Simply Ming Explores the Azores: Cooks in a geyser, finds Atlantic fresh seafood

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Food cooked in a volcanic geyser, fish from the deep Atlantic, Azorean sweet bread: these are just a few of the delights that award-winning chef Ming Tsai of WGBH-TV’s Simply Ming discovered during his trip to the Azores, part of his 10th Anniversary Season.

Starting on February 2, 2013 Ming Tsai will transport viewers “On the Road” for five episodes to experience the cuisine of the Azores, nine European islands 1,000 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, 2,000 miles east from Boston. The Azores are just four hours from Boston. SATA Airlines has regular, direct flights to the Azores (www.Sata.Pt)

On the trip, Ming learned about cuisine unique to these islands by cooking up dishes with local chefs, home cooks and culinary stars.  The Azores are home to a wide variety of culinary influences, and Ming traveled from island to island uncovering each location’s unique cuisine – from Portuguese inspired stews to local fish and clams only found in the waters off the Azores.

“From winemaking to wood ovens to cooking underground in volcanic geysers, the Azores are inspiring islands rich in culinary treasures,” said Ming.  “Exploring both the traditional and modern-day cuisine of this very special place that abounds in fresh seafood and pineapples is one of the biggest highlights of the entire series.”

On the Road in the Azores: Cozido In this episode, Simply Ming is on the road traveling to the exotic Azores to learn how to make one of the region’s most famous dishes – Cozido – a one-pot meal that’s literally cooked underground by the Earth’s volcanic heat. Rising to the challenge, Ming and his guest chef, Pedro Oliveira, shop a local market for inspiration and then head to the village of Furnas on São Miguel where they will prepare their own versions of this underground delight.

On the Road in the Azores: Modern Azorean Cuisine On this episode Ming and his guest chef, Hugo Ferreira, find inspiration shopping in a local market on São Miguel for fresh local ingredients. Together the two cook on the fly using their market finds and some other surprise proteins and vegetables to come up with dishes that reflect Azorean culinary traditions but with a modern twist.

On the Road in the Azores: Alcatra

Ming heads for the islands on this special episode of Simply Ming. Traveling to the Azorean island of Terceira, Ming cooks with local chef Eduardo Reis and learns the history of Alcatra – beef stew – which is baked in a traditional Azorean wood oven. Together they find inspiration at a local market to put a contemporary spin on this ancient dish.

On the Road in The Azores: Fish stew In this episode, Chef Ming travels to the Azorean island of Pico, where he meets up with a native chef to greet the fishing boats.  Inspired by the bounty of seafood, Ming puts his own spin on fish stew, a local favorite.

On the Road in The Azores: Wine & Petiscos In Pico, an expert on Azorean wines shows Ming the rich heritage of winemaking on the island. Stomping grapes, tasting wine, and cooking up some petiscos (traditional small plate dining) will all be on the menu.


Since 1947, SATA Airlines has provided air service linking the nine islands of the Azores with the world. For more information about booking flights or about SATA visit or call 800-762-9995.

Learn More about the Azores

Azorean chefs will take the stage and share recipes from the Azores at the Boston Globe Travel Show on February 8 to 10. And, visit the SATA Airlines booth for information on Azores Vacations, and deals on travel and packages.

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