The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook (renamed The Hairy Bikers Ride Again for the third series and The Hairy Bakers for the fourth series) is a BBC television cookery and travel programme, that has so far run for four series and a Christmas special. It is presented by The Hairy Bikers; Dave Myers and Si King, both of whom are from northern England, as they travel around the world on their motorbikes tasting the local cuisine, and experimenting with making it themselves. They also talk about the culture and the history of the area that they are visiting, with a sense of humour and passion that has been praised by critics and fans.
The duo ride the length of Portugal, the birthplace of fusion food. Si and Dave set out to bring home the best of Portuguese cookery and culture to the eager crowd at their local boat club on Roa Island. They fish for trout in a flooding river, cook on the deck of a hundred year old port boat, go swimming in the Algarve, and feast on traditional Portuguese fare.
Dave and Si, travel to the Germanic town of Swakopmund, on the Namibian coast. First on the menu is a traditional barbecue, or braai; and to find the right spot among the massive dunes, the boys take to the air in a microlight. Having gorged themselves on crocodilesatay and oryx rolls, they explore a Bavarian café and a township shebeen, before being treated to their first taste of a mopane worm. This is followed by local crayfish, taken from the ocean by the pair.
The pair travel to the north of Namibia. They visit the Himba tribe, one of the last nomadic people to fully preserve their traditional way of life. They encounter ostrich (and a giant fried egg for breakfast), giraffe, and the rare desert elephants of Kaokoland. The boys pitch tent in strange fairy circles, and they roast lamb in an earth pit, and try the local sport of long-distance spitting using springbok droppings.
Visiting Saigon, the pair make shrimp & pork on sugar cane sticks, before going to a restaurant where they serve coconut worms, deep-fried scorpion and goat penis. They travel on, trying the national dish, pho, before reaching Hội An, where Si breaks his foot and has to have it put in a cast.
Si and Dave travel around Southern India, starting in Chennai, visiting temples and fast food joints, whilst all around discovering more about the local cuisine. At a Maharaja's palace they make cocktails and meet some elephants.
The Bikers travel to Northern India, taking part in a local Kathakali performance, and Si discovers a piece of family history in an old remnant house of the British Raj.
The pair visit Bruges, where they sample the local beers, before going on to a small village with a game involving birds.
The duo find a statue of Tintin and then visit a British MEP, and member of UKIP, who talks about his belief in protecting local foods, namely foie gras. The pair then go on to try wild boar.
This episode was moved to the end of the series because it featured interviews with MEPs and due to the Local Elections which took place shortly after the broadcast, could not be shown during the pre-election period.
Aired in 2007 as a winter special, this one-off programme featured the Bikers looking at their own British (more specifically, northern English) cuisine. They visit Dave's hometown of Barrow-in-Furness and visit a local pie shop, before being invited to an Oriental cuisine by some of the town's large Thai community. They stop at various other locations including Bury Market sampling such foods as Black Pudding before tasting the famous Cumberland Sausage on top of an old Romanfort in Cumbria, before finally heading east to Si's hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The episode gained a series-high audience of 3.4 million viewers.