Visit the hidden New England that only the locals know in Weekends with Yankee. This series is named for the long-running publication enjoyed by readers across America for more than 80 years. With New England among the nation’s top tourist destinations, the magazine-style program takes viewers on an insider’s exploration of the cities, countryside locales, and far-flung places in the quaint and scenic region.
The series is hosted by Richard Wiese (Born to Explore) , an Emmy Award-winning TV personality, author, and explorer who has traveled to all seven continents, participated in two expeditions to Antarctica, and cross-country skied to the North Pole. Amy Traverso, a senior food editor at Yankee magazine who has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and the Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay, joins Richard as co-host. She highlights recipes, local flavors, and the sense of community that make up the regions’ food and dining scene.
Season 5 Premieres May 2021
New episodes of Weekends with Yankee air Mondays at 9 p.m. on CPTV Spirit beginning May 3. Episodes encore on CPTV the following Saturdays at 7 p.m. beginning May 8.
Season 5 episodes include:
“Back to Our Roots”*
Co-host Richard Wiese spends the day with James Beard Award-winning chef Michel Nischan, who has turned his passion into a commitment to make farm fresh food affordable for underserved communities. They visit Two Guys from Woodbridge, a hydroponic farm in Hamden, Connecticut, to source local greens and edible flowers to inspire a meal. At Michel’s home, they cook up a delicious autumn frittata with freshly laid eggs from his own chickens. From Connecticut, we move north to Boston to follow in the footsteps of Julia Child, through the memories of noted female chefs who she inspired, including chef Lydia Shire. Lydia and co-host Amy Traverso pay a to visit Savenor’s Market, Julia’s beloved butcher shop in Cambridge, where they select duck to be cooked in honor of Julia. Amy pays homage to Julia by making sweet and savory Apple, Cheddar and Caramelized Onion Pastry Bites.
Co-host Amy Traverso heads to Siena Farms in Sudbury, Massachusetts, to experience the best fall produce New England has to offer. Amy meets well-known farmer Chris Kurth, whose crops are a source of inspiration for his wife, Ana Sortun, the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Boston restaurants Sarma, Oleana and Sofra. Amy and Ana prepare a fresh-from-the-garden meal of crispy Macomber turnip and potato latke and serve it up with apple amba and maple labne, an unusual twist to a classic dish. Moving south, co-host Richard Wiese heads to West Cornwall, Connecticut, where he makes some new furry friends at Country Quilt Llama Farm. Richard feeds these gentle animals who then guide him on a walk down a picture-perfect trail. Back in her kitchen, Amy turns another fall veggie into a surprising and delightful treat, Glazed Chocolate Potato Doughnut Muffins.
Weekends with Yankee celebrates Italian food and heritage as co-host Amy Traverso gets an insider’s tour of Boston with rising star chef Douglass Williams. This includes a stop at One Mighty Mill in Lynn, where they source organic stone-ground flour. Then it’s off to The Urban Grape to select the perfect bottle of wine to accompany the delicious cacio e pepe gnocchi that Chef Douglass will be making at his restaurant, MIDA. Traveling north to Vermont’s Green Mountains, co-host Richard Weise explores the little-known world of jack jumping, an unusual winter sport that involves sledding down a mountain while sitting on a single ski. Back in her kitchen, Amy whips up one of her own Italian dishes, a family favorite, Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings, also known as Malfatti.
“Only in New England”*
Co-host Amy Traverso visits Essex, Massachusetts, to learn about the history and legacy of shipbuilding in this small seaside town. Amy also makes a stops at Woodman’s of Essex, known as the birthplace of the fried clam. where the owner reveals the secret to a perfect fried clam. They also cook-up another Woodman’s classic, New England clam chowder. Meanwhile, co-host Richard Wiese is off the grid in Woodstock, Connecticut, at a woodworking shop with Meb Boden of Meb’s Kitchenwares. They create a spoon by hand; from a block of local wood, they mold the spoon for a beautiful made-in-New England product. Back in her kitchen, Amy cooks up a clam feast with Rhode Island-Style Clear Clam Chowder.
“An Eye for Beauty”
Co-host Amy Traverso heads to Boylston, Massachusetts, home to Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Run by one of the oldest horticultural societies in America, Amy tours the extensive grounds and the often-overlooked beauty of late fall’s native New England plants. Heading north to Woodstock, New Hamshire, we meet up with co-host Richard Wiese, who shares the award-winning interactive art experience known as Ice Castles. The impressive LED-lit sculptures, 30-foot-tall towers and intricate connection of crevices and tunnels are all carved from ice. Back in her home kitchen, Amy turns Maine blueberries into her own delicious family treat, Blueberry Buckle.
“Off the Beaten Track”
Weekends with Yankee ventures out into the wild. Co-host Richard Wiese boards a small boat off Chatham, Massachusetts, accompanied by one of the leading researchers who is tracking a growing number of great white sharks swimming along the Atlantic coast. From there, we head to a remote corner of inland Maine to visit The Lost Kitchen, one of the most sought-after dinner reservations in the country. Then it’s off to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to fly up and down the mountain biking trails of Burke Mountain, taking in stunning scenery at every turn. Back in her home kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso creates a delicious graham cracker pie using a recipe shared by The Lost Kitchen owner-chef, Erin French.
“Little Known Adventures”
Co-host Richard Wiese meets up with dune tour guide Rob Costa in Provincetown, Massachusetts, for an off-road ramble through Cape Cod National Seashore, taking in the magnificent views, and stopping to visit one of the famous local artists’ cottage. Next, we travel south to Rhode Island and out onto the Narragansett Bay to hear the story of the century-old Rose Island Lighthouse. We then make our way north and board a ferry headed for the Maine island of North Haven, where we source local ingredients that will be part of a memorable meal cooked up in the kitchen of Nebo Lodge, an inn and restaurant that draws guests from around the world. Back in her home kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso cooks up a cobbler made with real Maine blueberries.
“An Edible Tour”
Weekends with Yankee travels to Massachusetts to experience the unique and incredibly colorful tradition of cranberry harvesting, which the Gilmore family of South Carver has been doing for generations. Then, bring your appetites as we head to Portland, Maine, where we’ll take you inside some of our favorite restaurants in this food lover’s paradise. Last but not least, we go off the beaten path in Vermont to explore Greensboro, which Yankee magazine editors call “the best little food town in New England,” and visit a cult brewer and a cheese maker that rank among America’s best. Back in her kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso spins out an ale and cheddar cheese dip that makes the most of these classic Vermont ingredients.
“Labor of Love”
Co-host Richard Wiese hikes New Hampshire’s White Mountains in the company of the “hut croos,” young men and women who pack food and supplies up steep trails to the famed rustic lodges along the Appalachian Trail. From there it’s over to Grafton, Vermont, a quintessential New England village of covered bridges, white picket fences, and maple trees. The Grafton Village Cheese Company produces some of the best cheddars in the country, and we go behind the scenes to see how it’s done. Then we jog north to taste some of the most sought-after bread in New England, made from local wheat that’s milled on-site at Elmore Mountain Bread in Wolcott, Vermont. Back in her kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso whips up some Vermont cheese gougères, an inspired starter for any meal.
“Down By the Sea”
Weekends with Yankee spends an idyllic summer day on the shores of Cape Cod and stops in at the Chatham Bars Inn, a quintessential Cape Cod destination with a rich history dating back to 1914. There, we experience the ultimate farm-to-table dinner, featuring local seafood and an array of vegetables just picked from the hotel’s own farm. Then, co-host Richard Wiese heads to Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay for a surfing lesson, and learns why there’s such surprisingly good wave action in New England. Lastly, it’s into the woods to forage mushrooms with chef Evan Mallett, multiple James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the Northeast and co-owner of the Black Trumpet in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Back in her kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso cooks up roasted carrots and herbed yogurt sauce, inspired by her dinner at the Chatham Bars Inn.
“Stepping Back in Time”
Weekends with Yankee explores how New England’s past continues to shape its present. First, we take a tasty trip back in time at Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston, Vermont, which grows more than 100 apple varieties, some of which date back to the 1600s. Next, we swing through New Hampshire and find that old-school farming techniques are very much alive at Coppal House Farm, where much of the equipment is still powered by draft horses. For the finale, we hop aboard the historic windjammer J. & E. Riggin, a two-masted schooner built in 1927 that still sails along the Maine coast. Back in her kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso takes inspiration from our orchard visit to make some delectable apple cider doughnut muffins.
Co-host Richard Wiese cruises around New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee aboard the Sophie C, the oldest floating post office in the United States. From there, we make tracks to Rockport, Maine, where lobsterman and photographer Joel Woods gives us a view of deep-sea fishing that few people ever get to see. Closing things out is our jaunt to the rocky coast just outside Acadia National Park to experience a genuine Maine clambake with three of Portland, Maine’s hottest chefs. Back in her kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso brings the clambake home as she creates a stovetop version of this classic New England meal.
“Fall in New England”
Weekends with Yankee celebrates the ultimate New England season – autumn – in all its multicolored glory. First, we hike up to Holt’s Ledge in Hanover, New Hampshire, and get a fall color tutorial from photographer Jim Salge, the resident foliage expert for NewEngland.com. Next, we head to Vermont for an autumn visit with goat farmer and cheese maker Allison Hooper, whose Vermont Creamery has helped put New England cheeses in the national spotlight. Finally, the editor of Yankee magazine, Mel Allen, takes us on a tour of New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway and shares some of his favorite out-of-the-way vistas on one of America’s most scenic highways. Back in the Test Kitchen, co-host Amy Traverso makes a beet salad with fried goat cheese.
*Episode features a Connecticut location