(CNN) — In CNN’s new original series “Nomad with Carlton McCoy,” master sommelier McCoy searches for authenticity in destinations around the world. Whether along the banks of the Mississippi River or in bustling Seoul, McCoy explores the beaten path to find what truly makes each place special.
Below is an episode-by-episode guide through McCoy’s travels. Missed an episode? You can catch up CNNgo.
Take a look at what he discovered:
Carlton McCoy and a few DC-based chefs enjoy a meal at Maketto.
Revisiting his childhood hometown, McCoy took a closer look at what he calls “two very different images of DC.” There’s the more polished Capitol juxtaposed near more edgy and diverse pockets of the city. McCoy is from Fairfax Village in southeast DC, and he’s spent his time in the city trying to reconcile his memories with its changing demographics and changing culture.
Get to know the real DC:
The platform — Pick up blue crab at the home of the nation’s oldest open-air fish market, dating back to 1805. The platform stretches along a mile of Potomac River shoreline. It features live music venues, local retailers and amazing seafood. McCoy paired his crab with Chacolí, one of his favorite white wines from northern Spain.
The Florida Avenue Grill — Founded in 1944 by shoe shiner Lacey C. Wilson, the grill became a place where black people could eat without being harassed. Today, The Florida Avenue Grill is a DC Northwest staple. McCoy and his cousin Paul Avery ordered cinnamon rolls, a favorite of their late grandmother, which they call Mama.
DC City Smokehouse — This proudly black property smoking room has been serving up DC staples since it opened in 2013. It’s famous for grilling the city’s signature dish: the half smoke. It is spicier and more coarsely ground than a traditional hot dog, and usually served on a hot dog bun with onions, cheese, and chili. The unique treat is a favorite of McCoy and DC natives.
Do not cut DC — #DontmuteDC started as a Twitter hashtag coined by activist Julien Broomfield and quickly turned into a petition and then a movement. The movement focuses on policy changes that would preserve the cultural backbone of DC neighborhoods disrupted by gentrification.
Maketto — Founded by chef Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto is a DC market that combines retail and food service venues. the Maketto Restaurantlocated indoors, showcases Bruner-Yang’s unique take on Cambodian and Taiwanese cuisine with a mission statement focused on building community.
Job — Job is a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a tasting menu designed by Chef Eric Zeibold, whom McCoy calls “one of the most important chefs in American history that most people haven’t heard of… speak”. McCoy tastes an improved version of the classic American dish, succotash.
Carlton McCoy and Kyungmoon Kim enjoy soju at Gwangjang Market in Seoul.
South Korea is a combination of old and new. The country is at the forefront of world popular culture and also a preserver of centuries-old traditions.
McCoy met his old culinary school friend and one of Korea’s first master sommeliers, Kyungmoon Kim, who guided him through Korea’s major cities and remotest villages and introduced him to the concept of Jeongfreely translated to mean the feeling of attachment to another person and the hospitality that comes from that connection.
Take a look at some of the places where McCoy discovered authentic Korea:
Gwangjang Market — Located in the center of Seoul, Gwangjang Market is one of Korea’s oldest traditional markets and features a selection of clothing, textiles, and some of the best street food the city has to offer. McCoy samples some sundaeor pudding.
Onjium — This Michelin starred restaurant in Seoul is led by chef Cho Eun-hee and researcher Park Seong-bae and features a menu that draws inspiration from the four seasons to give Korean royal court cuisine a modern makeover. McCoy enjoyed Chef Eun-hee’s version galbior ribs, and the popular rice dish bibimbap.
Won Soju — Won Soju is a new brand of premium Korean spirits launched by Korean American rapper Jay Park. You might recognize him from his popular song with 2 Chainz, aptly titled “SOJU.”
Nongam Jongtaek — Located in Andong, South Korea, this hotel is the converted estate of the Lee family, whose ancestors have been on the land for over 600 years. Visitors are treated to homemade liquors and meals prepared by the Lee family during their stay. McCoy described that visiting the unchanged setting and architecture was like stepping into a time machine.
JookJangYeon — This artisan farm run by wine importer Michael Jung is located in the remote village of Jukjang-myeon. It specializes in the manufacture korean jangsor thick sauces, such as doenjang, ganjang and gochujang in large earthen pots called jangdok.
Ojina — This pop-up restaurant on Jeju Island from Chef Austin Kang and brothers Chef Hwang Ji-Won and Doctor Hwang Na-bi uses careful selection of ingredients and personalized menus to bring out the healing powers of food.
Carlton McCoy and his old friend Kyungmoon Kim visit Gwangjang Market in Seoul. “Nomad with Carlton McCoy” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT only on CNN.
Carlton McCoy and chef Christophe Pelé at Clarence in Paris.
While in Paris, McCoy expands her search for authentic Parisian experiences to lesser-known ones suburbs, or suburbs, which surround the city center. Beyond the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower, the wealth of restaurants and cultural offerings highlights the complexities of Parisian identity.
Do you want to know more about the authentic Parisian lifestyle? Check out these six spots:
New Saigon — This Restaurant Lognes explores Vietnamese cuisine for a French audience. Lognes, a suburb with the highest proportion of Asians of any city in France, naturally has some pretty stellar Asian cuisine. One of the dishes McCoy tasted in New Saigon, a noodle soup called Phnom Penh, actually has its roots in Cambodia.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis — Formerly the Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis is a medieval monument known as the first example of Gothic architecture and as the “cemetery of kings”. It served as the burial place for 43 kings, 32 queens and 10 servants of the monarchy.
Good adventure — This Restaurant Saint Ouen was opened by publicist-turned-chef Alcidia Vulbeau and showcases her unique take on French-African fusion cuisines. McCoy particularly enjoyed the shakshuka, based on the traditional North African dish.
The Clarence — Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris properThe Clarence is a restaurant that received two Michelin stars in 2017 and offers classic French dishes revisited by chef Christophe Pelé.
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery — The second iteration of the Mariane Ibrahim Galleryfollowing its success in Chicago, opened its doors on avenue Matignon in Paris in September 2021. Ibrahim, the Franco-Somali founder of the gallery, is committed to highlighting artists from Africa and its diaspora.
Elysee Palace –– The Elysée Palace is essentially the French White House, home to President Emmanuel Macron. It is only open to tourists during European Heritage Days and is larger than the Palace of Versailles. Francis Oge, the chef de partie at the palace, prepared thousand leaf for McCoy.
Carlton McCoy discovers the career of Francis Oge, the head of the Élysée Palace, the French White House. Be sure to tune in to “Nomad with Carlton McCoy” premiering on CNN this Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.