Chicago | No Passport Required PBS Food

No Passport Required: Chicago


Premiered July 24

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Marcus visits the longstanding Mexican community in Chicago — the second largest in the U.S. — to learn about its heritage and traditions. With muralist Juan Angel Chavez, Marcus eats tacos de cecina and grilled nopales, and discusses the important role meat plays in Mexican cooking. Later, master chef Diana Davila shares with Marcus how she combines Chicago’s local ingredients with the traditional techniques of pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine at her restaurant Mi Tocaya.


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Faces of Chicago

Juan Angel ChavezJuan Angel Chavez

When Juan Angel Chavez’s peers were joining Chicago’s Latin Kings, his mother was enrolling him in art classes and convincing his teachers to push him toward an early-college program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chavez moved to Chicago via Chihuahua, Mexico, when he was 13 years old, and thanks the Windy City — and his mother — for bringing him his career as an artist. Chavez never graduated from SAIC, but his interactive assemblages, sculptures, and installations are seen around the city’s museums, art centers, and public parks, and at galleries across the globe.

Diana DávilaDiana Dávila

Diana Dávila is the chef and owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería — the Logan Square critical darling that’s praised for reframing Mexican cuisine with dishes like peanut butter and tongue. When Mi Tocaya opened in March 2017, it was Davila’s first foray into solo restaurant ownership; she was the opening chef at Andersonville’s Cantina 1910 but left three months after it opened. (Washington, D.C., locals will know Davila’s name from El Chucho and Jackie’s.) Dávila grew up in Chicago’s South Side and spent her summers visiting family in Mexico — where she says she learned most of her cooking.

Carlos GaytanCarlos Gaytan

Chef Carlos Gaytan was the first Mexican-born chef to receive a Michelin star (which he did so for two consecutive years) — an accolade attached to his seminal Chicago restaurant Mexique. Earlier in 2018, Gaytan closed the French-inspired Mexican restaurant in West Town on its 10-year anniversary. Now the former Top Chef contestant is focusing on months-old Ha, his restaurant in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Gaytan, who moved to Chicago in 1991 from Guerrero, Mexico, still plans to return to the Windy City with a series of pop-ups and eventually another brick-and-mortar restaurant.


Meet Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, Marcus at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda, Norda Bar & Grill in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in 2017, Red Rooster Shoreditch in London and Marcus B&P in Newark. He has thrilled the food scene with a blend of culture and artistic excellence, first catching the attention of the culinary world at Aquavit. During his tenure as executive chef there, he received an impressive three-star rating from The New York Times, the youngest person ever to receive such an accolade. Continue Reading


Where Marcus Visited in Chicago


More Episodes

  • No Passport Required: Detroit Detroit Explore the culture and flavor of Detroit’s Middle Eastern community. Tune in or stream July 10 at 9/8c.
  • No Passport Required: New Orleans New Orleans Discover how Vietnamese residents have influenced the city in delicious ways. Tune in or stream July 17 at 9/8c.
  • No Passport Required: Chicago Chicago Visit Chicago’s Mexican community to learn about its heritage and cuisine. Tune in or stream July 24 at 9/8c.
  • No Passport Required: Queens, NYC Queens, NYC Go inside the Indo-Guyanese community in Queens to explore its roots and cuisine. Tune in or stream July 31 at 9/8c.
  • No Passport Required: Miami Miami Explore the cuisine, culture and history of the city’s Haitian community. Tune in or stream August 7 at 9/8c.
  • No Passport Required: Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Dine, dance and dish with the Ethiopian community in the nation’s capital. Tune in or stream August 14 at 8/7c.


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