(upbeat music) – Texas, “The Lone Star State,” and the biggest in the contiguous U.S. (upbeat music continues) – We are Sorted Food. And the four of us are on a trip from the UK to find out if everything really is bigger in Texas. – So, this is it. – Oh my God. – So we’re travelling to the state’s biggest cities to explore the things that make the food scene in Texas massive. (upbeat music continues) (crowd cheering) – To help us scratch the surface, our production team, along with the help of Texan locals, have lined up
a number of challenges to help us immerse ourselves in this truly epic state. (engine revving) (Mike and Barry yelling) (rock music) – Austin, boys. – Love it. – I love Austin. – And we’re coming into it neck and neck in the challenge. It’s all to play full. – But remember boys, keep it weird. – Keep it weird! Ow, my foot! – We are in Austin, Texas’s state capital. The city is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and the epicentre of some of Texas’s best nightlife. Austin also boasts over 300 days of sunshine
every year and is surrounded by an array of rivers and lakes, making it an amazing city for getting outdoors. – So the four of us are in
Austin’s top chefs. – I’m so excited for this. Aaron Franklin off of Franklin’s Barbecue and Tyson Cole off of Uchi, which is a Japanese inspired restaurant, – Texas-Tokyo hybrid and JB has got a challenge for us. – Come on! (rock music continues) Right, JB, what are we doing today? – So today we’re gonna be trimming our prime bavette. So what we’re doing is we’re taking this piece of meat, we’re gonna trim all of the sinew and the fat off of both sides, and then we’re gonna season it with salt. And then after that we’re gonna
be cold smoking it in the smoker behind us. – Cold smoking it? – Yes. – Oh, okay, nice. So what temperature is that? – It’s gonna be about 110 degrees. – Yeah, yeah. – So that way it’s not cooking the meat, it’s really just imparting the smoke flavour into the meat itself. – Amazing. – So on this you wanna be really careful. There’s different thicknesses of the fat where it is. And you don’t want to trim off too much of the meat. You go a little bit at a time. You don’t want to try and
take, like, a huge piece off each time. (rock music continues) So this is essentially what you want to yield. So both sides, trimming off as much of the fat as we possibly can. So I’m gonna give each of y’all one bavette. We got five minutes to see if we can trim it the most efficiently without wasting as much of the meat on the bavette as possible. Okay, three, two, one, go. (rock music continues) (alarm blaring) – Jay, no moaning on the left-handed knife. – Oh, that was a beautiful bit. It’s so much more delicate than
a brisket where you’re alright to leave some of the fat cap because you want that to render down into the brisket as it smokes. I’ve got no idea where you were at. – Three, two, one, knives down. (alarm blaring) – Jay, I think you might have done a cracking job there. – I do have to say you kind of started to pull through there at the end. (Jamie laughing) – JB, you’re gonna get your eyes in here now and have a look. – All right, so based off looking at both sides of this one and
the amount of trimming here, I would say we probably have about maybe 35 to 40% more we could have trimmed off. All right, now let’s move over to the other one. So obviously you can already see the difference on this side compared to the other one. There’s definitely not as much fat or sinew left on. I actually can’t find anything on this side that would actually need to be taken off. So we’ll flip over and see the other side. That’s actually not bad at all. I would say this one’s probably, you got 95% off what
you needed to. (Ben clapping) So I would have to say, in the five minute timeframe that y’all had, this is definitely gonna be the winner. – There you go. – Well done. – With Jamie taking the win, our bavettes were seasoned and put into the smoker to be cold smoked. That’s a relatively low temperature of just 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. – So this is what happens when you mix Texas barbecue with Asian. – Yep. And I have a funny feeling, Jay, that’s your prize. Prime smoked bavette, chimichurri and pickled onion. Get involved. Also, so
many sides. – By cold smoking it, the smoke flavour just runs throughout- – All the way through it. – rather than just on the bark. – Yeah. – Oh. – 90 minutes of smoking makes all the difference. And it is a tougher cut. It’s got a little bit more of a chew to it, like a steaky chew. But the flavour is phenomenal. And that’s why back in the UK it’s called the butcher’s cut. ‘Cause the butcher always keeps it for themselves. – We’ve done some great collabs in our time. But this might top it. –
Two absolute heroes of Austin, Japanese food and proper Texan barbecue coming together to create this. – While I was celebrating the win, Mike and Barry travelled 20 minutes north to Round Rock to find something very sweet and very big. – Are you ready for a Round Rock Donut? – I’m ready for a Texas-sized Round Rock Donut, but I don’t know what that means. – How big can this thing be? – Founded in 1926, unlike machine made donuts, Round Rock Donuts have to be handmade. And on a busy day, over 6,000 can be produced. – So
this is the mixing, proofing, and rolling room. The dough gets freshly made each morning, special yolks give it its super vibrant colour. – Then they get turned out, stretched out by hand, rolled, and then to make the Texan, they use a bucket. (chuckling) There’s nothing big enough. They have to use a bucket. (gentle country music) And now we’re moving into the frying and glazing grill. You’ve got the mix of, like, the smell of fried, but also I can taste the glaze. – Yeah. (lips smacking) Oh, yum. (Barry laughing) The glaze sets, they’re boxed up, and
they’re served to an enormous Texas-sized line that goes all the way around the block. (gentle country music continues) – Three, two, one. – Godspeed. – Ooh. My face just sunk into that. – I mean, look. The dough is so soft and spun. You can see all the fibres. – Right. The fluffiest donut I’ve ever had. – What I’m finding out really quickly in Texas is the size, they’re not just about novelty, it’s not just, this is massive and we are compromising on flavour or output. It’s, this is just a massive version of what we already
do really well. (upbeat music) – Austin is known for up to 1,200 food trucks in the city. – And we’ve made it to Barton Springs Picnic Food Truck Park. – So we can go to Israel, Thailand, Brazil. The beauty of a food truck park. – I’m going this way. (rock music) – No problem. – I am excited. Oh, wow. – That’s your order. – Nice. What have you got? – Brazilian street food. Coxinha and empanada. One beef, one beet. – Cheers. – Cheers. (rock music continues) – I’ve gone for a chipotle sauce lobster roll, which
means it’s Austin style. Making it local, baby. – I think that’s the art of the food truck scene is small morsels that you can just grab and go, one individual thing, lunch done. Or rock up here for an evening and have a couple of different things from different places. That’s the point. So good. – Two down. 1,198 to go. (Ben chuckles) – After spending the day apart, we met back up at the highest bar in Austin, Azul Rooftop, with endless views over the city. And for our next challenge, Barry and Mike were met by mixologist
Ricardo. – We are gonna be showing you guys how to make two of our signature cocktails. – Because then afterwards Barry and I are gonna have to create our individual Austin inspired custom cocktails. – I dunno. This can only go bad. – (chuckling) Ricardo’s gonna judge the winner. – I’m gonna be judging, yeah. So we are gonna start with the Lavender Haze. It’s a beautiful, refreshing cocktail. It’s gonna be 75 ml of basil syrup, lavender vodka, 75 of lime juice. (lively Spanish singing) (ice rattling) (Spanish singing continues) – That looks amazing. – We’re gonna do
now the Once Upon a Time. – Once Upon a Time. – It’s gonna be with a clear lime, coconut cream. – Oh, okay. Tequila. – Yes, sir. (lively music) (ice rattling) And the garnish is gonna be a lime twist. – Cheers. – Oh, wow. – Oh, wow. That is so refreshing. – You’re gonna be so disappointed with what we make. (Ricardo laughing) So you need the right balance of the spirit, the acidity, sweetness… – The sweetness, yeah. – Okay. – Okay. I’m just gonna confer with my partner. – Can I do the same? – And
we’ll be back into it. – No, I’m all right, I’m feeling confident. – We can use mezcal, mezcal would be great. – Why are you holding? What are you doing holding like this? – ‘Cause I feel like we need to have a conversation. – This is my challenge. You took… – It’s our challenge. – This is my turn to be in the limelight. – I know, but we need the point. – Okay, right. – Rum… – This is such a nice, classy place. You’re gonna make a Long Island Iced Tea? – Yeah, but I’m gonna
make it classy. I’m gonna put a flower on it. – So in three, two, one. – Right, here we go. – I need one of those as well. – So tequila, Teremana. – Go two, one. – Pineapple. – Smoky mezcal. Sweet. It’s Peach Schnapps. – Some clear lime. – Splash. – Ebbers, I’m gonna have to do a taster. – What’s this? Oh, that one. Where’s it gone, where’s it gone? – Be encouraging and don’t touch my bum. – Well, you’re in the way of all the drinks! (fast-paced music) – I can’t really taste the tequila.
A little bit more tequila. (fast-paced music continues) (Barry exclaiming) – Oh, this is terribly stressful. That straw’s too short. (suspensful music) We can’t be that good straight away. I can’t be that talented at making cocktails. – No, you’re not. – Oh no! – More smoke. – Yeah. – Yeah, more smoke. We’re gonna do a shaky, shaky. We’re we? (ice rattling) That’s what we did. – Glass. – Making bucket cocktails? – Hey, glass from, that’s a nice looking glass. Finished with Grenadine. – I don’t know, Jamie. (suspensful music continues) – A lovely little sunset flower. And
pineapple. Done. And that is a Weird Sunset. – And that is… That’s a Smokey Cup of Tea. – So this is a Weird Sunset, inspired by the rooftop, the sunset- – The sunset. – and Austin’s tagline of keeping it weird. – Awesome. – I hope it tastes delicious and weird, not just weird. – This is our Green Cup of Tea. – I’m excited. – Okay, please, after you. – All right. I’m gonna start with this. (percussion music) Let’s see. Love it. Refreshing. Good balance. – Yeah? – Perfect, I love it. – Honestly? – Love it.
– Yes, Ebbers! (jazzy music) – I can feel the smoke. – Mm-hmm. – Good choice about the mezcal. It needs a little kick. It needs something else. We got a winner. – Yes! – We got a winner. – I think that was pretty clear, wasn’t it? – Well done, Mike. – Well done, mate, well done. – Well done. – Well done. That was a clear winner. Brilliant. – Well done. – Thank you so much. – Thank you, guys. – Thank you, thank you, thank you. – And when do we start? – Monday night? – Monday.
– No, no, no. When do you start, mate? I’m off for the night. (Mike laughing) (rock music) – We couldn’t visit Austin without experiencing the live music for which the city is famous. So to round off the day, we kicked back and grabbed a drink. (rock music continues) (country music) Day two was beginning in Austin, and we still had time to discover more of what this exciting city has to offer. 24 hours in and the scores stand at one all. Today is the final day for our teams to win points, to win a special prize.
So we’ll be splitting up. Mike and Barry are starting with a festival like no other 30 minutes east of the city. (country music) – So This is McDade Watermelon Festival. Watermelons are Texas’s largest annual horticultural crop. There’s over 42,000 acres of land dedicated to their growth. And it’s the fruit behind one of the longest running festivals in Texas. McDade Watermelon Festival dates back to 1948, started to raise money for the local community. Over seven decades later, the festival has evolved into a massive celebration. (marching band music) Have you seen what’s coming? Ah! This is unbelievable.
I love this place. – This is the 75th annual Watermelon Festival. Nice to get together and to see the community working together. – Such a wicked community vibe. People are bringing the entire families to these things. – It’s mad. – Celebrate everything watermelon. – Live music. – Mate, I can see barbecue. – I can smell barbecue. Today’s gonna be a very, very, very good day. – It’s a silly day (laughing). – Meanwhile, Ben and I headed over to Fredericksburg, a city 70 miles west of Austin. (country music) Oh, hang about. Got a text. “Fredericksburg is
a charming city located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. It was founded in 1846 by German immigrants and has a rich history that is still evident in its architecture, traditions and culture.” – Explain to all the signage as we walk in. But hang on, you missed a bit. “But also famous for its wineries and vineyards. More than 50 in the surrounding area.” I think today’s gonna be a good day. – What? This is why they sent us a not Mike and Barry, isn’t it? – Yeah. – Yeah, okay. – We like wine. –
I get it. – But first, we wanted to immerse ourselves within the city’s German roots. And what better way than beginning at Old German Bakery and Restaurant, a family-run breakfast and lunch spot serving traditional German dishes and pastries. – So we’ve just had lunch at the Old German Bakery and Restaurant, and it was unlike anything I expected to find in the middle of Texas. – Even as we walked in, there was a family walking out, speaking German. And inside, lots and lots of German classics. I had the Rouladen, which was bacon, onion, pickle wrapped in
beef, smothered in gravy with German potatoes and pickled red cabbage. – Whereas I had what can only be described as one of my dreams. I had a sausage plate, three sausages on the same plate, but they were different sausages. A bratwurst, a knockwurst, and a smoked sausage served with the potatoes, same as you, but on a bed of sauerkraut and the biggest dollop of mustard you’ve ever seen. – Dusseldorf Mustard. (Jamie laughing) This is proper hearty food. Both of these plates sum up German cuisine, meat, potatoes, and something soured or pickled. I’ve got, like, a
pickled red cabbage. And you’ve got sauerkraut. – Sauerkraut. And it is incredibly sour. – Yeah, as is this. – It’s a perfect mix with the meaty sausage. – I needed that. It’s good. (upbeat music) And of course, we couldn’t leave the bakery and restaurant without trying the bakery part, so we got pretzels. Cheers. (upbeat music continues) Mmm. I’ve got the nut one, delicious. – This is a soft pretzel. Salty, soft. – Exactly what you want. Can we go to a vineyard now? – Back with Mike and Barry, they’ve moved on to their first challenge. –
Well, here we go again. – Here we go. – Challenge. “Congratulations. Your applications for 75th annual McDade Watermelon Eating Contest has been accepted.” – That is great. – “Whoever eats the melon fastest wins a point for the challenge.” – Excellent. – Oh, wow. – That is a great challenge. – Brilliant. You’re going down. – So we’re up next. Rules are, quickest to clean the melon wins. No hands. My tactic is, get down and just chomp. Don’t look up, don’t breathe. Come up for air when I’ve won. – Breathing is important. I’m gonna breathe this thing
in. (country music) (alarm blaring) (crowd yelling) – Oh! This is delicious. Mmm, it’s so refreshing. (Barry scoffs and laughs) – It’s up my nose, Michael. I’m drowning. – You better eat that thing, man! Eat it! – Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. – Stop, stop, stop, stop. If you eat, you’re disqualified. (Barry and Mike lauhging) I enjoyed that a little bit too much. I really, that was really good fun. – Barry and Mike were a little broken, and certainly didn’t win amongst the pros. But the judges noticed one of them shining a little brighter. – I
would say that I think you won. – Yes! – Unfortunately. – Fair dig. Well done at chowing down. – Well done. – You nailed that. Anyway, it’s delicious though, isn’t it? – It’s absolutely delicious. – Which meant another point to me and Mike. – Thanks to its consistent climate, Texas has a long history of wine production. In 1650 North America’s first vineyard was established in the state. And with over 2 million gallons of wine produced every year, we wanted to visit one of the 500 vineyards on offer. Grapetown Vineyard attracts people for grape stomping, which
we saw as another opportunity for us to be put through our paces and to be judged by Mark on our enthusiasm. – I can’t believe this entire series boils down to stamping on grapes. – Oh, don’t get those on camera Iz. – I’ll tell you what- – Some people are into that. (rock music) – Oh, that’s so bizarre. I’ll be honest, I’ve never stood on fruit before. – You’ve made a lot of food with your hands. Have you ever made any with your feet? – No. – There you go. Are we ready? – Ready. –
One, two, three. (bell dinging) – There’s a lot of stalks in here as well. – That’s okay, that makes more acid. – I find if you go round… – Ebbers you’re really going for it. It is slippery. Oh. – I shouldn’t have worn white shorts. I’ve gotta be honest. – Come on! – Ebbers, stop splashing me! (bell dinging) What do y’all think? I’ll tell you what, I’ll be honest with you. As far as enthusiasm goes, I gotta say, Ben here… He was awesome. But now the thing is, you are the real heavyweight. (Jamie laughing) So
we gotta give you credit for probably, well, both of ’em look pretty good, you know? I really would like to think this guy is the champion right here. – When it comes to wine, I am the champion. – When it comes to wine, you know? – Cheers. (glass clinking) – So with another win for Team Ben and Mike, it was time for Ben to celebrate with me taking the consolation prize of designated driver. (rock music) – This year it was the festival’s inaugural barbecue competition. So the boys had to try some proper local Texas barbecue.
– Mmm. I’m appreciative of how well watermelon and barbecue are together. – Oh, wow. Brisket is my favourite. Best seat in the house. – As our time in Austin moved towards the end, both teams headed back into the city. Austin continues to be a hive of activity in the evening. In summer, North America’s largest population of bats put on a show as they fly from their home underneath Congress Bridge. We were also heading out to Rainey Street, a bustling, historic area known for its bungalow homes, now converted into incredible bars and restaurants. The perfect place
for us to regroup, reveal the winning team, and find out their big prize. – Yeah! – “The series winners will spend this evening at Uchiko restaurant from the James Beard Award-winning Michelin Star Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi…” – Oh, amazing. – “Widely credited with kick-starting Austin’s foodie revolution in the 2000s. The losers will not.” (all laughing) – Yes, that’s what Loro yesterday… – Yeah, yeah, yeah. – That’s 50% of the Tyson Cole. Epic. We’ve had some pretty epic challenges across this series. – “The series winners are… Ben and Mike!” – Yes! – “Congratulations.” – Did
you watermelon it? – Yes, I won the watermelon. – And I stomped it. – Did you win the stomping? Get in! – All you gotta do is use your weight? – To be fair, Jamie’s carried your team throughout the whole series. (Jamie laughing) – Well done. – Do you now what? I feel like we’re all winners anyway. – Winners, losers. What a trip. I’ve done some of the weirdest stuff I’ve ever done on this trip. And I’ve eaten some really great food as well. – I always think we’ve done so many of these trips over
the years, we can never find more good food, more great people, more weird experiences. And every year we do it. – Well done, guys. – Well done. Well done, you two. – Well done. Great job, team. – Film each other. Film each other. – Film each other. – Yeah. – Make it weird. – Weird. – You’re in Austin, you’re allowed. Keep it weird. (gentle guitar music) Can you imagine if you had to individually wrap nori around the nigiri with the avocado? – Hey, I could barely make a sushi taco, could I? – Congratulations. – Congrats,
mate. – Team A, always has been. – A-team. (Mike exclaiming) This is so good. (gentle music continues) It’s so beautiful. – I love this kind of thing. That’s so good. – I still can’t believe I’ve won a line dancing competition in the world’s largest honky tony bar. – You know what? I think that was my favourite moment… – That was my favourite… – is watching you in your element. (lo-fi music) – Cheers. – We’ve been to Vietnam, remember that? That is outstanding. – Yeah. – That’s the best thing I’ve eaten on this trip. – It’s
fish sauce. – Did you think you could start up your own hoedown? – Yeah. To the best losers. (glass clinking) – Well that good. – Yeah. (lo-fi music continues) – Mike, we’ve got mushroom and steak risotto. Now that’s a winner’s dish. – This is not a date. How many times do I have to say that? This is a winner’s party. – (laughing) A winner’s party. – Oh my goodness. That tastes like Texas barbecue risotto. Texas barbecue mushroom risotto, that. And with a really yolky finish. My God, that’s amazing. – Because you stirred the egg in
last minute, it gives that real creaminess. That’s fighting for first place with those rice rolls. – Those are the single handedly most interesting thing I’ve eaten in such a long time where the flavour constantly changes… – Yeah. – and ends up outstanding. Like, that is mind blowing how interesting it is. And it’s delicious, obviously. – And you know what? The inspiration comes from Vietnamese cuisine. And it reminds me of what Christine said. It’s a combination of textures- – Yeah. – temperatures, flavours. It literally does it all. Cheers. (glass clinking) We’ve done all right. – Oh.
– How many people get to do this? We are so lucky. – Yeah. But we earned it. – We earned it. – We earned it. – It’s been an incredible time in Austin, exploring all the city has to offer. Our time here in Texas has come to an end, and it’ll be a trip that we will never forget. (rock music)