26
May

Chef Rod Butters on His New Cookbook, The Okanagan Table

Chef Rod Butters on His New Cookbook, The Okanagan Table

Rod Butters on His New Cookbook, The Okanagan Table

Chef Butters has spent months writing and curating his favorite recipes from his childhood, his culinary career, and from the acclaimed RauDZ Regional Table.

Chef Rod Butters of RauDZ Regional Table and micro bar • bites is moving ahead with a project that has been long on his mind and close to his heart – his first cookbook. Working with publisher Figure 1 in Vancouver, The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking will hit the bookshelves in summer 2017.

“At its heart, this book is about my passionate relationship to food. I wrote this book, quite simply, for people who love to cook. It’s not intended to blow our minds or turn cooking into a lab experiment. Cooking should be inclusionary, not exclusionary. We gather in the kitchen because it’s comforting, and it harkens back to the happy feelings that a warm, aromatic kitchen instilled in us as kids” explains Butters.

As the name suggests, this cookbook is for the home cook. Butters states “I want you to get this book dirty – dog-ear the pages, write in the margins, stuff your grandmother’s best recipes for Swedish meatballs and zucchini loaf between the pages.”

The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking will boast over 270 pages including 80 recipes and more than 120 photos by local photographer, David McIlvride. The recipes include some favorites from Butters including Oat Crusted Arctic Char, a classic on the menu at RauDZ Regional Table, the addictive Spring Pea Soup that celebrates that season in the valley and even a few cocktails to be enjoyed with appetizers and friends. Many of the dishes also have a suggested Okanagan wine, beer or cocktail pairings, selected by Audrey Surrao, a respected wine competition judge and co-owner of RauDZ Regional Table.

Rod Butters on His New Cookbook, The Okanagan Table

Haida Gwaii Halibut & Asparagus from The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking. Get the recipe HERE.

Writing a cookbook is just the latest project in Butters’ storied career.

Following stints in well-known and respected restaurants from coast to coast and a year-long journey around the world in 2000, Chef Butters returned home to BC to share his culinary experiences and open the AAA 4 Diamond Fresco Restaurant & Lounge in Kelowna. As Chef /Proprietor, Butters has been instrumental in promoting the growth of culinary tourism in the Okanagan.

In 2009 he rebranded and introduced RauDZ Regional Table to Kelowna. A runaway success since the opening RauDZ is considered the Okanagan leader for local cuisine. In November 2013, Chef Butters opened another venture, micro bar & bites, a few steps away from RauDZ Regional Table, further deepening his roots in the Kelowna community and the development of the downtown core.

Rod Butters on His New Cookbook, The Okanagan Table

A mock-up of the newest cookbook in production from Chef Rod Butters.

The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking will be available in Summer 2017. Now, for a limited time, you can pre-order your copy at RauDZ Regional Table or on the cookbook website at www.ChefRodButters.com for a discounted price.

26
May

One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

“Remember, what grows together goes together”, our guide Jess tells us, her hands visibly shaking as she dribbles balsamic vinegar from Modena onto bite-size squares of Parmigiano Reggiano.

I’m no stranger to food tours in Italy, nor to the essential ingredients of Italian cuisine.  In fact, the aforementioned balsamic represents the third time in as many years that I’ve sampled this intense condiment in its country of origin. First in Florence, then Venice, and now in Rome – a city famed worldwide for its pizzerias, salumerie, enotecas, and gelaterias.

The Roman Food Tour focuses on some of the best of these venues in the Prati district, a bourgeoisie neighborhood with wide avenues and elegant buildings that set it apart from the fast-paced frenzy of central Rome. Despite its close proximity to Vatican City, the area is quieter, calmer, less touristy than the Centro Storico.  There isn’t a selfie stick seller in sight.

Having never been to Prati, I’m looking forward to exploring new territory.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

The first stop on our tour brings us to a popular gourmet grocer specializing in salumi, formaggi, and vino. Here, I eat only with my eyes. Legs of prosciutto, salumi hanging from the ceiling, over 300 types of cheese, and fresh handmade pasta whet my appetite for the tastings to come.

Our guide Jess gives our diverse group of ten (food lovers from Australia, Wales, Canada and the USA) a quick lesson in Italian certifications. Acronyms like DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) guarantee certain foods are produced, processed and packaged in a specific geographical zone and according to tradition. Each step, from production to packaging, is regulated to ensure authenticity and quality.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

The eating begins in earnest at the next stop, a companion restaurant to the award-winning salumeria I’ve just left behind.

Here, I taste three types of prosciutto in what turns out to be a fascinating side-by-side comparison. The first is from Parma where the pigs are farm-raised and fed whey from locally produced Parmigiano Reggiano. The prosciutto di Parma is soft and moist and tastes faintly of cheese. The second is from Tuscany where the pigs roam the countryside eating whatever they can find. The prosciutto di Cinta Senese is drier than the ham from Parma and tastes much saltier. The third is Pata Negra, a prosciutto that comes from black Iberian pigs that feed naturally on grass, herbs, and acorns. Not surprisingly, the Pata Negra has a slightly nutty taste, presumably from the acorns.

I’m amazed at just how different each prosciutto tastes. Jess asks us which one we like the most. Based on its reputation as the most expensive ham in the world, I expect the Pata Negra to be the clear winner. Not so! The majority of tasters in our group prefer the silky prosciutto di Parma.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the most delicious things you can do in Rome.

Stop number three is the tiny shop where this article began.

As I sip on a glass of Greco di Tufo, a DOCG certified wine from the Campania region in southern Italy, Jess presents a selection of tastings to illustrate that what grows together goes together. Pecorino with truffle paté, aged balsamic with Parmigiano Reggiano, buffalo mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes. I love them all equally, that is until I nibble on a piece of pecorino with a thin ribbon of truffle running through the center. THIS is the cheese I want to be served at my last supper. 

By the way, I liked Jess the moment I met her. Passionate, personable and a true foodie, she is the kind of girl who is ecstatic when her friends chip in and buy her a bottle of 25-year barrel-aged balsamic for her birthday. She tells me she has the same response at home when she pours the vinegar, her hands tremble as she rations it drop by precious drop.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

Stop number four is the famous Pizzarium, Rome’s number one pizzeria. The owner, Gabriele Bonci, has been called everything from a Roman pizza god to the Michelangelo of pizza. He’s clearly a master of his craft.

The pizza here is al taglio – pizza by the slice that is cut with scissors into squares or rectangles then sold by weight. I listen intently as Jess describes some of the toppings and my head starts to spin – tripe, cod livers, caviar, foie gras, peaches with chicory – there are over 80 daily variations. She orders a selection for us to try. I like the simplest ones, like potato with rosemary, the best. The light, airy crust reminds me of focaccia and I love it.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

At stop number five, we’re served a three-course meal at a family-run restaurant.

First, I am treated to Carciofi alla Giudea, a Jewish-style fried artichoke that is a specialty of Rome’s ghetto. The artichokes are fried twice in olive oil until they turn a beautiful golden brown, their crisp petals blooming like a rose.  This is easily the most addictive thing I’ve eaten all day.

We’re also here to savor two handmade pasta dishes: Roman-style Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and gnocchi with four cheese sauce. The gnocchi are light and fluffy. Possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. I remember hearing that, ‘if it’s Thursday in Rome, it must be gnocchi”.  I check my iPhone and, sure enough, it’s Thursday. (Am I the only one who loses track of the days when traveling?)

The pasta course is followed by a slice of handmade apple strudel, a dessert I had eaten many times while traveling through Austria. Initially, I’m surprised at the choice, but I shouldn’t be. Apple strudel is the defining dish of Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region.

The Roman Food Tour: One of the Most Delicious Things You Can Do in Rome

The tour ends at Fatamorgana where we try some of Rome’s best artisanal gelato. I choose a zingy lemon curd and my lips pucker while Jess gives us her best tip for spotting fake gelato.  Look for the banana flavor. If it’s bright yellow, you’re in the wrong place.

The Roman Food Tour
What: Small group walking tour
Where: Prati District, Rome
Duration: 4 hours
Runs: Daily at 5:30 pm
Cost: 85€
How to Book:  Visit their website

26
May

Top 10 Barcelona Restaurants for First-Time Visitors

Top 10 Barcelona Restaurants for First-Time Visitors

Posted in food

26
May

How to Make Incredible Nachos at Home

How to Make Incredible Nachos at Home

With winter in full effect, many of us have turned our thoughts to a warm escape somewhere south of the border. If you find yourself daydreaming about basking in sunshine, a margarita in one hand and delicious Mexican fare in the other, we have some good news. Personal Creations has created a guide to making incredible nachos at home.  

Even if you can’t hop on a plane to Mexico, these fiesta favorites will brighten your day. The guide includes a quick video on how to master the classic nacho recipe (think melty cheese and crispy chips) and then takes you on a truly global adventure with options for Korean nachos, Irish nachos and more.

We’ll be making the Pulled Pork Nachos for Super Bowl Sunday. Which flavor do you want to try?”


How to Make Incredible Nachos at Home

[Infographic courtesy of PersonalCreations.com]

26
May

The Ultimate Way to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday

The Ultimate Way to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Experience Canada’s most sought after destinations with a once-in-a-lifetime luxury adventure

NEW YORK, NY (February 1, 2017)

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Air Canada have partnered to unveil an extraordinary new package, Après in the Air, a collection of offerings and experiences that provide unparalleled access and adventure at three of Fairmont’s most iconic Canadian properties.

The ‘Après in the Air’ package includes a round trip for 58 people by private charter with Air Canada’s all Business Class private charter service, Jetz, and stays at the iconic Fairmont Château Laurier, Fairmont Le Château Montebello, and Fairmont Tremblant. The adventure begins with the transformation of the private jet into a rich, cozy Fairmont-inspired ski chalet, creating the ultimate “après ski” experience at 30,000 feet, and continues once wheels touch down in Canada.

Each Fairmont destination offers a bevy of memory-making winter activities and local experiences including dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, skiing, and curling. Guests will also be able to enjoy luxurious pool and spa treatments at the world’s largest log cabin, Fairmont Le Château Montebello; explore the scenic village at the foot of the mountain from Fairmont Tremblant, and feel instantly transported to a French château amidst the nation’s capital at the landmark Fairmont Château Laurier.

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

To highlight Fairmont’s traditional Canadian heritage, inspired cuisine from notable Canadian chefs Louis Simard, Tim Wasylko, and Éric Beaupré is featured at each respective stop on the journey. The chefs of each property (who are all well known in their own right – one was the former chef of the Prime Minister!) curate special Canadian dining experiences at each destination. Culinary experiences include a Great Canadian Birthday Dinner at Fairmont Château Laurier, a formal Heritage Dinner inspired by the late 19th century at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, and a traditional Quebecois “Sugar Shack” dinner at Fairmont Tremblant.

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

“We’re celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday the best way we know how,” said Jeff Doane, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, North & Central America, AccorHotels, parent company to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “The Après in the Air package will provide people from all over the world the unique opportunity to embrace this country’s amazing Canadian heritage through outdoor activities, food, and authentic experiences.”

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday with an over-the-top 'Apres in the Air' Vacation

Available through Dec.31, 2017, the Fairmont Hotels Resorts and Air Canada ‘Après in the Air’ package will begin at $300,000. (That’s not a typo. )

There’s also a more affordable option, the Travel North package, that encourages travel to Canada in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday. Also available through Dec.31, 2017, the package offers 15 percent off the Fairmont’s daily rate, a $150 (CAD) hotel credit and 1,500 Aeroplan miles per stay.

26
May

10 Food Stories That Will Inspire You to See the World

10 Food Stories That Will Inspire You to See the World

So many of our fondest travel memories revolve around food and how it connects us to a particular place or person.

From TV personalities, celebrity chefs, and award-winning writers to top travel bloggers and dear friends, we’ve interviewed a lot of fascinating people over the last few years. And while they’ve shared loads of terrific travel tips and advice, what we love most are the stories they tell! It’s no surprise to us that so many of their fondest travel memories revolve around food and how it connected them to a particular place or person.

Here’s a look back at some of our favorites.

Dina Honke | OliveOilandLemons.comDina Honke, Olive Oil and Lemons
One of my favorite culinary experiences was not so much about the taste of the food but the setting and how it was experienced. I was in Rome by myself and much younger.  I walked up the Spanish steps to the hotel on top to have lunch (could it have been the Il Palazzetto?). I was looking around at other diners and saw a naturally elegant young woman dining alone. The staff was fussing over her and I noticed she had a plate of green asparagus with shaved Parmigiano that she proceeded to eat with special asparagus tongs. She had a glass of white wine with it, I assume a Pinot Griggio. I remember being so inspired by that scene and of course, proceeded to order the same (I invented the “I’ll have what she’s having” line). Funny how some things stay with you. Next time I am in Rome in the spring I will return to that hotel and order a plate of asparagus and proceed to savor it using asparagus tongs. Perhaps I will then offer inspiration to another young woman who may be watching me. 

Check out our interview with the fabulous Jennifer Cockrall-King. Jennifer's new book, Food Artisans of the Okanagan, is a must for food lovers living in the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia, and for anyone planning a visit to this spectacular wine region.Jennifer Cockrall-King, Food Girl
My husband and I drove down to Baja California, Mexico, a few years back. We took a few days of a detour, off of Highway 1, to explore the wine route near Ensenada. I had scribbled the directions on how to get to a restaurant called Corazon de Tierra.  We definitely thought I’d made some transcription errors as we drove down sand roads, seemingly further and further away from any main roads, for what seemed about 30 minutes. It was just us, the cactus and the odd donkey. The directions were correct, however. When we arrived, we marveled at the beautiful new modern restaurant, with a huge vegetable garden. The young chefs would zip back and forth between the open kitchen and the garden, and we literally watched them picking vegetables, flowers, and herbs that, 10 minutes later, would arrive on our plates. The local Valle de Guadalupe wines were surprisingly sophisticated and everything—including the Sonoran beef rib eye with pickled watermelon— made total sense! It still remains one of my favorite meals to date. That one meal was worth a seven-day drive! We’ve been back since, and the second time didn’t disappoint, which means that it wasn’t a one-off or just sheer relief of not being lost and hungry in the Baja desert.

Our interview with culinary travelers and cofounders of Authentic Food Quest, Claire Rouger & Rosemary KimaniClaire Rouger & Rosemary Kimani, Authentic Food Quest
When we were in South America, we had the opportunity to explore Chilean cuisine with Chile’s top chef, Rodolfo Guzmán. In a country that is not well-known for its culinary tradition, Guzmán stands out for cooking with indigenous Chilean ingredients. His restaurant Boragó was named #2 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 by San Pellegrino.

We spent the day with Rodolfo at his organic farm and learned about the native ingredients he uses in his cuisine. Later that evening, we dined at Boragó and had one of the most creative meals ever. The food was served using primal elements, such as cow horns or earth elements such as rocks, trees, and shrubs. We had dishes with ingredients from the Atacama desert in the north of Chile, the Andes Mountains and the freshest fish and seafood from the Pacific ocean. An amazing and incredible experience.

Misadventures with Andi | TheCulinaryTravelGuide.comAndi Fisher, Misadventures with Andi
I have flashes of living in Panama, of going on a day trip with our maid, being on a bus, crossing busy roads and eating salty plantains and really sweet coffee with lots of milk and sugar. That would be about 4 years old.

Style Files: Michaela MorrisMichaela Morris, House Wine
One of the most memorable experiences though was eating freshly shucked oysters on a market street in Paris. My traveling companion and I were drooling pathetically over the oysters at a ‘to-go’ stall so eventually, the vendor told us to buy some wine and a baguette then come back. We happened to find a rare bottle from one of my favorite Chablis producers and when we returned the oyster guy had set up a table with two chairs and wine glasses for us. He then served us two dozen of the most succulent oysters I had ever eaten. We were the envy of Parisian market-goers that morning.

Bryan Richards, The Wandering GourmandBryan Richards, The Wandering Gourmand
Recently, I was on a daylong press trip in Palafrugell, Spain to attend an annual arts festival. The highlight of the day, and my culinary travel experience was our “lunch with the locals.” We sat at a single table with 100 locals that ran the length of the alley. It’s a dinner that only occurs once a year and is very special to the village. Everyone on the press trip was seated at the far end of the table. As I was late to the lunch (lost the group during the city tour), I was seated towards the end of the group closest to the locals. Over several bottles of wine and a three-course dinner, I used my broken Spanish to make friends with those around me. We shared many laughs and a meal that was truly special. When we left, the teenagers next to me asked our tour guide if I could stay longer! Notice I mentioned nothing about the food. The food was good, but it was the people who made this experience.

Sabina Trojanova in GreeceSabina Trojanova, Girl vs Globe
When I was about 16 years old, I went on a road trip around Italy and France with my parents, visiting some of the best foodie destinations in the world – the entire trip was like an extended culinary experience! But one moment stands out in particular. We arrived at the small town of Tivoli, exhausted after exploring the ancient Villa Hadriana all morning under the scorching sun. Unfortunately for us, most places were closed for what I presume was a midday nap and we had almost given up when I spotted a tiny restaurant in a side street and a friendly looking old man sitting on a bench in front of it. In broken English, he told us to wait and sprinted inside. After a minute or so, he reemerged with a young girl who explained that she was his daughter and that, although they were still closed, they would open the restaurant just for us.

What ensued was a two-hour feast during which we tried some of the most mouth-watering local dishes you could imagine – all locally sourced and handmade. When we asked to see the chef, she shyly introduced herself as the owner’s wife. There is nothing better than mother’s cooking and this visit left us feeling like we were part of their family.

Allan ShewchukAllan Shewchuk
In 2009 we traveled to Africa to do some aid and charity work in Ethiopia and Uganda. Afterward, we treated ourselves to the beauty of Southern Uganda and tracked gorillas, went on safari and relaxed. As the world economy was completely in the tank, we found ourselves to be the only guests in most of the places we stayed, often with the entire staff to take care of us.

At the end of our trip, we ended up at the Jacana Safari Lodge on a huge crater lake. We once again were the only guests. The cook was bored and essentially became our private chef. One of the features of the Lodge was that for dinner, guests could reserve a floating barge which would head out onto the lake for a candlelight dinner. Normally the table could be set for 8 people, but since we were the only guests we had it all to ourselves.

We ordered some champagne and some nice wine and brought our little music system and floated off with the cook and a waiter. As we got to the middle of the lake, the Lodge shut out all of its lights so we could be on the lake in the dark, under the stars with just our candles flickering on the table.

The food was superb and the staff let us have our romantic moments.  The desserts had our names individually written on them in chocolate. As we approached the shore they turned on all of the lights again so we could see the Lodge lit up in all of its glory. It was pure magic.

Murissa ShalapataMurissa Shalapata, The Wanderfull Traveler
It started off as a bunch of art history students on a budget, starving and cranky while roaming the hot summer cobblestone streets of Bologna. There were about 7 of us who decided to look for some lunch after we toured the unairconditioned University of Bologna, in particular, the old room where they would perform autopsies for audiences. The presentation we received there was very graphic and in the restored room of wooden decor in the June heat it quickly transformed into a sauna. Some of the students became nauseous and had to excuse themselves.

It had quite the opposite effect on me and I was famished. Bickering over the importance of budget versus air-conditioning versus vegetarian options versus traditional Bolognese fare we collapsed at a random restaurant with outdoor seating. We were all grumpy and irritated with each other. That is until we fed ourselves. The moment the freshly made pumpkin ravioli with balsamic reduction hit my lips I realized that there are worse things than arguing over a restaurant to dine at in Bologna with famished university students figuring out what Italy meant to us.

Yes, the ravioli was a heavy option in the summer but my need for nourishment prevailed. It was also one of the best things I ate while in Italy and later I found out it is a Bolognese specialty.Our moods improved immediately and we once again understood where we were in the world and how lucky we were to be there.

The Royal Chef, Carolyn RobbCarolyn Robb, The Royal Touch
One of the abiding memories I have of the garden parties that I attended at Buckingham Palace is of the mountains of cream scones and cucumber sandwiches. Forever more, scones will be synonymous with garden parties for me.

26
May

Plan Your Time Off and Boost Your Happiness

Plan Your Time Off and Boost Your Happiness

#PlanForVacation

� 2017 is a blank page. How will you fill your (vacation) days?

In 2015, more than half (55%) of American workers left a total of 658 million vacation days unused. 658 million! That’s a staggering number.

Project: Time Off wants to change that with National Plan for Vacation Day. Celebrated on January 31, it’s a day to encourage North Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. (You know what they say – failing to plan is planning to fail.)

Using all of my vacation time has never been a problem for me. I have more opportunities to travel than I have paid time off. Next up: a trip to Spain at the end of March where I’ll be researching another DIY Taste Tour, EDIBLE BARCELONA.

Why is it so important to use all your vacation?

Well, besides the obvious fun and adventure, taking time off is associated with:

  • Higher productivity and performance
  • A more positive attitude toward work
  • Increased happiness
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Better relationships
  • A better social life
  • The amount of time taken also shows a clear correlation to happiness at home
  • The more vacation days used, the lower the stress

If you plan nothing else this year, #PlanForVacation.

#PlanForVacation with a DIY Taste Tour of EDIBLE ROME

If your 2017 vacation plans include a trip to Rome, let me know! I’m looking for 10 beta testers for my new DIY Taste Tour, EDIBLE ROME. I need a few hungry adventurers to take it for a test drive. If you’re interested, email me at info@theculinarytravelguide.com with your travel dates. (And if you know of anyone who will be in Rome before the end of June, I’ll be forever grateful if you would share this post with them!)

Thanks and Happy Planning!
Laura

26
May

Who Else Wants to Eat in This Boat in the Maldives?

Who Else Wants to Eat in This Boat in the Maldives?

Who Else Wants to Eat in A Boat in the Maldives?

Milaidhoo Maldives Opens the Only Maldivian Restaurant in the Maldives

Baa Atoll, The Maldives

Exciting news for foodies looking for a new sensation!

Milaidhoo Island Maldives has opened the first modern Maldivian restaurant in the Maldives, called Ba’theli. Possibly one of the few fine-dining restaurants in the world that encourages its diners to come barefoot, Ba’theli [pronounced ‘bah-telly’] opened on December 15, 2016. Ba’theli’s architecture reflects its heritage as it takes its name from the local word for a traditional wooden sailing boat and has been built in the shape of three boats that stand on stilts over the lagoon. One ‘boat’ is the restaurant, a second ‘boat’ is the bar-lounge and a third ‘boat’ is the kitchen.

Guests can dine either outdoors on the open-air ‘deck’ of the restaurant under a starry night sky, or inside the boat, which is air conditioned and has glass floors for views of the marine life below. Facing the west, Ba’theli commands perfect sunset views and is reached on foot by an overwater wooden jetty. Ba’theli is open for dinner every night from 7 pm and offers a six-course Maldivian heritage tasting menu as well as an a la carte choice.

The story of ba’theli boats began over 5,000 years ago when the Maldives became a key port of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, ginger, and pepper. The Maldivians bartered coconuts, sun-dried fish, cordage, cowrie shells and sails woven from coconut fiber for spice, rice, ceramics, and silks. Locally-made cargo boats, called ba’theli in the local language, sailed throughout the archipelago with these goods, spreading knowledge about different lands, their customs, and cuisine.

Who Else Wants to Eat in A Boat in the Maldives?

Inspired by this heritage, the story continues on board the restaurant as the team, led by Maldivian chef Ahmed “Seabass” Sivath, creates dishes inspired by local flavors taken from the old maritime spice routes, blending local herbs and spices to enhance natural tastes.

With such a stunning location and design, the restaurant’s food has to live up to the setting so it’s chef Sivath’s responsibility to ensure that the food in Ba’theli is every bit as unique as its architecture. The Ba’theli menu features classic Maldivian dishes such as Garudhiya (a clear soup with tuna), mashuni (a tuna salad with coconut, pumpkin and lime) as well as a selection of regional specialties from around the different atolls such as a beef curry from the north and chicken curry from the far south of the Maldives.

The menu isn’t limited to local ingredients, although many of the dishes originate in the Maldives. It also takes on cooking techniques and flavors from around the Indian Ocean, as does traditional Maldivian cooking. Ingredients from India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia find their way onto the menu, all giving their subtle influence to the dishes. The Ba’theli restaurant concept is part of the Milaidhoo ethos to give guests a very Maldivian holiday with a real sense of island life.

Who Else Wants to Eat in A Boat in the Maldives?

For more information or reservations, visit www.milaidhoo.com.

26
May

Can Culinary Travel Make You Happier? Science Says Yes!

Can Culinary Travel Make You Happier? Science Says Yes!

Can Culinary Travel Make You Happier? Science Says Yes!

We recently featured a post about how more than half of Americans skip out of their vacation days. Why do so many people avoid taking time off? Possibly because they are behind on saving for retirement, and figure that the wise thing to do is to earn as much, and save as much as possible.

When we do spend money, our first thought is usually to purchase possessions. Because they last, we tell ourselves they bring the most value to our lives. As much as you might want to spend money on an epic culinary adventure, a possession is worth more in the end than a fleeting experience, right?

Maybe not. Research actually shows that, in the long run, spending money on experiences has the potential to make us far happier than buying more possessions.

Why? Experiences may be ephemeral, but the memories they create can last forever. You can probably still taste the most delicious foods you’ve eaten on vacations from years past – even though you only tried them once.

Not only that, but over the long term, we tend to look back on only the best in our memories. You won’t necessarily remember that hassle with the luggage check at the airport, but you will remember the incredible fresh-caught seafood you shared with friends at that enchanting Croatian restaurant overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Experiences also have the power to change our lives for the better. Maybe while you are on vacation, you won’t just sample delectable foreign delights, but you’ll also take a cooking class to learn how to make them yourself. At that point, you open the door to a whole lifetime of culinary experiences in your own kitchen.

Check out the infographic from InvestmentZen below to learn more about why spending money on experiences (culinary or otherwise) is always worth it!

Via: InvestmentZen.com

26
May

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Zanzibar is a magical island where the fusion of Arab, African and European cultures has created a unique cuisine, one that is rich in exotic spices, fruits, and seafood. To help you make the most of your time there, we’ve put together a list of the best resort hotels that showcase the island’s culinary treasures exceptionally well.

The Palms Zanzibar

Bwejuu Beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania

The Palms is Zanzibar’s most exclusive private resort with just six villas. The setting is intimate, the service is personalized, and the dining is fine.  Hotel chefs at the Palms have created an exotic menu fusing just caught with fresh picked for a memorable gastronomic experience.

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Photo credit: The Palms

Zanzi Resort

Kama, Tanzania

Nestled on the edge of crystal blue waters and surrounded by the mysteries of an ancient culture, ZanziResort is an island paradise where you will find all the comfort and convenience expected of a world-class luxury destination: personalized service, opulent surroundings, and delectable cuisine.

The restaurant specializes in blending European & African traditions to create a cuisine that’s exotic yet familiar, using the finest fresh local ingredients. Zanzibar is a mecca of succulent fruit, flavorful vegetables, fresh seafood and aromatic spices. Private meal service is available in your villa, poolside, or on the beach upon request. The chef will even design a unique dish just for you!

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Photo credit: Zanzi Resort

Baraza Resort & Spa

Bwejuu Beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania

Baraza Resort and Spa is a 5-star all-inclusive hotel voted as one of the 60 best new hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. With just 30 villas, this stunning fully inclusive resort evokes the heritage of Zanzibar dating back to the era of the Sultans. A fusion of Arabic, Swahili and Indian design, Baraza offers unparalleled standards of luxury on the Island of Zanzibar.

The hotel chef has designed a menu which features the very best produce that the island has to offer. The cuisine is heavily influenced by Arabic, Indian, Persian, Asian and Swahili flavors. Every evening, the restaurant features a different influence that showcases the islands produce and spices.

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Photo credit: Baraza Resort

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa

Paje Beach, Paje, Tanzania

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel located on the pristine sands of Paje beach, on the East coast of Zanzibar. A sanctuary of peace and harmony without compromise, the resort promises an unforgettable barefoot luxury experience.

With its stylish interior and stunning setting overlooking the large central pool, the restaurant serves up a first-class cuisine that blends local Zanzibari-inspired dishes with International accents and flavors. The resort also organizes fishing and spice tour excursions.

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Photo Credit: Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas

Breezes Beach Club & Spa

Bwejuu Beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania

Breezes lies along a pristine beach on the South East coast of Zanzibar island, which is the quietest part of the island. The resort is famous for its attention to detail, beautiful Zanzibari decor, and intimate and private dining.

The Breakers Grill features a tandoori oven and an open grill. Fresh barbecue and catch of the day are served for lunch on the beachfront under the shade of the palm trees. Dinner is served in either a private setting on the beach or at The Sultan’s Table where guests enjoy a fusion of Indian and Swahili spices and the very best seafood in a stunning venue overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar: 5 of the Best Resort Hotels for Foodies

Photo credit: Breezes Beach Club