What better host than Stanley Tucci to take viewers on a regional culinary tour of Italy? The avowed food lover is of Italian heritage, on both sides of his family.
And what better timing than now? With many restaurants shuttered and others with limited hours and seating capacity, countless Americans have acquired a pandemic-induced obsession with cooking. They pine to travel as soon as more people are vaccinated and borders reopen. Many want to explore or revisit Italy.
Tucci’s new six-part CNN series, Searching for Italy, will premiere on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 9PM EST. The first episode takes viewers to Campania, located in the southwest portion of the Italian peninsula.
“During a time when everyone wishes they could travel, the series will transport you through Italy’s cultural past and present through its extraordinary cuisine,” said Tucci in announcing the new series. “The food tells the story of this country’s unique history and I’m thrilled to serve as a guide through this journey.”
In Italy, all food recipes, traditions and products are regional (or even more local than that)—whether it’s breads, pastas, cheeses, pastries or anything else. Wine is also produced in every one of Italy’s 20 regions.
Each episode has been filmed in a different region (or city) including Tuscany, Sicily, Milan, Rome, Bologna, and Naples/The Amalfi Coast. Viewers get introduced to local chefs, winemakers, farmers, food producers, historians and guides. Four episodes were filmed in the fall of 2019 (before the pandemic) and the last two in the fall of 2020.
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An award-winning actor with a lengthy list of movie, television and theater credits, Tucci is also known as a talented writer, director and producer. This certainly isn’t Tucci’s first food-related foray, and his passion for Italian food and culture appears to be in his blood. He grew up in a big Italian-American family in Westchester County, New York, that continued the tradition of multigenerational Sunday dinners.
He worked at restaurants and even opened one (later sold) in North Salem, NY. He has written multiple cookbooks, the first with his mother and sister (actress Christine Tucci). He co-wrote (with his cousin, Joseph Tropiano), co-directed, and starred in Big Night, one of the most memorable food films of all time.
“Stanley’s engaging personality, wit and charm make him the perfect fit to take CNN’s viewers on an intimate voyage to his beloved Italy,” said Amy Entelis, EVP for Talent & Content Development, CNN Worldwide. “We know our audience will feel inspired as they experience, through Stanley’s eyes, the food, culture and people of a country that has given the world so much joy from its cuisine.”
After this jaunt up and down the boot, the lush scenery, one-of-a-kind characters, and delectable dishes Stanley Tucci has discovered will leave you craving for more.