The highly anticipated second season of “Maria’s Portuguese Table” will debut on Sunday, April 3, at 7 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS.
The season will consist of eight episodes, with four episodes showcasing the cuisine and culture of the New England area, including Cape Cod and Boston, and the other four episodes exploring the central islands of the Azorean archipelago.
The show which interweaves heritage, culture, and history into each episode, taking viewers on a unique journey, was filmed during the summer and fall of 2022 in various locations, including Fall River and New Bedford.
The series has garnered strong support from individual donors, many of whom contributed through a successful GoFundMe campaign. After airing on Rhode Island PBS for eight weeks, the show will be broadcast nationwide b PBS starting in June.
The show’s first season received several accolades and awards, including an Emmy and Taste Awards nomination for the best Cooking & Travel Series, the Taste Spotlight Award, and Telly Awards in both Silver and Bronze for Best TV Series on PBS in Food & Culture.
Maria Lawton, the show’s host, is a New England-based author and chef who was born on the Azorean island of São Miguel, in a village called Rosário da Lagoa. She emigrated with her family to the United States when she was 6 years old and grew up in the South End of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
She turned her preservation of family recipes into a best-selling cookbook, Azorean Cooking: From My Family Table to Yours (2014).
Each episode of the Emmy-nominated series will continue to highlight Portuguese cuisine while exploring the Portuguese immigrant experience throughout North America and returning to Lawton’s roots on the Azores Islands.
The first season which debuted in June 2021, was broadcast nationwide by the prestigious Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), reaching millions of viewers in the United States.
The second season was produced by the Modesto, California-based production company Cineasta Digital Productions with Dean Camara as director and producer.
Camara assembled a crew of talent, including Charlie Askew as director of photography, Jeff Civitkovic as producer and senior editor, Patrick Payne as post-production supervisor, Scott Perry as post-production sound engineer, and Mark Gardner as location sound engineer.
In an interview for the Portuguese American Journal, Maria Lawton revealed the origin of the “Azorean Green Bean” alias.
“This name came from being picked on while going to school after my family emigrated from São Miguel. I was called many names (portugee, greenhorn, fava bean, etc.) since I was different from the other children. But I never let those names hurt me or make me less than who I am. I was raised by very strong parents and grandparents, and they taught me to be very proud of who I am, so call me what you may… I knew I came from a wonderful family with an amazing heritage. So you can call me the ‘Azorean Green Bean’ … I wear that name with pride.”
Supporters of the show include the RIPBS Foundation, BayCoast Bank, UMass Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies & Culture, Dunkin’, Azores Airlines, Bensaude Hotels Collection, and Azores Tourism.
Maria Lawton is looking forward to future seasons on mainland Portugal and Madeira Island. She is the first Chef to host a Portuguese-themed cooking show on PBS.