When you are looking for singularly exceptional food experiences that are greater than gimmicks and tricks, you find those that capture a sense of place for your palate. These are the top food stops for gourmet travellers.
The Albinelli Market in the centre of Modena is a gathering place, bustling with great energy and even better products. From the best Italian cheese to Manzini, gastronomy with condiments, anchovies and spices, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and cold cuts, you get everything here. It’s a chef’s paradise and a fantasy land of flavours for people who love to eat.
There is a goat farm and restaurant in Provence called Ferme Auberge Le Castelas at Le Castelas, Sivergues, that is the most amazing place to visit. The food is delicious, with dishes like roasted vegetables and local ham, roasted pork and potatoes, beautiful cheeses made on the property, and plenty of wine. Everything is served communally and the tables are all made of large rocks. While you dine, the goats from the farm roam the grounds, following the food. Another plus, the property has stunning views overlooking the valley. (To make reservations, call +33-4/9074-3081)
There is nothing like being up in the Andean mountains of Janac Chuquibamba in Lamay near Cusco, having freshly harvested native potatoes that are cooked under the ground with hot stones, and locally-grown aromatics like muna (a medicinal plant) and huacatay (a black mint-like herb). It’s an amazing experience to see the native Andean communities doing this type of cooking. Ask a local hotel chef in Cusco to recommend the best place to go and take a taxi to Lamay, or ask a tour guide to take you.
The drive to Asador Etxebarri restaurant is spectacular. Chef Victor Arguinzoniz cooks a brilliant tasting menu showcasing a single ingredient. He combines amazing ancient cooking techniques and carefully selected firewood. His grilled red prawn is cooked over embers and his dessert of milk ice cream is made by reducing the milk slowly in the oven, then transferring it to the grill, where he cooks it in a pile of small embers.
The Bio-Jungpfl anzen Markt ran by the Noah’s Ark seed savers association in Schiltern, Lower Austria is a cook’s dream. Hobby gardeners and small organic farmers from all over the country descend upon this small village with their rare plants, seeds and delicious homemade products, creating a real festive atmosphere. It is always a joy and an inspiration to walk the stalls and see, taste, and be inspired by the passion and creativity on display.