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A FOOD ADVENTURE WITH FIDEL GASTRO TO EXPERIENCE THE WORLD OF POP-UP FOOD WHEREVER IT TAKES US…

2 SEASONS | 26 EPISODES | 30 MINS

Host Matthew Basile, AKA Fidel Gastro, takes viewers on the tastiest street food crawl across North America, revealing delicious food, wacky personalities, and hearing their great stories along the way. We’ll find street food at its best as we watch our Rebel plug into the street food movement everywhere, one bite at a time. From Toronto to New Orleans, Miami to Montreal, street food is where it’s at. From the freshest seafood in Boston to the best barbecue in Austin, TX, viewers will almost get to taste it all. This fish out of water is going to need all the help he can get. Leaning on locals to help guide his food journey, Matt will discover what’s trending in each area. With street food having ‘its moment’ right now, Matt’s rebel timing could not be better. He’s out to try all of it: food trucks, pop ups, food carts, food stands, and street food inspired restaurants, Matt is going to explore all that is delicious, eating his way through the streets of unknown territory, digging up inspiration for his very own city-inspired menu. In the few days he spends navigating each city’s food scene, Matt researches what it is that these hungry streets are craving in preparation for his own successful pop up creation.

MATT BASILE

A.K.A. Fidel Gastro

Matt’s passion for food started at a young age, cooking alongside his nonna and nonno. While studying towards his post-grad degree in advertising, Matt worked in various butcher shops and further developed his passion for cooking, especially with meat – But Matt never entertained the idea of working in the kitchen as a chef. He saw cooking as something he loved doing, but decided to pursue his career in advertising instead. After working freelance for five years, he decided to take his advertising/marketing background and combine it with an awesome food concept. In 2011, Matt quit his job, gave up his steady income and took every dollar he had to launch Fidel Gastro’s Pop-up Sandwich Revolución. In 2012, Matt extended his brand further by launching the Fidel Gastro Food Truck. His plans for the future include launching his own packaged goods line. Matt, now known as Fidel to the food world, can be found screaming Olé! as he pops up in the most unlikely places.
VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN!

Season 1

EP·1 'Pop-Up In The Park'

The Rebel Without a Kitchen has been invited to pop-up at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market. He’s been asked to create a menu using ingredients from local vendors. With only a few bushels to work with, FG needs to create a menu that will leave the Leslieville community craving more! With so many events on the go, FG is starting to feel like he’s being stretched too thin. FG leans on his staff to come up with a menu that will reflect the FG brand. It’s time to let go and trust in others so that his business can continue to grow.

EP·2 'A Sandwiched Affair'

After nearly a year of popping up around the city, FG has been approached by a fellow food vendor about buying a food truck. FG looks to longtime friend and numbers guy, Dom, as a potential company investor. With Dom needing some time to think, FG tries to keep his mind off of the truck as he preps for the Power Plant Fall Launch. With an unfamiliar group of clients, FG tries to put together a classier menu to wow this group of art-loving foodies; however, rain threatens the success of this outdoor event. Can FG transition from pop-up rebel to swanky events’ pop-eur? Will Dom invest, helping the company to grow or is FG biting off way more than he can chew without the much-needed help from his friend?

EP·3 'Pork vs. Lobster vs. Man'

FAME (Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere) approaches FG to throw a charitable pop-up…in four days. With limited time and resources, FG leans on Steam Whistle Brewery and as always, social media, to help him pull this off. With the launch of his food truck just days away, FG seizes the opportunity to also promote his launch. With generator issues throwing a wrinkle into his plan, FG calls in a favour to his fellow pop-up pal, Rock Lobster. Can FG pull together a successful charity pop-up in just four days? What does the news about the generator mean for his upcoming launch? FG’s luck is at an all time low. Will FG be able to draw in the draw in the crowds? Will his never-ending determination be enough this time?

EP·4 'Trucked Out'

FG is launching his truck in the heart of Toronto’s financial district and he is expecting hundreds of people to show up. The launch will be his first public food truck service and he’s hoping that the wrap design of the truck’s exterior turns out as planned. With his recent history of misfortunes, FG can only hope that the launch goes off without a hitch. FG discovers there can be a few fiery moments when it comes to operating a food truck, but thankfully he always has Kyla, his girlfriend, to rein him in. FG discovers a great team makes for a great business.

EP·5 'Lights, Camera, Grill!'

It’s Film Festival time and FG is busier than ever! He’s been asked to pop-up at the Drake for a Film Fest inspired event, but with other pop-ups booked for that same week, FG is finding it hard to keep up. He needs to spend time out of the kitchen and listen to some advice from his friends so that he can take his business to the next level. With celebrity inspired sandwiches on his mind, FG is forced to switch gears so that he can give this very important pop-up the TLC it needs. Will FG be able to retain the attention that the city has given him this year or will this event be an eye opener that will leave people questioning FG’s ability to operate a smoothly run business?

EP·6 'Pack, Pick and Pop!'

The Sandbanks Winery is hosting their annual grape picking day and FG has been asked to drive his infectious energy out of the city and into Wine Country. Staffing an event in the city is hard enough, but asking people to drive two hours out is next to impossible. With the weather taking a turn for the worse, FG finds it hard to stay positive on event day. Will anyone show up or will grape picking day and the pop-up prove to be a bust?

EP·7 'Underground and Over Served'

FG launched his career at the Toronto Underground Market (TUM) so he’s excited to be participating again. With his business growing by the minute, FG needs to start looking at next steps within the brand: he needs to give up some control so that he can continue to grow. He decides to make this TUM event his last so that he can leave room for others that are in the same position as he was almost a year ago. FG agrees to mentor an old friend and co-worker at the TUM event.  These TUM days are hectic so FG needs staff that can keep up with him. While trying to prep for this huge event, FG makes it his priority to revisit the brand, specifically his website. More and more, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he needs to be present on the backend just as much as the frontend. Can FG do it all or will this TUM event be an eye opener for FG the company?

EP·8 'Museum Madness'

The events keep getting bigger and bigger. From his first pop-up at a hipster coffee shop to a massive indie food event, FG has come a long way. This time, one of the most impressive landmarks in the city is calling. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has asked that FG pop-up at their Friday Night Live event. The turnout will be huge, so FG really needs to bring his A-game. With everything that has been going on, FG has really needed to put the rest of his life on hold. He rarely gets to spend any real, nonpop-up time with his girlfriend, Kyla. FG has no choice but to put the biz on hold and focus on his relationship. Off time proves to be a challenge. FG is pulled and every single direction but the right one. The ROM pop-up is a huge opportunity, one that FG really can’t afford to take his eye off of. His menu needs to rock and running out of food is not an option. Will his relationship survive this crazy time or will FG fail across the board?

EP·9 'Touchdown'

FG meets with food truck promoter, Suresh Doss, to discuss FG’s participation at the Awestruck Awards; the first food truck awards in Canada. FG has been nominated for Best Pop-Up. After a year of working around the clock, FG is excited to be included and recognized. While he’s excited about the awards, he still can’t afford take his eye off the ball. FG is popping up the Varsity football home opener game. FG tests his food on his football friends and wonders if honesty is always the best policy. FG must delve deep into his creative side to hopefully salvage a day of slow business. FG hopes that the challenges he faces at the game will be followed by victory at the Awestruck awards.

EP·10 'The First Supper'

FG is taking his pop-up to the next level…into a dining room, with proper chairs, cutlery and plates! He’s been asked to pop-up for The Restaurant Club, a group of foodies that get together to try different restaurants each month. With Kyla, FG’s girlfriend by his side, he makes it his mission to find inspiration by dining at as many restaurants as possible so that he can put together a killer menu for his first ever sit-down dinner. This group will be rating his meal and the reviews will be posted online the next day. The pressure is on for FG. If he wants his company to continue to grow, he needs to impress regardless of the forum! He needs to take his street food and make it dining room friendly, all while maintaining the FG flare that the city has grown to love.

EP·11 'Meals on Wheels'

FG needs to get creative! He visits the original pop-father to brainstorm some off the wall pop-up ideas. With the city as their inspiration, FG and the pop-father come up with a Toronto Tour Bus Pop-up. Fun? Yes. Doable? Maybe. Kyla, FG’s girlfriend agrees to test the ropes pre-event day, but the moving vehicle venue has Kyla questioning FG’s sanity. FG is determined to do it. He makes it his mission to get as creative as possible with the menu, but wonders if his clients will be as receptive or as adventurous as he is. Cooking and serving on the bus proves to be next to impossible! Will FG be able to pull it off while keeping his hungry crowd happy?

EP·12 'Restaurant Heist'

FG has been invited to develop a new menu item for Yakitori restaurant opening. It appears FG’s business is really making a name for itself in this city because the calls keep coming in. The Yukon bar has asked FG to host a pop-up/restaurant take-over at their Parkdale location. With an unfamiliar kitchen, unknown servers and a full dinner service, how will FG keep up with the volume of a fully functioning bar? He’s thrilled that people have so much faith, but can he really pull this off? He’s the king of pop-ups, but does he have what it takes to run a restaurant? Will the FG brand be able to make this big leap into the restaurant biz?

EP·13 'On the Move'

FG has had quite the year. His pop-up business is booming, his food truck is a huge hit and his following is massive!  With everything going so well, FG is eager to keep things going. He decides to plan a one-year anniversary party at the El Mocambo to celebrate his success. With so much accomplished, FG decides to add a little more to his plate. He and Dom start to look at different locations for the next phase of the FG brand. FG starts to panic about possibly taking the next step and committing to the idea of a restaurant. He wants to stay true to his pop-up brand, but he also wants to make sure he keeps growing. Can FG do it all? Will he have enough courage and faith in his company to see beyond the pop-up? 

Season 2

EP·1 'Goodbye Hogtown'

With an incredible year behind him, Matt decides to broaden his scope and discover the street food scene in other cities all across North America. Toasting to where it all began, Matt decides to do one more event in Toronto before saying goodbye and hitting the road. He’ll be popping up at Toronto’s favourite summer event, the Canadian National Exhibition.

EP·2 'Ready-Set-Chowda'

Matt dukes it out at the Boston Local Food Festival’s first annual Clam Chowda Competition. As a newbie to the city, Matt must eat his way through the city’s streets learning everything he can about clam chowder in preparation for the competition. With a secret ingredient and a local clam fisherman to help him out, Matt’s hoping he can win over the locals with his take on the clam chowder.

EP·3 'Right Some Good'

Matt pops up at North America’s original gourmet pop-up dining festival, Right Some Good, in picturesque Cape Breton. With fresh seafood available right at his fingertips, Matt scopes out the East Coast food scene to prepare a festival worthy dish.

EP·4 'Rebel of Queens'

New York City’s street food scene is large and diverse; it can be a little intimidating., but Matt’s ready to tackle it. Matt’s been invited to pop-up at Viva La Comida, an event that celebrates the unique and diverse street food scene New York has to offer. Matt learns how street food is done there and what it takes to succeed in the streets of the big apple.

EP·5 'Born and Braised'

The Philadelphia Night Market is the biggest street food festival in Philadelphia, and Matt’s been invited to take part. In a place where sandwiches have been perfected over the past 80 years, Matt really wants to wow the masses since he’s known as the sandwich guy back home. With his own Rebel take on the Philly cheese steak sandwich, he hopes he can impress the hard-core sandwich fans of Philadelphia.

EP·6 'Do It Yourself'

Matt heads down to Detroit to check out the exploding street food scene. Matt has been invited to take part in the DIY Street Fair, an event with a do-it-yourself approach to revitalizing the city. Tasting his way through classic Detroit comfort street food, Matt comes up with a dish that’s sure to impress the locals.

EP·7 'Poutine Pop Up'

Always looking to challenge himself, Matt decides to do an after-hours take-over of a popular Montreal pizza joint for a one-night pop up event. Cooking rebel versions of Montreal classics, Matt tests his pop-up prowess as he attempts a guerilla-style pop up in a brand new city. Feeling as if it were his first pop up all over again, Matt hopes he can draw in Montreal’s late night foodies to his event and impress them with his late-night nosh.

EP·8 'Rodeo Rebel'

Matt’s headed to the barbecue capital of the world, Texas. He’s been invited to the Cowboy Classic, located just outside of Austin. It’s Matt’s first rodeo, and he’s determined to learn the craft of barbequing from the professionals. With mouth-watering barbecue available on every corner, Matt hopes to impress the hard-core BBQ lovers of the south with some daring flavours that might just break some barbecue traditions.

EP·9 'Later Alligator'

Matt explores the Cuban food scene of South Florida in preparation for Miami’s Burgerliscious Burger Competition. Meeting a famous chef, tasting amazing street food, and even befriending some alligators along the way, Matt’s inspired to fuse his love of burgers with everything he’s learned in the city. He hopes to push the envelope by serving up an unconventional burger at the competition, and can only hope the risk will pay off.

EP·10 'Mystery Mirliton'

Matt is invited to participate in the New Orleans Mirliton Festival. The challenge? It’s a vegetable he’s never heard of. A real fish out of water, Matt must eat his way through the streets of New Orleans, learning what it is and how the locals eat and cook with the vegetable. And hopefully in the end, he can come up with a dish that will have the locals seeing the vegetable in a whole new light.

EP·11 'Pig Out'

Matt has been asked to pop up at Cochon 555, a culinary pork competition and tasting event in Los Angeles where he will serve pork-fanatics his street food version of the pig. The event brings together all the masters of pork to one event. With a massive street food scene to draw inspiration from, Matt checks out other food rebels who are making waves in LA’s street food scene.

EP·12 'Keep It Weird'

The city with the largest food cart scene in North America, Portland Oregan, is holding a Cartathlon Scavenger Hunt that challenges teams of foodies to race from food cart to food cart all over the city for a fun food race. Matt will be stationed as one of the food stops for the race. After fully exploring the street food mecca that is Portland, Matt serves up delicious eats with a Canadian twist for the hungry scavengers.

EP·13 'Home Sweet Home'

Home sweet home! After being on the road for months, Matt returns home to launch his North American street food tour menu at his restaurant, Lisa Marie. He can’t wait to share a piece of his trip with his friends and family back home. As he reconnects with Toronto’s street food scene, he decides to come up with a Toronto dish that celebrates the great street food scene he missed and loves right here at home.

“Food should always be a fun tasty adventure. ” -Matt

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