VE
MANAGED TO FIND ONE ENGLISH SPEAKER.
MARIANO RICHARDS BUYS CATTLE
HERE FOR ONE OF ARGENTINA'S
BIGGEST ABATTOIRS.

To Richards, he says TELL ME, WHAT BREED ARE YOU
TRYING... WHAT BREED DO YOU LOOK FOR?

Richards, in his thirties, wearing a black cap with raised ear flaps, says ABERDEEN ANGUS.

John says ABERDEEN ANGUS.

Richards says YES.

John says BUT ABERDEEN
ANGUS COMES FROM SCOTLAND,
NOT FROM ARGENTINA!

Richards says YES, BUT WE
HAVE BETTER ABERDEEN ANGUS HERE.

John says DO YOU?
BRILLIANT. AND TELL ME WHEN YOU BUY...

Richards says BLACK OR RED.

John says BLACK OR RED,
DOESN'T REALLY MATTER WHICH.

Richards says YES.

John says TELL ME, WHEN
YOU'RE BUYING CATTLE LIKE THIS,
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Richards says WE LOOK A
YOUNG ANIMAL, NOT TOO THIN AND
NOT TOO FAT.

In off, John says IN THE UK,
PRIME BEEF CATTLE LIKE THIS
WOULD COST UP TO TWO POUNDS 50 A KILO
AT AUCTION.

To Richards, he says IF I WAS TO BUY, SAY, THAT
BLACK ONE IN THE MIDDLE THERE,
THAT ABERDEEN ANGUS, HOW MUCH
WOULD IT COST ME?

A black steer with a white face appears, with others on each side.

Richards says 19 PESOS A KILO.

John says 19 PESOS A KILO...
WHICH IS ABOUT ONE POUND 50 A KILO.
THAT'S NOT A LOT OF MONEY,
IS IT?

Richards says NO.

In off, John says SO LIVE MEAT
HERE, WHERE CHEAP BEEF IS
CONSIDERED BIRTHRIGHT, IS
AROUND HALF THE PRICE IT IS
IN BRITAIN.
THIS IS NO ACCIDENT.
THE GOVERNMENT POLICY HERE IS
TO KEEP THE PRICES LOW.
NOW, THAT'S GOOD FOR THE
CONSUMER, BUT IT'S HARD TO SEE
HOW THE FARMERS CAN MAKE A LIVING.
AMERICAN MIKE SKOWRONEK HAS
BEEN FARMING CATTLE IN
ARGENTINA FOR DOMESTIC
CONSUMPTION FOR 11 YEARS,
SO HE WOULD KNOW.

To Mike, who is in his forties wearing a black beret, he says
DURING THE AUCTION, I HEARD
THE WORD FEEDLOT.
WHAT'S FEEDLOT?

Mike says OH, FEEDLOT
IS AN ANIMAL CONTAINMENT
FACILITY WHERE THE ANIMALS ARE
TAKEN AND FED VARIOUS GRAINS
AND DRY SUBSTANCES TO FATTEN
THEM FOR SLAUGHTER.

John says SORRY, SO THE
ANIMALS AREN'T OUT IN THE LAND
AT ALL?

Mike says NO.
FEEDLOT ANIMALS, NO.

John says ISN'T
ARGENTINEAN BEEF ALL ABOUT THE PAMPAS?

Mike says TRADITIONALLY
YES, BUT MORE AND MORE, EVERY
YEAR THAT GOES BY, IT'S LESS AND LESS.

John says WHAT PERCENTAGE
OF THE BEEF IN ARGENTINA THEN
NOW IS ON WHAT YOU CALL FEEDLOT?

Mike says I WOULD SAY
THAT UPWARDS OF 80 PERCENT, TODAY.

John says 80?!

Mike says 80 PERCENT.

John says 80 PERCENT OF
THE BEEF THAT YOU ARE EATING IN
ARGENTINA IS ACTUALLY FROM FEEDLOT?

Mike says THAT'S RIGHT.
OUR OFFICIAL FIGURES WILL BE LOWER.

Speaking for the camera, John says OFFICIAL
FIGURES FOR DOMESTIC
CONSUMPTION FROM FEEDLOT
ARE LOWER. IN FACT, THEY'RE 25 PERCENT.
BUT ALL OF THIS COMES AS A SHOCK TO ME.
I EMBARKED ON THIS JOURNEY TO
KNOW MORE ABOUT ARGENTINEAN
BEEF, TO GO TO THE PAMPAS, TO
SEE THE GRASS, TO SEE THESE
AMAZING CATTLE, AND WHAT HAS
JUST HAPPENED HERE IS I'VE BEEN
DROPPED A BOMBSHELL.
AND THE BOMBSHELL IS THAT
SOMEBODY SUGGESTS THAT MAYBE
80 PERCENT OF ARGENTINEAN
BEEF IS GROWN IN FEEDLOTS ON GRAIN.
WELL, THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING,
DOESN'T IT?
THAT CHANGES THE WHOLE
PERCEPTION OF WHAT ARGENTINEAN
BEEF IS ALL ABOUT. (Looking concerned)
I FEEL SLIGHTLY HEARTBROKEN.

John continues IT'S A MILLION MILES FROM WHAT
I EXPECTED, AND IT DOESN'T FIT
THE IMAGE I HAD AT ALL.
TO DISCOVER MORE, I NEED TO
HIT THE ROAD.
JUST TWO HOURS' DRIVE FROM
BUENOS AIRES AND YOU'RE IN THE
PAMPAS, IN MY IMAGINATION, THE
BOVINE PARADISE.
BUT THE FIRST COWS I'M GOING
TO SEE ARE IN PENS, BECAUSE
MIKE'S PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH
A FEEDLOT THAT I CAN VISIT.
[machinery humming]

He stands on a dirt road with cattle standing in large fields of bare earth on either side of him.

On site, John says THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
LIKE I EXPECTED.
I HEAR FEEDLOT AND I THOUGHT
MORE LIKE A FACTORY, BUT WHAT
THIS IS, IS JUST A WHOLE LOT
OF CATTLE ON MOUNDS.
IT'S... IT'S EXTRAORDINARY.
THERE'S THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS
ON DIRT.
IT'S A FAR CRY FROM THE IMAGE
I HAD OF COWS ROAMING THE
PASTURES AND GENTLY MUNCHING GRASS.
THE FEEDLOT HERE HAS BEEN
GOING FOR 18 YEARS, MANAGED
BY FEDERICO RIVAROLA.

John sits with Rivarola on a moving truck with cattle in the background standing in a dirt field.

John says HOW MANY HEAD OF CATTLE HAVE
YOU GOT HERE, FEDERICO?

Rivarola, in his forties with a trimmed beard, says RIGHT NOW,
WE HAVE 10,000.

John says 10,000 ANIMALS?

Rivarola says 10,000.

John says 10,000 ANIMALS!
THIS IS A FORM OF INTENSIVE
FARMING, WHERE COWS ARE BROUGHT
TO BE FATTENED FOR SLAUGHTER,
A LIFESTYLE VERY DIFFERENT FROM
THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF REARING
CATTLE, WHERE COWS SPEND THEIR
WHOLE LIVES ON GRASS.
IN THE UK, THE VAST MAJORITY
OF CATTLE ARE STILL COMPLETELY
GRASS-FED, SO YOU KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE GETTING.
AT THIS PLACE, I HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT THESE ANIMALS ARE EATING.

Animal feed is poured into a trough from a moving tractor. Cattle poke their heads through fence posts to eat as it passes.

Rivarola says THEY EAT
CORN, IT'S PRIMARILY, MAIZE,
AND WET CORN GLUTEN FEED.
SO THEY CAN GET BIGGER.
THESE KINDS OF ANIMALS CAN BE
IN 1.6 KILOS PER DAY.

John says THEY CAN
INCREASE IN SIZE BY 1.6 KILOS A DAY?

Rivarola says YES.

John says COWS RAISED
TOTALLY ON GRASS WILL TAKE UP
TO TWO YEARS TO REACH SLAUGHTER WEIGHT.
THE HIGH ENERGY FEEDLOT DIET
OFFERS A SHORTCUT.
A COW COMING HERE AT SIX MONTHS
OLD CAN BE READY FOR THE TABLE
AT 11 MONTHS OLD, LESS THAN
HALF THE TIME, AND AT A FRACTION
OF THE COST.
I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER
WHETHER THIS ALL AFFECTS THE
ACTUAL TASTE.

Federico's father cuts a joint and serves it.

John says OH HO HO.
THAT'S...

Rivarola Senior says LOOK AT THIS,
LOOK AT THIS.

John cuts the piece, revealing juicy pink flesh.

John says THAT'S WHAT I'M
TALKING ABOUT.
UP AT THE HOUSE, FEDERICO'S
FATHER HAS ORGANIZED A LITTLE
ASADO COMPOSED EXCLUSIVELY OF
FEEDLOT BEEF, A WHOLE NEW
EXPERIENCE FOR ME.
IT'S VERY CREAMY.
THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I CAN
EXPLAIN IT.
IT'S CREAMY, ALMOST SORT OF
MILK-LIKE.
IT'S VERY SWEET AND QUITE,
QUITE DELICIOUS.
(Sounds of cutlery on plates and eating)

Rivarola Senior says VERY NICE, NO?

John says IT'S ALL A BIT CONFUSING.
I CAME TO ARGENTINA TO FIND
OUT WHAT MAKES ITS BEEF SO
SPECIAL, ASSUMING IT WAS THE
GRASS AND THE LIFESTYLE.
BUT HERE, I'M GREEDILY TEARING
MEAT OFF THE BONE THAT WAS
RAISED TOTALLY DIFFERENTLY.

Driving along a dirt road, John says SO MY FIRST OUTING ON THE
PAMPAS ISN'T TURNING OUT QUITE
AS I HAD EXPECTED.
IT LOOKS LIKE I'VE GOT A LOT
MORE TO LEARN THAN I THOUGHT.
THE MARKETS ON THE EDGE OF
BUENOS AIRES, ON THIS BUSY
CITY, YOU DRIVE DOWN A ROAD AND
SUDDENLY THERE'S A FEEDLOT.
IT'S JUST A COUNTRY WHICH IS
JOINED TOGETHER BY BEEF.
IT'S LIKE THIS BIG CONGA OF BEEF.
(Lively music plays)
NO COW CONGA ON THIS STRETCH
OF ROAD THOUGH.
THE LANDSCAPE'S SORT OF LIKE
IT'S BEEN SORT OF CUT UP AND
DIVIDED INTO PATCHES, AND
THERE'S PATCHES OF ABSOLUTE
GREEN AND THEN THERE'S JUST
THESE PATCHES OF SCARRED LAND
WHICH LOOKS BURNT AND BROWN AND GRAY.
THE BROWN I'M SEEING IS THE
AFTERMATH OF A SOY HARVEST.
[wind blowing]
SEEN AS A WONDER CROP WHICH
COULD SAVE THE ARGENTINE
ECONOMY IN THE 1990s, VAST
SWATHES OF THE PAMPAS WERE
CONVERTED TO SOY.
AND SO GREEDY ARE THEY FOR IT,
THEY'RE NOT JUST PLANTING ON
THEIR OWN LAND BUT THEY'RE ALSO
PLANTING ON THE VERGES ON THE
ROADSIDE, AND KILOMETRE AFTER
KILOMETRE ALONG THE HIGHWAYS IS
LEFT BEHIND WITH THIS
BROWN-NESS.
MUCH OF IT IS EXPORTED FOR USE
AS ANIMAL FEED, BUT IN
ARGENTINA, THE CATTLE HAVE
LOST OUT.

John looks out at endless expanses of brown dirt.

He says IS THIS THE FUTURE OF WHAT
USED TO BE ONCE THE VERDANT,
GREEN-NESS OF THE PAMPAS OF
ARGENTINA?
IT'S NOT VERY ATTRACTIVE IS IT?
(Guitar music plays)
IN JUST A COUPLE OF DECADES,
CENTURIES OF TRADITION HAVE
COME UNDER THREAT FROM THE TWIN
TEMPTATIONS OF FEEDLOT AND SOY.
BUT I'M NOT PREPARED TO ACCEPT
DEFEAT QUITE YET, AND AS I
ALWAYS SAY, TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY.
(Lyrical guitar music plays)

Driving, John continues I'M OFF TO A PLACE CALLED "OMBU,"
WHICH IS AN "ESTANCIA" OR A
RANCH, CATTLE RANCH.
I'VE BEEN RECOMMENDED IT
BECAUSE IT'S SOMEWHERE I CAN
STAY OVERNIGHT, BUT MORE
IMPORTANTLY, IT'S STILL A
WORKING PROPERTY, WHICH MEANS
THEY GRAZE THEIR CATTLE ON THE
PAMPAS, THERE'S GAUCHOS OR
HERDSMEN WHO LOOK AFTER THE
ANIMALS AND IT'S GOING TO BE A
CHANCE TO ACTUALLY SEE THE
GAUCHOS AT THEIR WORK AND
UNDERSTAND THE CATTLE ON THE PAMPAS.

An old, Spanish colonial pink ranch house with a rounded lintel above the doorway and overgrown pillars stands in its grounds. An ancient tree of the "Ombú" (similar to a baobab) variety stands nearby. Horses are herded along a track and a large Aberdeen Angus bull grazes in a field.
[birds trilling]
(Guitar and accordion music plays)

To the camera, John says GOOD MORNING, AND I THINK THIS
IS WHAT ARGENTINA WAS SUPPOSED
TO BE LIKE IN MY MIND, THIS
SORT OF LATIN AMERICAN
ARCHITECTURE, VERY SORT OF
SPANISH IN FEEL, WIDE OPEN
SPACES, HORSES, CATTLE.
BUT WHAT I DIDN'T EXPECT IS
HOW VERDANT IT IS.
IT'S EVERY SHADE OF GREEN.
YOU UNDERSTAND NOW WHY THE
CATTLE LOVE IT SO MUCH.
LOTS OF GRASS, NO HILLS,
A BIT OF SHADE.
THEY MUST HAVE A HAPPY LIFE
OUT HERE.

In off, John continues ACRES AND ACRES OF LUSH GRASS
AND FLAT TERRAIN ARE THE IDEAL
CONDITIONS FOR COWS TO GET
MAXIMUM NUTRITION WITH MINIMUM EFFORT.
THAT WAS THE COMBINATION WHICH
BUILT THE INDUSTRY AND CULTURE
HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
THIS ESTANCIA HAS ALL THE
ROMANCE I CAME LOOKING FOR.
BUT TO SURVIVE THESE DAYS,
MANY TRADITIONAL FARMS LIKE
THIS ONE HAVE HAD TO DIVERSIFY.
OMBU OFFERS ROOMS FOR RENT.

On site, he greets a passing horseman and says GOOD MORNING.

Jorge says GOOD MORNING, SIR.

John says SO JORGE?

Jorge, in gaucho attire in his forties, says I'M JORGE, YEAH.

John says VERY NICE TO MEET YOU.

Jorge says NICE TO MEET YOU.

Geared up in a riding cap and boots, John says SO I HAVE A
CHANCE TO SEE GAUCHOS AT WORK.
MY EXPERIENCE ON HORSES IS NOT
GREAT, BUT YOU KNOW, HEY, I'M
OUT IN THE PAMPAS, THERE'S
HORSES, THERE'S CATTLE.
I MIGHT AS WELL GET AMONGST IT
AND DO THE JOB, MIGHTN'T I? RIGHT.
AS LONG AS I CAN GET MY FOOT UP.
[grunting]
NO.
[laughter]

John says GO ON...
72-YEAR-OLD OSCAR COMES FROM
A VENERABLE LINE OF GAUCHOS.
IN HIS MANY DECADES IN THE
SADDLE, HE'S SEEN EVERYTHING
THE PAMPAS HAS TO OFFER.

John puts his foot in the stirrup and heaves himself head first into the saddle.
[grunting]
Oscar tries to keep a straight face.

John continues WELL, NEARLY EVERYTHING.
THIS IS A WIDE SADDLE. CRIKEY.
THAT WAS FUN, WASN'T IT?
INTERESTING WAY TO GET ON A HORSE.

The horse suddenly shies and steps backward.
[horse whinnying]
John shouts desperately WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!
[horse whinnying]

Oscar calms the animal and says NO, NO.

John says GOOD START.
I FEEL I'M GOING TO NEED A
DRIVING LESSON BEFORE I GET
NEAR ANY COWS.
[Jorge's laughter]

Jorge pulls up beside him, holds the reins, and says WE DRIVE WITH ONE HAND.

John says YES.

Jorge says OKAY, AND THE MOVEMENT
IS NOT LIKE THAT.
IT'S JUST "PUT THE REIN IN THE
NECK AND MAKE THIS."

He demonstrates, laying the reins on the side of the horse's neck opposite the side to which he wants it to turn.

John says OH, IT'S ON THE NECK.

With a smile, Jorge says YEAH.

John says I SEE.

Jorge says WE ARE READY TO GO?

The five of them set out.

John says FROM CHEF TO
GAUCHO IN FIVE MINUTES FLAT.
[horses trotting]
IT'S JUST SO CALM AND SO
LOVELY, BUT WE'RE OFF TO WORK.
CAN'T TALK NOW.

In off, he says ACTUALLY, I DON'T THINK I
COULD STOP HER IF I WANTED TO.

The horse breaks into a gallop.
John says STOP IT, STOP.
(Dramatic music plays)

As two of the men round up the cows and separate them from the steers, John says
FIRST WE HAVE TO MOVE THE CATTLE FROM THE FAR
FIELD TOWARDS THE ENCLOSURES.
[whistling/shouting]

John continues IT'S A FASCINATING GLIMPSE
INTO THE COUNTRY'S ORIGINS.
THE FIRST GAUCHOS LIVED WILD
LIVES, HUNTING THE ESCAPED
CATTLE THAT ROAMED THE VAST GRASSLANDS.
WHEN RICH LANDOWNERS FENCED OFF
THE PAMPAS, THEY UTILIZED THE
GAUCHOS' SKILLS TO LOOK AFTER
THEIR COWS.
SINCE THEN, THEY HAVE COME TO
EMBODY THE SPIRIT OF ARGENTINA.

On site at the roundup, John continues THIS IS PRETTY AMAZING.
THE FACT IS THERE ARE TWO OF THE LARGEST BULLS I'VE EVER
SEEN IN MY LIFE AMONGST THE HERD.
THERE IT IS, AND WE'RE LOOKING AFTER IT.
IT'S UNBELIEVABLE.
I LOVE IT!

Jorge rides around the cattle saying GOOD GIRL, GOOD GIRL to his horse..

John continues IN TERMS OF REARING BEEF,
THIS COULDN'T BE MORE
DIFFERENT THAN THE FEEDLOT
I SAW YESTERDAY.
THIS IS HIGHLY SKILLED, IT'S
LABOUR-INTENSIVE, BUT IT'S
WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.

Walking his horse behind the herd, John says "FEEDLOT--SMEEDLOT."
THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE CATTLE!
ONCE THESE COWS ARE IN THE
ENCLOSURE, IT'S NO PLACE FOR
A BEGINNER.
SO THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE
MOTHERS HAVE BEEN SEPARATED
FROM THE CALVES?

Jorge says YEAH.

John says SO THAT'S WHY IT'S SO DIFFICULT?

Jorge says YEAH, THEY ARE
SCREAMING TOO MUCH.
(cows lowing deeply and noisily)

John says BETTER GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Jorge says BE CAREFUL.

John says HERE COME SOME MORE.

On foot and for the camera John continues
I MEAN, WATCHING THEM WORK IS
QUITE INCREDIBLE.
ACTUALLY, ALSO NOT EXACTLY
UN-FRIGHTENING.

A cow gets loose and gallops back to the calves.
[hooves clomping]

The other cows are herded into a small pen.

John continues YOU KNOW, TO ME, THIS LOOKS
LIKE SOMETHING WHICH IS...
YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE THE WILD
WEST TO ME.
AND WE ARE NOW STUCK IN A
PEN FULL OF COWS.
SUPPOSE NOT MUCH I CAN DO REALLY.
THIS OLD GUY HERE IS OSCAR.
HE'S 72, AND I'VE JUST WATCHED
HIM WHISPER A HORSE OUT AMONGST
A GROUP OF CATTLE.
SO JOB DONE.
IT'S TIME FOR A TEA BREAK,
BUT UNLESS I'M MUCH MISTAKEN,
THAT'S NOT EARL GREY.

Oscar sits on a stool and pours hot water from a coffee pot into a small ornate gourd with a metal rim and a loose metal straw in it. Seen in close-up, the gourd contains mashed leaves. Oscar fills it to the brim and offers it to John.
[liquid pouring sound]
[cattle bellowing]
SHALL I DRINK ALL OF IT?

Jorge, standing by him, says YEAH.
WE DRINK A LOT OF MATE,
SO IT'S OUR CULTURE.
IF WE HAVE FREE TIME.

John says AND THEN I GIVE
IT TO YOU?

Jorge says YEAH, AGAIN.

John says MATE IS A
CAFFEINE-RICH HERBAL INFUSION,
PART ENERGY DRINK, PART SOCIAL RITUAL.

On site, for the camera, he says IT'S VERY BITTER.
ACTUALLY, IT TASTES TO ME OF
FENNEL AND ANISEED AND TOBACCO.
IF THE GAUCHOS PERSONIFY THE
TRADITIONAL WAY OF REARING BEEF
IN ARGENTINA, I'D LOVE TO KNOW
HOW THEY CHOOSE TO EAT IT.

To Jorge, he says YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY AS
GAUCHOS, YOU GUYS ARE AROUND
HORSES AND BEEF ALL YOUR LIFE.
WHAT SORT OF BEEF DO YOU PREFER
TO EAT?
DO YOU PREFER TO EAT BEEF
THAT'S BEEN ON THE GRASS, OR DO
YOU LIKE FEEDLOT BEEF?

Jorge says WE WANT...
WE PREFER THE NATURAL BEEF.
YOU CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE IN
THE MOUTH.
THE MEAT IS MORE, IS A LITTLE
MORE STRONG, A LITTLE MORE HARD
BUT TASTES MORE GOOD.
SO WE, THE GAUCHOS PREFER
NATURAL FOOD.

John says YOU SAY THAT I
SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL THE
DIFFERENCE AND PREFER TO HAVE
NATURALLY REARED BEEF.

Jorge says DO YOU WANT TO TASTE
FROM A NATURAL COW?

John says YES.

Jorge says YEAH, WE...
HERE IN THIS ESTANCIA, WE MAKE
A NATURAL COWS EVERY TIME.

John says GOOD.
AND YOU'LL SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE?

Jorge says YEAH.

John says OKAY, GOOD.
[laughter]
AND HERE IS JORGE'S FAVOURITE
PIECE. IT'S QUITE A BIG ONE.

Jorge and another man bring along a large, flat, tapering chunk of meat coated with fat on one side, apparently a flank steak cut.
(Speaking Spanish)

Jorge says Here's the beef!

A metal stake is driven into the ground to suspend the cut of beef.
[tapping]

John says SO THIS JUST
SEEMS TO BE THE MOST BASIC
BARBECUE IN THE WHOLE WORLD,
BECAUSE WE ARE USED TO PUTTING
STEAKS ON BARBECUES.
THESE GUYS ACTUALLY HAVE A
FIRE AND THAT'S IT, AND THE
WARMTH OF THE FIRE COOKS THE
MEAT AND, AT THE SAME TIME,
THE SMOKE SMOKES IT.
THERE'S NOT A SAUSAGE AND
THERE'S NOT A STEAK AND THERE'S
NOT A CHOP, THERE'S NOT A HAMBURGER.
THIS IS A BARBECUE -- ARGENTINEAN STYLE.
BUT WHAT I'M...
WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS WHERE'S YOURS?

Jorge says I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU
EAT, BUT I WANT TO EAT A LITTLE
PIECE OF THIS.
IF YOU WANT, IT'S ALL YOURS.
[laughter]

John says NOW, THAT'S A RECIPE!
LIGHT A FIRE, STAKE A SIDE OF
BEEF OVER IT AND ROAST FOR THREE HOURS.
UP AT THE HOUSE, THE HEAD
COOK, OSCAR'S WIFE ROSA, IS
BUSY WITH THE STARTERS.

A woman with white hair in a bun stands over a kitchen table.
[chopping]

John greets her and says HEY, ROSA.

Rosa says SI.

John says WHAT ARE WE MAKING?

Rosa says These are empanadas. Here we call them Creole empanadas.

John says ROSA'S MAKING
EMPANADAS, ARGENTINA'S
FAVOURITE LITTLE PASTIES.

Chopping onion, Rosa says It's a kilo of onion per kilo of meat.

John says THE GREAT THING
ABOUT COOKING IS SO MUCH OF
IT'S VISUAL, THAT YOU CAN LEARN
JUST BY WATCHING SOMEBODY, BUT
THANKFULLY BECAUSE I HAVE NO
IDEA WHAT SHE'S SAYING.
ONCE THE ONIONS AND THE RED
PEPPERS ARE SOFTENED, ROSA ADDS
THE MINCE, THEN COMES THE SEASONING.
GOOD AMOUNT OF SALT.

Rosa sprinkles some white pepper in from a jar and says PIMIENTA.

John says PIMIENTA,
WHICH IS PEPPER.
SO SALT AND WHITE PEPPER.
[speaking in Spanish]

John says WHAT'S THIS?
[speaking in Spanish]

Rosa brings a small bowl to the pot and spoons in some paprika.

John says PIMIENTA ROCKO? PAPRIKA.
SO YOU'RE GOING TO PUT LITTLE
GREEN ONIONS IN AND THEY GO IN LAST.

Rosa says If you put them in now, you won't be able to see them.

To the camera, John says OKAY.
WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THE MEAT'S
GOING TO COOK AND THEN THESE
WILL GO IN AFTERWARDS TO BE
ABLE TO GIVE SOME TEXTURE
AND MORE FLAVOUR, INSTEAD OF GARLIC.

To Rosa, he says SO, AS YOU CONTINUE TO CHOP, I
SUPPOSE I SHOULD MAKE AN
EMPANADA MYSELF.
SO YOU'RE GOING TO DO "EMPANADA CARNE"?
[speaking in Spanish]

John says REGARDLESS OF
THE LANGUAGE BARRIER, ROSA
LOVES A CHAT.

John says AND ME.
[speaking in Spanish]

John says ME, I MAKE
EMPANADA 'VEDURA'.

Rosa says Vegetables and cheese. Here we make them with vegetables, onion and cheese.

John says Onion and spinach?

John continues IN SHORT, MY EMPANADAS WILL BE
BASICALLY THE SAME AS ROSA'S.
I'M SIMPLY SUBSTITUTING THE
MEAT FOR CHEESE AND SPINACH.

To Rosa he says PIMIENTA?

John says ROSA'S FILLING
LOOKS READY.
IF YOU LOOK AT IT NOW, IT'S
ALMOST LIKE IT'S MADE ITS OWN
GRAVY, BUT IT'S NOT SORT OF
FINE LIKE MINCE; IT'S ACTUALLY
BIG LUMPY BITS, LOOK.
SO ROSA TRANSFERS SOME OF HERS
INTO A BOWL TO COOL.
SHE ALSO SEEMS IN A HURRY TO
START MY VEGGIE ONES.
(Guitar music plays)

Rosa comes up and says Are you making the vegetable ones?

John says JUST CALM. I'VE GOT TO FINISH.

Rosa says SI.

John says OKAY, MIX. JUST...

To the camera, John says SO IN MY MIX SO FAR, I'VE GOT
SOME ONIONS AND PEPPERS, SOME
SPRING ONIONS AND SPINACH.
ADD TO THAT LOTS AND LOTS OF CHEESE.
YOU LIKE THIS?

Rosa smiles and says MUY BUENO.

John smiles and says BUENO?

In off, John continues NOW FOR THE REAL MASTER CLASS,
THE CHALLENGE OF ENCASING YOUR
FILLING IN THE PASTRY DISC,
A SKILL WHICH ROSA MAKES LOOK
LIKE CHILD'S PLAY.
AS FOR ME... FIRST?
[speaking in Spanish]

Rosa stands looking on and says Yes. A bit less, or you won't be able to close them. Now it's okay.

She closes the pastie, pinching expertly,and leaving the last part to John.

John pinches clumsily and says OKAY.

Rosa says EH?

John says SO GO...

Rosa says MUY BIEN.

John laughs and says AHA, I GOT A
MUY BIEN!
SO HOW MANY, HOW MANY EMPANADAS
DOES THE AVERAGE PERSON EAT?

Rosa says I eat 3 or 4, depends on the empanada. the better they are, the more I eat.

Taking a finished pastie from him, Rosa says PERFECTA.

John says PERFECTA?
[chuckling]

Rosa says Getting better every time.

John says GOOD.
SO PRESENTLY, IF EVERYBODY EATS
THREE OR FOUR EMPANADAS, WE'VE
DONE ENOUGH FOR ONE AND A HALF PEOPLE.
[laughter]

To the camera, John says WE SEEM TO HAVE
COME TO A DEAL.
THE DEAL IS THAT THE VEGETABLE
ONES ARE GOING TO BE BAKED, SHE
LIKES BAKED ONES, AND WE'RE
GOING TO DO FRIED ONES WITH THE
MEAT ONES BECAUSE I LIKE THEM FRIED.
[speaking in Spanish]

John says ROSA CRIMPS HER
MEAT EMPANADAS DIFFERENTLY TO
IDENTIFY THEM, WHILE MINE GET
AN EGG WASH AND POPPED INTO
THE OVEN.

John says EMPANADA VEDURA! -- VEGETABLE ONES!

John continues AND SO WE HAVE IT, ROSA'S
FRIED MEAT EMPANADAS AND MY
BAKED VEGGIE ONES READY FOR
THE GAUCHOS WHO ARE OUTSIDE
WHILING AWAY THE TIME THE WAY
I'D IMAGINE THEY ALWAYS HAVE.

A gaucho drinks red wine from a drinking horn. The large piece of beef stands over the blazing fire on a curved stake.
(Gaucho guitar music plays)

Standing at the kitchen table with a small glass bowl, John continues
THIS ASADO IS A PRETTY
DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE I HAD
IN BUENOS AIRES, BUT THERE'S
ONE THING THAT APPEARS AT
EVERY ASADO, CHIMICHURRI, AND
IT'S MY TURN TO MAKE IT.
AND IT'S PRETTY SIMPLE, NOT
MADE UP OF VERY MANY
INGREDIENTS AT ALL.
SALT, FIRST, AND OVER THE TOP
OF THAT, GOING TO PUT SOME HOT
WATER JUST TO MAKE A BIT OF BRINE.
SOME DRIED PARSLEY, SOME DRIED
CHILI, SOME VINEGAR...
A LITTLE BIT OF OIL..., PEPPER.
NOW, I LEAVE THAT TO SIT
FOR A SECOND AND IT WILL START
TO COME TOGETHER REALLY QUICKLY.
SO THE STORY GOES THAT THIS
SAUCE ACTUALLY COMES FROM
ENGLISH SOLDIERS WHO CAME HERE
IN THE EARLY 1800s AND THEY
WERE SAYING, "GIVE ME CURRY,
GIVE ME CURRY."
THEY WANTED SOMETHING SPICY
LIKE THEY HAD IN THE DAYS OF
THE RAJ IN PLACES LIKE INDIA,
AND THAT WAS TRANSLATED INSTEAD
OF "GIVE ME CURRY" TO
"CHIMICHURRI," AND CHIMICHURRI
HAS STUCK AS THE SAUCE.
THAT'S REALLY HOW SIMPLE IT ALL IS.
I LIKE A BIT MORE FRESHNESS,
SO I'M GOING TO ADD A LOAD OF
CHOPPED PARSLEY, AND I THINK
THIS IS GOING TO BE PERFECT
WITH THIS...
THAT BIG HUNK OF MEAT THAT'S
SITTING THERE SLOWLY COOKING
AWAY WITH THE GAUCHOS.
LOOK AT THAT.
GIVE ME CURRY -- CHIMICHURRI.

Oscar plays the guitar.
(Melodious gaucho guitar music plays)

John's baked spinach empanadas are taken out of the oven. The fried empanadas are taken out of the boiling oil with a strainer and laid on a metal dish covered with absorbent paper. Outside, the open fire is dying down. The sun sets in a clear evening sky.

John continues THREE HOURS AGO, THIS WAS A
STAKE OF METAL AND RAW MEAT.
SLOWLY ALL THE FAT'S RENDERED
AWAY, THE MEAT IS SLOWLY COMING
OFF THE BONE, THE FIRE IS JUST
LICKING IT, ENJOYING IT, HAVING
FUN WITH IT, AND IT'S JUST...
THIS WHOLE THING HAS BECOME
SOMETHING VERY, VERY BEAUTIFUL.
[guitar music]
I MEAN, THIS HAS BEEN HAPPENING
FOR CENTURIES, AND WE IN THE U.K.
KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT.
I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING LIKE
THIS BEFORE IN MY LIFE.
I'VE NOT FELT LIKE THIS FOR A
VERY, VERY LONG TIME ABOUT
FOOD, BUT THAT, AS A PIECE OF
MEAT, IN MY MIND, IS REALLY SPECIAL.
BEFORE I GET STUCK INTO THE
MAIN EVENT, THERE'S WINE...
AND ROSA'S EMPANADAS.
[laughter]

Jorge says THAT'S GOOD BEER.
[laughter]

John says MY FIRST TASTE
OF ARGENTINEAN GRASS-FED BEEF
STRAIGHT OFF THE PAMPAS, AS
I'VE DREAMT ABOUT FOR MANY,
MANY YEARS.
IT LOOKS AMAZING.
IT TASTES LIKE REAL BEEF.
IT'S SMOKY.
THAT'S HEART-THUMPING STUFF.
EATING LIKE THIS IS A RARE PRIVILEGE.
IT'S SO AUTHENTIC, AND ONE
THING'S REALLY CLEAR - A GAUCHO
IS ONLY AS GOOD AS HIS KNIFE.

Looking at his and comparing it with Jorge's, John says LITTLE KNIFE, BIG KNIFE.

Jorge, basting a piece with chimichurri says AND I WANT YOU TO
TASTE THIS. IT'S REALLY GOOD.

John says I MADE THAT.

Jorge says YOU MADE THIS?

John says YEAH.
I'M RUBBISH AT GETTING ON A
HORSE, BUT I'M REALLY GOOD
AT COOKING.

A surprised Jorge says IT'S GOOD!
[laughter from John]

John says THE FEEDLOT BEEF
IS CREAMY, ABSOLUTELY, YES IT'S
TENDER, YES IT'S GOT GOOD
FLAVOUR, BUT THIS IS BOLD,
IT'S BIG, AND TO ME, IT TASTES
LIKE BEEF.
WOW, WHAT A WAY TO EAT, WHAT A
WAY TO COOK, WHAT A WAY TO LIVE.
[guitar music]

[birds chirping]
John drives away at dawn.

In off, John continues ESTANCIA OMBU, WHAT AN EXPERIENCE.
WHAT STRIKES ME IS THAT ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT MADE IT SPECIAL
LAST NIGHT WAS THAT CUT OF MEAT
WE ATE, ONE YOU SIMPLY DON'T
FIND IN THE U.K.
AGAIN, I'M LEARNING ABOUT THE
MEAT I LOVE, AND TO FIND OUT
MORE, I'M FOLLOWING A GAUCHO TIP-OFF.
BESIDES THE BREED OF BEEF,
BESIDES THE LIFESTYLE OF BEEF,
ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT TO
KNOW ABOUT HERE IN ARGENTINA IS
THEIR STYLE OF BUTCHERY, AND
THAT'S WHAT I'M ABOUT TO DO.
THIS IS SAN ANTONIO DE ARECO (the traditional gaucho city),
AND I'M OFF TO SEE A BUTCHER.
THE GAUCHOS' FAVOURITE BUTCHER
IS IN A CORNER SHOP ON THE
OUTSKIRTS OF SAN ANTONIO.

A tree-lined sidewalk surrounds the unassuming corner shop. Inside, a man in his fifties with short dark hair cuts parts expertly from a side of beef using a highly sharpened knife and a long beef fretsaw.
(Jazz music plays)

John continues HERE WE HAVE JUAN CARLOS AND
HIS WIFE, WHO'S RUNNING THE
SHOP NEXT DOOR, WITH EVERYTHING
FROM DEEP FRYING BASKETS, POTS
AND PANS AND BISCUITS ALL THE
WAY TO THE BUTCHER.
JUAN CARLOS IS A BUTCHER OF
FEW WORDS.
HE LETS HIS TOOLS DO ALL THE
TALKING, BUT AS HE GETS TO
WORK, I GET TO SEE THE CUTS OF
BEEF FOUND ON ASADOS ALL OVER
ARGENTINA. BRILLIANT!

Juan Carlos cuts off a large piece. The cut piece shows flank and rib steak.

John continues THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAD ON
OUR ASADO, WHICH WAS ON THE CROSS.
THIS IS ALL OF THIS.
THIS PART OF THE ANIMAL IS
COMPOSED OF HARD WORKING
MUSCLE, SO IT'S STRONG AND
DENSE BUT SLOW COOKED AS IT WAS
LAST NIGHT, STILL TENDER AND
VERY TASTY.
FOR US IN THE U.K., WE MIGHT USE
THE RIBS BUT NOT VERY MUCH,
MOST OF THE MEAT'S STRIPPED
BACK DOWN AND IT'S ALL MINCED.

In off, John continues FAR FROM MINCING IT, IN A
COUNTRY THAT LOVES BEEF ON THE
BONE, THIS WHOLE SIDE CAN BE
TURNED INTO A CLASSIC ARGENTINE CUT.
TIRA DE ASADO, OR SHORT CUT RIBS.

Juan Carlos cuts strips of the rib steak across the bone with an electric chainsaw.

John continues WHAT'S LEFT ON THE HOOK ARE THE
PARTS OF THE ANIMAL MOST PRIZED
AND POPULAR IN THE UK.

Standing beside what remains of the side of beef, John uses his hands to point out the remaining cuts,

He says SO, RIBS UP THIS END, THEN
FURTHER UP YOU GOT YOUR
SIRLOINS, YOUR FILLET IS STILL
INSIDE ATTACHED, SO YOUR
T-BONES FROM AROUND HERE, AND
THEN AT THE BACK HERE, YOUR...
THIS TOP BIT HERE IS THE RUMP,
YOUR LOVE HANDLES.
EVERYBODY THINKS YOUR RUMP'S
YOUR BOTTOM.
IT'S NOT, IT'S YOUR LOVE HANDLES.

In off, John continues THESE STEAK CUTS MAY BE MORE
TENDER BUT NOT NECESSARILY THE MOST TASTY.

Juan Carlos uses a small very sharp triangular knife to cut out the fillet steak, cutting as expertly as a surgeon with a scalpel.

John says SO NOW HE'S TAKING THE FILLET
OFF, FILLET MIGNON, FILLET STEAK.
OR, IF YOU WERE TO WRAP IT IN
PASTRY, BEEF WELLINGTON, MATE.
SO THIS IS THE SIRLOIN COMING OFF.
LOOK AT THAT.
THAT'S A PROPER SIRLOIN.
THERE'S ONLY A COUPLE OF TINY
THINGS WHICH ARE MINCED AND
TURNED INTO EMPANADAS OR
WHATEVER, BUT THE REST OF THEM,
THEY'RE USING AS WHOLE BITS OF
MEAT TO BE EATEN ON THE BONE OR
OFF THE BONE.
AND IT'S A SHAME THAT WE IN
THE U.K. HAVE LOST THAT ART.
WE WANT FOOD QUICK, SO WE CUT
OUR MEAT UP INTO THIN SLICES OR
WE MAKE THEM INTO STEAKS OR WE
MINCE IT SO IT COOKS REALLY,
REALLY QUICKLY.
WE DON'T TAKE THESE BIG MUSCLES
ANYMORE AND SLOWLY ROAST THEM.
IT'S A SHAME, BUT IT'S THE
MODERN WORLD.

The neat little town moves about its daily life in a calm way.

John continues HERE IN SAN ANTONIO DE ARECO,
THE MODERN WORLD SEEMS TO BE
KEPT AT BAY. THIS IS A REAL GAUCHO TOWN.
I'D LOVE TO STAY LONGER, BUT
I'VE GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD
BECAUSE NOW I'VE SEEN THE
CATTLE OF ARGENTINA, THE
BUTCHERY, AND I'VE COOKED
GAUCHO STYLE, IT'S TIME TO
TURN MY ATTENTION TO THE
PROFESSIONAL WORLD, AND FAR TO
THE WEST AT THE FOOT OF THE
ANDES IN THE PROVINCE OF
MENDOZA, IS A RESTAURANT THAT
IS SAID TO BE A TEMPLE TO THE
COOKING OF BEEF.

John gets into his car and drives. On the animated map of Argentina, a dotted line joins San Antonio de Areco to Mendoza city.

In off, John continues DRIVING THERE IS A PILGRIMAGE
WHICH I'M HOPING WILL LEAD ME
TO THE HOLY GRAIL -- A PERFECT
PLATE OF BEEF.

In the car, John continues SO THERE WE ARE.
WE'VE TURNED ONTO ROUTE 7,
AND MY SATELLITE NAVIGATION
SYSTEM TELLS ME I'VE ONLY GOT
942 KILOMETRES TO GO.
ROUTE 7 ALL THE WAY.
LOOKS LIKE THIS JOURNEY'S GOING
TO BE WELL IN EXCESS OF 10
HOURS, A BIT OF AN ENDURANCE TEST.
BUT IN TERMS OF NAVIGATION,
I DON'T THINK I'M GOING TO
BE CHALLENGED.
THERE'S NOTHING ON THIS ROUTE 7
EXCEPT FOR A STRAIGHT ROAD.
IT'S JUST A STRAIGHT ROAD.
I MEAN, IF I LOOK AT MY REAR
VISION MIRROR, THERE'S A
STRAIGHT ROAD BEHIND ME.
I LOOK IN FRONT OF ME, THERE'S
A STRAIGHT ROAD IN FRONT OF ME.
AS FAR AS I CAN SEE, JUST A
STRAIGHT ROAD.
IT'S JUST CRAZY.
THIS IS THE CRAZIEST ROAD I'VE
EVER BEEN ON IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
TEN HOURS OF STRAIGHT ROAD...
[dated music on car radio]
AND ARGENTINE F.M. ISN'T HELPING.
(Lively music plays)
PIT STOP REQUIRED.
SEE IF I CAN'T FIND MYSELF A
DECENT TUNE.

John pulls into a filling station.

John says I THINK I NEED A BIT OF ROCK
AND ROLL FOR THE ROAD TRIP.
(Standing beside a juke box) I'VE GOT ACCER DACCER, A.C./D.C.,
HELLS BELLS, SHOOT TO THRILL,
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MONEY HONEY?
GIVING THE DOG A BONE, LET ME
PUT MY LOVE INTO YOU, FANCY.
HOW DO I GET THE CD OUT?
OH, I LOVE THIS SORT OF STUFF,
(At a cooler cabinet) LOOK, EVERY TYPE OF EMPANADA
YOU COULD WANT.
YOU PULL INTO A SERVO, ALL I
WANTED WAS A WEE AND CUP OF COFFEE.
TORTAS, TARTS.
FERNET FOR TONIGHT, MIGHT AS
WELL TAKE THAT WITH ME, THAT'S GOOD.
THESE ARE CALLED ALFAJORES.
THEY ARE LIKE A SANDWICH BISCUIT.
I'M GOING TO WALK OUT WITH
MOUNTAINS OF STUFF JUST LIKE
A TREASURE TROVE.
(Holds up a C.D.) ACCER DACCER, A.C./D.C.
SO I'M GOING TO HAVE TO TRY
EACH ONE TO SEE WHICH BRAND I LIKE.
COFFEE TO TAKE AWAY, AND I GET
GIVEN A MATE WHILE I'M HERE.
[slurping]
[bystander laughter]
BRILLIANT!

He pulls out onto the highway again.
[AC/DC Hells Bells playing]

John says GOT MY BISCUITS, ME ACCER
DACCER...
[truck horn blaring]
AND I'M EATING UP THE MILES.

He drives behind a truck loaded with cattle on the hoof.

John continues AS FOR THE ROAD, NO CHANGE.
(Modern music plays)
"I'M ROLLING THUNDER,
POURING RAIN..."

John says AH, THIS IS THE STRAIGHTEST
ROAD I'VE EVER DRIVEN IN MY
WHOLE LIFE. I'M LOVING IT THOUGH.
"I'M GONNA GET YA,
SATAN GET YA
I'M HELLS BELLS."

John continues THE SCENERY HASN'T CHANGED
MUCH, BUT WITH 500 KILOMETRES
OF ROUTE 7 UNDER MY BELT,
THANKFULLY LUNCHTIME HAS COME AROUND.
WITH IT, MY CHANCE TO
EXPERIENCE AN ARGENTINE
INSTITUTION.

He pulls up at a largish building with plate glass windows.

John says THIS IS A...
IT'S A ROADSIDE CAFE, A
"PARILLA," WHICH IS LIKE A
BARBECUE AREA, AND IT'S CALLED
"EL CAMIONERO," WHICH IS "THE TRUCK DRIVER."
IT'S A TRUCK STOP IN THE
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

He enters the restaurant and approaches the counter.

[background chatter]

John says OLA! (pointing at the barbecue fireplace)
NOW, THAT'S WHAT YOU CALL A FIRE.
OLA! CAN I HAVE A LOOK?

The barbecue attendant says SI.

John says WOW!
I WANT, I WANT A FIRE AND I
WANT MEAT.
LOOK, MEAT, THAT'S MEAT.(pointing)
[speaking Spanish]

The balding barbecue attendant says It's flank steak flap meat.

The man produces a black metal box with a handle, an ember hotplate, fills it with red-hot charcoal and puts a corrugated lid on it. He then puts the flap meat steak onto it to heat up.

John says WOW, NICE.
THIS I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
HE'S PUT COALS INSIDE SO IT
STAYS NICE AND HOT, YOU GOT
YOUR OWN LITTLE GRILL PLATE
WITH A MIXTURE OF BITS AND
PIECES AND THEN EVERYBODY GETS
TO HELP THEMSELVES.
AND LOOK, CAN'T YOU HEAR THAT?
[sizzling]
SO HE'S GRILLING.

John says I MEAN, THIS IS
A TRUCK STOP ON A HIGHWAY.
PULL UP, AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.
THIS IS A MEAT LOVERS' PARADISE.
BEEF SAUSAGES, FAT BLOOD
SAUSAGES AND INTESTINES, A
MIXED GRILL LIKE NO OTHER. AHHH.
SO BY WINCHING THIS UP...
(speaking Spanish)

The man alters the height of the grill and says If you want to cook it quicker, move it closer. Beside the grill, a cage holds burning pieces of "quebracho" or "axe-breaker," a very hard wood.
(Lively music plays)

John says THAT'S SO CLEVER.
THIS IS CALLED AN "ASADO," AND
THE MAN WHO CONTROLS IT IS AN
"ASADOR," A PROPER CRAFTSMAN.
HE UNDERSTANDS FIRE AND HE
UNDERSTANDS FOOD.

The asador produces a large flank steak, spreads rock salt on it, and lays it on the grill.

He holds up a pair of ribs and says The ribs.

John says BECAUSE ME, I
WOULD BURN WOOD AND COAL IN A
BARBECUE, AND THEN I WOULD SET
THE MEAT ON TOP OF IT, BUT THIS
IS WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING,
BURNING THE WOOD SEPARATELY IN
A CAGE FIRST, THEN LAYING IT
OUT AND THEN COOKING OVER IT.
SO ON MY PERSONAL GRILL, "TIRA
DE ASADO," THE SHORT CUT RIBS,
ALONG WITH ANOTHER CUT I SAW AT
THE BUTCHER'S, VACIO, OR FLANK,
ALL FOR UNDER A FIVER.
[speaking in Spanish]

The asador instructs the waiter to take John the ember hotplate. John forks a large piece of vacio, and cuts it to show it's medium-rare.

John says AHH, THAT SHOULD
KEEP ME GOING FOR LUNCH.
YOU'VE GOT TO CHEW IT.
IT'S NOT A STEAK, IT'S NOT A
SIRLOIN AND IT'S NOT A RUMP,
IT'S NOT A FILLET; IT'S A REAL
PIECE OF MEAT, YOU'VE GOT TO
CHEW IT AND IT TASTES LIKE BEEF.
AND IT'S BEEN COOKED BEAUTIFULLY.
(Twanging guitar music plays)

John continues MY MEAT FEAST HITS ALL THE
RIGHT NOTES, BUT EVEN MY PIT
STOP AT "EL CAMIONERO" HAS TAUGHT
ME SOMETHING NEW.
I'VE WATCHED SOMEBODY WHO
UNDERSTANDS FIRE PROPERLY COOK
MY LUNCH.
I'VE LEARNT SOMETHING.
I'VE LOVED WATCHING THAT.
THIS IS WHAT I LOVE TO DO.
AND SITTING DOWN AND EATING
IT I SUPPOSE IS THE ICING ON
THE CAKE.
BRILLIANT. THIS IS WHAT I CAME TO
ARGENTINA FOR.

Driving along the straight road, John says
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE HOW I'M
GOING TO TOP THE FLAME-FUELLED
MEAT I'VE EATEN SO FAR, BUT MY
NEXT DESTINATION IS LEGENDARY
AMONGST BEEF LOVERS, AND
THERE'S NOT JUST ONE FIRE,
BUT SEVEN.
TO SEE THIS, I'VE GOT TO KEEP
MY TRUCK POINTED WEST ON ROUTE
7, WHICH IS STILL... YEAH, YOU
GUESSED IT, STRAIGHT.
THERE'S LITERALLY NOTHING BUT
STRAIGHT ROAD.
STRAIGHT AGAIN, STILL A
STRAIGHT ROAD.
STRAIGHT BEHIND, STRAIGHT IN FRONT.
I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS STRAIGHT
FOR YEARS.
[chuckling]
OH, DEAR.
THIS WILL SEND YOU COMPLETELY
DOOLALLY.
THEY'RE DOING A BIT OF WORK ON
THIS ROAD.
THEY'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO.
[laughing]
OH, LOOK, EXCITING.
ONE OF THE ELECTRICITY POSTS
HAS CHANGED.
IT'S DIFFERENT FROM THE REST
OF THEM.
[laughing]
ROUTE 7 IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY
DRAWING ME TOWARDS MENDOZA TO
COMPLETE MY BEEF-INSPIRED ROAD TRIP.
BUT IT'S NOT JUST FOOD I'M
GOING FOR.

[telephone ringing]
John says THERE'S A FRIEND THERE, TOO.
[ringing continues]

Mata picks up and says SI?

John says G'DAY, MATA. IT'S JOHN.

Mata says HI, HOW ARE YOU?

John says I'M ALL RIGHT.

Mata says WHAT TIME ARE WE GOING
OUT TO DINNER?

John says I'M IN
ARGENTINA. I'M ON A BIG STRAIGHT ROAD.

Mata says SO YOU'RE DRIVING TO MENDOZA?

John says YEAH, DRIVING TO
MENDOZA NOW.

Mata says MY BIRTHDAY'S ON SATURDAY.

John says YOUR BIRTHDAY!

Mata says HAVING A BIG BARBECUE,
A BIG ASADO, AND IT'D BE GREAT
IF YOU CAN JOIN US.

John says THIS WEEKEND?

Mata says YES.

John says HOW EXCITING,
ARGENTINA AND YOUR BIRTHDAY,
AND AN ASADO, BRILLIANT.

Mata says WELL, WE'LL SEE YOU THEN.

John says BYE, LOVE.
THAT'S PRETTY COOL.
SO MATA, MATA'S A FRIEND OF
MINE I MET DOING FOOD SHOWS IN
ENGLAND, AND SHE MAKES WINE,
SO WHEN YOU'RE INVITED TO A
BARBIE, WHAT DO YOU DO?
YOU GO TO A BARBIE.
BUT WHAT DO YOU TAKE TO
SOMEBODY WHO OWNS A VINEYARD
IN ARGENTINA?
WELL, AT LEAST I'VE GOT, WHAT,
400 KILOMETRES OF ROUTE 7
THINKING TIME IN FRONT OF ME.
OH LOOK, OH HO, LOOK, WE GOT A
LITTLE BEND IN THE ROAD.
HOLD ON TIGHT, IT'S A BEND.
GO AROUND.
OH, GUESS WHAT?
STRAIGHT AGAIN.
[laughing]
In off, John continues THIS ROAD DRIVES YOU CRAZY ALL
RIGHT, BUT THROUGH THE HAZE OF
MADNESS, I'VE STARTED TO SEE
SOMETHING CLEARLY.
I THOUGHT I WAS A GREAT COOK,
AND I THOUGHT I WAS A GREAT
COOK AT COOKING OUTSIDE, AT
COOKING BARBECUES, BUT WHAT
I'VE REALIZED WHILE I'M HERE IN
ARGENTINA IS THAT I'VE BEEN
DOING IT WRONG ALL MY LIFE.
THAT, ACTUALLY, THE FIRE THAT
COOKS THE MEAT HAS TO BE MADE
BEFORE IT GOES ANYWHERE NEAR
THE BARBECUE.
THAT'S PRETTY BIG TO ADMIT,
THAT ACTUALLY I'VE BEEN COOKING
A BARBECUE WRONGLY ALL MY LIFE. WOW!
THE SUN'S SETTING BUT THIS
DRIVE'S NOT OVER YET...
AND ONCE AGAIN, NATURE CALLS.

John pulls into a stop.

On site, John continues LIKE ANYBODY ON A ROAD TRIP,
I NEED TO WEE REALLY BAD, SO I
STOPPED HERE AT LUIS'S SHOP.
IT'S ABOUT 6 O'CLOCK IN THE
EVENING, AND HE'S BAKING BREAD
FOR TONIGHT.
IT'S JUST BRILLIANT.
THE OVEN'S OBVIOUSLY HOME MADE
BECAUSE THE CHIMNEY'S AN OLD
TIN CAN. I LOVE IT.
LIKE THE BREAD, RIGHT?
THIS BREAD IS JUST ON TRAYS, A
TIN, THERE'S A BIT OF METAL ALL
CURLED UP, THERE'S JUST BREAD.
NO DIALS ON THIS BAKER'S OVEN.
HE'S BAKING BY FEEL.

(Speaking Spanish)
John asks Luis and says How long?

Luis, bald in his seventies, says 40 minutes to cook.

John continues THIS WHOLE COUNTRY, THIS
COUNTRY IS CRAZY. I LOVE IT.
THE MAIN HIGHWAY FROM BUENOS
AIRES TO MENDOZA IS A THOUSAND
KILOMETRES LONG, IT'S STRAIGHT
AND YOU GO A BIT BONKERS ON IT.
AND THEN YOU TURN UP AND
THERE'S A GUY BAKING BREAD ON
THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
I'VE HAD LUNCH IN A PLACE THAT
I NEVER KNEW EXISTED WITH
TRUCKERS, AND NOW I'M GOING TO
GET SOME BREAD.
LOOK, THERE YOU GO, HE'S EVEN
GOT ME SOME BREAD.

John holds up a brown loaf and says I MEAN, IT'S A
GREAT LOAF OF BREAD.
I MEAN, IF IT HIT YOU, IT'D
KILL YOU, BUT I MEAN, IT'S A
BIG LOAF OF BREAD. SHALL WE TAKE THIS WITH US?
QUANTA? HOW MUCH?

Luis waves the question away.

John says NO!

Baker says YEAH.

John says I CAN'T...
I'VE GOT TO DO THIS BECAUSE
I HAVE TO...
MY FRIEND, I'VE GOT TO DO
A SELFIE, BECAUSE YOU ARE
ROCKING AND ROLLING
UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING.
RIGHT, COME ON, YOU, SMILE.
LET'S SEE.
BYE, MISTER BREAD MAN.
THAT GUY WAS GREAT, GENUINE,
REAL, EXTRAORDINARY IN A PLACE
LIKE THIS, AND LOOK AT THIS.
LOOK AT THAT, COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE ALTOGETHER.
ARGENTINA JUST CONTINUES TO
SURPRISE ME.
ROUTE 7 ACTUALLY CONTINUES ALL
THE WAY TO THE BORDER OF CHILE.
I'M NOT GOING THAT FAR, NO WAY.
TOMORROW BRINGS ME TO MY
JOURNEY'S END.

As evening falls, the sun sets in a pink sky. Then at daybreak John is back driving.

John continues A NEW DAY FINDS ME BACK AT THE
WHEEL, BUT NOW I'VE GOT
MOUNTAINS FOR COMPANY.
THIS IS MENDOZA.
THE MOUNTAINS ARE THE ANDES,
AND I'M SLOWLY APPROACHING THE
PLACE I'VE DRIVEN ACROSS
ARGENTINA TO FIND, "SIETE
FUEGOS," THE SEVEN FIRES, A
VERITABLE "TEMPLE OF BEEF."
I THINK I MAY HAVE LANDED IN PARADISE.

With snowy mountains in the background, a structure resembling a huge birdcage on a concrete base has a basket suspended at the top over a charcoal burner and a carcass of mutton staked out over the fire at the bottom.

John continues THERE'S KITCHENS IN THE WORLD
AND THEN THERE'S KITCHENS LIKE THAT.

He points at a wall from which rise three dark rectangular chimneys.

John continues IN ITS SHORT LIFE, SIETE FUEGOS
HAS BECOME AN ESSENTIAL
DESTINATION FOR THE FOODIE
JETSET, A PLACE TO EXPERIENCE
THE ULTIMATE FLAME-FUELLED BEEF.
I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT FIRE, I
WANT TO KNOW ABOUT BEEF, AND
THIS PLACE IS AS POSH AS YOU
GET IN ARGENTINA, WHERE FIRE
AND BEEF ARE KING.
(Tango music plays)

He approaches one of the barbecues.

John continues IN BETWEEN SERVICES, HEAD CHEF
DIEGO HERRERA HAS AGREED TO
REVEAL ITS SECRETS.

Diego, handsome with long hair and beard stubble in his thirties, says HI, OLA.

John says SO THIS IS ONE FIRE.

Diego says YEAH.

John says YOU HAVE SEVEN.

Diego says SEVEN, YEAH. THE SECOND IS A CLAY OVEN.

John says THIS ONE?

Diego says THEN A HOTPLATE OR GRIDDLE,

John says THIS ONE?

Diego says LITTLE HELL.

John says THIS IS CALLED
THE INFERNO, LITTLE HELL, AND
YOU PUT STUFF IN BETWEEN THAT
PLATE AND IT'S FEROCIOUSLY HOT.
FIRE NUMBER FIVE IS A PIT IN
THE GROUND, GIVING VEGETABLES
DEEP EARTHY AND SMOKY FLAVOURS.
ABOVE IT, FIRE SIX HAS A
CAULDRON OVER IT FOR STEWS AND
THE LIKE.
AND THIS, NOW NUMBER SEVEN.

They walk out to the birdcage contraption in the middle of the lawn.

John says BRILLIANT.
SO THE DEAL IS, THIS IS REALLY
VERY, VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT WE
SAW WITH THE GAUCHOS.
THIS PIT CAN HOLD A LOT OF
ANIMALS.
THESE BALLS THAT LOOK LIKE
SOMETHING YOU HANG FROM A
CHRISTMAS TREE, THEY PUT
CHICKENS IN.
I WANT ONE OF THESE IN MY
BACK GARDEN.
AND SO TO MY FINAL LESSON IN
BEEF... DIEGO HAS OPTED FOR
WHAT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING
FRED FLINTSTONE MIGHT CHEW ON, (He holds up a giant rib)
BUT IT'S ACTUALLY THREE RIB
CUTS IN ONE. (Pointing)
THIS HERE IS THE EYE OF THE MEAT.

Diego says FILET ASADO.

John says SO THIS HERE IS
THE BIT THAT WE USED WITH THE GAUCHOS.
THEN THE BONES, OF COURSE, ARE
THE BITS THAT WE ATE WITH THE
GUYS IN THE TRUCK STOP WHICH
HAD BEEN CHOPPED UP.
SO WHAT WE'VE GOT NOW IS THIS
MASSIVE STEAK.
I'VE SEEN ONE OF THESE BEFORE,
AND WE CALL IT A TOMAHAWK, BUT
I'VE NEVER SEEN THEM COOKED
OVER FIRE.
FIRST A GOOD RUB OF SALT,
THEN TO THE COALS.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS AMAZING IS
THAT THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME
PROCESS AS THE TRUCK STOP,
EXACTLY THE SAME.
SO IT'S A POSH RESTAURANT BUT
THEY'RE USING EXACTLY THE SAME
EQUIPMENT, AND POSHER BITS OF
MEAT, ABSOLUTELY.
THAT STEAK WILL COST A LOT OF MONEY.
INTERNATIONAL CLIENTELE, THAT'S
WHAT I'VE JUST WORKED OUT.
THIS PLACE IS ABOUT
INTERNATIONAL CLIENTELE, ISN'T IT?
IT'S ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE.
LOOK AT THE ENVIRONMENT.
THESE PEOPLE ARE USED TO EATING STEAKS.
THE EXPECTATION OF THE
CUSTOMERS MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM
YESTERDAY'S PARILLA OR THE
GAUCHOS' ASADO, BUT THE BASIC
ELEMENTS REMAIN THE SAME.
THIS PLACE JUST THROWS IN SOME
COOL ARCHITECTURE AND A DASH
OF ROCK AND ROLL.
WHOLE TOMATOES ON COALS, THAT'S COOL.
(Lively music plays)

John says LOOKS LIKE TO
ME LIKE WE'VE GOT SORT OF
PIZZA AND WE'RE GOING TO COOK
IT ON THE COALS.
I MEAN, LOOK AT THIS.
THIS IS JUST...
IT'S NOT EVEN JUST ON THE
COALS; HE'S THEN PUTTING COALS
ON TOP OF IT AS WELL.
AND I'VE JUST REALIZED THIS IS
THE CLOSEST I'VE COME TO A
VEGETABLE IN A WEEK.
ARGENTINA IS ABOUT SIMPLICITY
BUT BEAUTY WITH IT, AND THIS IS
IT, A REVELATION.

Diego says CHIMICHURRI.

John says CHIMICHURRI
CHIMICHURRI.
ANOTHER OLD FRIEND,
CHIMICHURRI!
CHOP CHOP OR CRUSH?

Diego says YEAH, CHOP.

John says AS DIEGO'S
CUSTOMERS WOULD EXPECT, HIS
SAUCE USES THE FRESHEST
INGREDIENTS MENDOZA CAN
PROVIDE. OREGANO?

Diego says OREGANO, SI.

John says IT'S THE
GOURMET VERSION OF THE STUFF
I HAD ON THE STREET IN
BUENOS AIRES. AYE, GOOD.
(Lyrical music plays)

Diego says BUENO.

John says BEAUTIFUL.
THE TIME'S COME TO SEE WHAT
I CAN REALLY LEARN FROM MY
ARGENTINEAN MODERN MASTER.
AND WHAT I'VE GOT IS A FEAST,
THINGS I'M FAMILIAR WITH
PREPARED IN WAYS I'VE NEVER
EXPERIENCED BEFORE.
A FLATBREAD AND TOMATOES COOKED
DIRECTLY ON SMOULDERING COALS,
AND THE CENTERPIECE, GRASS-FED
RIB-EYE STEAK, NOT TOSSED
QUICKLY IN A PAN, BUT ROASTED
FOR AN HOUR, ON THE BONE AND
OVER THOSE SAME AMAZING COALS.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
FANTASTIC LESSON.

Diego says OKAY, ENJOY.

John says THANK YOU VERY
MUCH INDEED.
I'M SORRY YOU HAVE TO WORK.
WHAT A BLOKE.
VERY ANNOYING, GREAT COOK,
REALLY GOOD LOOKING AND LOOKS
LIKE A ROCK STAR.
I MEAN, REALLY?
ALL IN ONE?
THE QUESTION IS, HOW GOOD IS IT?
TIME FOR MY SHOT AT THE
ULTIMATE BEEF EXPERIENCE.
THE STEAK IS TENDER.
IT TASTES OF GRASS, IT TASTES
OF FIRE, IT TASTES OF SMOKE.
IT'S JUST DELICIOUS.
I'VE COME TO THIS PLACE TO
LEARN ABOUT THE BEST STEAK
COOKED IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY
OVER THE BEST FIRE, AND THAT'S
WHAT I'VE GOT.
IT'S ABOUT AS GOOD AS IT GETS.

Diego licks his fingers and says GREAT.

A crescent moon appears in the night sky. Day breaks and John drives again.
(Lively guitar music plays)

John says MY BEEF JOURNEY
HAS COME TO AN END.
BUT MY TRIP'S NOT QUITE OVER YET.
YESTERDAY EVERYTHING I'VE
LEARNT IN ARGENTINA CAME TOGETHER.
AS FOR TODAY, ALL I'VE GOT TO
DO IS TO HANG OUT WITH A FRIEND
AT HER BIRTHDAY BARBECUE, AND
AFTER MUCH CONTEMPLATION ABOUT
HER PRESENT...
RIGHT, I'VE DECIDED TO GET
SOMETHING AT THE LAST MINUTE.
IT'S OKAY.
AND SO HERE I AM, MY LAST STOP,
AND THERE'S THE BIRTHDAY GIRL.

Mata stands with her guests. She is pretty, in her thirties, with dark hair in a bun.

John gets out of the car, approaches Mata and says AH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Mata, hugging him, says YOU'RE HERE!

John says HOW ARE YOU?

Mata says I'M FINE.

John says HOW YOU DOING?
LOVELY TO SEE YOU.

Mata says IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU.

John says SO LOOK, I KNOW
I SHOULDN'T BRING WINE FOR YOU,
BUT LOOK, THIS WINE I FOUND
ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

Mata says IS IT...
OH, SO IT'S NOT AUSTRALIAN.

John says NO, NO, NO,
IT'S NOT AUSTRALIAN.

A smiling Mata says IT'S CHURCH WINE.

John says CHURCH WINE.
OH, IS IT GOOD?

Mata says IT'S CHURCH WINE!
(Giggling)

John says SLIGHT FAUX PAS,
BUT I'M STILL ALLOWED TO DO
SOME SERVING UP.
[glasses clinking]

John says HOW COOL IS THIS?
MATA'S BIRTHDAY, SUN'S SHINING,
MEAT ON THE GRILL.
TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Mata says I'M SO PLEASED YOU'RE
HERE FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

John says I'M SO PLEASED
TO BE HERE.
[glass clinking]
CHIN, CHIN.

Mata says YOU BROUGHT ME A BOTTLE
OF WINE FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

John says YES.

Mata says I GOT YOU SOMETHING.
[laughter]

John says I'LL HAVE A LOOK, AH, AH.

He opens the package she gave him, and produces a knife in an ornate white leather scabbard.

Mata says IT'S A GAUCHO KNIFE.

John says AH.
OH, THANK YOU.
[laughter]

Mata says IT'S NOT READY BECAUSE
IT'S BLUNT, AS YOU CAN SEE.

John says RIGHT.

Mata says YOU, NOW, AS A GAUCHO...

John says YEAH.

Mata says THAT KNOWS HOW TO MAKE
AN ASADO...

John says YES.

Mata says YOU WILL HAVE TO
SHARPEN IT THE WAY YOU LIKE IT.

John says YOU KNOW, I'M SHAKING.
HONESTLY, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I FEEL...
I MEAN THIS, I FEEL REALLY HONOURED.

Mata says OH, WELL!

John says I DO, BECAUSE
THIS COUNTRY IS LIKE...
HAS JUST BEEN SUCH AN
ENLIGHTENING PLACE.
YOU GUYS ARE SO...

Mata says AWW!...

John says NO, SERIOUSLY...

Mata says YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE
ME CRY.

John says YOU ARE SO
LOVELY, AND TO COME AND SEE
YOU AND TO FINISH MY JOURNEY
HERE WITH YOU AND GET THIS TO
GO AWAY WITH...

Mata says WELL, IT'S A SIMPLE
PRESENT, BUT IT'S...

John says THANK YOU SO MUCH.
HAPPY... HAPPY BLOODY BIRTHDAY! (Kisses her)
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT!

[general chatter]
People eat, drink, toast each other and make merry.

Standing to talk for the camera, John says ARGENTINA HAS BEEN A SURPRISE
AT EVERY TURN.

Fast action clips show events in the episode.

Gauchos do their stomping dance.
[Spectators cheering]

John says THAT... IS AN ARMADILLO!

John loses control of his mount.
[horse whinnying]
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!

John continues AND ME AND MY MATE, MY TRUCK, (Pats the bonnet)
HAVE DONE ABOUT 1,200
KILOMETRES, AND JUST LOVED
EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF ARGENTINA.
[laughter]
I GOT GREASE ON MY HANDS, SMOKE
ALL THROUGH MY CLOTHES, BUT I
DON'T CARE.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IS LET THE
WORLD UNRAVEL ROUND THE OUTSIDE
OF YOU, AND I AM WHO I AM, I DO
WHAT I DO.
YOU KNOW, JOHN TORODE IS A
BLOKE WHO COOKS AND IS LUCKY
ENOUGH TO HAVE DRIVEN ACROSS ARGENTINA.
I SAY, "ARGENTINA, I LOVE YOU."

Over an image of Monica wearing a blue polo neck shirt under a black windcheater a caption reads "Next time..."

The Narrator says NEXT TIME, IN
FRANCE, TOP CHEF MONICA GALETTI
SEARCHES FOR THE ORIGINS OF
OUR FAVOURITE FRENCH PRODUCE.

French cliffside chateaus appear. Craftsmen work at making cheeses.

Monica Galetti says THIS IS LIKE
A CANDY STORE.

Mushrooms are harvested. John stands with Monica behind a brown-spotted dairy cow.

The Narrator says FROM THE
ROMANCE... TO THE REALITY.

Monica Galetti, watching a black boar, says IT'S RUNNING
FOR ITS LIFE.

The Narrator says SHE'LL DISCOVER
A WORLD SHE'LL NEVER FORGET.

Monica Galetti, sitting and sharing a meal with John, says
I CAN DO A BIT MORE OF THIS.

(Theme music plays)

The End Credits roll.

Presented by John Torode.

Production manager, Amanda Brown.

Executive producer, Gill Tierney.

Director, Dick Sharman.

Series producers, Helen Simpson and Katy Fryer.

BBC Features Production. Bristol.

Copyright. BBC 2015.