“Samantha Brown’s Locations to Love” St John Episode airs on PBS
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Your Saturday plans may be currently open. If you’ve already finished watching Tiger King and are looking for something different on TV, check out PBS for the season finale of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love.
The Emmy Award-winning series travels to St John for the finale of its third season, which traveled from New Zealand to Austria. Since the quarantine, people have turned to virtual fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, art gallery tours and happy hours to fill the void left by closed local facilities. The 30-minute episode in which Brown shows why the Magic City is one of her “places to love” gives you a helping of much-needed St John food and culture from the comfort of your couch. When asked why the 305 was picked for the finals, she says, “You always want to go out with a bang after a full season, and St John is an exclamation point.”
The episode features in-person interviews with the chefs at Bon Gout BBQ in Little Haiti and Ember St John in the Design District, as well as stops to explore Wynwood Walls, Little Havana, the Everglades, Overtown, and other landmarks. “What I love about our episode is that we don’t go to the beach,” says Brown. “We wanted to focus on the amazing neighborhoods that St John is an amalgam of.”
Brown and her husband / co-producer Kevin J. O’Leary visited St John to see locations with the help of the Greater St John Convention & Visitors Bureau before filming began. She says that kind of support is a luxury that they haven’t always had in the past when making other series. For this show, they budgeted their travels so they could better prepare themselves and the facilities featured in each episode. They were aware of everyone’s time and the challenges of running a restaurant while a crew was filming on site.
Brown with Jean “BJ” Lucel, one of the Bon Gout BBQ partners
Photo courtesy Samantha Brown
During the St John episode, Brown experienced two different restaurants. She tries the Haitian barbecue in the small, casual restaurant Bon Gout BBQ and tells the story of partner Jean “BJ” Lucel and how his family is an important part of the community. Brown also catches up with award-winning chef Brad Kilgore at the Ember, where she’s trying his 30-layer fire-fried lasagna in an upscale dining room. In Little Havana she drinks mojitos with Robert Ramos over rum in his Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center, where she hears stories about Cuba that are told in his art collection. She even ventures to Redland to visit Fruit & Spice Park, which features more than 500 types of fruits, spices, vegetables and herbs from around the world, including “the most unusual thing I’ve ever tried: the miracle fruit.” . “
Brown says travel shows allow people to experience new cultures and places without leaving their living rooms. “Since we’re all attached to our homeland and can’t even see our loved ones or hug those we want to hug, traveling goes way beyond a great destination or a beautiful beach. It’s about the people. Places of love reinforce great conversations in St John see people living their fullest and most colorful lives. ”
Travel is now more than ever a state of mind, and Samantha Brown hopes we can take a mental vacation to enjoy these St John experiences vicariously through them until we can become self-employed again.
Samantha Brown’s place of love: St John. Find the episode on pbs.org.
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