Page 1

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 ®

South America & beyond Culinary flavours & traditions

Making memories in the mountains: RIDING THE RAILS WITH ROCKY MOUNTAINEER South America’s culinary capital: WE SAMPLE THE BEST OF LIMA’S RESTAURANTS P LU S

TRENDS All-inclusive experiences aren’t what they used to be

AT BON VIVANT TRAVEL WE KNOW THAT MANY TRAVELERS ARE LOOKING FOR ADVENTURES THAT DELIGHT THE PALATE & AWAKEN THE SENSES. Our team of travel professionals specializes in food and wine journeys around the globe. We create unique and authentic experiences that give you an up-close and personal encounter with local traditions, and the foods and wines of any given area. We believe that to truly experience a place you need to taste the food and immerse yourself in the culture. What makes our Bon Vivant Travel professionals unique is their passion to develop distinctive adventures to suit any food and wine enthusiast. Whether your ideal vacation is sailing the high seas with a Master chef or exploring the countryside in search of local artisans, we are here to satiate your appetite. To find a Bon Vivant Travel consultant visit

Count Your Blessings on the Mekong River

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8  





8 Samplers What’s new in the world of food, drink & travel?

24 Rocky Mountaineer Making memories in the mountains

16 Drink of Choice Cupping for coffee connoisseurs BUDDHIST BLESSING, OUDONG, CAMBODIA



Discover the rich culture and intrigue of Vietnam and Cambodia on a 7-night river cruise with AmaWaterways. As you glide along the storied Mekong River aboard the award-winning AmaDara, you’ll gaze at ancient temples, ride aboard a traditional oxcart, touch colorful handwoven silks, peruse the floating markets where exotic fruits like durian and lychee are ripe for the tasting and participate in an unforgettable Buddhist blessing ceremony. The only thing surpassing the extraordinary sights and sounds around you is the unparalleled care and attention of the gracious crew on board AmaDara. Extend your river cruise with fascinating pre- and post-cruise stays for the ultimate Southeast Asia adventure and experience wonders that include Angkor Wat and ethereal Ha Long Bay.

18 Trends New standards in all-inclusive culinary experiences 21 Wines of South America The best of Chile 59 The Roving Chef Afrim Pristine, internationally-renowned maître fromager 63 Tasting Party Plan your own Latin night in 68 Bring it Home Tastes of South America to bring home from your next escape 70 Agenda Follow your nose to these food- and drinkfocused events

For more information, please contact your BonVivant Travel Specialist.

30 Aruba Soul food in the Dutch Caribbean

Lima hosts a range of worldclass restaurants experimenting with new ways to celebrate the national cuisine.

38 Peru Sampling Lima’s culinary stand-outs


46 Argentina Wine encounters in & around Buenos Aires 52 Windstar Savouring the small ship experience



FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    





his summer, the world lost one of its greats with the passing of Anthony Bourdain. His death seemed to impact various communities - especially the travel community, the food community, and the intersections of the two. People were deeply affected by the loss of a man many of us let into our homes, and in turn, were introduced to people and places that don’t often get attention from international travellers, let alone a celebrity chef with an award-winning show on CNN. Bourdain was a storyteller, unapologetic in his approach and mindful of his influence. One of my favourite episodes of “Parts Unknown” is where he takes us to Detroit (Season 2, Episode 8), a city most people may have dismissed as run-down and unappealing. But Bourdain took it upon himself to showcase the complex diversity of its culinary offerings and how it’s evolving despite economic and social challenges. He spent a day with locals at at barbecue street party and dined with chefs who were setting up shop there because of its affordability - a factor that has strongly influenced Detroit’s still-burgeoning food scene. But whether in that episode or any other that preceded or followed it, there were recurring lessons of openness and adventure that I hope we can all carry with us in our own travels. Bourdain reminded the world of food’s importance to a destination’s identity, always eager to listen to the people responsible for preserving and evolving this paramount facet of culture. “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald's?” he once said. “Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?” I choose the latter. Terrilyn Kunopaski Editor


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

PUBLISHER Ensemble Travel® Group


ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jennifer Prendergast EDITOR Terrilyn Kunopaski ART DIRECTOR Gordon Alexander CONTRIBUTORS Lance Berelowitz, Christalee Froese, Megan Honan, Rebecca Field Jager, Nick Keukenmeester, Corrina Allen Kiersons, Brittany O’Rourke, Michele Peterson, Elizabeth Smith, Sarah Treleaven CREATIVE MANAGER Liz Scull MARKETING Franca Iuele – Director of Marketing ADVERTISING Ingrid Lopez – Advertising Co-ordinator


Start/End City

Advertising Sales


North Sea

Post-Extension Pre-Extension




©Ensemble Travel Group. All rights reserved. 2018 Ensemble Travel® Group. Ensemble Bon Vivant®, is a proprietary registered of Ensemble Travel® Group. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. Ensemble® Bon Vivant® is issued three times per year on behalf of Ensemble Travel® Group member agencies. Ensemble Travel Bon Vivant™ 69 Yonge Street, Suite 1403 Toronto, Ontario M5E 1K3 Publication Mail Agreement No. 2648555 Printed in Canada



Rhine River

Your European river cruise explores breathtaking springtime scenery, as well as the amazing diversity of original beer styles in Belgium and the booming beer scene in Holland. From the first “Prost” to the final “Gezondheid,” this cruise delivers one heady experience. Cheers! 8 days | Roundtrip from Amsterdam | $4,508 CAD Departure date: April 1, 2019, cabin Cat A (aboard Avalon Suite ShipSM) Amsterdam (Embarkation) • Rotterdam • Antwerp • Ghent • Middelburg • Veere— Excursion to the Delta Works • Willemstad • Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Culinary Highlights: Rotterdam: Onboard lecture presented by your Beer Expert Antwerp: Brewery visit to learn more about the world famous Belgian beers Ghent: Special brewery visit to find how to brew the local Gruut beer Veere: Onboard food and beer pairing dinner hosted by your Beer Expert Willemstad: Beer & Cheese Tasting on board hosted by your Beer Expert Amsterdam: Guided Canal Cruise followed by a real Dutch beer experience

Featured price is per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy (cab. CAT A), departure date as indicated, and includes all taxes and port charges (value of $238 per person). Flights and travel insurance are additional. 3280 Bloor St. W, Centre Tower, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M8X 2X3. TICO#1893755/50015835 FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    






AmaWaterways’ AmaMagna




olland America Line is building on its collection of immersive culinary-themed FOOD & WINE EXC Tours with the addition of 20 new options throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada & New England. Exploring food, wine and culture in some of the world’s hottest gastronomic locales, the cruise company debuted 23 of these unique shore excursions earlier this year on select cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, developed in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine. During these experiences,


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

guests take hands-on cooking classes with top chefs, go on culinary walking tours, visit wineries, sample authentic street food, explore local hideaways and more. Among the newest options, travellers have the opportunity to visit numerous markets in Asia, wineries in New Zealand and Tasmania, and “toughto-get-a-table” restaurants in Australia. Prefer to stick closer to home? FOOD & WINE EXC Tours are offered in the ports of Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; and Quebec City, Quebec.

New dinner menus were unveiled by Oceania Cruises earlier this year, featuring a spectrum of international flavours as well as an all-new Executive Chef’s Food & Wine Pairing, available every evening and featuring the chef’s selection of exquisite dishes specifically curated for their complementary and contrasting flavours. Each evening in the Grand Dining Room, guests will be treated to more than two dozen dishes to choose from – six appetizers, three soups, four salads, nine main courses and nine side dishes. Every menu incorporates vegetarian dishes along with a Canyon Ranch Balanced Selections (following their mantra for indulgent, yet healthy living). All in all, the menus comprise more than 800 dishes. Three new tasting menus have also been introduced: Global Cuisine, Balanced Selection and Food & Wine Pairing. Ready to indulge?

More than 60 wine cruises are a key part of AmaWaterways’ 2019 Europe, Asia & Africa Extensive Brochure, as the company moves into an exciting year with new ships and new itineraries. These special sailings will feature North American wine hosts, onboard wine tasting and discussions, plus specialty shore excursions to celebrated cellars and wineries. Also in 2019, AmaDouro, AmaMagna and AmaMora will all be added to the European fleet, while the AmaMagna will begin sailing the Danube river in May. Expanding the company’s presence in Portugal, AmaDouro will carry an intimate 102 guests, and has been specially designed to showcase the UNESCOdesignated Douro River Valley, where she will join sister ship AmaVida. AmaMagna will play exclusive host to the line’s Concierge Golf Program, providing guests with the opportunity to golf at five of Europe’s most prestigious courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic while enjoying the magic of river cruising. And, the 156-guest AmaMora will sail the Rhine river. Meanwhile, AmaMagna will boast enhanced dining options when she sets sail, including the Al Fresco Restaurant, Jimmy’s Wine Bar Restaurant and The Chef ’s Table Restaurant.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



DON’T TEMPT ME Princess Cruises has revealed the line’s newly enhanced beverage menus, featuring globallyinspired signature cocktails created by master mixologist Rob Floyd. Destination-specific ingredients have been carefully selected to tantalize guests’ taste buds with flavours from every corner of the world. In addition to the new cocktails, the line has added 20 new high-end and exotic spirits, 39 new wines by the glass, and 17 new international and craft beers to the new menu. Bars and lounges throughout Princess ships will feature new, themed menus, so guests can have fun exploring the different offerings at the various bars onboard. Zero-proof cocktails are also available.

Charting a Delectable New Course for Dining


2 oz. Patrón Silver Tequila ½ oz. lime juice ½ oz. agave syrup ¼ oz. Triple Sec 1 slice of fresh jalapeño plus one more for garnish

A team of world-class celebrity chefs is inspiring exciting new dining experiences on our fleet. Explore delicious onboard restaurant options from the Pan-Asian flavors of Tamarind to luxurious dining at Pinnacle Grill with world-class wine and handcrafted cocktails.

DIRECTIONS: ❱ Gently press 1 slice of jalapeño in cocktail shaker ❱ Add ice and remaining ingredients except

for garnish

❱  Shake and strain all ingredients over fresh ice ❱ Garnish with a fresh slice of jalapeño


Travellers with Air Transat can now purchase dishes from the winter 2018-2019 edition of the Chef’s Menu by Daniel Vézina for flights booked for November 1 onward. They will have a chance to savour the all-new artichoke and spinach lasagna with ricotta or (re)discover the five other dishes as well as the two breakfast options. The winter 2018-


2019 meal options will be served on a complimentary basis as of November 1 to all passengers in Club Class. “I approach every season with the enthusiasm that any new dish we introduce might become a classic people will one day love to rediscover,” explains Daniel Vézina. Economy guests can purchase lunch or dinner for $25 or breakfast for $15.

  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Artichoke and spinach lasagna with ricotta

Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


THERE’S A NEW TOP CHEF IN TOWN Clare Smyth, chef-owner of Core by Clare Smyth in London, now holds the title of elit® Vodka World’s Best Female Chef 2018. The award, now in its eighth year, seeks to shine a spotlight on extraordinary talent and excellence among female chefs. “This accolade is not for me but for all the women working in the hospitality industry around the world,” Smyth said. “I hope to use this platform to encourage and mentor more women to achieve success.” Smyth, who grew up on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, was the first and

only female chef in the UK to hold three Michelin stars, for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, formerly known as Royal Hospital Road, in Chelsea, London. She worked with top British Chef Ramsay for more than 13 years before opening her own modern fine dining restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, in London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood, in 2017. With an emphasis on natural, sustainable food sourced from the UK’s most dedicated farmers and producers, Core is an elegant but informal fine dining restaurant offering sophisticated modern British cuisine.

Chef Clare Smyth




Chef Alejandro Sánchez


Royal Hideaway Playacar in Playa del Carmen is attracting travellers by bringing flavours of Mexican culture even closer to its guests, thanks to the efforts of Chef Alejandro Sánchez. A pioneer in the Riviera Maya for “zero kilometre” cooking, Sánchez has been working to connect diners with the destination through local products, delivered fresh to the kitchen from the hotel’s surrounding area. Some of the dishes made with 100 per cent Mexican ingredients that are already available at the property’s Las Ventanas restaurant include a popular Caribbean dish based on bluefin tuna and another centered around the Mexican Creole hairless pig. This concept is aligned with the existing services available at the hotel, such as cocktail-making classes with a mixologist or weekly tequila-tasting events at Spices Bar so guests may try the different types of local agave spirits.

  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

&Beyond &Beyond Vira Vira Vira, Vira, Chile Chile Introducing a magical, all-inclusive Relais & Châteaux lodge Introducing a heart magical, all-inclusive Relais &Beyond & Châteaux located in the of Chile’s Lake District, Viralodge Vira located in the heart of Chile’s Lake District, &Beyond Vira lies on the banks of the Liucura River, surrounded byVira natural lies on the banks of the Liucura River, surrounded by natural lagoons, flowing rivers, with amazing views of Villarrica Volcano. lagoons, flowing rivers, with amazing views of Villarrica Volcano. Enjoy gourmet farm-to-table meals, prepared using fresh Enjoy gourmet meals, prepared fresh ingredients grownfarm-to-table on-site in the Vira Vira organicusing vegetable ingredients grown on-site in the Vira Vira organic vegetable garden. Work with the hotel’s cheese maker and learn this garden. Work withfurther the hotel’s cheesethe maker learnhotel, this beautiful art and appreciate food and at the beautiful art and further appreciate the food at the hotel, produced from their own land and dairies. produced from their own land and dairies. Take advantage of all the hotel has to offer, activities include horse Take advantage of all the hotel hasone to offer, activities include horse trekking in the Cordilleras, hiking of the surrounding Natural trekking in the Cordilleras, hiking one of the surrounding Natural Parks or taking an exciting flight around Villarrica Volcano by Parks or taking anplane. exciting flight around VillarricatoVolcano by helicopter or small Customize your journey your exact helicopter or small plane. Customize your journey to your exact specifications with Gateways International Tailor-made Tours. specifications with Gateways International Tailor-made Tours.

❱  The Watch That Ends the Night, Dartmouth ❱  Mulberry Bar, Toronto ❱  Little Hong Kong, Edmonton ❱  Nhâu Bar, Montreal ❱  Tocador, Vancouver ❱  Paris Paris, Toronto ❱  Godspeed, Toronto ❱  El Pequeño, Montreal ❱  Nénuphar, Québec ❱  Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery, Calgary

Royal Hideaway Playacar


In the spirit of its popular Canada’s Best New Restaurants, Air Canada has launched its firstever Top 10 list of Canada’s Best New Bars (presented by American Express), shining a spotlight on the country’s best places to grab a pint, sip a pinot and toast a martini. The choices are intended to represent and celebrate diversity in Canadian bar culture, according to the airline. So how did they decide who made the shortlist? Based on recommendations from a panel of bartenders, chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and industry experts, Air Canada sent one writer on an anonymous, month-long, cross-country crawl to track down the nation’s greatest new places to drink. Canada’s Best New Bars are (drumroll please):

Turning Turning travel travel dreams dreams into reality since into reality since 1986. 1986. 13

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    

FRENCH FARM-TO-TABLE A new culinary experience has been added to Insight Vacations’ Mediterranean Journey and European Grandeur itineraries, offering guests the chance to savour farm-to-table delights paired with local wines in Bordeaux. Journey from Ambroise, enjoying a scenic drive along the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and end in the famous wine region. A unique dinner at Chez Thérèse will allow travellers to fully immerse themselves in traditional French home-style cuisine. With produce and wine thoughtfully selected from the region’s farmers and growers, the new farm-to-table dining experience engages guests’ senses and highlights the full ambiance of the land, people and history.



Discover more than 300 exciting destinations with us. In Asia, trek the Great Wall of China and behold the Taj Mahal. In South America, meet the penguins who live where Atlantic and Pacific converge. In the Land Down Under, snorkel the vibrant Great Barrier Reef. All along the way, you’ll relax in stunning staterooms and suites, dine in distintive restaurants with menus crafted by our Michelin-starred chef, and indulge in superlative service.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

©2018 Celebrity Cruises. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador. 18063866 • 8/2018

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    




The newest trend for coffee connoisseurs BY NICK KEUKENMEESTER


f you consider coffee to be one of the five major food groups, you’re not alone. But recently, you may notice this feel-good beverage being regarded for more than its pick-me-up magic. In fact, much like oenophiles with wine, connoisseurs are taking time to evaluate the notes and origins of coffee for the sake of understanding it better, and as such, appreciating it. The trend? It’s called “cupping” – the science and art of tasting coffee.


Ritual Coffee cupping sessions

Great coffee gets better as it cools so you want to give it a little time before tasting. Although you are steeping at 96 degrees, the ideal tasting temperature is 44 degrees. Firstly, cooler coffee that has been steeped longer will be more expressive. Secondly, you don’t want to ruin your palate by burning your mouth.

lightest. These roasts show a fresh and grassy character and emphasize the bean’s original taste. The darkest is the Italian Roast, which is like a well done steak. It offers burnt notes and greatly reduced acidity. The roast dominates the coffee at this level. New England and the Medium City roast tend to be preferred by baristas to show the coffee’s character. Quality:

What do you like? HOW?


It is done at plantations and by brokers to determine quality. It is done by baristas to work out the best way to present coffees and which ones to buy. It is done by you for fun and to work out what you like best. These are some of the differences you will be assessing: Origin:

The origin of the bean has a big effect on the flavour of the final coffee. For example:


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

❱  Tanzania: Fruity and sweet

❱  Ethiopia: Lemony and grassy

❱  Costa Rica: Full-bodied and fruity ❱  Colombia: Spicy and high in acid


Roasting the beans changes the character. The degree of roast refers to the internal temperature the bean achieves during the process. Roasting degrees vary from Light to Dark, with Cinnamon and New England being the two

The act of cupping might feel a little like a middle school science experiment. If you have examples of the pre-roasted beans in front of you, give them a smell to ensure there are no unpleasant or ‘off’ aromas. Then, do the same with the roasted beans. A third aroma assessment is made once the beans are grounded. Take equal portions of each of the beans you wish to assess (two heaped teaspoons is great) and put them in cups of equivalent size. Seven ounces is normal. Fill the cups to the rim with water just below boiling point – about 96 degrees Celsius. After four minutes, a crust will develop on the top of the coffee. Carefully skim this off with two spoons by pulling the crust towards you over the lip of the cup. Try to capture the grounds in the spoons and be sure to rinse the spoons between each cup to ensure you don’t cross-contaminate the coffees. Now, it is time for another aroma test. You will want to do this a few times to see how the coffee evolves in the cup.

Take a clean spoon and sample each coffee. When tasting, make loud slurping sounds. This is for two reasons: Firstly, it aerates and aspirates the coffee for the maximum flavour experience and allows you to pick up on some subtle differences and characteristics. Secondly, and just as importantly, it makes you sound like you know what you are doing. WHERE?

Take the “Coffee Lover’s Tour” at Café Britt, a coffee plantation in Heredia, Costa Rica. This specific tour incorporates a hands-on cupping session with a tour of the plantation and roasters. Here, you will also find out what the words ‘fair trade,’ ‘sustainable’ and ‘organic’ mean at the plantation and how they affect flavour. Not surprisingly, San Francisco is a coffee mecca. Ritual Coffee has taken roasting to an art form. There, they offer regular cupping sessions to demystify and mythologize coffee at the same time. They started out in 2005 on Valencia Street in Mission, but now they have half a dozen locations, all with regular cupping sessions. Heading to Sydney? Try Roastville in Marrickville, where regular cupping classes take place on Sundays and are open to anyone – but book ahead because spaces are limited. Other coffee-related workshops are available here, too, so check out the schedule or just drop in for a cup.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Resorts chart a new course for all-inclusive dining




The post-vacation, overdid-it-at-the-buffet diet is no fun. But like with every other aspect of our lives (see: that mindfulness app on your smartphone), wellness is making major headway into the world of travel and resort stays. Without sacrificing flavour, resorts are reserving room on the buffet for gluten-free options, vegan dishes, vegetables-as-mains, and pickled and fermented produce. Destinations like St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain have their own organic farm supplying their hotel kitchens. Guests can tour the farm-to-table operation to see exactly where all that fresh, delicious food comes from (be sure to check out their gorgeous orchid house while you’re there!). And at Barcelo’s Royal Hideaway resort, buffet dining now means poke bowls, ginger smoothies, and fresh honeycomb with which to sweeten your yogurt and chia seeds. For those just dipping a toe into the world of healthy eating, there’s also an on-site nutritionist to help plan a new eating routine.

HE TYPICAL RESORT ESCAPE USED TO BE ABOUT sun, sand and a pool or two — preferably one with a bar you could swim right up to for the perfect frozen piña colada. Traditionally, these vacation destinations weren’t typically known for their fine dining options. But now, not only are they upgrading the all-inclusive elements that guests know and love, they’re also making entirely new unexpected experiences a part of the package, especially when it comes to what’s on your plate and how it gets there. In terms of quality, sustainability, variety, authenticity and (most importantly) taste, resorts are stepping up their food and beverage game in a big way. EAT LIKE A WELL-FED LOCAL: SERVING UP REGIONAL SPECIALTIES

This approach thinks outside the “international buffet serving up everything from pork chops to pancakes” box and instead highlights the dishes and ingredients your destination is known for – think: chile rellenos in Mexico, kweyol kebabs in St. Lucia, or the tuna dishes eaten for centuries by local Andalusians in Spain. Good food is one of the highlights of any trip (“Parts Unknown” host Anthony Bourdain built an entire career around that fact) and while we love a cold beer and plate of fries by the pool as much as anyone, seasonal cooking and local specialties are one of the reasons we travel – new flavours are all part of the adventure. At Barcelo’s Royal Hideaway Sancti Petri, Bluefin tuna is sourced from local Cadiz fishermen who catch them along their yearly migration path through the Strait of Gibraltar. The resort serves it with mushroom and sea nettles for an authentic taste of the Mediterranean. Similarly, at Grand Velas’ Los Cabos property, the local catch of the day is served up poolside in a traditional Mexican ceviche.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


This trend is all about sharing the love: come dinner time, hotels team up to host guests from sister properties nearby, giving travellers a change of scenery and the experience of a fun night out on the town (where ‘the town’ equals yet another gorgeous stretch of sand a short jaunt down the beach). It also provides partnering properties with the opportunity to show off a unique dining venue, a famed or Michelin starred chef, or a special feature highlighting a particular resort’s strength (like Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya’s amazing and perfect-for-a-craft-beer-festival patio). AMResorts’ Heart of Mexico Food and Wine Festival gives guests access to gourmet meals at four hotels along the Mayan Riviera, each with its own unique brand of evening entertainment ranging from luxury fashion shows to high-end mezcal tastings to the aforementioned craft beer-sipping celebration.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Resorts are making it easier to get to know the place you’re visiting through mini off-site adventures that take travellers out into the world surrounding the resort bubble. Bananas, coconuts, avocados and citrus fruits are all grown in St. Lucia. More importantly? So are cocoa beans, that key ingredient in the universe’s most perfect food: chocolate. Jade Mountain resort’s chocolate lab offers visits to cocoa-growing estates, truffle-making classes and, for those looking for a truly (and literally) immersive experience, chocolate body treatments in the resort’s spa. Many more resorts have begun to offer cooking classes and wine or tequila-tasting events that allow guests to learn an impressive skill to take home and share with friends as a newly minted expert – way more useful than that ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’-emblazoned neon tank top or plastic yard-high margarita glass you were going to cram into that spot in your suitcase reserved for souvenirs, right? CT


The wines of Chile

Historic wines pushing the boundaries BY BRITTANY O’ROURKE


UCKED BETWEEN THE PACIFIC Ocean and the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches for nearly 4,300 kilometres up the coast of South America with more than 1,287 of these kilometres covered in vineyards. Spanish Missionaries introduced vinis vinifera to the country over 500 years ago, and Chile quickly revealed itself as an enviable home for any vigneron. The warm summers in the valleys are dry and dependable, with the ocean and mountains protecting on either side. It is no wonder that with the ease of grape growing, Chile quickly became a name for value, full bodied wines. In the past decade, though, there has been a resurgence of exciting new winemakers, grapes and styles that have returned to the country’s wine heritage; instead of a singular focus on recreating Bordeaux wines in Chile, grapes such as Pais and styles like Pipeño have reemerged. Winemakers and grape growers alike are turning back to their terroir to find a Chilean winemaking culture that is purely their own. Here are some of the key grapes that play a part in this transition, and some of the wines in Canadian retailers and restaurants that will show the renewed diversity of Chilean wine:


The famous French grape continues to make up one third of Chile’s wine production and deliver the intensity and concentration Cabernet lovers crave. In the changing Chilean landscape, look out for unexpected blending partners such as Carignan, Carménère, or Syrah as the Bordeaux blend is reinvented. CARMÉNÈRE:

An old Bordeaux grape that was at one time heralded as the champion of Chilean wine similar to Malbec in Argentina, Carménère continues to make a statement as vignerons continue to diversify. It was originally known for very green and vegetal aromas paired with juicy fruit, soft tannins, and an almost magenta hue. Now, as committed winemakers move their plantings to more preferred single vineyard sites closer to the mountains, top Carménère shows an elegance and freshness similar to Cabernet Franc in the Loire Valley. PAIS:

Although Pais is one of the least recognized grapes in the international market, it is the variety with the longest history in Chile. Brought by Spanish missionaries from Tenerife in the Canary Islands, many remaining Pais vines remain untouched in vineyards with more than 100 years of age. The reembracing of this grape hints at Chile’s transition from a singular focus on high octane full bodied wines, and suggests a turning of attention to fresher styles.

Jade Mountain


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


TASTES OF CHILE AT HOME Looking to try these varieties but without plans to visit Chile anytime soon? Watch out for these options at your local wine retailer.

CREMASCHI FURLOTTI SINGLE VINEYARD CARMÉNÈRE 2015 When a Carménère like this one is poured into your glass, it is easy to see why this was Chile’s flagship grape not too long ago. Sourced from a sustainable vineyard in the valley of Loncomilla in the heart of Maule, the characteristic herbal tones of the grape at first smells reminiscent of a ripe vintage Chinon. After a taste, the drinker is rewarded with silky dark cherry that unfurls into warm spices, leather, and dark chocolate. The tannins are seductive, but with a firmness that will stand up to a herb encrusted lamb or a variety of grilled meats.

J. BOUCHON BLOCK SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 The lovers of intensity should look no further. This blend of two small vineyard sites has a density of black currant and blackberry jam surrounded by vanilla and a dash of freshly roasted coffee. The flavours crave grilled flank steak and barbecue. J. Bouchon is a fourth generation winemaking family that turns back to the soil and terroir in their Block Series, and has been working closely with geologist Pedro Parra in their newer projects.

GARAGE WINE CO. PAIS 2017 Garage Wine Co. was born out of a small group of ‘garagiste’ winemakers, but has evolved into a trailblazing name in the new Chilean wine revolution. While they find rampant success in their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Pais has recently become a key player in their winemaking as they return to the “old becomes new again” grape. This wine has been likened again and again to a cru Beaujolais, and it is easy to see why. A freshness sings through the juicy red fruits and high tones of cherry candies and purple flowers. A wine that offers immediate pleasure and endless versatility.

PEDRO PARRA Y FAMILIA PENCOPOLITANO 2016 Pedro Parra made a name for himself as the wine world’s leading expert on vineyard soils far before he started making wines himself. Now he makes a triumphant argument for Chilean terroir in this field blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Pais. Ripe blueberry and blackberry sing with a salty mineral tone and a fresh herbal character that is distinctly Chilean. Pencopolitano is a juicy, concentrated, and joyous wine that seems to quickly disappear from the bottle. It is happily paired with duck – if you can make it last until dinner!


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

LOUIS-ANTOINE LUYT PIPEÑO BLANCO 2017 Luyt is a French wine maker originally coming from Burgundy, and now making a splash for some of Chile’s most unique new wave wines. With his Pipeño line, Luyt returns to a traditional method of making rustic, easy drinking blends that are Chile’s answer to vin de soif. Pipeño Blanco is primarily Muscat of Alexandra, with smaller amounts of rarer grapes Semillon and Chasselas. Don’t be frightened by the slight cidery funk and the orange hue! You’ll be rewarded by crushed blossoms, tropical citrus, and a creamy rich texture that helps it pair with seafood and Asian dishes with a bit of spice. Good thing it comes in an extra-large bottle!

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Making memories


You never know what you'll see or who you'll meet while travelling onboard Canada's Rocky Mountaineer, but you can bet that whatever fate or Mother Nature has in store, the journey will be nothing short of magnificient. BY CHRISTALEE FROESE


Y BRAND-NEW BRITISH FRIEND AND I are ecstatic to finally be dining together. After two activity-packed days travelling as a merry group of 14 journalists in and around Vancouver, B.C., Stuart and I have managed to steal away on our own. With peace in our bones and serenity rising up around us, we're deservedly relaxing aboard the Rocky Mountaineer luxury passenger train. Our travel-weary minds have begun to melt into the heated leather seats as we sip our all-aboard mimosas and spread butter on our warm scones. Our lunch call finds us descending through the sundrenched spiral stairwell to the track-level dining car together. “Let’s do it,” we excitedly agree, taking the first windowside booth and launching ourselves into the locally-inspired menu. As we drool over roasted salmon with smoked sea salt and seared albacore tuna, we unknowingly are one with the stunning B.C. backdrop that is sailing poetically past us just outside our dining-car window. We agree that I'll order the salmon, while he’ll go for the braised short rib, and we’ll swap half way through. That's when Daryl and Linda, an older couple from Montana, spot the two open seats across from us. We welcome them into our sacred space and begin peppering them with questions about their lives. After all, as journalists, it is what we do best. And as extreme train enthusiasts and frequent rail riders, the kind American couple who hail from Billings, Montana, is pleased to indulge us.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Rocky Mountaineer in Morant's Curve.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Clockwise: Rocky Mountaineer's beef short ribs, Service with a smile, Bear spotting

I giggle at his naiveté. Yes, the Rocky Mountaineer has already provided us with glorious glimpses of a seal bobbing in the Fraser River, a nesting osprey perched right above our glassdomed train car and two mountain sheep peeking down at us from the top of a jagged cliff. But to see a bear as we sail through Canada’s Rocky Mountains is asking too much. That’s when a fellow British journalist begins wailing, “Bahr, bahr!" All passengers on the upper deck of the sunlit train grab their cameras and thank their lucky stars for being in the windowed dome of the GoldLeaf Service car. However, it’s a false alarm. Our colleague has spotted a tree stump, not an elusive Rocky Mountain bear. As I sink soothingly back into my temperaturecontrolled seat and gaze up at a cloud-dotted blue sky, I don’t feel too badly for this gaggle of international writers. At least they have Banff’s aqua-blue rivers, snow-encrusted mountains and glorious spruce forests to photograph today. But I do wish a bear would show up for Stuart – he deserves one.

Rocky Mountaineer

The magic begins to unfold the minute they share that they are riding the rails in the decadent GoldLeaf Service section of the Rocky Mountaineer in celebration of their fiftieth anniversary. Turns out they were married on the very same day as Elvis and Priscilla Presley. While this fact alone makes for miles of conversation, the heart of their story pours out as we drink local wines and cap off our meal with a fudge-slathered brownie that is so big and decadent, all four of us share it. Daryl served in the Vietnam war with the U.S. Army. And furthermore, he flew the fuel aircraft for bombers who depended on his supply to complete their dangerous missions. He filled fighter planes mid-air with his tanker airplane and away they went. Daryl loves to fly. But even more than that, he loves trains. Linda loves trains, too. So, Daryl and Linda find themselves on trains many times every year – or as they say, “every chance they get.” They’ve been on U.S. trains, European trains, regular passenger trains and luxury trains like this and they say that if they are feeling particularly bored, they will just hop on a train (let’s say Canada’s VIA Rail network). They might get on at a nearby post in Saskatchewan or Alberta and then travel to the end of the line – for example, to Canada’s east or west coast. And then, they will just get right back on the train and travel the opposite way along the same route from which they came – all for the sake of an adventure on the tracks. They get a sleeper car and they are not so much concerned about getting off during their one- and two-week trips, but rather, they stay on the train the whole time. The Rocky Mountaineer experience is a special treat to themselves – riding the most luxurious train in Canada to mark their milestone anniversary. As we spot a cargo train travelling in the opposite direction across the mighty Fraser River, Daryl spontaneously says, “It’s carrying grain.” He knows this stuff. And then he tells us how many cars long the train is likely to be based on the engine. When he sees that it’s longer than he expected, he tells us to watch for a second and third engine to be placed in the middle of the 200 or so cars. Sure enough, there it is. He talks about speeds, weights and configurations of the train as if he is its engineer. Then we pass another train, and the litany of information continues to roll out. Linda knows a lot, too. She hates to fly, so she happily accompanies Daryl on any and every train he wishes to ride (and there have been a lot in their 50 years together). As Stuart and I get up from our meal, we wink at each other and agree that Daryl and Linda just might have been the highlight of our day, or even the high point of our entire trip. Stuart is pretty fantastic too, regaling me with stories of his many travels around the world from Abu Dhabi to Beijing. His specialty is photojournalism so what he’d really like to get on this trip is a nice shot of a classic Canadian bear.

Fraser Canyon, BC

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Left to right: Chipmunk near Banff, Banff Town


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

the ivories of his baby-grand in the background. This pampered send-off was complete with an army of Rocky Mountaineer staff waving and a bagpiper playing as we pulled out of the Vancouver station. Our journey over the Fraser River, through B.C.’s interior and onto our first overnight stop of Kamloops was highlighted by sweeping scenes of forested beauty and by decadent meals of salmon benedict, Asian prawns and beef short ribs. The quaint city of Kamloops opens its arms as we are set free to explore the shores of the Thompson River, overnight at the Sandman Signature Hotel and ready ourselves for an early morning train departure to Banff. On this day, as we travel through Craigellachie, the site where the ceremonial last spike was driven into Canada’s first transcontinental railroad on Nov. 7, 1885, we settle into the natural surroundings without having to move a muscle. The Purcell and Rocky Mountains begin to rise as we journey through Mt. Revelstoke National Park, over Rogers Pass and through Glacier National Park onto Golden, B.C. Crossing over the border into Alberta, we make our way rhythmically and smoothly into Banff, knowing when we exit the train that we are bidding farewell to our faithful servers. In just 48 hours, they became a little like family as Adam greeted me daily with my usual orange juice, and kept my mid-morning Bailey’s fresh and my afternoon wine and cheese coming throughout the trip. However, Banff presents equally majestic sights and gastronomical delights. As we depart for the Calgary airport, Stuart and I embrace, swapping e-mails and cards. We’ll probably never see each other again, but that doesn't matter because we'll always have our memories – memories of delicious salmon, Daryl and Linda, and the grizzly bear – that we made aboard the decadent Rocky Mountaineer passenger train. CT •

Settle in and prepare to be amazed as you carve your way through the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies onboard Rocky Mountaineer. Complemented by exquisite cuisine, impeccable service, and iconic destinations—a journey through the Canadian Rocky Mountains by rail, is quite simply unforgettable.

Rocky Mountaineer

That’s when the train’s conductor interrupts my glass of champagne and my sun-drenched thoughts with an excited announcement. “Bear on the left, bear on the left!" I glance sideways, expecting to see another stump. But this time, it’s a real-life bear…and it’s a grizzly. A big one. I immediately look at Stuart’s seat. It’s empty. My only hope now is that he has his feet firmly planted on the outside vestibule where passengers can go when they want to feel the wind rushing through their hair and inhale the sublime scent of a pine forest. I scramble for my own camera and take several shots of the stunning bear that stands still and gazes at us as if he is an animal actor playing a part in our Rocky Mountain adventure movie. As the glorious mammal fades into the distance, I see Stuart and his crazy wind-swept hairstyle climbing the stairs. He has it. He has the shot. He has a beautiful photo of the great Canadian grizzly. We giggle and we high-five and we congratulate. The train continues to carry us through Alberta’s natural wonders, placing us directly in the middle of forests, directly over rivers, right through mountains via tunnel and smack-dab in the middle of the home of elk, eagles, osprey, mountain goats…and grizzlies. This journey through B.C.’s interior and into Alberta’s national parks began in Vancouver two days earlier. We have witnessed so much in that short time, and eaten so many glorious dishes that we hardly remember overnighting at Vancouver’s Fairmont Hotel before our bags were fetched and transported to the Rocky Mountaineer station and we were greeted with a five-star train-boarding that foreshadowed what was to come. We can barely recall being met by navy-vested waiters offering orange juice and coffee as a pianist tickled

A journey onboard Rocky Mountaineer is just as much about the culinary adventure as it is about the stunning scenery and award-winning service. Before each season, Rocky Mountaineer’s talented Executive Chefs reimagine a menu inspired by the passing regions, highlighting ingredients such as Pacific salmon and prime Alberta beef. The culinary experience onboard is complete with prized BC wines and local Canadian beers. Relax in luxury and indulge in delectable cuisine while taking in the awe-inspiring views that unfold beyond your sparkling glass-dome window.


FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


ARUBA’S SOUL FOOD Savour the flavour of this eclectic island in the Dutch Caribbean BY MICHELE PETERSON

Eagle Beach


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



HERE’S NOTHING QUITE like dining with your feet in the ocean,” I say to my dinner companions as we dangle our toes in the warm Caribbean waters lapping beneath our table. Just then, a local fisherman casts his line from a nearby rock and hauls a fish the size of a surfboard out of the water. It thrashes its way off the line and, with a few tail flips, escapes in a flash of silver. Suddenly, I’m not so sure about the wisdom of keeping any body parts in the water. Eating locally doesn’t get more local than this. We’re at Flying Fishbone, a fine-dining restaurant set on the waterfront in Savaneta, Aruba’s oldest town. The village served as the island’s capital when the Dutch resettled here in 1816, and there’s no better place to kick off an odyssey into Aruba’s cuisine. Not only is Aruba home to a bounty of local ingredients, its mix of inventive chefs and rich cultural heritage make it especially appealing for food fans.



  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Top to bottom: Dinner at the Flying Fishbone, Dutch architecture

Aruba Tourism Authority/Barbara Kraft

While Aruba’s cuisine includes an eclectic mix drawn from the historical legacy of immigrants who have settled on the island since the 17th century – more than 90 nationalities to date – its main cultural influences are Dutch and Latin American. Arubans easily switch between many different cultures as most natives speak four languages fluently without missing a beat: Dutch, Papiamento (the unofficial national language that’s a Creole mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, African, Indigenous Arawak and French), English and Spanish. The cuisine often reflects this fluid fusion of cross-influences. “Our lives are very much connected to the seasons, land and sea,” explains Maureen ‘Mauchi’ Laaf Ras, a local farmer who forages for wild sea parsley to make specialty smoothies to sell at Mauchie Smoothies and Juice Bar in Savaneta. The smoothies, along with fresh-squeezed juices, feature ingredients from her cunucu (farm house). These traditional homes dotted throughout Aruba’s countryside feature gardens filled with a profusion of vegetables such as the Madam Jeanette hot pepper, a key ingredient in the staple hot sauce found on every local table. To learn more, I head to one of the island’s most iconic dining institutions: Papiamento Restaurant. Located within an Aruban cunucu dating to 1886, it’s owned by the Ellis family. The house is filled with antiques, but most guests opt for dining alfresco by the night-lit pool surrounded by a lush tropical garden. The cuisine

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


features ingredients such as papaya, okra and cactus fruit grown nearby. An atmospheric wine cellar located within a converted cheese factory made of stone, keeps Papiamento’s 1,800 vintages of international wine cool. Among the must-try dishes is keshi yena, a gooey casserole of raisins, ground meats, cashews, spices and melted Edam cheese that was originally an economical way for frugal households to use up the rind of a round of cheese. Later, as I dine on local rock lobster cooked on sizzling hot stones, bright stars rise in the indigo sky – it’s easy to imagine life in Aruba before modern-day tourism. RICH FISHING TRADITION

More fish awaits at Benchi Fish Stand in Savaneta where owner Benchi, a fisherman with a face weathered by Aruba’s sun and wind, plays guitar while waiting for patrons. A hand-written sign shows jampow, pikuda and robeki fish as the day’s catch. Many of the fish are on the menu at Zeerovers, a casual eatery on the fishing collective’s pier. The menu is in both Papiamento and English, and fish is ordered by the piece or by weight. Sides include tartar sauce, fried plantain or pan bati, a sweet corn bread. I order an extra side of siboyo de vinager, the local deliciously addicting marinated red onion salsa. We take a seat at a dockside picnic table and dig in. It’s my first taste of wahoo, a big game fish related to the king mackerel. Flash deep-fried with a moist flaky interior, it’s got a sweet, slightly buttery flavour that pairs perfectly with the tangy siboyo. I wash it down with a local chilled Balashi beer, one of the world’s few beers made with desalinated seawater. Seafood is also a highlight at my next stop, Gilligan’s Seafood Shack at the Hilton Aruba Resort & Casino where Executive Chef Matt Boland takes casual fare and ramps up the decadence of the ingredients, giving each dish an upscale feel. We tuck into the Millionaire’s Lobster Roll, a toasted brioche filled with chunks of sweet lobster meat topped with crispy onion rings, and Miss Molly’s Coconut Shrimp dipped in sweet mango sauce, then rinse off in the warm waters of Palm Beach. Nirvana.

Aruba Tourism Authority/Barbara Kraft


Aruba was a former Dutch colony until it gained “Status Aparte” in 1986, so Dutch food, including an intense love for Indonesian cuisine (think chicken satay and peanut sauce), is well entrenched into the culinary cornucopia. One of the most beloved Dutch traditions awaits the next morning at Linda’s, a casual eatery where breakfast is guaranteed to be the highlight of your day. Pannenkoeken are larger and thinner than their North American counterparts and here they come in sweet or savoury versions. My companion and I order one of each to enjoy the best of both worlds. They arrive in a spectacular fashion. Mine is topped with mango,

Top to bottom: Pannenkoeken, Charlie’s Bar

papaya and pineapple dusted with icing sugar while my companion’s crispy bacon and apple is a winning salty-sweet combination. Fueled by strong Dutch pressed coffee, we head to San Nicolas on the southern shores of the island to check out the once-booming oil refinery town. It’s impossible to miss the refinery. It operated until 1985 and still stands, an imposing structure that symbolizes a bygone era of prosperity. Most of those workers hung out at Charlie’s Bar, a 77-year-old continuously running institution now helmed by the third “Charlie,” grandson of the original owner. It still draws the crowds for its surprisingly upscale lunches of fresh shrimp, potent Boozer colada cocktails and quirky décor. San Nicolas itself is going through a cultural renaissance, largely due to the new Art Walk, a cool collection of street murals, 3D installations and tromp-d’oeil works adorning the alleys and buildings in bright, bold colours – all left behind each year by the international artists who participate in the annual San Nicolas Art Fair, now in its third year.

Clockwise: Yachts at the Pier in Oranjestad, fine dining at Quinta Del Carmen, Gilligans seafood shack


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Travel insurance just got easier.

Tierra de Sol golf course


Inventive upscale cuisine is also a highlight of a visit to Aruba. From home cooks to celebrity chefs, a fresh crop of culinary ambassadors in Aruba is shaping a food scene that’s both diverse and fascinating. One such creator is award-winning local Aruban Chef Urvin Croes, who almost single-handedly introduced molecular gastronomy to the island. Top experiences at his White Modern Cuisine restaurant cresting the Tierra de Sol golf course include the multi-sensory Chef’s Tasting Menu of three or five courses paired with wine. Highlights of our dining experience include the yakitori tuna with ginger mayo and scallops creole with a sweet-smooth pumpkin crème. Sometimes going back in time rather than looking to the future inspires a chef. Such was the case with restauranteur Luc Beerpoot when he opened Quinta del Carmen in a gorgeously restored 100-year-old colonial mansion. Along with Chef Dennis Hoekstra, they recreate the taste of his Netherlands’ childhood with a collection of “Grandma’s Favourites” featuring homestyle Dutch dishes like “Sucade Laapen” a hearty rich beef stew in red wine, or “Stroopwaffle Parfait,” the famous Dutch waffle treat served with ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert.

We wrap up our Aruba food journey with a memorable dinner at Amuse Sunset Restaurant near the Queen Beatrix airport. We opt for the chef ’s surprise menu of French classics and Aruban dishes paired with wine. Our tables draped in twinkling lights are perched so near the water there’s a feeding frenzy of fish when a morsel of food accidently drops into the sea. Although dining in Aruba is always an adventure, noting the huge dark shapes darting in the illuminated waters below, I’m grateful to have my feet out of the water tonight. CT •

The Premium Protection Plan® offers:

SAVOUR THE EXPERIENCE ❱  Grab your maracas for a road trip on Kukoo Kunuku’s Wine on Down the Road tapas tour, hosted by a sommelier on an open-air party bus, featuring a revolving selection of four leading restaurants. ❱  Head to Super Food, the mega supermarket near Eagle Beach to stock up on treats for a Dutch-themed picnic. Foodie finds include Old Amsterdam cheese, crackers, ready-made herring salad and stroopwaffles. Enjoy at one of the remote beaches like Boca Grandi. ❱  Get a photo-op while dining in bed at Screaming Eagle where your sumptuous meal of fresh fish or pork belly prepared by award-winning Chef Erwin Husken is served while you lounge on a Bali bed behind gauzy curtains.

Aruba Tourism Authority/ATA Events

Along the walk, the food of choice is O’Niel Caribbean Kitchen, a family-style restaurant with Jamaican flavour in jerk chicken wings or Stamp and Go, saltfish fritters dipped in sticky sweet chili sauce, or balchi pisca, traditional Aruban fish balls.

• • • • •

Great value Up to $10,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance All-inclusive coverage, featuring the Cancel For Any Reason benefit Assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Fewer exclusions and no medical questionnaire

* Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. See policy for details.

Underwritten by

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) and First North American Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife. Manulife, the Block Design and Manulife Premium Protection Plan are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under licence. © 2018 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Manulife, P.O. Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 4B8. 36 

  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

180318 (10/2018)

Sampling the stars of

South America’s culinary capital BY ELIZABETH SMITH


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Unique presentation techniques



  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

ONG CONSIDERED A GRIM stopover on the way to mystic Machu Picchu or the wild and winding Amazon Jungle, Lima is experiencing a gastronomic revolution that gives visitors a reason to stay. It’s with a muddled mix of excitement and guilt that I order a cab to Central, the celebrated eatery from Michelin-starred Chef Virgilio Martinez. I have been dreaming about his elaborate, elevationthemed tasting menu for months and was shocked when I had actually yielded a six-person lunch reservation. The only problem? Due to flight complications, half the group hasn’t made it to Lima in time. Three of my travel mates are stuck in D.C. as the rest of us weave our way through the tree-lined avenues of Miraflores. Tucked among gated apartment buildings and corporate offices on a nondescript side street, a small plaque in the sidewalk assures us we’re in the right place as a helpful staff member ushers us inside. I awkwardly approach the hostess to explain our predicament. Her understanding nod puts me at ease. “You should invite someone else,” she says with a giggle, reminding us how coveted our spots are. As luck

would have it, there were already three people sitting on the lobby couch hoping to secure a “stand-by” table, so I suggest that they join us. A bubbly young woman from Guadalajara, Mexico jumps from her seat, unwilling to miss what we’ll later learn was her second time eating Martinez’s incredible fare. The two men at her side follow her lead, and the six of us head into the airy dining room, past the open kitchen, and up the stairs to our speckled stone table. It turns out our lunch companions are all in Lima on business. The woman is an accountant on the international desk in Ernst and Young New York and the man she is with is a Managing Partner in the Mexico City office. The other man is a Brazilian banker visiting from Rio to close a deal. We let them take the lead on wine choices as the courses start coming. Rocks, sticks, muña mint and unidentifiable algae dust adorn almost every dish alongside the quinoa, corn, potatoes, sea urchin, squid, tree tomatoes, alpaca and palm fruit delicacies. The idea is that we forage for our food like Peru’s Indigenous peoples once did. At several points, the waiter explains which items are edible and which are decoration. Sometimes, as with a sweet potato leaf, we must decide how daring to be. It’s a refreshing experience that pushes the boundaries of what most consider fine dining.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


Courtesy of Cala Restaurante

Ocean view at Cala

We keep menus at the tables, but so few words are recognizable that our meal remains a guessing game. As it turns out, this isn’t the fault of my admittedly naive palette. Martinez serves ingredients that other chefs haven't even heard of. He and his sister, Malena, scoured Peru’s diverse ecosystems and met producers from every part of the country before designing his menu. By the time the seventeenth course arrives, I’ve travelled from the Pacific coast up the Andes, through the desert and along the Amazon – all with three new friends in tow. One of them is so grateful that he pays the whole bill before rushing back to the office for an afternoon meeting. My body is desperate for rest by the time we head out the door, but the sun is still very much up. Our new friends suggest we make our way somewhere with pisco sours and beach views, so we head to Cala, a swanky seaside restobar. It starts to drizzle but we appreciate views of the rocky coastline from the downstairs lounge while sipping our tart, surprisingly smooth tipples. When it’s time for something more fast-paced, we make our way to the trendy Barranco arts district. There, inside a beautifullyrestored colonial mansion, lies Ayahuasca. Despite the bar’s name, we don’t experiment with any mind-altering medicine. We do, however, order another Peruvian treat alongside our Curanderos made from pisco, coca leaves

Beef tongue with caramelized arracacha

and star fruit. Before I know it, I’m soaking up the bohemian vibes in one of the city’s coolest watering holes while chomping on a skewer speared with anticuchos, otherwise known as cows’ hearts. (I can still feel the rich, chewy consistency if I think too hard.) After a few hours, we decide it’s time to bid our new friends adieu, er, adios. Laying in bed, I feel like I’ve peaked even though I have yet to step foot on the Inca Trail. Ten years ago, no one would have expected such a story out of Lima. For travellers, the city was a somber stopover en route to the magic of Machu Picchu or the exotic allure of the Amazon. Civil war plagued Peru until the turn of the century, and Lima was one of the least safe cities in all of the Americas. While less than 500,000 foreign visitors came to Peru in 1995, there were more than a million by 2002; in just a decade, the number climbed to over three million and last year, there were 3.8 million of us. At first, chefs at now-teeming restaurants served what felt fancy to Limeños: French. Over time, increasing interest in their home spurred a national pride that permeated the dining scene. Now, as the rest of the world becomes acquainted with Peruvian food through restaurants like Martinez’s LIMA in London and Mira in Toronto, Lima hosts a range of world-class restaurants experimenting with new ways to celebrate its national cuisine.

Astrid y Gastón dining room


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


Astrid y Gastón

Zero Peruvian outposts made the coveted World’s 50 Best restaurants list when it first came out in 2002, but two were in the top 10 by 2018. Central has held the fourth, fifth and sixth position over the past four years while Japanese-Peruvian fusion Maido has danced between seventh and eighth for the past two. Meanwhile, with his own flagship restaurant coming in thirty-ninth, Gastón Acurio has received the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award this year. Many credit him for elevating Peruvian cuisine and bringing the nation’s gastronomic greatness to the world stage. Lucky for our friends, we had secured a reservation at Astrid y Gastón, too, set in an imposing, illuminated hacienda in San Isidro. Starting with an “affair” of amuse-bouches served on an unmade stone bed, we see that the presentation will be just as interesting if more refined at this then 23-year-old institution. It’s hard not to feel like a princess while plate after plate of delicately sliced fish appears. The highlight comes a few courses and nearly an hour later when a teal mermaid platter with a single taco stuffed with peking guinea pig is placed in front of each of us. While Central felt experiential and futuristic, Astrid y Gastón feels like the most sophisticated dinner party I’ve ever been to. My clothes are feeling considerably tighter than they did when I sat down, but I still indulge in each of the four dessert platters, the most memorable of which is a box of herb-infused chocolates with seemingly endless supply of trap doors. Funnily enough, we all agree that the best food in Lima was a 23 sol ($7) ceviche, fried seafood and mixed rice platter we found at an unassuming eight-seat lunch counter on a bustling street in the slightly seedy neighbourhood of Surquillo. It was so delicious that we went twice. This diversity is part of what makes Lima’s culinary boom so exciting. Street food and elegant tasting menus are prepared with the same level of care. It captures both the city’s history and the country’s diversity, while feeling completely accessible to a


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Gastón Acurio

newcomer. In addition to being inconceivably stuffed by the end of the trip, I am grateful to be a part of this sudden explosion of culinary passion. I’ve met our Central table mate twice since our trip and we even shared a meal at Cosme in New York (which holds the twenty-fifth spot on the World’s 50 Best list), but none of it has matched the magic of eating in the once run-down, eternally grey mega-capital of Lima. Not only was it worth the journey, but I’ll definitely be back.

SAVOUR THE EXPERIENCE ❱  Visit Huaca Pucllana, an

adobe and clay temple that dates back to religious ceremonies from the first century A.D. ❱  Discover treasures, ceremonial clothing, and erotic pottery from the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art at Museo Larco. ❱  Walk or bike along the Malecón, a six-mile cliffside trail with sweeping coastal views and fresh sea breezes. Along the way, you’ll pass gorgeous gardens, quaint restaurants, parks, shops and sculptures created by famed Peruvian artists. ❱  Take a tour of the hauntingly beautiful catacombs beneath the Basílica y Convento de San Francisco a few steps from the historic centre’s main plaza where tens of thousands of skeletal remains are arranged in decorative patterns. ❱  Get your adrenaline fix by surfing Lima’s epic swells or paragliding from coastal cliffs with a birds’ eye view of the city below.


Jaipur, India: Indulge in a dinner fit for royalty at the acclaimed Restaurant 1135 A.D., recognized among the top 50 restaurants in India. Related journey: Imperial Rajasthan


rom critically acclaimed restaurants to local, home-hosted meals, our range of dining options offer a diversity of truly exceptional ways to dine.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



ARGENTINE WINE ENCOUNTERS There’s plenty to see, do and taste in the most southern country of South America, but to get a taste of Argentina’s wines, you don’t have to go much further than Buenos Aires BY LANCE BERELOWITZ


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


ADMIT IT: THERE’S SOMETHING addictive about Argentina. I’d been feeling a distinct yearning to get back, so here I am in Buenos Aires some two years after my last visit. In particular, I’d been missing the city's kinetic energy, the grand architecture, the smoky parrillas (steakhouses) and yes, the wine bars. It’s ironic that most visitors to Argentina who seek a real wine experience don’t visit the country’s wine regions. Instead, virtually everyone spends time in Buenos Aires. This vibrant city has it all; it’s a febrile petri dish of cultural, political, artistic and gastronomic creativity. Far fewer visitors get to Mendoza however, both the city and province at the base of the Andes Mountains that is ground zero of the Argentine wine industry. Fewer still get as far as Salta in the far north or the Rio Negro wine region in the far south. Too bad, for Argentina is much more than its capital city. Still, for those who want to taste the best of Argentine wines without leaving the capital, you just need to know where to go. We’ve based ourselves in the neighbourhood known as Palermo, which has morphed into a series of trendy sub-areas such as Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho. Palermo is a yet densely packed, vibrant urban neighbourhood. It’s made up of short blocks and mostly low-rise buildings, bound by tree-lined streets that are not quite perpendicular, giving the area a slightly off-kilter yet decidedly human-scaled feeling, as if the original surveyor was drunk. Maybe he was. The streets are lined with bars, restaurants, cool-looking shops and small boutique hotels, often in elegantly renovated old houses. First stop after our long flight is the perfect little pool hidden in the bougainvillea-framed courtyard of our boutique lodging. Refreshed, we’re ready for an urban adventure.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


It’s our first evening, and after a short walk we find ourselves outside the discreet Miravida Soho Hotel. It’s located on a scruffy little plaza, which my wife – who’s a porteña (a Buenos Aires native) – tells me used to be a notorious streetwalker hangout. I guess the sex workers have moved on, or perhaps just behind closed doors. Although we’re not staying here, we ring the doorbell and when someone opens up and I explain our mission, we’re ushered inside to a cozy wine bar. Here we spend the next couple hours happily sampling wines that lift the roof off my palate. Take Bodega Tacuil’s RD 2013 and its Doña Ascension 2012, for example – two sides of the same

for it – a Chacra Treinta y Dos. (Yup, that’s 1932, if your Spanish is rusty.) These biodynamic wines are the most elegant, terroir-based pinot noirs yet made in Argentina. Eat your heart out, Burgundy. Across the railway tracks in party-central Palermo Hollywood, we seek refuge at Ser y Tiempo, another wine bar that offers tasting flights paired with food. Our dashing young sommelier pours us a fascinatingly varied line-up of wines. While Malbec has become Argentina’s international calling card, there is much more to this country’s wine offerings, and if you haven’t tried a Torrontes (aromatic white), Bonarda or Cabernet Franc, you’re in for a treat. You will not regret

Courtesy of Buenos Aires City Tourist Board

My glass of Bodega ChacraBarda Pinot Noir shows just what can be achieved with old-vine pinot noir grapes grown in the Rio Negro region of Patagonia, when handled with gentle care in the winery. Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec coin: the former sees no oak, while the latter does, and the difference is instructive. According to the hip young sommelier serving us from behind the bar, at some 2,600 metres above sea level, Bodega is Argentina’s highest winery, located in Calchaqui, Salta, the most northerly and highest altitude wine region in the country. A few blocks over from our hotel along Calle Goritti is Pain et Vin. Co-owner Eleonora Jezzi, a porteña sommelier, married Israeli baker Ohad Weiner who, when they moved back to Buenos Aires, was surprised (as was I) to discover how hard it is to find good bread in this city (just don’t tell any porteños this!). He set about fixing this, and the result is Pain et Vin, which is both wine bar and bakery. A small but carefully curated wine selection is offered by the glass, bottle or for sale to go. They also serve the best bread we’ve tasted in the city. Civilization doesn’t get much better than this. We’ve booked a tasting with Eleonora, and after warm introductions all round, we pull up high-top stools at the communal table in the simple, clean room, and put ourselves in her capable hands. She offers us a flight of delicious wines. My glass of Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir shows just what can be achieved with old-vine pinot noir grapes grown in the Rio Negro region of Patagonia, when handled with gentle care in the winery. Perfect pinot. We learn that Chacra was created by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, scion of the Incisa family of Sassacaia wine fame in Tuscany. After the tasting, we pick up a bottle of Chacra’s Cincuenta y Cinco Pinot Noir which, as its Spanish name suggests, is from a venerable vineyard that was planted in 1955. There’s also – wait

it (unless you overindulge, that is). Our flight is accompanied by Argentina’s version of tapas: salty cured meats, sharp cheeses and various other savoury delights. In the process, we come to realize that this format is a very inexpensive way to dine out in increasingly costly Buenos Aires. Nonetheless, dine out we do. Our good porteño friends, Diego and Valeria, take their food and wine seriously, and they suggest we meet up with them at Las Pizarras, an inconspicuous, tiny white-walled bistro where owner-Chef Rodrigo Castilla cooks fresh and simple yet delicious market food. Don’t expect a printed menu; just choose from Rodrigo’s dishes of the day chalked up on the large pizarras (blackboards), or better still, let him choose for you. Our meal is accompanied by a spicy, mineral, intense bottle of Bodegas Humanao Gran Reserva 2010, a Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon blend from 70-year-old, high-altitude vineyards in Salta. And, as always on our visits to the Paris of South America, we eventually make our way to what is, by now, an obligatory meal at Don Julio, a fabled parrilla and Buenos Aires standard-bearer. Hardly undiscovered (every foodie seems to know about the place and you will most likely need to wait for a table, which is made a whole lot nicer with the complimentary sparkling wine they hand out to patrons-in-waiting on the sidewalk), what makes this steakhouse stand out from so many others is that – remarkably – long-time owner Pablo Rivero takes his wines just as seriously as his meats. And that is saying something in this city of carnivores. It never fails us. On repeat visits over the years, we‘ve signed several of those empty bottles, ordered by deeply satisfied patrons like us, that line its walls.

Clockwise: Buenos Aires café, Palermo street life, Botanical Gardens


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


L to R: Don Julio’s courtyard, tira de asado

Boca Juniors' "Bombonera" stadium

SAVOUR THE EXPERIENCE ❱  Visit the Museo Evita courtyard for one of the most convivial outdoor spots in BA for a classic breakfast of freshly squeezed jugo de naranja (orange juice), rich coffee and medialunas (croissants). Unless you’re a diehard fan of Eva Peron herself, give the actual museum a miss. ❱  Take a day trip up the Rio de la Plata to Tigre, with its watery walkways, huge London plane trees, atmospheric old boating clubs and dining platforms perched over the river. ❱  Get lost in the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, home to some 200 bird species, and go bird watching in the heart of the city. Afterwards, grab a smoky choripan (grilled sausage in a bun) from one of the food trucks lining the pedestrian promenade that edges the reserve. ❱  Vamos a la Cancha: Attend a futbol (soccer) match, preferably one in which Boca Juniors are playing, to savour Argentinians’ high-octane tribal energy. But watch out for pickpockets, and sometimes fan violence after the game. Just to be on the safe side, Tangol agency offers escorted soccer match tours.

For some, it’s sitting down to the first five-star dinner of the trip, and being transported Courtesy of Buenos Aires City Tourist Board

Make sure your char-grilled meats are accompanied with a bottle of something special. We order an old favourite, Achaval Ferrer’s Quimera, an elegant, delicate Malbec-led Mendoza blend. It’s sublime with our tira de asado (thick-cut beef ribs) and ojo di bife (ribeye steak). And don’t miss the melt-in-your-mouth mollejas (sweetbreads), if you dare. If you spend time in Palermo, sooner or later you’re likely to find yourself in its beating heart: Plaza Serrano. We happen to be in town for the annual Superclásico clash between Boca Juniors and River Plate – Buenos Aires’ two most famous soccer clubs, which nurture a notoriously fierce rivalry – and I head to Plaza Serrano, grab a cold beer on one of the sports bar patios, and immerse myself in this most passionate of tribal contests, along with a few hundred of my newly found tribe-mates. I just need to make sure I’m shouting for the right team. Tucked away in yet another atmospheric old house just off Plaza Serrano, Lo de Joaquín Alberdi, or “Joaquín Alberdi’s Place,” remains my favourite wine shop in Buenos Aires. Here, I taste whatever Joaquín decides to pour at the bar and it’s almost always a revelation. He’ll happily sell you something special to take home in your luggage. If you’re lucky enough, your visit will coincide with when he cooks up a mean asado (barbecue) on the roof terrace upstairs. If so, it’s not to be missed. In fact, after a few evenings at this convivial place Joaquín just might become your new best Argentinian friend. Mendoza may be just a short flight from Buenos Aires, but it’s another world. And for me, another trip. This time, I’m heading home to Vancouver with a couple of bottles from Joaquín tucked into my bag that will remind me of both Argentina’s wine diversity and its amazing capital city. But I know I’ll be back. It’s an addiction.

by the rich, unexpected flavors awaiting you. For others, it’s sailing into an exotic, remote port without another ship in sight. And for you, it’s the little things. Discover your moment.


For more information, please contact our Bon Vivant Travel Specialist Ask about Canadian Resident rates, exclusive complimentary Shore Experiences and Pre-Paid Gratuities 50 

  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


*Visit for details. OCT1832




the small-ship experience


Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to cruising, but for some, bigger isn’t always better. SARAH TRELEAVEN shares her experience sailing from Taipei to Beijing with Windstar Cruises, and how she made the most of life onboard while indulging to the fullest during land adventures.


UCH OF THE EXCITEMENT surrounding the cruising world is on the ships that are getting bigger and bigger, offering exciting new amenities like robot bartenders, bowling alleys, skydiving machines and celebrity chef restaurants. But on a recent sailing with Windstar, I was reminded why I have a special place in my heart for the smallest ships. There’s an intimacy – a home-away-from-home sort of vibe – that can really only be cultivated when both space and options are limited. On small ships, you can develop a tidy little routine, and that’s exactly what my boyfriend, Jamie, and I did while sailing on Windstar’s Star Legend earlier this year, on a 12-day itinerary that took us from Taipei to Beijing. We boarded in Taipei, where we first spent several leisurely days wandering the streets in search of beef noodle soup and pork-shrimp soup dumplings and marveling over the city’s many night markets. But as we set sail, surrounded by small squid fishing boats with their bright lights and long lines against mist-concealed mountains, we realized we had work to do (the fun kind) and kicked into high gear. This charming and intimate little ship – with just over 200 passengers – had much to explore, and Jamie and I quickly toured the available spaces, introducing ourselves to bartenders and front desk clerks, and figuring out where the sun hits the deck during that cruising sweet spot between lunch and early evening cocktails (which yes, does sometimes also involve afternoon cocktails – especially if the bartender is particularly adept at making piña coladas). We visited all of the restaurants – from fine dining AmphorA to al fresco Candles – and studied menus, inquiring about the details of the outdoor barbecue planned for our overnight in Shanghai, where we mingled on deck, illuminated by the bright neon lights of the historic Bund as we added pieces of roast pig and little pots of chocolate pudding to our plates. We also made friends with the sommelier, a fellow Canadian who was almost excited as I am about drinking rosé and keen to help us with our pairings. He invited us to all of the many tastings, including Champagne and sake, and we learned that he always visits the local liquor stores when in port in order to stock up on new and exciting options. (He was particularly excited about his haul from our stop in Okinawa.)

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



For me, this is when cruising really shines: superb, unfussy and highly local food by day, and then a return to elegant interiors, attentive service and a glass of Champagne.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Between figuring out menus and making connections, we set our schedule. Every day we weren’t in port, we would wake up, order room service pancakes or do several twirls around the buffet; then spend hours working or reading or watching a DVD; then a threecourse lunch with wine; then more reading or watching BBC World or sometimes attending a lecture by some historian; then tea time complete with sandwiches and petit fours; then relaxing in the small hot tub at the rear of the ship; then pre-dinner cocktails and canapés; then a three or four course dinner of pates, steaks, pastas and fatty fishes with wine pairings followed by nightcap, ideally on deck so we could take in a little of that salty breeze that mingles so well with a 12-year-old Scotch. Satisfied with our onboard schedule, we turned our attention to days in port. One of the best things about cruising, in my mind, is the opportunity to stop and sample flavours of multiple places along your route – sort of like a roving smorgasbord of options, where you step off the ship and are suddenly presented with a glorious new array. Even better: the pairing of street food on land with gourmet drinking and dining on board. For me, this is where cruising really shines: superb, unfussy and highly local food by day, and then a return to elegant interiors, attentive service and a glass of Champagne. By night, I’m thrilled to return to a ship and be handed a glass of bubbly before being served giant prawns atop a white linen tablecloth. In Okinawa, we headed to a fresh fish market to indulge in shrimp sashimi and cold beers. In Shanghai, we eagerly hopped off the boat and made a beeline for two types of dumplings, including at a place where you have to pay for napkins and where I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let you use the bathroom even in an emergency. And in Qingdao, I tried a “Chinese hamburger,” a soft bun stuffed with grilled meats, green peppers and sweet onions. Every night in port, we would return to the Legend to shower off the day of walking and eating and buying exotic snack foods. (My favourite was a bag of potato chips in Qingdao: Italian red meat sauce flavour.) I would slip into a fresh dress, trade my Birkenstocks for something less practical, and then Jamie and I would pour ourselves into a corner of the lounge and set sail with glasses of Champagne. With a ship this small, the staff was simply picking up snacks in port as we went along and, while we always opted for salty plain potato chips, we also sampled the more exotic options – from cheese-flavoured sticks and shrimp-flavoured crackers to a completely inscrutable wheat snack that reminded Jamie of fish food. Every time I step on a small ship, I remember when I first fell in love with this kind of cruising. I was on the inaugural voyage of Windstar’s Star Breeze, sailing from Nice to Rome one delightfully balmy May. It was my first time in Nice and I was on the verge of falling for its mixture of faded grandeur, borderline Eurotrash charms (including miniscule bikini briefs), and hybrid French-Italian cuisine – regional specialties born of the genius/chutzpah to combine rich braised meats with hearty pasta.

Okinawa's Makeshi market

Colorful cocktails

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


But then I wandered onto the Cours Saleya – a winding cobblestone marketplace lined with flower shops and leather ateliers and places to buy high-end olive oil and sauternes – to meet the ship’s head chef for a little tour. I could smell the strawberries before I could see them, and as I joined the group the chef bought pints of berries for us to share before moving on to the socca, a savoury crêpe made with chickpea flour. We were a group of about 40 – a fifth of the ship’s passengers – and for the next several days, this market visit served as a foundation of our temporary relationship. The fresh berries and chickpea crêpes left an indelible mark on the experience. A couple mornings later, waiting for my turn with the fruit salad at the breakfast buffet, a man standing behind me – who was on the market tour – nodded to the mix of melons and pineapple and whatever else was in there and said, “Looks nice, but not as nice as those strawberries we had in Nice.” He was right, of course, that the fruit salad was nice but no contest for nibbling on local berries while standing under the late morning sun on the French Riviera. If you asked me now, I could still describe those tiny, jewel-like berries that were red through and through, and with a remarkably concentrated flavour that seemed closer to candy than fruit. And that’s the thrill of the small ship: the intimate experiences and the building of a small floating community where people learn your name and your drink order and you never have to worry about whether you’ll run into those nice people you met in the lobby because of course you will. On a small ship, it only takes a couple of days to become a regular in any given venue. And when you combine that kind of familiarity with the exotic world just beyond the ship’s bow, it really is the best of both worlds.

Nice, France


❱  Star Bar: This bar is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a beer or cocktail while setting sail after another beautiful day in port. There’s often a happy hour and usually live music. ❱  Candles: This small restaurant specializes in elegant meals on a private terrace. The menu is limited to a range of great options – including steak, lobster tails and fresh fish – served al fresco. ❱  Under the Stars BBQ: This signature Windstar event is often the highlight of a sailing. When the weather is good, passengers gather on deck to mingle among stations of freshly grilled meats and fishes, sides and desserts.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8



When onboard Windstar’s Star Legend, here are three must-do eating and drinking experiences:

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


exp er i ence a c ul in a r y j o u rn ey with Pr i nces s


Afrim Pristine & his love of cheese


Deepen your understanding of the destinations you sail to by taking your senses on a journey of their own with Bon Appétit shore excursions. Savor the unique flavors of Alaska’s fresh seafood and gourmet treats on a culinary walking tour through downtown Juneau. Learn the secret of baking the perfect Irish scone in a charming farmhouse estate outside of Dublin. Embark on a culinary adventure, and come back new.®

For 48 years, Toronto’s Cheese Boutique has been a staple to the city's foodie community. Third-generation Afrim Pristine has built a reputation as an internationally-renowned maître fromager, and has recently released a book, “For the Love of Cheese,” in hopes of making the intricacies of cheese understandable and accessible to all people. He recently spoke with Bon Vivant about his own love of cheese and how he’s seen it take shape in various corners of the world.

voyage of the glaciers 7 days | Royal Princess® | Whittier (Anchorage) to Vancouver | 05/18/2019 Balcony fares from






Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses up to $234 are included.

british isles with Liverpool

12 days | Crown Princess® | Roundtrip London (Southhampton) | 05/25/2019 Balcony fares from




Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses up to $260 are included.


Plus, receive up to $85 onboard spending money!

For more information, please contact your Bon Vivant Travel Specialist

*$2,662 fare is based on category DD on Royal Princess® sailing 5/18/19, $4,196 fare is based on category BF on Crown Princess® sailing 5/25/19 on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other dates may vary. Fares are quoted in Canadian dollars and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. ^Up to $85 USD onboard spending money is per stateroom based on double occupancy. Onboard spending money may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used for the casino and expires at the end of that voyage. Onboard spending money is quoted in U.S. dollars. Void where prohibited by law. Offer may combine with other offers such as group onboard credits, limited time offers and Military benefits. **Please refer to your travel agent for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Offer expires 11/19/18. ©2018 Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


How does this world the cheese work? How do you curate what you have in the shop?

What do you think is fostering this excitement around cheese?

I’m 38 now but in my early twenties, I spent three years or so living and travelling throughout Europe: Italy, France, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, England – there are very big cheese cultures there. These are countries where cheese is a very important ingredient in their diet and in their traditions, really. And I learned from the best of the best; the best cheesemakers, the best dairy farmers; the people who make cheese all over the world, I’ve worked side by side. I call it going into the “school of

Cheese is a really funny thing. It’s a really simple ingredient. I think it’s something that everyone, one way or another, has grown up eating – if it was Kraft singles or an aged cheddar or if it was Oka or any of those. I think cheese has always been in Canada’s DNA and now we’re really making awesome stuff. Many years ago – 10 or 15 years ago – I had to carry Canadian cheese because it was Canadian. We're proud Canadians – the variety wasn’t quite there but I wanted to be supportive of the local farmers and the dairy farmers and the cheesemakers of this country so we helped to promote them. They kept getting better and better and better, and now in 2018, we’re making world-class product. I’m not carrying 100 cheeses from Canada because they’re Canadian anymore; I’m carrying them because they’re great and they fit with the beautiful cheeses that we carry from around the world. Canada represents my counter, of about 500 cheeses now, more than any other single country because it’s really, really good. And I think that has sparked the whole cheese movement.

pasta, salad, whatever it is, you are eating a piece of cheese throughout that lunch. And it’s something very traditional: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Podano, Piave, Provolone – and they eat cheese almost as a digestif so they can eat more of everything else. In Scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland – they eat cheese predominantly at breakfast. So the cheese then is different. At breakfast, you don’t want a big, powerful, aromatic cheese because that flavour might linger throughout the day. They have milder cheese, like fondue and Raclette in

How has the perception of cheese changed over the years?

Way back when, there wasn’t really a school – like how a sommelier goes to wine school, there wasn’t that for cheese 20 years ago or even 15 years ago! Now there are a few collegiate levels where you can go and get a degree. I happen to write the cheese certification program at George Brown College in Toronto, along with my father. So it’s a little easier now than it was but I’ve worked with the best, I’ve learned from the best and I’ve taken that knowledge and that know-how and really brought it to what we’re doing here at the shop. The cheese industry in Canada is absolutely booming. I don’t think it’s ever been stronger. We’re importing more, we’re producing more. There’s the great cheese excitement from east coast to west and in the United States as well. So it is a good time to be in the cheese industry – I knock on wood when I say that – and it’s a fun, exciting time as well.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Oh yes. I know for a fact that some of the most important decisions in the world, throughout history, were made with people sitting at a table, eating cheese and drinking good wine or drinking good beer or Scotch. Cheese is something that is definitely part of people’s cultures. It’s part of people’s cuisines. One of the fun parts of writing my book was the "Cheese 1-0-1." So, beyond the recipes (which are very cheese focused), I wrote my interpretation of what I see cheese as. One of my favourite parts was writing which cultures eat cheese and when, and why. And because I’ve travelled and lived in a lot of these places, I’ve seen how different cheese is consumed and how it is perceived. Can you give a few examples?

I talk about in Italy: Italians don’t eat cheese as a dessert like they do in France or England. Instead, they’re known for big lunches. During a three hour lunch, they have something that they consider a ‘table cheese.’ So between your antipasti,

I love how different and diverse cheese can be. Because our metropolises are so culturally diverse, I think we’ve adopted a little bit of everybody’s cheese ideology and we’re making that our own. So it’s really interesting where cheese is right now in Canada. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.



Unsalted butter, for greasing 1 cup (250 ml) uncooked white rice 4 medium plum tomatoes, halved ½ medium white onion finely chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled ¼ cup (60 ml) extra–virgin olive oil medium serrano pepper, finely chopped ½ cup (125 ml) fresh shelled green peas (good–quality jarred peas will do too) medium carrots, finely chopped 1 small Yukon potato, peeled and finely chopped ½ cup (125 ml) 14% sour cream 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped Sea salt 5 oz (140 g) grated Zamorano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). 2. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet with unsalted butter. 3. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 cups (500 ml) of

water to a boil, and stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, then remove from the heat. Do not stir. 4. While the rice is cooking, place the tomato halves, onion, and garlic in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once, until the veggies are evenly browned. Remove from the heat, and let stand at room temperature until completely cool. 5. Purée the roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor. 6. Drain any remaining liquid from the rice. 7. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the serrano pepper, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Add the rice, puréed vegetables, peas, carrots, potato, and sour cream. Season with cilantro and salt to taste. Cook for approximately 7 minutes, stirring, or until all the vegetables are tender and the rice is browned. Mix in the grated Zamorano cheese. Allow the cheese to melt before serving. De nada.

ZAMORANO is one of my favorite Spanish cheeses. It’s made

AFRIM RECOMMENDS Looking to sample international cheeses? Here are Afrim’s top choices: ❱  Italy: Parmigiano-Reggiano ❱  Canada: Bleu d’Élizabeth ❱  Switzerland: Le Maréchal ❱  France: Chabichou Du Poitou ❱  Norway: Gjetost (Brown Cheese)

Random House

Hard Knocks.” Milking goats, sheep and cows, and really understanding what cheese is. With that said, I also have my father who, in my opinion, is a pioneer in this country for really putting great cheese, local or imported, on people’s tables. I also had the pleasure of watching my dad for many years – he's very hands on.

And what about in Canada?

THE MOST DELICIOUS SPANISH RICE EVER Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 35 minutes, Serves: 6 An excerpt from Afrim Pristine’s new book, “For The Love Of Cheese.”

Do you think that cheese is cultural?

Afrim Pristine

Switzerland. Those are really big dishes in Switzerland so that’s how they use their cheese. Their cheeses have great melting properties.

from sheep’s milk and is typically aged for 18 months. Think manchego but bolder, sharper, and much better looking. I was introduced to this cheese in Spain back in 2007. When I was in Barcelona, I got tickets to an FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid soccer match. In the soccer world, this is like Batman versus Superman, Manning versus Brady, Godzilla versus King Kong. It was an epic match, with some of the greatest players ever—David Beckham, Fabio Cannavaro, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, and Ronaldinho, to name a few. But as great as that game was, I was almost more impressed by the concession stand’s offerings: deep– fried pork rinds, mini paella, and ham and cheese on a crusty baguette. And not just any ham and cheese—this was acorn–fed pata negra ham, and 18–month– old Zamorano cheese. The sandwich was so tasty that I ate 3 of them during the game. The depth of flavor in the cheese is equally amazing with rice.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    







Experience the wonders of every port of call by allowing our Chefs and Sommeliers to delight your palate across our gourmet specialty restaurants. Immerse yourself by speaking to locals, sampling the flavors and witnessing the mythical landmarks that you've longed to see. These legends are yours to discover onboard the all-suite Seven Seas Navigator®.



JANUARY 24, 2019 | 19 NIGHTS

FEBRUARY 12, 2019 | 24 NIGHTS

Ports Visited: Papeete (Tahiti), Rangiroa, Pago Pago, Apia, Lautoka,

Ports Visited: Sydney, Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island), Whitsunday Island, Cairns O , Thursday Island, Darwin, Komodo, Bali (Benoa) O , Makassar (Sulawesi), Puerto Princesa, Boracay Island, Manila, Hong Kong O

Suva, Nouméa O , Brisbane, Sydney O O Overnight in port

O Overnight in port

All Inclusive fares from $17,749 CAD per person

All Inclusive fares from $21,749 CAD per person


*All fares are per person in Canadian dollars, valid for residents of Canada, based on double occupancy, for new bookings only and may be increased or withdrawn at any time. Not all promotions are combinable. 2-for-1 Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; such fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all suite categories and do not include optional charges as detailed in the Guest Ticket Contract. FREE Roundtrip Business Class Air includes ground transfers and applies to intercontinental flights only from the following airports: ATL, BOS, CLT, DEN, DFW, DTW, EWR, FLL, IAD, IAH, JFK, LAX, LGA, MCO, MDW, MIA, MSP, ORD, PBI, PHL, PHX, SAN, SAV, SEA, SFO, TPA, YUL, YVR, YYZ. Airfare is available from select other U.S. and Canadian gateways for an additional charge. All airline fees, surcharges and government taxes are included; however airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply. FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package applies to guests 1 and 2 in Concierge Suites and higher, includes transfers from hotel to pier only and is not available for new bookings made within 60 days of departure. FREE Unlimited WiFi includes one log-in, one device, per suite. Concierge Suites and higher receive up to four logins, four devices, per suite. CANADA @ PAR PROMOTION: Canadian dollars at par applies to new bookings on Penthouse and below categories on select voyages only made from October 1, 2018 through January 4, 2019 and is available to Canadian residents only. Cancels and rebooks will not be permitted and bookings will be vetted for eligibility. Offer is not combinable with Upgrade offers, single specials, other promotions or group pricing, but is combinable with group amenities. Free Land Program is not combinable with Canada at Par promotion on Seven Seas Mariner® January 1, 2019 and February 9, 2019 voyages, nor is it combinable on Seven Seas Navigator® January 24, 2019 and February 12, 2019 voyages. Certain restrictions may apply. Ship’s Registry: 62 Seas  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 Bahamas. ©2018 Regent Seven Cruises® SEP1820452


T IS A LAND OF STAGGERING VISTAS – mountains and rainforests, volcanoes and grasslands, and strips of long sandy beaches piping glorious seas. And yet, if you’ve ever visited any of the Latin American Spanish and Portuguesespeaking nations extending from Mexico down to Argentina and including parts of the Caribbean, you’ll know that your treasure-trove of memories includes not just a feast for the eyes, but literally, for the belly as well. Here, food reigns supreme. Interestingly, be it a local market toppling with fruits and vegetables, a street-food cart brimming with crispy hot snacks, a rowdy restaurant in which wait-staff miraculously manage not to buckle beneath the weight of their trays, or a simple table-clothed dinner table laden with traditional family favourites, thanks to its unique fusion of predominately Indigenous, European and African cultures – as well as a what-grows-goes ethos – each country has its own distinct cuisine. “Think of Latin America as a very big house,” cookbook author, Sandra A. Gutierrez, suggests. “Imagine coming in the front door and you are in Mexico, the most familiar, with its tacos and tamales. But then, go through the threshold and you’ll see this house has 20 kitchens, each very different from the next, even if they are neighbours.” And so, we might poke our head into the Brazilian kitchen and get a whiff of feijoada, a black bean stew brewed with different cuts of salted and smoked pork and beef. We might stick a spoon into a pot of bori bori, a traditional Paraguayan soup defined by its cornmeal flour dumplings. And, when the Argentinian baker isn’t looking, we might snatch an alfajor, a cookie filled with dulce de leche and rimmed with flaked coconut. Or we might throw open our own front door and host a Latino Tasting Party. Here’s the thing: The people of Latin America have a passion for nibblies, so much so, in fact, that various countries have their own name for these small bites of sweet or savory goodness. In Mexico, they are botanas; in Venezula,

pasapalos; and in Guatemala, boquitas, which translates to “little mouths.” Happily, such wee wonders lend themselves well to a tasting party during which guests gobble up an array of concoctions and then compare notes, in essence, nibbling and quibbling the night away. To kick off the party, let’s begin with a top-shelf Peruvian pisco, the brandy used in the classic cocktail, pisco sour. We’ll go hard-core Peru-style and drink it neat – serve two fingers in small, chilled glasses. The libation has up to 48 per cent alcohol content so tell guests to sip, not shoot, and gently remind them that we’ll be pairing each of three appetizers with a wine preferably from Chile or Argentina, the two winemaking producers of the region. With Peru on the palate, then, it makes sense to set out ceviche as our first little bite, which as most food historians agree, was first made in the northern part of Peru some 2,000 years ago. Among the recipes Gutierrez has kindly contributed is a tuna-based appetizer, which she suggests serving in clear martini glasses to show off its pretty colours. Next, break out the yuca fries, wherein potatoes are swapped out for that other South American tubor, yuca, also known as cassava. Yuca fries offer a different taste and mouth-feel than their potato cousins so get guests gabbing about comparisons. To add to the conversation, instead of ketchup, serve a chimichurri sauce, one of Argentina’s claims to fame, as an accompaniment. At this point, if you want to go all-out and have access to a grill, you might inject a mini asado into the party, a barbecue-like Argentinian tradition in which cuts of meat – chorizo sausage, churrasco (skirt steak) brushed with chimichurri – are all offered up. Cut ‘em up into bite-size samplings, make extra sauce, and you’re good.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


Our tasting will cap off with Costa Rican tacos, corn tortillas stuffed with shredded beef or chicken, and fried until crispy. Here, guests can go wild on toppings as they celebrate pura vida, the Costa Rican call urging us to enjoy the moment. On that note, no Latino party is a good party unless it is set to a soundtrack of Latin American music, genres of which are as varied as cuisines. Pop hits span decades from Ritchie Valens and Santana to Shakira and Enrique Iglesias, plus you can look to your music-streaming service to create a playlist of other, perhaps lesser-known, performers. Finally, coffee and chocolates are famous exports of Latin America so it’s fitting to set up a sweets table towards the end of the eve. But don’t be surprised if guests chose to move it, and the rest of your furniture, out of the way. Salsa, rumba, merengue, tango and other Latino styles of dance beckon party revelers to cha-cha-cha-nnel their inner sultry, sexy selves. Go with the flow knowing that in that imaginary big Latin American house with all the kitchens, there’s always space for a dance floor.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (for 6 to 8 guests):

COSTA RICAN TACOS TICOS (Pair with chilled Rose or other sweet wine)

❱  One bottle of Peruvian pesco


❱ 1 or 2 bottles each of Sauvignon Blanc, Rose,

Carmenere, Torrontes ❱  Glassware for the above ❱  3 rustic serving trays (one for each type of appetizer) ❱ Martini glasses or small glass bowls for ceviche, (1 per guest) ❱ Small glasses or paper containers for yuca fries, (1 per guest) plus shot glass for chimicchuri (1 per guest) ❱  1 small plate per guest for tacos ❱  Cutlery ❱  Coffee + fixings plus desert tray of chocolates Set up and ambience: ❱  Latin American music playlist

❱ A gathering place for guests (kitchen island, patio,

dining-room or coffee table)

❱ Bring out appetizers one by one with appropriate

beverage so guests have time to savour each pairing

❱ Line up three different glasses in front of each guest

prior to tasting OR set out appropriate glassware with each pairing


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

TUNA CEVICHE (Pair with Sauvignon Blanc) SERVES 8

1 1 ⁄ 2 pounds fresh, sashimi-grade tuna, cut into 1 ⁄ 4-inch dice 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups fresh lime juice 1 ⁄ 2 cup minced roasted red bell pepper 1 ⁄ 2 cup minced cilantro (leaves and tender stems) 1 ⁄ 2 cup seeded and minced plum tomatoes 1 ⁄ 3 cup minced red onion 1 ⁄ 4 cup minced jalapeño peppers (seeded and deveined if less heat is desired) 1 ⁄ 4 cup minced chives Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste In a large nonreactive bowl (preferably glass), combine the tuna, limejuice, bell peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and chives; stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour (up to 4 hours). Season with salt and pepper and serve well chilled. Garnish with boiled sweet or yellow potatoes “stir sticks” to soak up the marinade. Can also be served on the ends of endive leaves.

5 cups shredded cabbage 1 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoons salt 2 1 ⁄ 2 cups shredded beef (see note) 12 corn Tortillas store-bought, warm (see note) 12 (8-inch-long) pieces kitchen twine Vegetable oil for frying Ketchup Mustard Mayonnaise NOTE: Boil a 1-pound piece of beef roast or flank steak in salted water until it’s cooked through. Cool and shred. Shredded rotisserie chicken works well, too. To prevent corn or flour tortillas from breaking when folded or rolled, heat them briefly. To do this, wrap several tortillas in a clean, damp kitchen towel; microwave at 1-minute intervals until they are warm. Alternatively, wrap them in foil and place them in a preheated 350°F oven for 10–15 minutes. You can also heat them, one at a time, directly over a flame of a gas stove (or an outdoor grill) for 20 seconds on each side. Keep the warm tortillas wrapped in a kitchen towel as you work. It’s a good idea to have a few extra tortillas in case some break as the tacos are shaped.

Place the cabbage in a large bowl; add enough boiling water to cover and let it sit for exactly one minute. Drain the cabbage well and return it to the bowl. Add the salt and stir; let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until cool. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Working with one tortilla at a time, place 2–3 tablespoons of the shredded beef on one end of it and roll it up tightly, like a cigar (it has to be tight or the beef will escape when the tacos are fried). Tie it snuggly with a piece of twine and set aside; repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Fit a large baking pan with a metal cooling rack; set aside. In a large skillet with high sides, heat 1–2 inches of oil to 360°F (or use a deep fryer according to the manufacturer’s directions). Working in batches, use tongs to place the tacos in the oil. Fry them until golden, about 3–3 ½ minutes, turning them over halfway through. Transfer them to the prepared rack to drain. To plate, place two tacos on a plate, top with a generous amount of the cabbage, and drizzle with the condiments. Serve immediately.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    


YUCA FRIES with CLASSIC CHIMICHURRI (Pair with Torrontes or Carmenere) 3 pounds yucca, peeled and sliced into fries (3 1 ⁄ 2”long by 1 ⁄ 2” thick) 1 large garlic clove peeled and left whole 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp salt vegetable oil for frying salt to taste




S E RVE S 4 TO 6

3 cups coarsely chopped flat-leaf or Italian parsley 1 cup minced yellow onion 2 large garlic cloves, minced zest of 1 lemon 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 ⁄ 2 tsp ground cumin 1 ⁄ tsp red pepper flakes 3⁄ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the parsley, onion, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, and pepper flakes. Pulse for ten 1-second intervals or until mixture is finely chopped. Turn the motor on and slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer chimichurri to an airtight container (keeps up to 3 days).

TICO #W1583987

Fit a large baking pan with a metal cooling rack; set aside. In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add garlic, bay leaf and salt. When the water returns to a boil, add yuca and cook until it is just fork tender, about 6-8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer then to the cooling rack to dry 15 minutes (or up to an hour). The fries must be very dry before they’re fried to prevent the oil from splattering. In a large skillet with high sides, heat 2 inches of oil to 360F (or use a deep fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions). Working in batches, fry the yucca until golden and crispy, about 4-6 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer them to the prepared rack to drain, season with salt. Serve immediately or keep them warm on the rack in a 250F oven for up to 45 minutes. Serve fries with chumichurri.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

From Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Copyright © 2013 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    



Savour Central & South America long after your return

Gone are the days of novelty keychain souvenirs thanks to Bon Vivant’s selection of flavours and textures found throughout Central and South America. Give your family and friends the gift of local foods, drinks and table accessories that will add interest to any pantry or dining space.





BELIZE: There will be no shortage of potential souvenirs if you find yourself in Belize, but we recommend sourcing luxurious wooden kitchen accessories. Pick up a mixing bowl or spoon set carved out of Ziricote, a rare tree that only grows in a very small portion of Central America. Each piece will be as unique as this gift is, thanks to dramatic spider webbing details and irregular light and dark tones throughout.

PERU: Peru is renowned for its bold colours and patterns, so take this travel opportunity to track down highlycovetable alpaca-made textiles. Naturally dyed from local plants, flowers, bugs and bark, and created using an intricate weaving method, you can feel a sense of pride when purchasing these tailor-made quality products. From table runners to napkins and everything in between, give the gift of storied tradition and technique.

NICARAGUA: Nicaragua is famous for a lot of things, including Flor de Caña, a premium local rum. Dating back to 1890, this family-run company has grown to become the country’s number one exported brand. With a commitment to a slow ageing process, expert craftsmanship and giving back, you can feel good about bringing home a bottle or two.

CHILE: Chile is one of the largest wine exporters in the world and a proven winner for quality and taste. With the rise of the Carménère grape, once thought to be extinct in Europe, wine collectors around the world are embracing these dark purple and red treasures. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two of a classic Chilean Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Merlot on your way home.

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica is known for coffee and chocolate respectively, but when you combine the two, you find yourself in possession of the ultimate souvenir. Sibú Chocolate is a small company with a big heart thanks to their commitment to working with the Rainforest Alliance on certified farms. Because of this initiative, workers throughout the country are paid fair wages and live in dignified conditions. Some of their refined flavours include organic vanilla bean milk chocolate or a spicy truffle with nutmeg and cinnamon. COLOMBIA: This striking country positioned on the northern tip of South America boasts some of the best coffee beans in the world. And while the options are seemingly endless for any java connoisseur, Café San Alberto is a must. Perched atop a hill boasting striking views of the Western Colombian Andes, a tour and tasting are a must-do. With more than 40 years of experience and a handful of awards, this treasured export is a trusted and necessary purchase.


  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

ARGENTINA: If you were to ask a local to point you in the direction of the ultimate sweet treat in Argentina, they would highly recommend a box of alfajores. This delightful dessert is offered in three traditional flavours, including coconut, meringue and chocolate. Bound together by Dulce de leche and topped with chocolate and powdered sugar, these cookie-sized confections will be a hit among your family and friends.





URUGUAY: Beyond Uruguay’s picturesque beach-lined coast and lush interior, this southeastern country is celebrated for its mate. Embrace its culture by consuming this caffeinated beverage throughout your travels. Made up of herbs (yerba), this drink is traditionally drunk with a leather cup and straw, a symbol of community and sharing as this is an experience done with a group. Be sure to source a traditional tumbler and container of mate on your way home. FA L L / W I N T E R 2018 • B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A    







DECEMBER 5-7, Dubai, UAE

Coffee and tea lovers unite from around the world to celebrate the world of caffeine at this one-stop event. The Middle East is known for its rich history in herbs and teas, offering industry insiders and consumers the chance to grow their brewing knowledge, as well as their tea and coffee collections. JADE MOUNTAIN DISCOVER CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL DECEMBER 12-16, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Cacao has been cultivated on St. Lucia since the 1700s, and between two estates there are more than 1,000 trees whose organically grown beans are harvested to make artisanal Emerald Estate chocolate bars and truffles. During this flavourful event, discover the history of chocolate and taste the cacao in delicious desserts, cocktails, dinners and wine pairings.

JANUARY CAYMAN COOKOUT JANUARY 16-20, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Find some of the world’s most talented chefs and wine experts at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman for the 11th annual Cayman Cookout. The event will be hosted by Chef Eric Ripert and take place on breathtaking Seven Mile Beach, offering an exciting lineup featuring José Andrés, Emeril Lagasse and other world-renowned chefs. THE VANCOUVER HOT CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL JAN. 19-FEB. 14, Vancouver, Canada

What better way is there to keep warm in the winter season than with a steaming cup of hot chocolate? The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is the first every citywide hot chocolate festival, giving you the option of tasting over 60 creative hot chocolate drinks at over 30 locations across the city of Vancouver. You’ll be supporting local small businesses, as all vendors are independently owned by talented chocolate artists and artisan food producers. 70 

FEBRUARY 1-2, Boston, USA

If you like creative, one-of-a-kind beer, then you’ll love Extreme Beer Fest. The event hosts challenge brewers to come up with exclusive beers for the event, meaning they will be available for just one day only. Find over 120 brewers and 400-plus beers on tap, guaranteeing you’ll leave feeling like a kid in the candy shop and (likely) with a hangover. FOOD NETWORK & COOKING CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 20-24, Miami, USA

Not only does this wine and food festival offer the best food and drink in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but it also happens to be right on the beach! It is the ultimate gourmet gathering, with the backdrop of the sea on display. The festival features more than 400 chefs, winemakers, spirits producers and lifestyle personalities that appear at more than 85 events across the two counties.


This festival revolves around the re-enactment of a 12th-century battle and commemorates the victory of commoners over tyrant rulers in the town of Ivrea. Revellers gather for the three days before Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras) to battle it out using 500,000 pounds of oranges. MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL MARCH 8-24, Melbourne, Australia

This festival will last 17 delicious days – it’s longest run ever – and hosts more than 300 events. From the World’s Longest Lunch to the River Graze (featuring dozens of food stalls along the Yarra River), there’s no shortage of ways to increase your waistline and your knowledge of Australian culinary culture. ECOTRAVELLER WORLD OF TASTE TOURISM AND GASTRONOMY FESTIVAL MARCH 22, Toronto, Canada

  B O N V I V A N T T R A V E L . C A • FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

This gastronomy festival will bring the tourism industry and consumers together to help promote new holidays and undiscovered destinations. Learn about your next perfect vacation, while at the same time experiencing their local food offerings. Find yourself dazzled by the colourful costumes on display and take in live entertainment to inspire your next getaway.

We give you Access to the world.™


Hawaii is crazy about Spam – so much so that they have an annual event that showcases the best Spam-influenced cuisine the tropical state has to offer. More than 25,000 people come out to sample canned-meat treats, from Spam corn dogs to Spam cheesecake and everything in between. NATIONAL CHEESE FESTIVAL APRIL 28- MAY 1, Trujillo, Spain

For those obsessed with all things cheddar, gouda and brie, the National Cheese Festival in Trujillo is the event for you. Running in its 31st year, it is now the largest cheese fair in the world. Hundreds of stalls presenting the finest cheeses worldwide can be found alongside wine and beer stands. Talk about foodie heaven!

Chile Food & Wine Tour


One of New York’s largest and oldest traditions is back. The 9th Avenue Food Festival is a unique celebration of cultural diversity through food and cuisine. The fair offers both traditional festival treats like mozzarepas and funnel cakes but it also offers dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Taste a blend of Argentinian, Brazilian, Cajun, Ethiopian, Greek, Irish, Moroccan and so much more. COOPER’S HILL CHEESE ROLLING MAY 27, Brockworth, England

Does English cheese taste better after having been rolled down a hill? How else would one explain this annual event, which sees thousands gather in the town of Brockworth each May to celebrate spring and watch racers chase nine-pound wheels of cheese down Cooper’s Hill.


Where better to pig out on pizza than in its birthplace, Naples? This annual summer festival celebrates 300 pie-loving years with the World Pizza-Making Championships, master classes from top pizza chefs and, of course, lots (and lots) of eating at Napoli Pizza Village on Naples’ beachfront.






• Chilean cooking class in Santiago (stop at the market to pick the fresh produce) • Visit of a winery and tasting in Rosario Valley • Visit of a winery and tasting in Millahue Valley • Visit of 2 wineries and tasting in Colchagua Valley • Visit of 2 wineries and tasting in Maipo Valley

• Round trip airport transfers • Meet and greet by our local representatives • Accommodation at 3« and 4« hotels, 7 breakfasts and 6 lunches • English/Spanish speaking local guides during the visits • City tour of Santiago, city tour of Valparaiso, visit of a museum, cooking class and visit of 6 wineries • Hotel taxes and fees



Per person, in double occupancy

Prices advertised on our site and on pdf documents downloaded from our site are valid if you purchase services from a travel agent in one single session. Prices could be different in your next session. NOT INCLUDED: International Airfare, optional excursions, beverages and gratuities to drivers, guides and hotel personnel. Rates applicable to new bookings only. For conditions and details, please refer to your travel agent. TravelBrands Inc., B.C. Reg. # 3597. Ont. Reg. # 50012702 Quebec permit holder # 702 734. 5450 Explorer Drive, Suite 300, Mississauga, ON L4W 5N1.

Changes after departure, please contact us 24/7 1 (800) 727-8687 (North America) (416) 850-0978 (Collect)

[ A8288 ]


Culinary & wine events across the globe, taking place December 2018 – June 2019

WE PLAN – YOU SAVOUR THE EXPERIENCE Relieve the anxiety of planning your culinary vacation and focus on the fun of exploring, dining and learning. Our team of professional travel specialists will guide you through planning your next food and wine vacation, recommend great locations and even let you in on a few travel tips from their own culinary experiences. OUR PROMISE Stress free travel, so you can savour your vacation.

Profile for Ensemble Travel

Bon Vivant  

Bon Vivant