• Rodney Dunn and Maeve O'Meara. (Food Safari Fire)Source: Food Safari Fire
Food Safari returns in a blaze of glory to explore how cultures across the world cook with fire. In this visually spectacular 10-part series host Maeve O'Meara learns the secrets to grilling, smoking, roasting and baking from some of Australia's top chefs, cooks and barbecue devotees.
2 Dec 2015 - 12:54 PM  UPDATED 30 Oct 2018 - 6:20 PM

Episode 1: Cooking with fire

Food Safari returns in a blaze of glory introducing all you need to know about fire, wood, charcoal, types of meat, smoking, grilling, roasting and a cheat’s spit. In this flame-cooking master class, host Maeve O’Meara meets an impressive line-up of chefs and food purveyors from across Australia. 

Thanks to Rodney Dunn (The Agrarian Kitchen), Lennox Hastie (Firedoor), Peter Marshall (Terra Preta Truffles), Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya's), Anthony Puharich (Vic's Meat Market), Victor Puharich (Victor Churchill) and Guy Grossi (Merchant).



Grilled marron

Grilled Spanish mackerel

Rodney Dunn and Maeve O'Meara.

Episode 2: Street food

Maeve explores the best chargrilled street food from around the world, including Greek pork souvlaki, Abruzzese arrosticini, Malaysian satay, Vietnamese beef in betel leaves and Mexican fish tacos. This episode is a celebration of street vendors' passion for charcoal, wood and fire. As Maeve can attest: “There’s nothing as enticing as food cooked in the open air where the spices and marinades come to meet you halfway down the street, drawing you in like a magnet, preparing your taste buds for heaven”.


Thanks to Thomas Deliopoulos (Kalimera Souvlaki Art), Tony Nicolini (Doc Espresso), Regina Meehan (Hoy Pinoy), Simon Goh (Chinta Kechil), Gerardo Lopez (La Tortilleria), Ben Nguyen (Hai Au Lang Nong), Paco’s Tacos, Mamak and Drums Café at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.




Pescado zarandeado (fish taco)

Beef in betel leaf


Episode 3: The wood-fired oven

From a healthy, six-minute ‘stand-up’ fish to Neapolitan pizza, slow-cooked goat, sourdough bread and sensational Greek pie, Maeve explores the versatility and uniqueness of cooking with a wood-fired oven. Dating back to Ancient Egypt and early Mediterranean civilisations, wood-fired ovens begun as both heat source and cooking device. Today, they are a symbol of ‘the good life’. In this episode, Maeve chats to a baker, a universally acclaimed pizza maker, and several chefs with a fiery passion for this style of cooking.


Thanks to 

Russell Jeavons (Russell’s Pizza), Salvatore Pepe, Johnny Di Francesco (400 Gradi), Joost Hilkemeijer (Flour Water Salt) and Matt Germanchis (Pei Modern).




Pizza Margherita

Roast fish


Joost Hilkemeijer and Maeve O'Meara

Episode 4: Grilling passionate

Maeve explores how fire and coals create some of the world’s most beloved recipes, including traditional Turkish kebabs, Portuguese sardines, meltingly tender marinated Chilean pork belly and a spicy masterpiece known as South African braais.


Thanks to Somer Sivrioglu (Efendy), Fatima Barroso (Fine Dining Catering), Nelson Burgos (Fino Par), Margarita’s Cecinas, Duncan Welgemoed (Africola), Christian Silva (Zappatas Kitchen), Aldhiaffah Al-Iraqi Restaurant, New Star Kebabs and Sofra Restaurant.



Adana kebab

Onion, parsley and sumac salad (sogan piyazi)

Grilled sardines

Marinated pork belly (asado)

Chilean salsa (pebre)

Onglet steak with biryani spices



Episode 5: The tandoor

Over the past 5,000 years, the basic design of the tandoor oven has not changed, making it one of the oldest cooking devices on earth. In this episode, Maeve seeks out recipes from the subcontinent and Armenia cooked with this ancient oven, including tandoori chicken and prawns, naan, lamb kebabs and an elaborate roast pumpkin. Don't be surprised if you end wanting a tandoor in your own backyard!


Thanks to Ajoy Joshi (Nilgiri's and Tellicherry), Kumar Mahadevan (Aki's and Abhi’s), Deepak Kumar (Hotel Saravana Bhavan), Adam D'sylva (Tonka and Coda), Cameron Williams Pottery , Faheem’s Fast Food, Billu’s Indian Eatery, The Sapphire Function Centre and Vatan Restaurant.




Tandoori chicken

Tandoori prawns

Lamb kebab

Ajoy Joshi and Maeve O'Meara

Episode 6: Spit-roasting

The ancient tradition of roasting a whole animal over a fire has always been visually spectacular and incredibly delicious. In this episode, Maeve explores the Argentinian style of a la cruz cooking, and learns the secrets to Brazilian churrasco, Sardinian suckling pig, Portuguese piri piri chicken and a crowd-pleasing Greek Easter lamb.


Thanks to Nicolas Arriola (La Boca Bar And Grill), Patricia Nunes (Brasil By The Kilo), Pietro Porcu (Da Noi), Jose Silva (Sweet Belem), David Tsirekas, Frangos Charcoal Chicken, Awafi Charcoal Chicken and The BBQ Store.



Churrasco de picanha

Piri piri chicken

Nicolas Arriola and Maeve O'Meara

Episode 7: Pots and pans

As the cuisines of the world developed different techniques to cook with flame, they also developed a unique range of pots and pans. In this episode, Maeve discovers the secrets to Spanish perol, Croatian peka, Chinese claypot, Moroccan tajine and Lebanese saj — and why they taste so good!


Thanks to Frank Camorra (Movida), Hassan M’souli (Out Of Africa),  Cheong Liew, Joseph Abboud (Rumi Restaurant and The Moor’s Head), Frank Roncevic, Baalbek Bakery, Zaatar Melbourne and The Balkan Seafood Restaurant.



Chicken, seafood and pork perol

Berber tajine

Claypot chicken rice

Octopus peka

Cheong Liew and Maeve O'Meara

Episode 8: Asian barbecue

This high-energy episode celebrates classic Asian recipes cooked over coals. From the Vietnamese lunch staple bun cha (marinated pork), to Chinese cumin lamb, Thai grilled chicken, Korean barbecue and the popular Japanese cooking technique, kushiyaki, Maeve enjoys a sensuous feast of Asian flavours.


Thanks to Angie Hong, Dan Hong (Ms G’s and Mr Wong), Chung Jae Lee (Seoul Food and Little Miss Korea), Maria and Alexi Xiao (Xiao’s Noodle Bar), Sujet Saenkham (Spice I Am and House), Min Kim (Sake Bar And Restaurant), Keita Abe (Chaco Bar), Hwang Ga Charcoal, BBQ Danjee Korean Restaurant, Sydney Madang, Strathfield Meat Mart, Golden Century Seafood Restaurant and Holy Basil.



Bun cha

So kalbi (Korean barbecue)

Gai yang (chargrilled marinated chicken)

Koji-marinated John Dory

Dan and Angie Hong with Maeve O'Meara celebrating he fiery powers that be.

Episode 9: Smoking

Maeve explores the ancient art of smoking, a cooking technique that was originally used as a preservative, but is now applauded for its ability to impart flavour and texture. Meeting smoking masters from across Australia, Maeve tastes hot-smoked salmon and kingfish, the West African condiment shito, flavoursome smoked lamb, Irish cold-smoked green bacon and Kansas City-style ribs.


Thanks to Stan Soroka (Eden Smokehouse), Kunle Adesua (Tribal Tastes), Charlie Costelloe (Pialligo Farm Smokehouse), Jim Johnson (Kansas City Barbecue Society), Atilla Yilmaz (Pazar Food Collective), Frank Shek (China Doll), Melbourne Barbecue Festival, Emperor’s Garden and Ivan’s Smallgoods.



Hot-smoked kingfish


Smoked lamb forequarter

Tea-smoked duck with tamarind and plum sauce


Episode 10: Barbecue safari

In this series finale, Maeve celebrates the ingenuity of the homemade barbecues and learns just how adaptable a 44-gallon drum can be! She meets a former pearl diver who uses the vessel to smoke barramundi, and a Jamaican chef who prefers to harness its cooking capabilities for jerk chicken and pork. Catching up with other barbecue devotees, Maeve discovesr there are many ordinary objects, including fridge parts, wheelie bins and lawnmowers can be welded into cooking devices. There’s even a car boot barbecue, a homemade Cypriot kleftiko oven and a Samoan umu feast.


Thanks to Neville Poelina (Uptuyu Aboriginal Adventures), Damion Brown (Jonkanoo), Simon Zalloua (Pazar Food Collective) and Sharon Salloum (Almond Bar).



Jamaican jerk

Tropical slaw

Kafta skewers

Sharon Salloum and Maeve O'Meara


Online exclusive recipes

Cheong Liew's grilled flathead in banana leaf

Danielle Alvarez's suckling pig in the Caja China (Chinese box)