Text: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen Photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen
South Africa attracts for its safari game reserves, varied landscapes, surfing spots, beautiful Cape Town and the very well-marketed Garden Route. A day in the vineyards of Stellenbosch or Franschhoek is often part of the trip, but the rainbow nation is not necessarily renowned for its gastronomy. However, for the past ten years, the food scene in Cape Town has gone from non-remarkable to exquisite. If there are no restaurants rewarded with Michelin stars in the country, it is simply because the French prestigious guide does not operate on the African continent. Nevertheless, Capetonian restaurants have become used to hitting competing lists of world’s best restaurants such as the Test Kitchen in Woodstock, or La Colombe in Constantia. If it has become quite noticeable, and has also hit the top of these lists, there is still a little gem for the ones in the know… The Chefs Warehouse… Started as one location in the city centre in 2014 by chef Liam Tomlin, and expanded since, the dish-sharing restaurant concept combines delicious food artistically plated in remarkable locations with a fantastic service and a great attention to details.
Text: Marcella van Alphen Photographs: Claire Lessiau and Marcella van Alphen
Belgian gastronomy is too often summed up to beer, chocolate and waffles. There is a lot more to it, and Ghent is the perfect city to explore the wide range of yummy foods and innovative drinks! On top of this, its vibrant student life makes Ghent’s nightlife lively and a forerunner for vegetarian and even vegan fares in Belgium.
Text: Claire Lessiau Photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen
Cinque Terre is so much more than just five instagrammable colourful medieval villages dominating the crystal-clear Ligurian Sea. First of all, it is more like a dozen other tiny villages including the ones that are high up overlooking the five most famous Italian villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore (from North to South). It is also a National Park, including a large marine reserve, and it is an agricultural land where vineyards have been cultivated on narrow terraces supported by dry-stone walls for almost a millennium.
Seated with my back against a century-old dry-stone wall, I am overlooking the small picturesque harbour of Manarola in Cinque Terre where a few fishing boats dance on choppy waves. Colourful houses built on the dark cliff above the turquoise blue Ligurian Sea in Italy set the backdrop. I contemplate the view when Keep travelling!
Greek food is one of the most characteristic gastronomies of the Mediterranean diet. Based on olive oil, nuts, vegetables, and fish, its traditional recipes are not only healthy but also simply delicious – and with the proper teacher, not that hard to prepare. Let’s pierce its secrets in the heart of Athens.Keep cooking!
Walking the picturesque streets of the Medieval city of Strasbourg can get you pretty hungry and thirsty! As the city attracts quite a few tourists you probably would like to skip the tourist traps and soak in some local vibes during your well-deserved break. Look no further and try out these local spots for the an authentic experience. Keep traveling
In this last article of our traditional crafts of Cambodia series, we will introduce you to the most favoured alcoholic drink in Asia: rice wine. As the name implies, the alcoholic beverage is made of Asia’s main cereal: rice.
“Smell like the hell, eat like the heaven”, Mr. Ola tells us with a mesmerizing smile while explaining his mother’s signature recipe for the traditional prahok, a Cambodian fish paste dish. I uncomfortably move from one leg to the other trying to carefully listen to his story but holding my breath at the same time, avoiding the offending foul smell. We are about to discover how the unmissable and key ingredient for many Asian dishes is made on the fish paste market of Battambang, Cambodia. Keep reading
Rice paper is used for making the famous and delicious spring rolls. Due to the high demand of these thin leafs of edible paper, most of its production takes place in factories. In Battambang, a few families still make a living by producing them by hand. Keep reading
Rice noodles are a favourite in many Asian countries. A pho for breakfast or rice noodles as a base for lunch or dinner are common. To serve this high demand, most noodles are produced in factories. However, it is still possible to buy them fresh and hand-made. In Battambang, a few families living in the rice noodle district have been passing on this know-how for many generations.
Sticky rice is paramount to any meal in Lao cuisine, and can be found as well in neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Cambodia. There, it is prepared as a dessert like mango sticky rice, or a sweet snack known as bamboo sticky rice.
“Pupusas are the specialty of El Salvador! We eat pupusas all day. There is even the National Pupusa Day every November where the biggest pupusa was cooked reaching a diameter of 4.5 meters! And if you ever fly from San Salvador, you will see that Salvadorans buy pupusas before the flight to bring them abroad!” With this enthusiastic answer of our Salvadoran friend to our local specialty question, we had to try as many pupusas as possible while traveling through El Salvador! Keep tasting!
It is still dark and Deyanira is already cooking the first tortillas of the day: they are an important part of the daily diet in Central America and must be ready by breakfast. She started by curing corn in limewater to easily peel off the skin of the corn kernels she will later feed her chickens with. By the time I woke up, Keep travelling
The teeth-less Maya man stares at me and laughs. I must look a bit clumsy trying to open the top of the green coconut I have just found, with a huge blunt machete. I did it before so it should work. I keep smashing the metal into the sturdy green coconut shell. The man shakes his head and takes the machete. Keep traveling!
Article updated on May 26, 2020 Text & photos: Claire Lessiau
About 5 centimetres (2 inches) in length, 2 centimetres in width (a bit less than an inch), and roughly the same in heigth for just a few grams and 40 to 50 calories… They do not sound like much but sushi have conquered the world to the extent that many identify them with the whole of Japanese gastronomy (as you know by now if you have checked out our Japan food series, this is far from the truth!). Keep savouring!
Article updated on May 22, 2020 Text & photos: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen
Tsunahachi in Shinjuku has been serving one of the finest tempura (天ぷら) in Tokyo for almost a century. In a country where excellence is the rule, that does mean something! Let’s explore the world of tempura in Japan! Keep savouring!
Article updated on May 15, 2020 Text & photos: Claire Lessiau
Before visiting Japan, we had a hate & hate relationship with ramen (ラーメン) noodles! Associated to cheap student food, their instant version is the best-seller of Japanese convenience stores with 5.7 billion packages of instant ramen noodles sold in 2019 worldwide. Keep savouring!
Article updated on May 11, 2020 Text & photos: Claire Lessiau
Literally, okonomi means “how you like it” and yaki, “fried”, otherwise known as the Japanese savory pancake: a delicious and cheap food served with no frills, around a hot griddle with toppings ranging from meat to vegetables or seafood.
Traveling is all about new experiences, also when it comes to food.
So obviously, when the Korean Air hostess prompted us for our dinner choices, we went for one of the signature Korean dishes: the bibimbap, literally meaning “mixed rice”. Concerned, she warned us to not put too much of the chili pepper paste as Keep travelling!