As you all know I’m a chef and so writing about travel just seems to be a given. Travel means food and food is my life. By the way that’s not just me but many people feel the same way. Let’s be honest no one in the Going Global Community plans a trip to NY without first turning to Google and booking a restaurant. And that’s part of why I love to write about my experiences. I love food, travel and sharing. All things that are necessary to make me happy.
So let’s talk food. Everyone wants to try the best; the most authentic cuisines and to experience iconic food as it should taste at its pinnacle. But all too often when we travel we end up compromising on the food we eat or stick to our familiar dishes and then doubt that the food was as good as it should have been. So where do we go for the best of the best?
Let’s start with national dishes and why we should eat them at their origin.
France and steak tartar. I have never had better than in France. Even at a top restaurant across the border in Italy recently, it missed. France prepares steak tartar with the right texture and flavour. You just can’t visit France without it. The same goes for fish soup and foie gras.
Brussels is mussels. They are used to cooking them and in my experience never over cook the product which means they are never rubbery.
London? Would you believe it? Indian food. There is better Indian cuisine here than any other place in the world. PERIOD.
The chicken tika (now a national dish) was derived from Manchester, not even India and it is served all over the world. Chinese food comes in a close second in London as most of the chefs originate from Hong Kong, making it the best Cantonese outside of the origin.
Italy… You are thinking pasta? Well yes, they cook it to a point that is not soft or hard but is usually perfect, however this can be replicated anywhere in the world by the right chef. So the dish to have here that’s truly prepared like nowhere else is pizza.
In Italy pizza is done with a crust that is wafer then. It almost crumbles when you pick it up. The sauce is a spread, not a thick mess like we often see around the world, and i there is cheese then it’s a light grate, yes I said if cheese. The original pizza was just bread and tomato sauce and today you still see the Neptune pizza with seafood and no cheese. Who thought pizza could be fat free?
Spain is paella, one of my favorites. The cooks do this so well in Spain that they know how to make it in huge batches. Paella originated with villages coming together to make the dish andit is still done this way today. The butcher brings the pork, the fishmonger the seafood, the farmer the vegetables, and then they cook it all up together. It’s is done in the biggest pan I have ever seen,. The pan is feet long and heated over an outside fire. It’s brilliant to watch and smell as the dish cooks.
Dubai features the best Lebanese food. It’s fresh, authentic and there is no real food from the emirates so this counts as being about as indigeneous as possible. By the way other cuisines are often got wrong in Dubai but Lebanese cuisine is elevated to an art.
Singapore is chili crab. It’s messy, it’s served often in restaurants outside and it’s hot. It is an experience I can’t explain very well. Meaty crab with tangy hot sauce that makes you want to eat it all night long. Just brilliant.
In Thailand you need to try mien Kam. It’s a snack where you roll a leaf, only found in Thailand with every flavour that Thai cuisine is known for; tamarind paste, chili, nuts, coconut, dried shrimp, ginger and garlic. This is all wrapped up with an explosion of flavour.
Seoul is bibimbap. This is a national dish. It’s unreal. Steamed rice on the side, wok fried vegetables, Korean chili sauce and a stir fried beef or chicken. Once served you mix all together and enjoy. This is one of the most delicious dishes tha I have had to date.
And Japan needs a whole episode on its own. The cuisine is so much more than just sushi
So when on your travels, eat like a local. They know what’s best and trust me, you’ll be hapy to try the world’s iconic dishes at ther origin. They just taste better being made by tradition with skil and love and pride.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living New meaning to the Beatle’s Song I’ll Follow the Sun with this primer on when to book the best getaway well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.