Shane Delia’s Spice Journey

Shane Delia

Tuesdays 19.00, from 15 April (18.00 BKK/JKT)

For Shane Delia, a second-generation Australian who hails from four generations of Maltese bakers, food is more than a meal - it’s a way of life.

In this all-new 10-part series, the award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality goes on a culinary pilgrimage to the Middle East. From the heavenly aromatics of Malta to caravan trails of the spice route in Persia, Shane explores his heritage and food traditions that go back thousands of years. Then, inspired by Arab and Persian recipes passed down through generations as well as rural and regional contemporary cuisines of Lebanon and Iran, Shane heads back to his Melbourne kitchen to put his spin on some of the world's most ancient and influential culinary traditions.


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Shane Delia is an award-winning chef and restaurateur who has been lighting up Melbourne’s food scene for years. In 2012, Shane received the ‘Australian Young Achiever of the Year award’ from Restaurant and Catering Australia. He is also the author of popular cookbook, Maha Middle Eastern Home Cooking, and contributes to various magazines.

Since 2009, Shane has been an ambassador for OzChild, a not-for-profit organisation committed to helping vulnerable, disadvantaged and disabled children in Australia.

A keen motoring enthusiast and sports fan, Shane participated in the 2013 Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge – which he considers one of the highlights of his life! He is also heavily involved with local football clubs to raise awareness and boost membership.

Shane is a proud father to daughter Jayda and son Jude, and husband to his Lebanese-Australian wife Maha, whom his restaurant is named after.

Episode Guide

15 April 
In this first episode, Shane journeys back to his homeland of Malta where he follows ancient Phoenician trade routes across the sea to the original Land of Milk and Honey, Lebanon. Then, he returns to his Melbourne kitchen where he puts his own twist on ancient culinary traditions.

22 April 
Shane’s mission of gastronomic discovery continues in the ancient port city of Tripoli, famous for its seafood, souks and sweets. He learns how food traditions here have been shaped by centuries of trade and travelers – before heading home to create his own modern day Tripoli banquet that includes samke harra, moghrabieh and traditional booza ice cream.

29 April
Shane explores mountain hideouts of central Lebanon where he learns age-old methods of meat preservation from members of the ancient and mysterious Druze sect and samples the quintessential kibbeh. Then he takes the knowledge back to his kitchen in Melbourne to create his own take on the Lebanese staples: awarma, kibbeh and of course, hummus!

6 May
Shane travels to the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon and visits the ancient ruins of Baalbeck including the temple of Bacchus, god of fertility. Here he learns about the origins and art of Middle Eastern winemaking, sampling wine at Lebanon’s finest vineyards. After spending time with local farmers tasting some traditionally cured meats, he heads back to his kitchen for mezze!

13 May
Shane visits the twin port cities of Sidon, where the beautiful people play and pop-up restaurants cover the beach. From the beaches, he heads into the hills to the mountain town of Nabatieh – an area devastated by bombs – to taste some of the best goat’s cheese in Lebanon. Back at Maha, he concocts a menu using Lebanon’s signature spice mix – za’atar!

20 May
Having seen the traditional side of Lebanon, Shane Delia heads to Beirut, where, despite the visible scars of the recent civil war, a vibrant food scene is driving a renaissance in Arabic cuisine. He visits one of the oldest refugee camps in the world to learn a traditional Palestinian dish, explores the Armenian region of the city and samples some of Lebanon’s finest falalel – the original dude food. Shane wraps up his Lebanese experience by using his skills and experiences to create an inspired feast!

27 May
Shane’s gastronomic pilgrimage takes him to Iran, home to one of the world’s most influential culinary traditions – Persian cuisine. From the Arabic and African spice coasts of the Persian Gulf, Shane travels inland to Shiraz, city of pomegranates, walled gardens and Persian haute cuisine. En route, Shane visits the ancient city of Persepolis, site of the world’s oldest surviving menu.

3 June
Shane takes to the Silk Road to meet nomadic tribes that have been keeping ancient methods of bread making alive. He visits the largest saffron farms in the region and crosses a desert to the hottest city in Iran to taste pashmak – the original candy floss.

10 June
Shane travels from Isfahan, ancient capital of Persia, to Tehran, capital of contemporary Iran. From the ancient city of minarets, palaces and mosques to funky teahouses of the modern city, Shane discovers a very different culinary culture. His preconceptions about Iran thoroughly challenged, he returns to Melbourne to attempt the famously tricky Persian rice.

17 June
Having travelled close to 2,000 kilometres and gained glimpses into 2,000 years of Persian culinary history, Shane arrives in Iran’s north, which borders Turkey and the Caspian Sea. Here the food influences are very Ottoman. In the series finale, he visits the world’s oldest covered bazaar.