Knorr & Marcus Samuelsson

Program explores the powerful, primal connection between food, love, life, family and culture.

Today, PBS and Knorr unveiled a new, groundbreaking documentary called The Meaning of Food that explores the connection between what we eat and who we are. The first-of-its-kind documentary, hosted by world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson, breaks bread with Americans from across the country and from all walks of life.

The Meaning of Food, a three-part series, will premiere Thursday, April 7, April 14 and April 21 at 10:00 pm on PBS (check local listings). Major funding for the program is provided by global food brand Knorr.

"What we eat, how we eat, and with whom we eat reveals so much about who we are," said Amanda Sourry, Vice President of Knorr. “The Meaning of Food illustrates that food is so much more than just sustenance; it is part of our cultures, our traditions, and in many ways defines us as a people."

As executive chef of Aquavit and Riingo in New York, Samuelsson contributes his culinary expertise and rich cultural background to the stories told on the program. Born in Ethiopia, Samuelsson was orphaned at a young age, adopted and raised in Sweden. His personal experience as a product of different cultures serves as an important inspiration for him as a chef.

"Food is powerfully symbolic. It fuels our daily existence but it also feeds our minds and comforts our hearts. It is a complex language that speaks about connection and community, memory and love. It is what binds us together as families, as communities, and as human beings," said Samuelsson. "I'm honored to be a part of a series that explores the ways in which food plays such an important role in people’s lives."

Viewers of The Meaning of Food visit home kitchens, restaurants, pastry bake-offs, lunch trucks, burger joints, Bengali fertility feasts and more. Each episode concentrates on a different area of life in which food plays a vital role ("Food and Life," "Food and Culture" and "Food and Family") and profiles a variety of people, communities and cultures for whom food is central. In "Food and Life," a segment profiles the owner of an Italian gourmet shop in Northern California, who expresses love for his daughter by preparing an elaborate banquet for her wedding. In "Food and Culture," filmmaker Julie Dash, writer/NPR commentator Vertamae Grosvenor, and poet Nikki Finney cook rice and share memories about their Geechee heritage in coastal South Carolina. And in "Food and Family," viewers learn about a St. Paul, MN male-bonding ritual called a "booya," the creation of a huge stew made from a recipe passed from father to son.

In celebration of The Meaning of Food, Samuelsson, in association with Knorr, developed ten recipes inspired by the program and incorporating Knorr products. The dishes, which range from Salmon Pesto to Swedish Meatballs, are influenced by the flavors and traditions of cuisines from around the world.

The Meaning of Food is produced by Pie in the Sky Productions, LLC in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for the series is provided by Pacific Islanders in Communications, Humanities Washington Documentary Pooled Fund, CPB, Public Television Viewers and PBS.

About Knorr

Knorr is defined by its passion for great food. The history of the Knorr brand dates back to 1838 when Carl Heinrich Knorr pioneered experiments in drying seasonings and vegetables to preserve their flavor and nutritional value. Knorr has grown to become a well-loved, global brand with a wide range of bouillons, soups, sauces, snacks and ready-made meals that help people around the world enjoy the taste and flavor of good food.

About Unilever

Unilever, the maker of Knorr products, is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods. Unilever meets everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

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