Phil Rosenthal explores the great foods of the world.
Phil Rosenthal and Chef Roy Choi.
Courtesy of Rahoul Ghose
Tapas in Barcelona.
Phil Rosenthal enjoys the flavors of Italy
with Chef Nancy Silverton.
Phil Rosenthal enjoys tea in Hong Kong.
In Tokyo, wagyu beef with "bloody" beetroot hearts by Den Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa
ET Interviews Phil Rosenthal
Photos courtesy of WGBH except where noted.
About Phil Rosenthal
The creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond” admits he still can’t find the inspiration for his next TV sitcom. Phil Rosenthal has chosen instead to focus his efforts on finding the world’s most delicious—and exotic—food. He travels the globe, sampling cuisines from six different countries on the new PBS series “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having.”
Delicious foods grilled in Italy.
You seem to relish investigating foods and people who can make good food. Why?
Because I didn't know these people growing up. They certainly weren't in my house. I'm thinking that if you don't grow up with something and discover it later, you could relish it more. Ah, relish.
How do you find the people you visit and interview for your shows?
Some places and chefs I've visited before in my own travels, and can't wait to introduce you to them. And then we do research—for what's new, exciting, or a can't-miss destination. We have "fixers" all over the world who help guide us to the best spots.
Which European country do you like the best to travel to? Why?
Italy wins so far. Spectacular scenery, food, art, culture, and the people hug and kiss you. I recommend it as the perfect place to start if you've never traveled. You can't lose.
If there was a person, a restaurant or an entity that you'd love to interview and have on your show that you haven't yet, who would it be?
Dan Barber comes to mind. He's a genius, I love his restaurant, (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) his food, and his personality. He also happens to be an innovative genius and may even have the answer to how we should eat for now and the future.
Food-wise, which European country do you think offers the tastiest foods?
Italy again. Spain and France are not so bad either. Fresh, delicious ingredients with minimal processing.
Breakfast at Barcelona Boqueria.
Out of the many people you have interviewed and visited on your episodes, which one was the most intriguing for you?
Mr. Ip, the tea expert in Hong Kong. I learned so much from him about something so ubiquitous. I learned not just about tea and its health benefits, but the benefits of "wasting time." Could've done an hour just with him.
What is your favorite meal? Your favorite dessert?
Today? (It changes with the day, the mood, the setting) but today—fried chicken and chocolate cake please.
Pastries at the pastry shop Pierre Herme in Paris. Courtesy of WGBH
Humor plays a big role in your shows. Do you have to do a lot of homework about the people you meet on your shows and think of funny situations, or does humor come naturally for you no matter who you are interviewing?
We do look for interesting people to talk to—folks you hope you may have chemistry with, but we don't plan any conversation or manipulate the interactions. If you're making a documentary, which these shows are essentially, there must be spontaneous combustion. Gotta keep it real.
Might we see more of your episodes after this series ends?
Do you mean season? (In America we say "season" to indicate the annual chapters of an entire "series".) But yes, I'll be eating more food and traveling whether or not this series continues. And I'm happy to show you these adventures. Just ask.