One of the great pleasures of travel is leaving your diet at home and sampling the culinary delights your destination is famous for. Paella in Valencia, new Nordic in Copenhagen, street food everywhere: What you eat is a big part of the experience. A few of my Virtuoso partners have put together some fabulous journeys that will ensure your trip is excellent to the last bite.
At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Sicily has absorbed a lot of different cultures into its culinary history. Influences from Greeks, Spaniards, Normans, and Arabs blend to form a rich cuisine. Next Spring into Summer the Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, in Taormina will give you a home base for exploring the culinary treasures of the area like such as the arancini of Agrigento, Palermo’s revered street food, and the pasta, sardines, and eggplant of the island’s east. The volcanic soil around Mt. Etna produces spectacular wines to wash it all down.
Chiloe Island, Chile
Big Five Tours & Expeditions takes you into the mystical heart of Chiloe Island, whose culture is based on a unique mythology of witchcraft, ghost ships, and forest spirits. The culinary tradition features curanto stew, which is made from meat, seafood, and potatoes cooked in a hole in the ground. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin in Chiloe National Park and marvel at the 16 island churches that have UNESCO World Heritage status.
Rotorua, New Zealand
Treetops Lodge & Estate showcases local produce including herbs traditionally used in Maori cooking. Karengo (sea vegetable) makes an appearance in plenty of seafood dishes on the menu, while a rub made from the leaves of the kawakawa tree is used to spice meat. Led by a local expert, guests can head out into the forest in search of such ingredients at their source, learning about the nutritional and medicinal properties that played a large role in the traditional Maori diet.
New York, New York
Beyond Times Square wants visitors to get to know the Big Apple through its food scene. Get a taste of the different cultures that have made New York home with Norwegian smoked salmon, Sicilian cannoli, and much more on the Eating Your Way Through Manhattan tour, or just focus on Italian food with The Real Little Italy tour along Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Throw in artisanal chocolate and a perfect slice of pizza on the Brooklyn Biking & Food Adventure, and you can stuff your face in three boroughs.
Cape Town, South Africa
As part of Belmond’s worldwide Art of Gastronomy program, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel aims to educate visitors about the dangers of food waste while showing them just how good the food we often throw away can be. In a five-course chef’s table menu, Rudi Liebenberg showcases items such as beef tendons, trout collar, and other overlooked products to demonstrate how to make the most of what the earth yields. The “fashionably rejected” parts of fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish become the stars of the show.
Have I tempted your taste buds enough? Now’s the time to plan your culinary adventure menu of cities and countries to try in 2022 and beyond. Contact me today!