(CNN) – In the new CNN Original Series “Nomad with Carlton McCoy,” master sommelier McCoy is on the hunt for authenticity in destinations around the world. Whether it’s along the banks of the Mississippi River or in the bustling city of Seoul, McCoy is exploring off the beaten path to find what truly makes each location special.
Below is an episode-by-episode guide through McCoy’s travels. Take a look at what he discovered:
Carlton McCoy and Kyungmoon Kim enjoy some soy at Gwangjang Market in Seoul.
South Korea is a combination of old and new. The country is on the cutting edge of worldwide popular culture and also a conservator of centuries-old traditions.
McCoy met up with his old culinary school friend and one of the first Korean master sommeliers, Kyungmoon Kim, who guided him through Korea’s major cities and most remote villages and introduced him to the concept of jeongloosely translated to mean the feeling of attachment to another person and the hospitality that arises from that connection.
Take a look at some of the spots where McCoy experienced authentic Korea:
Gwangjang Market – Located in the center of Seoul, Gwangjang Market is one of the oldest traditional markets in Korea and includes a selection of clothing, textiles and some of the best street food the city has to offer. McCoy samples some sundaeor blood sausage.
Onjium – This Michelin-starred restaurant in Seoul is helmed by chef Cho Eun-hee and researcher Park Seong-bae and features a menu that takes inspiration from the four seasons to give a modern makeover to Korean royal court cuisine. McCoy enjoyed chef Eun-hee’s take on galbior short ribs, and the popular rice dish bibimbap.
Won Soju – Won Soju is a new premium Korean spirit brand launched by Korean American rapper Jay Park. You may recognize him from his popular song with 2 Chainz, aptly titled “SOJU.”
Nongam Jongtaek – Located in Andong, South Korea, this hotel is the converted estate of the Lee family, whose ancestors have been on the land for over 600 years. Visitors are treated to homemade liquors and meals prepared by the Lee family during their stay. McCoy described that visiting the unchanged setting and architecture was like stepping into a time machine.
JookJangYeon – This artisanal farm run by wine importer Michael Jung is located in the remote village of Jukjang-myeon. It specializes in making Korean jangs, or thick sauces, such as doenjang, ganjang and gochujang in large earthenware pots called yangdok.
Ojina – This pop up restaurant on Jeju Island from chef Austin Kang and brothers chef Hwang Ji-Won and doctor Hwang Na-bi uses careful ingredient selection and personalized menus to bring out the healing powers of food.
Carlton McCoy and chef Christophe Pelé at Le Clarence in Paris.
While in Paris, McCoy expands his search for authentic Parisian experiences to the lesser-known banlieues, or suburbs, that surround the city center. Beyond the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower, the rich diversity of dining options and cultural offerings highlights the complexities of the Parisian identity.
Interested in learning more about the authentic Parisian lifestyle? Check out these six spots:
New Saigon – This Lognes restaurant explores Vietnamese food for a French audience. Lognes, a banlieue with the highest proportion of Asians of any town in France, naturally has some pretty stellar Asian cuisine. One of the dishes McCoy sampled at New Saigon, a noodle soup called Phnom Penh, actually has its roots in Cambodia.
Basilica of the Cathedral of Saint-Denis – Formerly the royal abbey of Saint-Denis, the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis is a medieval landmark known as the first example of Gothic architecture and as the “graveyard of kings.” It has served as the burial site of 43 kings, 32 queens and 10 servants to the monarchy.
Good Adventures – This Saint-Ouen restaurant was opened by publicist-turned-chef Alcidia Vulbeau and features her unique take on French-African fusion cuisines. McCoy particularly enjoyed the shakshuka, based on the traditional North African dish.
Le Clarence – Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris proper, Le Clarence is a restaurant that was awarded two Michelin stars in 2017 and features innovative takes on classic French dishes by chef Christophe Pelé.
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery – The second iteration of the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, following its success in Chicago, opened on Avenue Matignon in Paris in September 2021. Ibrahim, the gallery’s French-Somali founder, focuses on highlighting artists from Africa and its diaspora.
Palais de l’Elysée – The Élysée Palace is essentially the French White House, home to President Emmanuel Macron. It is only open to tourists during the European Heritage Days, and it’s larger than the Palace of Versailles. Francis Oge, the chef of the party at the palace, prepared mille feuille for McCoy.
Carlton McCoy learns about the journey of Francis Oge, the chef at the Palais de l’Élysée, France’s White House. Be sure to tune into “Nomad with Carlton McCoy” premiere on CNN this Sunday at 10 pm ET / PT.