The Traveler's Table 2021

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WINTER 2022

NEW CLICKABLE EDITION

The Hottest Trips for Traveling Foodies 5 Chefs Reveal Their Go-To Destinations

Perfect Pairings: Tuscany | Da Nang | Warsaw

Who Cooks the Best Pork in Ecuador?

Chasing Kerala’s Spices

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2021/2022 Gift Guide!


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Life’s most memorable meals are served around The Traveler’s Table Our Promise When you book a culinary vacation with us, you’ll enjoy ... Smooth travel to the most appetizing destinations on the planet Food and beverage tasting excursions, whipped up just for you Extras and amenities that make every moment more delicious Demos and cooking lessons with award-winning culinary experts Contact your trusted travel advisor today!

A Proud Member of Ensemble Travel® Group Experience that takes you places

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CONTENTS

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DEPARTMENTS

WHERE DO CHEF’S GO ON VACATION?

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A handful of chefs weigh in on their culinary travels

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From the Editor

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Contributors

PERFECT PAIRINGS

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Small Bites

Partners, good friends, and new people all add flavor to our travels

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Sea Foodies

FOR THE LOVE OF FORAGED FOOD

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Gift Guide

THE CULINARY KID

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Born in Panama and living in Bali, Hawksley Spicer will try anything

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A celebrated Swiss chef brings high-end dining down to earth

THE SCENT OF PARADISE

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Two cookbook authors visit the birthplace of their favorite spices VIDEO

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DINING WITH EL PRESIDENTE

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Serendipity strikes on an après-Galapagos tour to inland Ecuador INTERVIEW

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THE SWEETEST SOUVENIR

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The “third wave” of honey tourism is in full swing, and we’re all in MUSIC

GIRLS GONE GLADING

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Grouper, alligator, crab “scoobies” – plus Cuban food after dark

TRANSATLANTIC GLAM

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A spirited traveler sails across the sea to attend The Ginstitute of London

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WELCOME TO THE NEW DIGITAL EDITION OF

EXTRAORDINARY

COCKTAIL DIGITAL COCKTAILREMIX THE TRAVELER’S TABLE:

What’s better than a magazine about travel and food? Devouring The Traveler’s Table in an easy, eco-friendly, digital format that makes plotting your next foodie adventure oh-so satisfying! BOOK

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As you feast your eyes on these tantalizing pages, be sure to click the interactive icons to see juicy content and supplier videos that sync with each page’s theme. VIDEO

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LOOK FOR THESE ICONS INSIDE THE MAGAZINE INTERVIEW 2

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EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF

Kimberly Buerkle

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michele Sponagle

Nancy Hellmrich CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Laura Torrisi

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Torrisi Design Associates An Ensemble Travel® Group Publication Ensemble Vacations® is a publication of ­ roup Ensemble Travel® G © December 2021 Ensemble Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. Ensemble Travel Group 256 West 38th Street New York, NY 10018. Ensemble® Ensemble Travel® Ensemble® Hosted Cruises Ensemble® Hotel & Resort Collection Ensemble® On Location Ensemble® Villas & Vacation Homes Ensemble® Exclusives Ensemble® Experience and the floret design are registered and unregistered trademarks of Ensemble Travel, Inc.

ON THE COVER:

A meal is prepared over an open fire in Bangalore, Karnataka, India Photo Credit: Amith Nag (@amithnag) for Getty Images SUBMISSIONS:

Got a travel story you’d like to share? See inside back cover for how to submit your pitch.

Dear Traveler, I know we’re not supposed to have favorites, but The Traveler’s Table has special meaning for me because I grew up in a family that valued the time spent with those we loved, around the dining table. One side was from Palermo, the other from Messina—two unique faces of Sicily. My great grandparents came through Ellis Island and settled in New York’s Little Italy. They brought with them the belief that food was love and, through the years, embedded in me the thrill of culinary adventure. Growing up, we ate crazy things. Goudina, pig skin that’s rolled and braised in a thick ragù. Vasteda, fried beef spleen on a roll with parmesan cheese. We ate tripe, brains, snails – we call them babaluci – and artichoke-like carduna stalks that were dipped in egg, breadcrumb and fried to a golden brown. The idea was always, “Try it, tell us if you like it first. Then we’ll tell you what you just ate.” Since those early days, I’ve traveled to many Caribbean islands, throughout Central and South America, 30 of our United States and even celebrated the turn of the millennium with hot toddies in Ireland. Wherever I went, I savored, not just the food, but the people and stories around the food that make travel and cuisine such a perfect pairing. As we gather to ring in a new year, the theme for this issue just had to be Savoring— not just the food but the whole experience. When you’re ready to book your next culinary adventure, count on your trusted Ensemble Travel advisor to get you into all of the best places. Buon appetito! Kim Buerkle, Editor Kbuerkle@EnsembleTravel.com

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Contributors

ROBIN CHERRY lives in the Hudson Valley and writes about travel, food, and popular culture. She’s written two books: Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping and Garlic: An Edible Biography (with over 100 recipes). She’s visited over 100 countries and has a passion for Central and Eastern Europe. Pages.14-16

Based in Colorado, NANCY HELLMRICH is a recovering advertising creative director and active travel enthusiast. Her work includes brand alignment projects as well as travel stories. Her recent adventures include grappa tasting on the coast of Croatia, cycling in New Zealand, snuggling up in Sweden’s Ice Hotel, and glamping in the Sahara. Pages 6-13, 51-53

SMITA AND SANJEEV CHANDRA Based in Toronto, Smita and Sanjeev share their expertise in South Asian cuisine via vlog, radio and television appearances, and cooking classes. Here, the authors of three best-selling cookbooks track down the origins of their favorite spices, pages 38-39.

MICHAEL SHAPIRO Michael’s book, The Creative Spark, just won a 2021 Independent Publisher (IPPY) award. Fresh from an interview with Jane Goodall for National Geographic, he took time to tell us about his “El Presidente” moment on a trip in Ecuador, pages 40-42.

CAROLYN B. HELLER Based in Vancouver, Carolyn is a travel, food, and feature writer who has eaten her way across more than 50 countries. She’s the author of three Canada guidebooks, and has been published in Travel + Leisure, TIME, Lonely Planet, and more. Page 27.

CHANTAL PANOZZO, Currently living in Chicago, Chantal spent almost a decade in the land of cheese, chocolate, and people who can pronounce her name. She is the author of several books, including Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known. Page 34.

Canadian by birth, LAUREN SPICER is an avid traveler, writer, content creator, and community engagement specialist. She is currently living in Bali, Indonesia, with her partner and two children, the eldest of whom is featured in her story on pages 22-24.

RUKSANA HUSSAIN Ruksana is a journalist and editor who revels in eclectic cultural experiences. Born in India, raised in Oman, she now calls Los Angeles home. Her work has been published in Cuisine Noir, Edible Los Angeles, Dining Out, Global Glam. Pages 19-21

GABBY PEYTON is a food and travel writer based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Her obsession with documenting travelling to eat on her blog The Food Girl in Town has turned into a decade-long journalism career. She is the current restaurant critic for The Telegram and writes for media outlets, such as en Route, Eater and CBC. Page 28.

JANICE TOBER Janice is the executive editor of Hotel Addict and a freelance travel and lifestyle writer. She’s a former contributing editor for CNT’s HotelChatter and has written for Lonely Planet, Trivago, Bravo TV, iExplore, and more. Page 55.

EMILY MANTHEI Emily is a Berlin-based travel writer covering Central Europe and her home state of California. Her work has been published in Bon Vivant, Deutsche Welle, Open Skies, and many other publications. Read her story about Warsaw cocktails on page 30. VIDÉO

WAHEEDA HARRIS Waheeda writes about art, culture, cuisine, travel, and people who are passionate about what they create. A regular contributor to Toronto Star, en Route magazine, Travelweek and Travel Life, she shares her knowledge of honey and apitourism with us on page 45.

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IT’S YOUR HEART THAT TAKES YOU PLACES We make your travels to the world’s most magical destinations possible. But it’s your endless passion for discovery that leads you there.

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EXQUISITELY CR AF TED CUISINE. CUR ATED TR AVEL EXPERIENCES. SM ALL SHIP LUXURY.

Contact your Travel Advisor today. Ask about our agency benefits, including FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities. Visit OceaniaCruises.com/terms for details. DEC210696


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We revel in the “mouth feel” of the word béchamel. Believe dinner reservations are as important as booking the flights. And often refer to celebrity chefs by their first names. As Gordon would say, “Such is the life of a foodie.” Now, while the holidays are in full swing and we’re feeling extra generous, it’s time to dust off those “Will Travel for Food” luggage tags and make plans for next year’s epicurean escapes. To that end, this section serves up all the ingredients for a New Year worth relishing—from that midnight sip of Champagne to a final, fluffy bite of tiramisu.

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World Chef Scene Not the Same Old Borscht Russia just became the 35th country to have a Michelin guide. Sixty-nine restaurants in Moscow were recommended, nine of which received the coveted stars. Twins Garden, run by the Berezutskiy twins, and Artest, from Chef Artem Estafev were the two-star winners. One-star picks included White Rabbit, from Chef Vladimir Mukhin, who also placed 9th in The World’s Best Chef Awards. His tasting menu lives up to the name Metamorphoses. Cocktails include the Baked Potato, made with vodka, caramel butter cream, and actual baked potatoes.

Wild Roebuck & Happy Ducks We can’t get enough of Slovenia, and that includes their gastronomic forerunners. This year’s Michelin edition kept its two-star rating for Chef Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, who also placed 7th in The Best Chef Awards. Wild roebuck drizzled in fermented bee pollen sauce, anyone? Franko’s dessert expert, Maša Salopek, was named World’s Best Pastry Chef. Michelin also added to Slovenia’s one-star list with Chef Luka Košir’s Gostišče Grič, which boasts the nation’s first eco-certified duck farm.

Flying Pigs & Arctic Char Roe Avant-garde (and completely bizarre) Chef Dabiz Muñoz of DiverXo in Madrid took first place in the awards. He was followed by Chef Björn Frantzén of Frantzén in Stockholm and Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain. Brazilian Chef Alex Atala of Dalva e Dito in Brazil placed 8th. The way-too-good-looking Italian-Argentine Chef Mauro Colagreco, of Mirazur on France’s Cote d’Azur, took 10th. Colagreco’s newest restaurant, Ceto, just opened last month at the Maybourne Riviera hotel in France.

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The Berezutskiy twins

Chef Vladimir Mukhin

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Chef Ana Roš

Maša Salopek

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SLOVENIA Chef Luka Košir

Chef Dabiz Muñoz

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SAN SEBASTIÁN Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz

STOCKHOLM Chef Björn Frantzén

BRAZIL Chef Alex Atala

COTE D’AZUR Chef Mauro Colagreco

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Bingeworthy Fabulous Foodie Flicks

Available on Disney+, Wolfgang (2021) follows the life and career of Austrian chef-restaurateur Wolfgang Puck. Elsewhere, a new prequel of Wonka (2023), starring Timothée Chalamet, is BOOK scheduled for release March 17th, 2023.

Next Level Chef

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VIDEO MUSIC INTERVIEW Wolfgang Puck

Much to modern foodies’ glee, Netflix’s Chef’s Table docuseries was recently renewed for two more seasons. Season 7 is expected the first half of 2022 with episodes filmed in restaurantsVIDÉO “across the globe.” Multi-Michelin starred British Chef Gordon Ramsey (@gordongram) is launching a new show on FOX called Next Level Chef, which features competitors who are line cooks, ENTREVUE home chefs, social media darlings, and food truck owners.

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High Society Dining, anyone? We’ve gotMUSIQUE a vacation to the United Kingdom in mind, and our pre-trip inspiration involves Duke’s gooseberry pie, Penelope’s cucumberENTREVUE sandwiches, and Queen Charlotte’s cakes— compliments of the new Unofficial Bridgerton Cookbook.

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RECIPE Haven’t Tried RECETTEYet Groovy New Restaurants You (Probably) Firangi Superstar (Singapore) is a love letter to India. The modern Indian restaurant presents a cinematic journey through the Motherland, seen through an imagined fantasy. lens.

Radical Chic (Hong Kong) La Mayor (Oslo, Sweden) BOOK LIVRE Located on the 101st floor of is a contemporary Mexican International Commerce Center, fusion restaurant in the COCKTAIL RadicalChic boasts sweepingCOCKTAILheart of Oslo. views to enjoy alongside a creative Italian menu.

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Gruta (Porto, Portugal) On the bustling Santa Catarina Street, GRUTA is a cozy and minimalist restaurant that aims to treat all the fish and seafood from the vast Portuguese coast very well.


Kerb

World’sLargest Food Truck Rally

Sweet Chimney Bakers

Local Favorites Foreign Food Trucks A lot has changed in the world’s food truck circuit. Ardent street diners can still fly south for the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally in Tampa, Florida. Those with international tastes can jet off to Timisoara, Romania, for Europe’s biggest street food manifestation—The Carnival. With a little research, food truck festivals can be found all over the world. The most popular ones are in England, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Wales, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine.

Karavan

London’s Eat St. is now KERB, featuring oodles of talented kerbanists like Biàn Dāng, Baba Dhaba, Greedy Khao, Truffle, Wandercrust, Jamon Jamon, and Sweet Chimney Bakers. In Amsterdam, Het Weekend Van de Rollende Keukens (The Weekend of Rolling Kitchens) 4-day festival is scheduled for May 25 - 29, 2022. In Milan and Florence, Porcobrado just won the European Street Food Award for Italy. In Budapest, food court Karaván hosts tantalizing vendors like Cupákos, Zing Burger, Paneer, Gulyás Tunkoló Büfé, Bors Gasztrobár, Funky Pho, Leves Soup, and Tomi Lángos. ENSEMBLE TR AVELER ’S TABLE 2021

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UNRIVALED SPACE AT SEA

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The luxury of personal space is central to the promise of An Unrivaled

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Experience® with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. Our wide range of

specialty restaurants, al fresco and in-suite dining options, exquisite lounges, bars and expansive spaces are perfect to rest and celebrate in, knowing there is never a queue or a crowd and that every detail is taken care of and every amenity is included.

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Join us and discover how — with our unrivaled space at sea — we will exceed your loftiest expectations of comfort and personalized service for a truly unforgettable experience RECIPE aboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™.

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CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO LEARN MORE

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For the latest details on our health and safety protocols, please contact your travel advisor

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@dutchcuisine

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Fame & Foodies No Time to Drink Martinis Despite a rep for martinis shaken not stirred, in No Time to Die, English actor Daniel Craig ends his run as 007 barely sipping a martini, downing glasses of scotch on the run, and helping himself to Q’s bottle of St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A, a silken Bordeaux.

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While fans might take that as an excuse to jet off to France, we’ve got a bigger itinerary in mind, featuring filming locations in: Port Antonio, Jamaica; Matera, Italy; Langvann Lake, Norway; the Faroe Islands; Cairngorms, Scotland; as well as London and Iver Heath, England.

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Insta Chefs Not surprisingly, data scientists report that food is the most photographed subject on COCKTAIL The hashtag #food Instagram. appears on over half a billion posts. We’re loving that the hashtag #foodtravel has nearly a million posts. It’s great to see LIVRE so many people really savoring everything the world has to offer.

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We (Heart) Stanley Tucci

@chef_thibault_chiumenti

We’ve been doubly smitten since he made that first Negroni on YouTube. Now Italian-American actor Stanley Tucci has got us seriously INTERVIEW ENTREVUE craving an Umbrian cooking class vacation. In his new memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, the attentive epicurean offers high praise for German film set breakfasts and Icelandic MUSIC MUSIQUE cuisine. His upcoming film, Supernova, is spun around a road trip through England’s Lake District. But we’re most excited about Season #2 of CNN’s Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.

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Forbidden Foods Our research into the popular culture of foodie travel took some interesting turns. In addition to the bizarre dishes of Madrid’s Chef Dabiz Muñoz, we found taboo treats all over the world, from Las Vegas, Chicago, and Jamaica to South Africa, Serbia, and Dubai.

Expensive Tastes Serbia’s extravagant donkey pule cheese is made with the milk of rescued donkeys who live on a farm in the Zasavica Nature Refuge, about 50 miles from Belgrade. According to the farm’s owner, Slobodan Simić, the cheese is a “natural aphrodisiac.” Duly noted.

Martha Goes to Vegas

At the World’s Fair (delayed from 2020) currently happening in Dubai, The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet offers a $500 three-course, multi-sensory meal that’s making waves with glow-in-the dark creations, flavor-changing desserts, and rare plant ingredients that have never seen a plate before.

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The Future Of Food Epochal Banquet

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Speaking of Sin City, there’s strong evidence that Martha Stewart is opening a new restaurant at Paris Las Vegas in 2022. We’re willing to bet Snoop will be flying in for the opening. VIDÉO Can’t wait? Spain’s beloved Chef José Andrés just opened Pigtail in Chicago, which features acorn ENTREVUEand olive fattened jamón ibérico delicacies—plus a basement speakeasy with swine-based cocktails. #weirdbutgood

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Move Over Amsterdam VIDÉO CBD-infused menus are giving curious travelers the opportunity to safely partake. In St. Ann, Jamaica, we hear RECETTE Kaya Herb House is a great place for “Mystic” Pizza. Med Chef, in Hong ENTREVUE Kong, offers cannabidiol-imbued lamb shanks. In Bangkok, Kiew Kai Ka serves a range of infused dishes, COCKTAIL including a “happy omelet.” MUSIQUE Blowfish, in Cape Town, is rumored to make a CBD-infused roll and poke LIVREbowl. In Brighton, UK, Canna Kitchen’s CBD Celeriac Rosti gets raves. And Cannabuzzz, in Las Vegas, RECETTE sells Fruity Pebbles bars infused with cannabutter, marshmallows, and “a whole lot of love.”

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Thirst Quenching

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Moderation is Trending

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One way to offset the decadence of a Cajun roux or an indulgent Italian Caciocavallo Silano is to cut back on the booze. While the very thought may seem shocking, the low- and no-alcohol sector is actually up over 500% thanks to some very chic new elixirs. We’re not talking about Dad’s Heineken 0.0 or that earthy friend’s kombucha. We’re talking elegant alt-spirits and botanicals from uber-glamorous distillers all over the world. With all of these elevated alt-beverage options...

Dry January Just Got More Delicious Seedlip - UK

MeMento - Italy

Æcorn - UK

Ritual Zero Proof - Chicago

Borrago - England

Three Spirit Drinks - Britain

Abstinence - South Africa

Rasāsvāda - New York

Lyre’s - Australia

Monday - California

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In International Waters Another growing trend? Globetrotting hydrophiles who get effusive about bubbly H2O from foreign lands. When Zac Efron sampled water with an aqua sommelier in Episode #2 of Netflix’s Down to Earth, we were rapt. Who knew Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) varied so much? When he jetted off to Paris to check out their Eau de Paris public water system, it was hard not follow him. For the hydro-curious, the Fine Water Society website explains the etiquette around epicurean water consumption and water sommelier certification. If ever there was a healthy travel splurge, this is it.

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Oenophiles’ Delight! Over in Portugal, WOW (World of Wine) has uncorked a wine school, museums, exhibitions, bars & cafes, and experiences designed to “wow” both amateurs and ardent oenophiles.

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SEA FOODIES As competition has heated up, many cruise lines have revamped their menus and venues, introduced new celebrity chefs, and optimized their culinary classes to include chef-hosted food market excursions. Let’s come clean right now and admit that our cruise vacations are often chosen for their menu offerings and onboard mixology. With that in mind, we contacted our favorite providers to see what new seafaring dining experiences they’ve cooked up for us this year.

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Oceania Aquamar Vitality Cuisine

Blu, Celebrity Aquaclass

The Taste of Wellness Aboard Oceania cruises, new Aquamar Vitality Cuisine includes surprisingly satisfying plant-based options and whole food dishes, BOOK such as the Osaka power bowl made with soba noodles, veggies, and a tangy orange-miso glaze. Each new day starts strong with energizing breakfasts like berry-topped oatmeal banana pancakes. Before bedtime, vodka-marinated Strawberries Romanoff make for the sweetest of dreams. In Blu, the exclusive restaurant for Celebrity’s AquaClass® guests, a “clean, crisp, and inventive” new menu ensures post-massage meals keep the healthy vibes flowing.

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Cooking Classes at Sea Sailing on Seven Seas Splendor, we discovered 16 new cooking classes from which to choose. World of Flavor features street food classics like Belgian waffles and Israeli falafel. Sensuous Spain reveals the art of creating a multi-sensory tapas array. Batter Up is all about doughy delights like French crepes, Tuscan flatbread, and Turkish fritters. S.A.L.T. Lab

In Silversea’s new S.A.L.T. Lab, guests prepare dishes with local market ingredients and learn from regional experts. Maya Kerthyasa, a member of Ubud’s royal family, shares her grandmother’s Balinese recipes. And Filipino-American Chef Nicole Ponseca prepares sarsa na uyang, a grilled chili shrimp dish unique to Romblon Island.

The Menu is the Journey Aboard Celebrity Beyond, La Voyage by Chef Daniel Boulud takes us on a global culinary journey with dishes like curried cauliflower soup; mushroom risotto with garlic, parsley, and parmesan; and sea bass with za’atar—an earthy Middle Eastern blend of oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds.

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SEA FOODIES Master Chef’s Table on Holland America

Around the Chef’s Table “Chef’s Tables” are private affairs held for a small group of passengers in a separate room or in front of the kitchen, where all the action happens. These intimate dinners offer the opportunity to spend time with loved ones or make new acquaintances.

Princess Chef Table

The Master Chef’s Table on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam welcomes 18 guests to an extravagant seven-course meal, served with wine pairings. Presented on glamorous Versace china, choices include over-the-top delicacies like pan-seared foie gras; veal with sweetbreads and black truffles; and decadent chocolate pastries with port.

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Princess’ Chef’s Table dinner starts in the kitchen where guests tour the galley while sipping Champagne. A regionally-inspired menu is hosted by the chef and features satisfying dishes like wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil and “Surf ’n Turf” with lobster, beef tenderloin, and lamb.

Hobnobbing with Chefs

Windstar Market Tours

Eating local is one of the great joys of cruising. Seeing the ingredients in their natural habitats makes the experience even richer. This year, special market tour excursions present the opportunity to shop local food markets in the company of a chef to learn how ingredients are selected. Back on board, those same ingredients are transformed into delicious dishes. Windstar offers a chef-led market tour on every sailing. Guests pick up saffron, rice, and fresh oranges in Valencia’s magnificent Art Nouveau market. In Vietnam, Hoi An’s Central Market is the place to buy fish and gather rice noodles, greens, and pork for the city’s legendary cao lau. On Oceania’s Culinary Discovery Tours, guests peruse local food markets, vineyards, or farms. Then they gather for cooking demonstrations and classes in scenic settings, such as a Venetian chef’s private villa or a tropical plantation in French Polynesia.

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Oceania Culinary Discovery Tours


TASTE THE ESSENCE OF THE CULTURE

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OFFICIAL CRUISE LINE OF THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

Discover the Moorish heritage of Spain in paella, the terroir of Tuscany in delicious prosciutto, and the wild celebration of flavor in Alaskan king crab. No matter what destination calls your name, the local culture is deliciously reflected in the meals you enjoy on Windstar, the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation. Fresh, local ingredients – often selected by your yacht’s chef on a trip to the local market – go into every perfectly presented dish. It’s just one more way we help you devour local life and community, and whet your appetite for travel. This is Windstar – private yacht style cruising with only 148 to 342 guests – 180 degrees from ordinary. Call your Ensemble Travel Advisor today for all-inclusive value and exclusive extras.

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LEARN ABOUT THE S.A.L.T. PROGRAM VIDÉOTO LIFE ABOARD SILVER COMING MOON’S INAUGURAL SEASON.

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S.A.L.T. is simple. It stands for Sea And Land Taste and is the opportunity for all travellers on our new ship Silver Moon – and soon Silver Dawn – to experience the very lifeblood of their destination. Conceived by Adam Sachs, former Editor in Chief of Saveur Magazine, S.A.L.T. gives Silversea MUSICexperiences andMUSIQUE guests a chance to travel deeper through engaging local food culture. Balancing on shore experiences, with expert knowledge with on board hands on activities with food culture with taste sensations that will blow your mind, S.A.L.T. is far, far more than just a concept. RECIPE AND BROADEN RECETTE CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO RESERVE YOUR SUITE ABOARD SILVER MOON OR SILVER DAWN YOUR TASTE HORIZONS.


Where Do Chefs Go on Vacation? by

RUKSANA HUSSAIN

Travel is sometimes such a transformative experience that we take away more than memories when we leave. I enjoy bringing home ingredients from a favorite dish, so that I can continue to savor the dish long after my memories have faded. Among my mementos turned staples are Rwandan coffee and Indian spice mixes. But what do professional chefs bring back from their travels and where do they go to find inspiration for their menus? To find out, I contacted a few chefs I’ve met over the years.

Here’s what they had to say.

Credit: Adel Ferreira

“I go home to my grandparents’ house in Venda, Limpopo. It is a trek across South Africa, from the tip in Cape Town to the border that separates us from Zimbabwe, where the family farm and burial grounds are in Tshifudi. Usisi (grandparents’ housekeeper in Xhosa) shows me traditional methods of preparing food—how to harvest, dry and grind leaves, and which ‘weeds’ can be eaten. Identifying the correct dark leafy greens, a staple in many African homes called Moroho, is important. I now recognize some of the Moroho growing in the garden or along the roadside. I grow more in my foraging experience with every walk outside and conversations with Usisi.” Chef Amanda Manyatshe from South Africa, Private Chef at For the Foodie in Me

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Credit: Caerula Mar Club

“My wife is from Lima, Peru, and visiting her family in the place where she grew up has impacted my cooking at Caerula Mar, where we use fresh-caught seafood, tropical fruit and citrus. From street food like hot corn tamales to bright ceviche and earthy proteins, the slow food of Lima and the love family members put into cooking for us in their kitchen has inspired many dishes and encouraged me to incorporate Peruvian techniques. We do a grilled garlic lemon shrimp served with Peruvian aji amarillo sauce, and my take on Peruvian ceviche, made with fresh hogfish, shaved red onions, cilantro, goat peppers, and a lime garlic ginger marinade.” Chef Sebastian Perez from Argentina Executive Chef at Caerula Mar Club in South Andros Island, Bahamas

“In August this year, I had one of the most revealing and inspiring trips to Kendall Jackson Winery Culinary Gardens in Santa Rosa, California. The whole experience starts with their sensorial garden, where they introduce you to some of the smells and flavors that you later identify in their wines. The complex includes many peculiar products and ingredients, one of which was the ‘oyster leaf.’ I close my eyes, taste a little bit of it, and it was like having a fresh oyster, but it was a plant! Now we are growing that plant to incorporate it in our next menus. The whole experience was truly unbelievable.” Chef Sergio Pérez from Mexico, Executive Chef at Casa Salles Hotel Boutique in Tequila Credit: Chef Pérez 20

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“There are no rules when you create a recipe for a new menu. Maybe there’s only one thing you must keep alive and that’s curiosity. But after curiosity, there’s the necessity that guides you in cooking. At the moment, I have to substitute Romanesco broccoli with a seasonal ingredient, so I took inspiration from Val Granara, not far from Rome, where I went for a relaxing weekend. The area is known for its porcini. I loved their veal shank with porcini and decided to use porcini inside the Romanesco broccoli to create my personal version of the dish. The aroma and flavor are intense, the taste is strong and distinct, and has a soft flesh perfectly mixed with the porcini.” Chef Antonio Vitale from Italy, Executive Chef at Bettoja Hotels in Rome Credit: Bettoja Hotels

“My last memorable holiday was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and the most recent in Dubai, UAE. In Mexico, I went to the market to find spices and products but found many were the same as ones in Africa. Hibiscus flower is called flor de jamaica in Mexico and we make the same juice out of it in West Africa. The technique of slow cooking meat under the sand is the same as in Niger. The Dubai experience was full of oriental spices and olfactive memories. Saffron from Iran, lavender from Syria, and sumac from Oman—I use them all in my marinades or to plate a dish, it adds that extraordinary flavor.” Chef Paule Beke from Ivory Coast, Executive Chef for Douceurs d’Ivoire in London

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"As soon as our little foodie could eat solids, he showed a preference over the usual baby fare for Panama’s fresh fruit, empanadas, patacones (fried plantains),and garlic soaked fish."

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The Culinary Kid by

LAUREN GRANT SPICER

Global travels give Hawksley a sophisticated palate well beyond his years Born in Latin America and currently living in Bali, Hawksley Spicer has eaten his way through Panama, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and Indonesia. He’s not a gluttonous tourist or a fancy Michelin critic, though he could be one day. And he wouldn’t refuse a cheese pizza, if offered. Yet, when asked what he wants for dinner, Hawksley often replies, “Dhal or udon, please.”

Hawksley is our son, and he is almost five years old. For eight years now, his father and I have been living the life of digital nomads. I am a certified holistic nutritionist and yoga instructor with a side gig in community development. Michael is a primary school educator and experiential learning facilitator. His first teaching job at a prestigious international school brought us from Toronto to Panama City, and set us on our way. Hawksley was born in 2017. Once he entered the world, we saw the positive impact of living in a different culture, learning new languages, and exploring new places. It isn’t without its drawbacks. It sometimes surprises people to hear that we are both incredibly close with our families and yet, we have chosen to live across the globe from them. Thankfully, we have families who genuinely see the joy this experience brings us. Plus, they aren’t about to shy away from a trip to Bali.

As soon as our little foodie could eat solids, he showed a preference over the usual baby fare for Panama’s fresh fruit, empanadas, patacones (fried plantains), and garlic soaked fish. By the time he was able to give chopsticks a try, he was diving into sushi and joining us for fish tacos at the Fish Market in Casco Viejo. From there, Mexican cuisine wasn’t a big reach. At just two, he was very vocal about his favorite version of guacamole with pico de gallo. Today, he will tell you that guacamole is an anytime food and should be served at breakfast. A budding restaurant critic, Hawksley loves to talk about the laid-back vibe and amazing tacos we ate in Tulum.

“Michael and I liked the energy and buzz of Tokyo. With unlimited ramen noodles and sushi spots, Hawksley was in heaven. He even gave the noodles at one place a “slurp factor of 10.”

When the cost of living in Panama City skyrocketed, Michael found a new teaching job in Bali and we relocated to Canggu, a tiny community on Bali’s south coast with lots of young families like us. Now, two years into our Balinese life—where beach play and jungle

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adventures make up the majority of our down time—Hawksley has become something of an Indonesian food connoisseur. He’s tried everything from local beach vendor food to the five-star cuisine at a restaurant called Locavore in Ubud. And he freely shares his opinions about the best corn fritters, fried bananas, nasi goreng (fried rice), and mie goreng (fried noodles) with anyone who will listen. One balmy Balinese night, in a moment of parental indecision, we asked Hawksley where we should go for dinner. “Japan,” he replied, in a matter of fact tone. We had visited Japan the year prior and cherished the time we spent there. Michael and I liked the energy and buzz of Tokyo. With unlimited ramen noodles and sushi spots, Hawksley was in heaven. He even gave the noodles at one place a “slurp factor of 10.” And what could be more fun for a modern little eater than ordering from an iPad and having your meal arrive on a little train?

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During a stopover in Singapore we ventured outside the chic, modern city to an open-air food complex called the Hawker Market. There, we had the chance to sample a wide range of dishes in one glorious location. The only challenge was making decisions. If we had let Hawksley have free rein, we might have gone home with an empty bank account. Instead, we let him choose a selection for all of us to share, Mom and Dad went along for the ride. Ramen was a must have, no surprises there. To that he added fried rice, curries, and fried dough fritters. Cambodia and Vietnam are on the list next. And now, with a baby sister in tow, Hawksley will be able to share his culinary recommendations with someone new.

Got a little travel foodie in your family? See the inside back cover to learn how they could be featured in a future issue!

"One balmy Balinese night, in a moment of parental indecision, we asked Hawksley where we should go for dinner. “Japan,” he replied, in a matter of fact tone.”


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FOOD & CELEBRATION

Game Night in Vietnam by

CAROLYN B. HELLER

Our grilled fish, garlicky beans, and Tiger Crystal beers had barely touched the table when a man approached, holding two red ribbons. He tied one around my husband Alan’s forehead, did the same for me, then returned to his friends.

“It’s the final of the Southeast Asian Games,” Alan said, peering intently at a wall-mounted screen. “Vietnam’s playing Indonesia.” Although every seat in the place seemed full, a server waved us in.

Raising their glasses, they pointed to our headbands, which read “Viet Nam Vô Dįch,” and translated across the crowded room, “Vietnam! Champions!”

He carried a table toward the far side of the restaurant, positioned it half-outside, near a pack of parked motorbikes, and took our order. Shortly thereafter, we were headband-wearing honorary members of Vietnam’s cheering squad.

Less than an hour earlier, Alan and I had been contemplating our dinner choices as we strolled in the direction of Da Nang’s brightly lit Dragon Bridge. Along the way, we passed jammed storefront restaurants, bars with patrons squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder, and homes with people spilling across tiny gardens and out onto the streets. After a curious few minutes, we realized that everyone was staring, transfixed, at television screens. Each screen was tuned to the same soccer game. Outside of a massive restaurant, we stopped to gaze through its glowing windows where dozens of people were drinking beer and eating from overflowing platters of fish and crab. Between bites and sips, they were cheering and calling to children whose faces had been painted with red and gold Vietnamese flags.

One with the crowd, we settled into our meals and the action on the screen. Suddenly, the room went crazy with people jumping and screaming. “Three to nothing,” Alan said. And, though it was obvious, “Vietnam won!” A man sprinted through the dining room, waving a Vietnamese flag. Another began setting off firecrackers, just steps from our indooroutdoor table. Two small boys flashed us a thumbs up, shimmying past in a victory dance. We joined the flow as the euphoric fans swarmed into the street, forming an impromptu parade of roaring motorbikes, honking horns, and flapping flags. As we shared in their reveling, our headbands elicited smiles and waves.

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Perfect Pairings

MEAT & VEGETABLES

Between Two Tables by

GABBY PEYTON

“Could we move over there?” I pleaded with a bewildered server after we were seated next to two sour-faced men who didn’t seem the least bit excited to be dining at Antica Macellaria Cecchini. The restaurant’s owner, Dario Cecchini, is an eighth-generation, nose-to-tail butcher who has been featured on the documentary series Chef ’s Table. Deep in the hills of Italy’s Chianti region, he serves communal meals in the Solociccia (butcher’s kitchen) above his 250-year-old butcher shop. The meals are designed to promote the importance of local butchers and showcase the meat from his respectfully raised bovines. It’s the kind of place where the chefs chant “Car-ne! Carne!” standing in front of a fiery hearth that is open to the dining room. This was the second time my husband, Adam, and I had been to Italy. In contrast to the backpacking trip we had done in our twenties, this time, we were there to explore the cuisine. To that end, we had booked a Tuscan agriturismo and spent a week visiting vineyards, farmers markets, and Michelin-starred restaurants. Our reservation for this 10-course, fixed-price lunch had been made months in advance, and were determined to enjoy it. With the Italian habit of seating people close together, table position was key. As the accommodating server guided to a new table, we breathed in the aroma of the roasting meat and readied our inner cave people—only to learn upon sitting down that one of our new dining companions was a vegetarian.

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Sarah and Noah, on vacation from Philadelphia, turned out to be ideal dining partners. Those who come to Cecchini’s restaurant are ardent foodies, whether they like meat or not. Here, there is a full menu for each, and plenty of extra for everyone to share. The four of us bonded over fresh bread and olive oil, then the procession began. Sarah dove into the luscious pickled vegetables, crostini, and tomato stew. The rest of us were treated to diced beef tartare, thick slices of carpaccio, and Panzanese steaks with potatoes and decadent Chianti butter. As we ate, we chatted about travel, wine, and, of course, food. To everyone’s surprise, the vegetarian dishes were a hit. I’ve never tasted a sweeter, almost beefy, braised onion.

By the time the cake, coffee, and grappa came out, we had become fast friends, exchanging contact information and promising to meet back here again someday.


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Beyond Vodka Bar hopping in Warsaw reveals a city ready to take its place as one of the world’s best new cocktail destinations

by

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EMILY MANTHEI

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Perfect Pairings

OLD FRIENDS, NEW DRINKS

When an old friend opens a cocktail bar, it’s time to pay him a visit. Hubert Olczak knows cocktails better than anyone else I know. He fell for them while judging a nationwide best bartender contest in 2011. Since then, he has been traveling the world comparing cocktails made by master mixologists in destinations like Hong Kong and London. But those served in his hometown of Warsaw have become his favorites and he was keen to show me why. “Cocktails here are among the most surprising and creative that I’ve ever seen,” he told me. “Poles are creative rule-breakers, and that’s the craziness of the Polish nature.” With my interest piqued, I headed to Warsaw ready to bar hop to the places making it a new go-to spot for top-notch cocktails. Leisurely sipping your liquor is a recent phenomenon in Poland, where traditional bars are focused more on serving shots of vodka. Mixed drinks played second fiddle. But in Warsaw, things started changing in 2005 with a bar called Paparazzi where bartenders learned to make classics. That’s where Paweł Rodaszyński, then a young bartender, first became inspired. Today, he is one of Poland’s leading mixologists and co-owner of El Koktel. From behind the bar, Rodaszyński opens the seasonal menu and presents it to Olczak, who is keen to introduce me to this unpretentious, dimly lit spot because of its reputation for serving up some

of the city’s very best cocktails. Hubert orders the mysterious sounding Darkness, presented in a black stone cup. Only the bartenders know the exact ingredients in it, prompting the bar to ask its patrons what they may be. Rodaszyński was an early cocktail advocate, but by 2014, Warsaw’s creative cocktail scene had erupted. “People became more interested in quality craft breweries, third wave coffee and cocktails,” he explains. Along with this shift, bars transitioned from pre-club stopovers to evening destinations themselves with owners creating unique settings and focusing on hospitality. As Olczak and I make our way through a back alley and descend some basement steps, an underground lair opens to reveal a wooden bar, carved with gothic ENSEMBLE TR AVELER ’S TABLE 2021

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motifs. His next pick of the night, Weles, is named after a Slavic god, known in Polish mythology as “lord of the night, defender of music and magic.” “Our cocktail list focuses on regional, herbal flavors, and our cocktails are mostly gin and vodka based. And we only serve vodkas from Poland,” says head bartender, Maciej Chludziński. A Warsaw native, Chludziński loves the community in the city’s hospitality industry. “If you’re going for cocktails, you know you’ll see friends. And you know where to find the cocktails you’re in the mood for because each bar delivers something specific.”

“I am really into classic recipes, like the ones we find in old bartender books,” he says. His eclectic, rare cocktails are supported by ingredients made in-house, including sloe gin, Swedish punch, hopinfused gin, and Polish vodka with spices and honey. As we polish off our final cocktails, I’m feeling that our trek here was well worth the trip.

We also hit up Kita Koguta (which means “cock’s tail” in Polish) for its rum-based tiki creations, as well as Woda Ognista, a bar oozing with retro charm. Finally, it’s time to see Olczak’s BackRoom Bar. Although he has never worked behind a bar, he has used his expertise from the barstool and his days spent as a marketing rep for Absolut Vodka to curate a special experience.

All of the highly regarded bartenders I met – thanks to Olczak – love to focus on the craft of making exquisite drinks with their own unique flair. The one thing they agree on is that bartending is still just 10 percent mixology and 90 percent socialization. It’s the latter that drew me to Warsaw in the first place.

“When I traveled, I came back to Warsaw sharing ideas and inspirations with bartenders,” he says as we come to a darkened, dead-end street. Around the corner, a few smokers stand outside an unmarked wooden door. Inside, vintage New York jazz, funky Art Deco wallpaper and dark, velvet curtains perfectly set the mood. Groups of patrons 32

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gather around intimate tables and chat with servers. Olczak explains that BackRoom’s bartenders are also servers so they can share their expertise with all guests – something usually reserved for those seated at bar. Our server for the night is Karol Rychlewicz, managing bartender, who explains his approach to cocktails.

I recall what Rodaszyński told me earlier in the evening: “Sometimes we spend a lot of time describing flavor and aroma, but it’s just as important to get the cocktail and spend time with the people around you.”

To plan your perfect overseas cocktail tasting adventure, contact your trusted Ensemble Travel Advisor.


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For the Love of Foraged Food by

CHANTAL PANOZZO

How a celebrated Swiss chef has turned high-end dining into a down-to-earth experience VIDEO

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VIDÉO In July 2019, when chef Sven Wassmer opened his latest restaurant, Memories, in the Swiss spa town of Bad Ragaz, he began a new chapter of his life. But before doing so he had to leave behind the two hardearned Michelin stars awarded to his former employer. That didn’t worry ENTREVUE Wassmer, who was also awarded 18 Gault Millau points in 2018. Despite all the accolades, he is still humble enough to personally serve guests, including me, the food he cooks. What happens before MUSIQUE your meal ever hits the dining room is what matters most. Imagine this – Wassmer, wandering the steep slopes and deep woods of Bad Ragaz. In all types of weather, there he is foraging for wild fruit, herbs, RECETTE– the best of which end and mushrooms up on diners’ plates at Memories. Saying he has an appreciation for produce is an understatement. Wassmer isCOCKTAIL a guy I might have a drink with – if he wasn’t so busy. He operates his kitchen with such precision it almost appears as if his crisp, white-collared team is performing surgery instead of preparing hay kombucha for my first course. LIVRE

The amber liquid is served in a plain bowl. On its inner rim is a small bouquet of hay. I hold the bowl up to my mouth and inhale. I’m immediately transported out of the dining room and into to the surrounding Alps while the flavor of a freshly picked apple swirls around in my mouth and a surprisingly spicy aftertaste cleanses my palate. For the next course, all that matters to Wassmer is that my carrot tastes like a carrot. But a funny thing happens when a chef makes a carrot taste like itself, it’s no longer a carrot. It’s a culinary piece of art. “The longer I cook, the more I leave out,” he explains. He sets the “Carrot from Pratval” in front of me.


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Swiss wines you need to try You’ll need to visit Switzerland if you want to sample its wines since the vast majority of them are not exported. Here’s a wish list of wines recommended by Memories’ sommelier Amanda WassmerBulgin. The single carrot, cooked whole, is sitting on a bed of Alpine barley, as if it hasn’t quite left its mountain garden. But if I hadn’t known any better, I would have thought I was eating sweet potato. This carrot is melodious and it melts in my mouth. We’re far from the final course, and yet this carrot could have been the nine-course meal’s sweet finale. His desire is for all his diners to “taste again, as if they’ve never tasted before.” My meal could stop now and he would have already succeeded. But luckily, it didn’t end there. I would have missed the miniature Alpine herb bouquet tied with a single chive and the sourdough bread, made with only flour, water and salt. I would have also missed the “white mountain sheep

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from the Bernese Oberland” placed on a bed of herbs from the meadow of its origin. And then I would not have been served drinks by Amanda Wassmer-Bulgin, Switzerland’s most famous female sommelier and also Wassmer’s wife. And finally, I’m glad I didn’t miss the encore – pickled Alpine flowers set atop a meringue resembling the cloud nine I feel I’m floating on after this meal. Such an experience, however minimal the intention, is hard to forget. To that notion, Wassmer simply smiles. After all, his restaurant is called Memories for a reason.

Weingut Donatsch, Pinot Blanc, Malans Gentle on the aromatics, but a refreshing white to suit any occasion. Weingut Donatsch, Pinot Noir Unique, Malans You’ll think you’re in Burgundy, thanks to the pronounced bright red notes of wild strawberries and violets. Weingut Obrecht, Completer, Jenins Offering a vibrant, mouth-watering acidity and rich, broad texture, it’s white that could easily replace a red on a menu. Demeter Biodynamic, Weingut Hansruedi Adank, Brut, Fläsch Simply the best sparkling wine in Switzerland. Peter Wegelin, Chardonnay, Malans An exceptional local Chardonnay with lean and taut structure with a Chablisesque mineral streak. Think juicy candied lemons with a salty finish.


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Aanavilasam Plantation

The Scents of Paradise by

SMITA & SANJEEV CHANDRA

Aromas of pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom lingered in the air as we drove along the steep road that wound up hills whose sides were covered with lush, green trees. Our destination was Aanavilasam—a working, thriving, spice plantation that doubles as a luxury resort. It is a lovely, tranquil place with flower-lined paths leading to the guest rooms. flavor of cardamom. Even the bees here were raised on cardamom flowers!

Aanavilasam Plantation

Sitting on the verandah of our resort room, we were shaded by a canopy of towering eucalyptus, cinnamon, and jackfruit trees. Thick vines, heavy with bunches of peppercorns clung to the tree trunks. And the heady perfume of spices was everywhere. If paradise is scented by spices, as ancient legends claim, we had arrived! The following morning, as we gathered for breakfast and dipped into the honey, we discovered, to our delight, that it had the distinct

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Born and raised in India, we have lived in North America for decades and often tap into experiences from our homeland to teach and write about Indian food. Spices are at the heart of Indian cuisine, yet, despite years of using and talking about them, neither of us had ever seen these beloved seasonings being grown. India’s verdant state of Kerala had long been on the list of places we hoped to visit, both for its natural beauty and because of the abundance of spices grown there. The tropical Malabar coast where merchants from around the world have come for millennia to buy spices grown in

the nearby hills – seemed like the perfect place to begin. After discussing the various options, we decided on a twoweek tour that would take us from the port city of Kochi to the hill town of Thekkady, with many scenic stops in between. Spices, we soon learned, do not grow in neat rows. Rather, they are a riot of foliage that threaten to overwhelm everything around them. Pepper vines clamber up


the trunk of any tree within reach. Clusters of cardamom pods trail on the ground. Nutmeg, mace, cloves, and star anise grow next to coffee, cocoa, papaya, bananas, and cashews. During the tour, we tasted fresh ginger dug from the ground, crushed a leaf from an allspice plant to inhale its lovely aroma, peeled bark from a cinnamon tree, and broke open a fresh green cardamom pod to sample the crunchy, aromatic seeds inside. Each new burst of flavor was an eye-opening, unforgettable experience. Kerala’s food is renowned for the liberal use of spices and coconut in fragrant meat, seafood, and vegetable curries. Each new meal we tasted in the resort was made with the plantation’s own spices, vegetables, honey, and dairy products. The flavors were so pure and fresh, we didn’t want to stop eating! The chef ’s creativity shone in dishes like decadent pumpkin halwa with cashews; melt-in-the-mouth beet croquettes scented with cinnamon;

fresh paneer korma with garam masala; and banana cardamom preserves slathered over toast. He even gave us a cooking lesson in the plantation kitchens, showing us how to make Kerala’s famous fish curry, one of our favorite dishes. In the town of Kochi we discovered a melting pot of culinary influences left behind by the Arab, Chinese, and European merchants who sailed into its port. Overlooking the harbor, the stately Brunton Boatyard hotel was the perfect place to experience this magnificent range. Sitting at the hotel’s History Restaurant, we scanned a truly international menu that included English beef cutlets, Syrian fish curry, Portuguese pork vindaloo, and a sublime Dutch-inspired cinnamon laced, coconut milk crème caramel called vattalappam. Our selection was a seafood thali with grilled marinated fish, spicy mussels, masala calamari, and delicate prawn biryani with spicy fresh cardamom pickle.

Returning home to Toronto, our bags were filled with spices that had been grown on the plantation and our hearts were full of warmth. Whenever we open our kitchen spice cabinet, the scent instantly sweeps us back to India. We delight in the heightened flavor of the dishes we make with them, and cherish the memories of our scented journey through the lush, green hills of Kerala.

Brunton Boatyard hotel

Contact your trusted travel advisor to find a vacation that’s perfect for you.

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by MICHAEL SHAPIRO

Dining with El Presidente A national roast pork competition in the mountain town of Otavalo showcases local flavor.

My wife and I didn’t come to Ecuador for the national roast pork festival. Until we got to the mountain town of Otavalo, known for its bustling open-air market, we hadn’t even heard of the event, known as the Campeonato Mundial del Hornado. In 2016, we planned to visit the Galapagos Islands, and we asked a savvy travel advisor where else in Ecuador we should go. Without missing a beat, she recommended Otavalo, home to one of South America’s largest craft and food markets. After seeing the giant tortoises, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos, we returned to the mainland and headed for Otavalo. At outdoor markets, people lined up for roast pork, the country’s national dish. Vendors proudly displayed the whole roast pig, typically with a shiny red apple in its mouth. After wandering the Saturday market’s alleys

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for hours and buying gorgeously woven tapestries to take home, we sat down on a park bench. Next to me was a middle-age man with his family; we got to talking, and he invited us to his home for warm sweetened milk and cookies. He asked us in Spanish if we’d come to Otavalo for the Campeonato Mundial? “The world championship?” I asked. “Of what?” “Hornado!” he said. “Roast pork! The president is coming!” “The president of Ecuador?” I asked, finding it hard to fathom that the country’s top official would come to this remote highland outpost for a food festival. “Sí, Rafael Correa, el presidente del país!” The festival would start the next morning in the stadium outside of town. It would take about a half hour to walk there, our new friend told us. People in highland Ecuador measured distance in walking time.

The next morning marching bands trumpeted through the narrow streets, church bells rang, and excited children shouted with anticipation. We joined the celebratory procession, approaching the stadium on dusty paths. The crowd was a mix of indigenous people who’d come down from surrounding pueblos and locals dressed in Western attire. Patriotic songs boomed over the PA system; then Gerardo Morán, one of Ecuador’s most popular singers, serenaded the thousands of people in the stadium. Best of all, we could smell the savory meat roasting. There were 20-some booths selling plates of slowroasted pork, prepared the typical Ecuadorian way: with garlic and lime, and spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika and achiote (ground annatto seed, which gives the meat a golden-orange hue). Traditional roast pork requires a couple of days of marinating and several hours of cooking, so it’s often made for special occasions.

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Wearing a white shirt embroidered with Ecuador’s rainbow emblem, sleeves rolled up, the dashing President Correa sat in the center of a long table with his fellow judges, facing the crowd. It almost looked like a scene from The Last Supper. Correa clearly relished his role as the master of ceremonies, cheering on the bands, applauding the chefs, and admiring the young women servers who brought him plate after plate. He appeared to enjoy every bite. Three trophies stood on the stage — one towering, one big, and one modest — to be awarded to the top three hornados, as determined by Correa and his team of judges. It was like attending a live version of Top Chef. Each of the booths represented one of Ecuador’s 24 provinces. They served aromatic plates of pork with traditional side dishes such as hominy and salsa. I spoke to a chef at one of the booths, Bryan Alvarado of Imbabura province. Each dish represents the

“proprias personas,” the distinct personality of the people who cook it, he told me, and each family has its own recipe. Beyond the spices, he said, the pork is typically simmered in butter and beer. He insisted we try his recipe and dished out some succulent slices for us. We took our plates to a long picnic table. An elderly woman in traditional dress watched as we tasted the pork. I smiled and said: “Delicioso!” She beamed and nodded, pleased that we were enjoying the plato tipico of Ecuador.

As dusk approached, a chill enveloped the stadium so my wife and I decided to head back to town. The winners hadn’t been announced yet, but our bellies were full and our hearts content after a day of cultural connection and savory food, garnished with the kindness of strangers.

Want to extend your next cruise with a delicious inland adventure? Contact your trusted Ensemble Travel Advisor.

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WITH THE BEST

AFAR Travelers’ Awards 2020 CRUISE CRITIC Cruisers’ Choice 2019 PORTHOLE Best Alaska Itineraries 2020 TRAVEL AGE WEST Wave Awards 2019

EXPLORE ALASKA WITH HOLLAND AMERICA LINE Whether cruising into magnificent Glacier Bay, extending your adventure to our own resort at Denali National Park, or exploring gold rush history with the only cruise line that takes you to the Yukon Territory, experience the Great Land with

Book our Have It All premium package and get four high-value amenities included in your fare.*

the people who know it best. Plus, when you dine on board, you’ll enjoy the flavors of Alaska, inspired by our Culinary Council® of world-renowned chefs.

VIDEO

VIDÉO

*Holland America Line is an authorized concessioner of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. The Have it All (“HIA”) fare (and its parts): are not transferable or refundable, have no cash value, are not valid on Grand Voyages or 1-5 day cruise voyages, and are subject to availability. Any advertised fare may be changed or revoked at any time. Fare is subject to full terms and conditions, available at hollandamerica.com/package-terms. Signature Beverage Package has a daily INTERVIEW ENTREVUE limit of 15 beverages. Only available on beverages priced at US$11.00 or less. Must be 21+ for alcoholic beverages. Management reserves right to revoke the package and may refuse service for any reason. Package excludes beverages purchased in Signature Shops, Mini Bar, In-Room Dining, or on Half Moon Cay. Specialty dining based on cruise duration and ship type. Dining options determined by ship and excludes all events in Pinnacle Grill. Shore excursion offer is based on cruise duration: for 6–9-day voyages, guests can choose 1 shore excursion (up to $100 USD value) or apply $100 off any one tour; for 10–20-day voyages, guests can choose 2 shore excursions (up to $100 value per tour) or apply $100 off each of any 2 tours; for 21+ day voyages, guests can choose 3 shore excursions (up to $100 value per tour) or apply $100 off each of any 3 tours. If excursion chosen has a value of less than $100, you will receive any residual credit for purchasing additional tours aboard your cruise. Shore excursion must be used on corresponding cruise. For guests on a Cruisetour, discounts can be applied to optional excursions booked pre-cruise, but not onboard. WI-FI Surf Package: All onboard Internet usage is subject to HAL’s standard policies, which may limit or block browsing/use of some sites or applications due to network security and bandwidth usage. Offerings are subject to change without notice. Plan can be used on any device but only one device can be actively connected at a time. Upgrades are available once onboard. Offer applies to guests 1 & 2 only in a stateroom. MUSICShips’ Registry: The Netherlands. MUSIQUE


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THE SWEETEST SOUVENIR From Slovenia to New Zealand, honey is creating a buzz worldwide as apitourism soars by

Waheeda Harris

Prized for centuries as a natural sweetener, honey is not only one of the world’s oldest sweet treats, but has become an essential in any chef’s tool kit, using it for everything from making a vinaigrette for salads, balancing the flavors of a sauce or to add a hint of floral to a dessert as each honey has its own flavor profile. Today still, honey, created by bees using local floral nectars, makes for the sweetest of souvenirs, giving a whole new meaning to the expression “a taste of place.” Encouraging honey devotees to explore destinations in pursuit of the natural elixir, apitourism is flourishing in Italy, Greece and Canada, welcoming tourists to tastings on farm tours and the fine art of beekeeping. With a lengthy history of beekeeping, Slovenia has been a strong proponent of apitourism and boasts

the highest percentage of beekeepers per capita in the European Union. As the first country to proclaim May 20 as World Bee Day, it was honoring one of its own on his birthdate — Anton Janša, a noted 18thcentury bee expert and the beekeeping teacher of Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa. Beyond Slovenia, many countries around the planet produce all kinds of types of honey, from kitchen staples to the rarest of elixirs.

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New Zealand Honey bee farm

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A wide world of honey Alfalfa, clover and wildflower are some of the types of honey on grocery shelves INTERVIEW commonly seen ENTREVUE or at farm stands. Rare varieties include Tualang honey, produced by a giant honey bee using jungle flower nectar in the Malaysian rainforest; sidr honey, sourced from the sidr trees in the Yemen; and honey from Pitcairn MUSIC forests of eastern MUSIQUE Island, a tiny, pollution-free South Pacific island with a population of 48.

Tualang honey hive

Turkish Peri Bali

Turkish Peri Bali, often called elvish or fairy Turkish Peri Bali, the world’s most expensive honey

honey, is considered RECETTE the world’s most expensive honey, recently priced at 5,000 euros per kilogram. Sourced from caves in the northeastern region of Turkey, the scant supply has made this specific honey a rare commodity. Turkey is the world’s second-largest producer of honey, while COCKTAIL COCKTAIL China takes the top spot with more than 132 million gallons per year.

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Souvenirs with a sense of place A tasty way to experience the flowers of a destination’s landscape, honey makes for a great souvenir to take home or gift. Properly sealed and stored, it can last for several years. Here are some popular options to try.

Manuka honey, New Zealand. The Maori refer to the manuka bush as taonga, translated as ‘treasure.’ Sourced after the twoto six-week period when the Manuka shrub blossoms, this honey is a light shade of yellow, which naturally darkens over time. It has an earthy, somewhat herbaceous flavor, that shines through in chewy honey Anzac cookies, an oat-based treat originally created for Australian and New Zealander soldiers during the First World War.


Beekeepers in Slovenia

Miel de Galicia, Spain. Sustainable beekeeping is a hallmark of this northwest region of Spain, where honey is produced in the protected Sierra dos Ancares Mountains. Reflecting a spectrum of shades from pale yellow to deep amber, this honey’s notable flavors include eucalyptus, blackberry, chestnut and heather. Galician crepes (filloas), filled with fresh cream and honey, are a local favorite, especially during the Carnival season in February.

Tupelo honey, southern United States. Sourced from the flower nectar of the Tupelo tree, a type of lime tree that flourishes in the swampy areas, it has a unique amber hue with a distinct green shade because of the Tupelo’s flower pollen. Devotees love its bold flavor, ideal for hearty brunch fare, like sweet potato pancakes with spiced pecans, sweetened with honey instead of sugar.

Slovenski med, Slovenia. The indigenous Carniolan bee is responsible for the country’s own supply as well as that for most of Europe. Prized for its very low water content, Slovenian honey has flavorful notes, courtesy of trees like acacia, linden, chestnut, fir and spruce. One of the country’s most beloved treats are medenjakis, spiced cookies usually enjoyed over the holidays.

Leatherwood honey, Australia. In Tasmania, the leatherwood trees bloom every summer, giving this honey a highly aromatic quality. Bright yellow in color with a soft butter consistency, it is easily spreadable at room temperature and has a spicy taste. Some Australian cooks use it to make a honey-based glaze, mixed with rosemary, garlic and ginger, on local lamb.

Beekeeping is an art in Slovenia

Contact your trusted travel advisor to find a vacation that’s perfect for you. ENSEMBLE TR AVELER ’S TABLE 2021

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GIFT GUIDE

Delicious Surprises Okay, yes, we could outfit our kitchens with all of the vibrant, new Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana counter top appliances. Or, we could save the big bucks for airfares and choose gift experiences that are meant to be savored in the company of our favorite foodie friends.

novo fogo Organic Silver Cachaça I Brazil Got a tropical rainforest lover on your list? Brazil’s Floresta Atlântica is not only UNESCO’s second-largest Biosphere Reserve, it’s also home to “rum’s older Brazilian cousin.” Carbon neutral and higher proof, this potent but clean rum boasts characteristics of banana, passion fruit, lime blossoms, sweet red peppers, and sea salt.

Smith & Sinclair Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies I Amsterdam Yes, Virginia, these limited-edition holiday gummies actually do “make adulting more fun.”

GIF T GUIDE

LEARN MORE LEARN MORE

Karat Caviar

Bona Furtuna “The Sicilian” Gift Set I Italy Grown on the shores of Trapani, these gorgeous, gourmet ingredients are the perfect way to say, “Let’s run away to Italy.” LEARN MORE

Bokksu Snack Box Subscription I Japan Perfect for your favorite Japan aficionado, these delightful snack boxes are pure joy, curated from Japan’s cherished artisanal family makers. LEARN MORE

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Black Russian Osetra Caviar I Israel For your fancy friend. Russian Osetra sturgeon, from the Caspian Sea, are farmed sustainably in a state-of-the-art aquafarm kibbutz in Israel. The result is a smooth, buttery caviar that claims “best in the world” status. The two-ounce jar comes with creme fraiche and 36 mini blinis. LEARN MORE


Truffle Hunter

Fly by Jing

Complete Truffle Hamper I UK Keep the memories of your European truffle hunt alive with the TruffleHunter Complete Truffle Hamper. The kit includes three truffle oils, white truffle honey, sea salt, minced truffles, and truffle slices. LEARN MORE

Triple Threat Sichuan Sampler I China For those who like to live on the edge, this three-pack of small-batch condiments, crafted in China’s Sichuan province, is sure to be a hit. The gift set includes deliciously numbing Sichuan Chili Crisp; sweet, tangy, umami Zhong Sauce; and the riotous Mala Spice Mix. LEARN MORE

Rizzoli Anchovy Fillets in Spicy Sauce I Italy Stocking stuffers from Parma, Italy. Packed in a spicy sauce recipe that’s been passed down from family to family, these zippy little fish are delightful atop toast, in pasta and salad, or over soft-cooked eggs. An excellent source of Omega-3s, they also pack 17 grams of protein in a 3 oz. serving. LEARN MORE

Diasporaco Single Origin Spice Trio I India Sourced from 150 small, family-run farms in India and Sri Lanka, these sustainably grown spices are guaranteed same-year-harvest to ensure your gift recipient enjoys them at the height of their full-flavored glory. LEARN MORE

Books Gastro Obscura I by Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras & Atlas Obscura A beer made from Chilean fog. The medieval mead of Holy Island. Egypt’s ancient egg ovens. Perfect for the person in your life who relishes obscure culinary facts from around the globe.

Swedish Christmas Treats I by Lena Söderström (Pre-order for delivery in August 2022) From Scandinavian simplicity to spectacular meringues with sparklers on top, these recipes for Swedish julgodis are worth waiting for.

Modern Asian Baking at Home I by Kat Lieu (Pre-order for delivery June 2022) This is the perfect gift for those nostalgic for Asian desserts or adventurous home bakers interested in vibrant ingredients like miso, matcha, pandan, and soy sauce.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation I by René Redzepi, David Zilber For the chemist in your life. This book shares techniques and recipes for creating Noma’s pantry of ferments—intense black fruits, deeply savory misos, electrifying garums, and more.

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A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Discover Extraordinary In an ongoing quest to provide a world-class experience, Seabourn has

created a partnership with world-renowned American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller. The culinary genius behind a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants – The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon – Chef Keller brings his award-winning French and American cuisine to the ultra-luxury cruise line adding new flavors and flair to complement Seabourn’s already celebrated cuisine.

The Grill By Thomas Keller

The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, exclusive to Seabourn. Guests setting foot inside the elegant dining room will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes as well as a range of other steakhouse favorites like Lobster Thermidor and creamed spinach, presented à la carte. The timeless menu will draw on the freshest products from artisan purveyors. A cocktail program and wine list of domestic and old-world labels complement the menu.

➜ F or more information on special offers from Seabourn,

please contact your trusted travel advisor.

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GIRLS GONE GLADING by Nancy Hellmrich

“We’ve got beach lounges reserved for you ladies,” chirped the gal at reception. “Just see Gino under the blue umbrella and he’ll get you set up.” I smiled back and paused to let her proposal sink in. It would have been nice to lie there on the beach, order some pina coladas, and catch some rays. And if Gino was anything like the bling-bedazzled group checking in beside us, it would have been a wild time. But “we ladies” had a different kind of wild in mind. Friends from our young and daring days in New York City, Deb and I hadn’t seen each other in years. When I called to suggest we meet in Florida, I was surprised how quickly she said yes.

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Trusted guide Corey

Crab Scoobies

Just like the old days, she was up for any adventure. In this case, it was an eco-safari through the Florida Everglades. So, instead of slipping into bikinis and meeting Gino, Deb and I slipped on long-sleeved shirts and met Luis, an airboat pilot who took us for a ride. He tore his sleeve to demonstrate the dangers of sawgrass, then stripped the sawgrass stalk and sucked its meat to show us how to survive—should we ever find ourselves without food in wetlands such as these. Luis wouldn’t let us sit in the pilot’s chair but he did introduce us to Hershel, a large alligator with inquisitive eyes and skin that made me feel badly about a clutch I’d once owned. Next, we hopped in a van with a guide named Emily who cranked the A/C and drove west along Tamiami Trail, pointing out osprey, egrets, herons, and anhinga along the way. After 45 minutes of astounding wildlife sightings, we arrived in Everglades City, population 190. Lunch – alligator fritters, blackened grouper, sweet iced tea, and key lime pie – was served at a local joint. From there, we were handed off to a sun-pink fellow named Corey

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who welcomed us aboard a white skiff boat and commenced motoring out into Chokoloskee Bay. “I was born and raised here,” Corey announced, narrowing his gaze and peering intently into the water. Then, almost as if he were talking to himself, “I was swimming with a momma manatee and her little-bitty baby around here yesterday.” After a minute or two he pointed left, “There!” Sure enough, a ghostly shadow appeared beneath the surface, then a soft, grey snout came up for air, and a smaller one followed suit. As the sun moved lower, we cruised the “Ten Thousand” mangrove islands and reveled in manatee, dolphin, and spoonbill sightings while Corey spun tales of drug busts, tarpon fishing, and python escapes. Back at our beachside hotel, Gino had clocked out but the sun had yet to set, so we decided to


Florida Key Lime Pie Ingredients Crust 10 oz. (315 g) graham crackers 6 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted 2 Tbs. Florida granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. salt Filling 4 egg yolks 1 can (14 fl. oz./430 ml) sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) Key lime juice Topping 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) heavy cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz./50 g) confectioner’s sugar Key lime zest or slices

VIDEO

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Directions Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

INTERVIEW

MUSIC

ENTREVUE In a medium bowl, crush the graham crackers until fine crumbs form.

MUSIQUE

Famed Morenos Cuba bar and Cuban cuisine

RECIPE hit the town. At Coconuts, on the waterfront, we paired Chef Luc Limage’s famed Crab Scoobies with a couple of fancy cocktails. Deb took a liking to the Bermuda Triangle Margaritas. I opted for a concoction called Save the Whales. There’sCOCKTAIL something about gin after a steamy day in the jungle that makes life seem worthwhile. While we could have stayed and filled up on seafood, neither of us is capable of visiting the BOOK Miami area without eating Cuban food. We Uber’d down to Morenos Cuba on South Beach, which is clubby and fun and has awesome frozen margaritas. To be honest, neither of us can remember what we ordered. It might have been Mom’s Ropa Vieja with rice, beans, and sweet plantains? Definitely not sawgrass. Definitely wild. #godblessuber

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Add the butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Mix with a fork until evenly moist. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the edges are dry and set, about 7 minutes. The bottom will still be soft but will firm up as the crust cools. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Keep the oven set at 350°F (180°C). In a clean bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lime juice. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Pour mixture into the cooled crust and bake until the edges of the pie are set, but the center still jiggles a little, 15 - 20 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Prior to serving, whisk the cream and vanilla extract together, then slowly add the superfine sugar while beating, gradually increasing speed as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes). Cut pie into 8 slices and garnish each slice with the fresh the whipped cream and a thin slice of lime or a sprinkling of zest. Serves 8. Note: Real Key limes are smaller, less acidic, and more aromatic than the thick-skinned, solid green Persian limes that we find in grocery stores.

Ready to head south for a thrilling winter foodie adventure? Contact your Ensemble Travel Advisor. ENSEMBLE TR AVELER ’S TABLE 2021

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VIDEO

Be Among The First � Venture Onward

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BOOK OUR NEWEST SHIP EARLY AND ENJOY GREAT SAVINGS! RECIPE

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You’re invited to connect with people, cultures, and yourself aboard the newest addition to our fleet, Azamara OnwardSM. Just as the name suggests, our fourth sister ship will push forward the future of Destination Immersion® experiences with a passionate crew, health and safety standards during her inaugural season in Europe. BOOK

LIVRE

Plus, book before August 31, 2022 you’ll save 20% on your Europe 2023 voyage* for booking early and receive a complimentary Experience More Essentials Package, which includes a $300 Shore Excursion Onboard Credit, unlimited WiFi for one device, and a Premium Beverage Package for two, on select staterooms and suites. With endless experiences and more voyages than ever, we look forward to exploring Europe with you. Explore Well at Sea Embark on your future sailing, knowing we’re enhancing our health and safety standards through our Explore Well at Sea program. INCLUSIVE AMENITIES

TO BOOK YOUR VOYAGE: CONTACT YOUR ENSEMBLE TRAVEL ADVISOR TODAY. *Offer applies to new bookings created before August 31, 2022 (“Offer Period”). Offer applies to select sailings departing March 23, 2023–November 14, 2023. Offer provides 20% off cruise fares of all stateroom categories. Offer also provides a complimentary Experience More Essentials Package (inclusive of $300 USD Shore Excursion Onboard Credit [OBC], Unlimited WiFi for one device, and a Premium Beverage Package for Two) per stateroom, for guests booked in Veranda and higher stateroom categories. The Shore Excursion OBC portion of the Experience More Essentials Package will be applied to the booking as an individual component, with the option to spend pre-cruise. The balance of any pre-cruise spend of Shore Excursion OBC, will be reconciled once onboard. Experience More Essentials Packages have no cash value, are not redeemable for cash, and are not transferable. Limit one Offer per stateroom. All other charges, including, but not limited to, cruise taxes, fees, and port expenses, are additional and apply to all guests. Offer is combinable with Back to Back Benefits, onboard booking savings and Azamara Circle Quarterly Savings, National Account Hosted and Amenity Programs, and one other OBC or value add. Unless stated otherwise, offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Last Minute Voyages, Closed User Rates, Employee Rates, Interline Rates, Travel Agent Rates, and Net Rates. Offer is not applicable to 3rd and 4th guests in a stateroom. Offer is not applicable to incentive or contracted groups. After the Offer Period, the offer will be removed from the booking if the guest cancels and reinstates the booking, applies a fare change, or changes the ship or sail date of the booking, even if sailing date is within the sailing period highlighted above; certain other changes to the booking may also result in removal of the offer. Offer is subject to availability and change without notice and may be withdrawn at any time. Single occupancy guests paying 200% cruise fare are eligible for the full amount of the offer; single occupancy guests paying less than 200% cruise fare are eligible for a prorated amount of the offer. This offer is applicable to U.S., Canada, and select global markets only. Refer to Azamara.com/bookearly and the Cruise Ticket Contract for additional terms and conditions. ©2021 Azamara. Ships registered in Malta.


TRANSATLANTIC GLAM

Queen Mary 2 departing from New York

From the Queen Mary 2 to London’s best bars, one devotee of the spirit begins a quest to find Britain’s best gin cocktails by Janice Tober

Samuel Cunard originally launched the Cunard Line in 1839 to carry mail between the UK and North America. He would never have imagined that, a century later, his ships would be carrying some of the world’s most glamorous passengers – celebrities and royalty among them – during the golden age of transatlantic crossings. I was keen to experience some of that glamour myself when I boarded the Queen Mary 2 in New York, the starting point for the journey to Southampton, England. From there, I planned to head straight to London. I wasn’t there to see Big Ben or Westminster Abbey. My goal was to explore the city that made gin famous. As a devoted gin connoisseur, it was my happy place. But first, it was my cruise onboard the QM2. I expected it to be quintessentially British and offer a proper afternoon tea, a full English breakfast and

— most importantly for me, at least — a happy hour that included plenty of gin and tonics. I had visions of imbibing them on the windswept deck, wrapped in a warm blanket, while sitting on a wooden lounger watching the ocean waves swell and sway as I sipped. The ship delivered on all counts and more. My heart leapt when I discovered Cunard not only has a fine selection of gin, but also its very own exclusive brand, 3 Queens Gin from Edinburgh-based Pickering’s Gin. (Coincidentally, it is owned by the great nephew of a former Cunard captain.) Of the brand’s three gins,

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I preferred the more intense Queen Elizabeth, made with botanicals from the Far East, including lotus root, star anise, Kaffir lime leaves and cardamom. It’s ideal for a full-flavored G&T with a kick of spice. After arriving in Southampton, I made the trek to London to continue my gin-focused discoveries. The first stop was The Ginstitute, where gin aficionados learn about the history of their beloved spirit in the UK, from London’s early gin craze to the beginnings of the gin palaces, which evolved into the pubs we know today.

And once I got my fill of history and the gin cocktails served during the class, the fun really begins. With my newfound understanding of gin, I was able to craft my own bespoke bottle to take home. Mixing ingredients with a group of like-minded individuals, I found the ginsoaked conversation particularly interesting as we spoke earnestly about the salient features of each ingredient and what they might add to our blends.

Ready for a spirited Transatalantic Journey? Contact your Ensemble Travel Advisor.

Stoked with more knowledge, it was time to take it for a night or two on the town and discover a few London gin joints. Here’s where my gin passion took me. Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour This is one of those places that looks like it was designed for stopping in for a tea, not a G&T. This Victoriana parlor serves up a wealth of rare and hard to find varieties – more than 200, including ultra-rare ones. I placed myself in the barkeeps’ capable hands. I found they were great for recommending the best gins based on my preferences. I savored each one thoughtfully as I relaxed on a settee and soaked up the elegant atmosphere.

Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace This small neighborhood joint offers two house-made small-batch gins, brimming with botanicals and fruit. The award-winning Mother’s Ruin Old Tom Gin takes cocktails up a notch with a richer, sweeter profile than traditional London dry gins. The fruity Damson Gin is made from plums picked on the family orchard in Cumbria. If you’re lucky, the bar might even have a limited-edition gin or two onsite, like the rose geranium or fennel.

The Brig at Merchant House Located near St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Brig is a private bar within a bar. Here you can sample one of more than 400 gins on hand in a wee bar that holds up to four people. The drinks menu is a takeaway treasure, focusing on the history and movement of spirits, and the navy painted brick walls and drawings of ships brought me right back to where I started my gin journey — the QM2.

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Witness Unparalleled Beauty. Breathtaking natural wonders and unforgettable Cunard® style await you on our 2022 voyages into The Last Frontier. Queen Elizabeth® is your guide as you revel in the majestic views of the stunning Hubbard Glacier and the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay National Park. Receive Ensemble Exclusive benefits of up to

$200 Onboard Credit per stateroom* VIDEO

VIDÉO

INTERVIEW

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2022 Alaska Voyages Hubbard Glacier MUSIQUE

MUSIC

Skagway Haines

Glacier Bay National Park

RECIPE

Juneau Icy Strait Point

Sitka

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Ketchikan

COCKTAIL

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10 nights

June 4, 2022

Q218N

Vancouver Glacier Bay National Park > Haines > Hubbard Glacier > Juneau > Sitka > Ketchikan > Victoria > Vancouver >

BOOK

LIVRE

10 nights

June 14, 2022

Vancouver Victoria

Q219

Vancouver > Juneau > Hubbard Glacier > Skagway > Glacier Bay National Park > Sitka > Ketchikan > Victoria > Vancouver 7 nights

June 24, 2022

Q220

Vancouver > Glacier Bay National Park Icy Strait Point > Sitka > Ketchikan > Vancouver

>

Destinations in italics are Cruise By/Transit Only

* Certain restrictions apply, please refer to your Travel Advisor for complete terms, conditions & definitions that apply to all bookings. © 2021 Cunard. Ships’ Registry: Bermuda.

Contact your Travel Advisor.

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“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” — Luciano Pavarotti

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WELCOME TO THE NEW DIGITAL EDITION OF

SHARE YOUR TRAVEL STORY EXTRAORDINA

Like what you're reading? If you have a great travel story you'd like to share, we're all ears. Our writers and designers can help you make your trip memory into a published article in Ensemble Vacations, Extraordinary Experiences, or The Traveler's Table magazine. Happy Travels, Kim Buerkle Editor in Chief Ensemble Travel Group

Dined there. Tried that. As Ensemble Travel members and owners, we get around. Thanks to years of experience with the finest travel suppliers and tour operators on earth, we can offer you an inside track to the most delicious travel experiences out there. Together with our international network of colleagues and partners, we’ve read the menus, interviewed the chefs, gathered the ingredients, and done the mise en place prep. All, so that you can share the most amazing meals you’ve ever

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Q THE PATAGONIA TREK We were total rookies in the wrong shoes but we had a blast by ERIKA HARKINS

tasted, with good company in a faraway land. As your trusted travel advisors, we work closely with the world’s most food-obsessed suppliers

“Oh no,” I said, staring out over the teal lake at the base of Mirador los Cuernos, the starting point for our trek into Chile’s Torres del Paine national park. Jake turned to see my panic-stricken face. “No, no, no, no,” I repeated as my eyes welled up with tears.

Amateurs, Escargot & a Tanzanite Ring

“Erika, what is it?” he said, now deeply concerned, as I began frantically searching my pack, only to realize that my prized Sportivas were back at the hotel, two hours away. Of course. On the most epic adventure my husband and I had ever attempted, I made the gravest mistake an ultrarunner could make. Now, I had to accept that I would be doing this 10-day trek without my running shoes.

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to bring you satisfying journeys that you’ll savor for years to come. Each trip is tailored to your

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preferences and palate, to ensure that every day is

I make my Texas family sound so highmaintenance, but they really aren’t at all. Born on New Year’s Eve and what my father called “amateur night,” my Mother loves when we are all together for family celebrations, like her birthday. That year, we were chilly as we set sail from Galveston for the Western Caribbean, but the further south we went, the more we warmed up ... in more ways than one. In Belize, I joined my nieces and nephews for spooky cave tubing and shared their joy as they ziplined for the first time. That afternoon, we were all chaos and giggles trying to sit still for a family portrait. In Roatan, my brother’s family swam with dolphins while the rest of us took a catamaran excursion ... with boozing all the way back, of course!

full of flavor and you return home exhilarated and craving your next adventure.

CHARLEE TOM

AKA @travelcharlee

“I want to sail with your family!” said my friend Debi when I told her about our upcoming New Year’s Eve cruise. Then she upped the ante with, “We can share a cabin!” That’s where I drew the line. “NO WAY!” I said, without hesitation. If 18 of us were traveling together, I was going to need my own space.

@isaacdeanphotography

Catching up on Love Laughter is the best medicine for newlyweds Sarah & Travis Kerr Sarah’s heart was bursting with glee as she stood on the platform of the 2,600-foot Dragon’s Breath flight line. If you want to go fast on a zip line, weight can be an advantage. Sarah wanted to go fast. But the petite model and hairstylist needed a little help to make that happen. Enter Travis, Sarah’s new husband, who worked the crowd to gather bottles of water. Soon, Sarah had bottles in her backpack, her pockets, and tucked inside her shirt. Aquagirl wasn’t her usual Bohemian-glam look, but it did the trick. Finally, she let go. And for the first time in many years, she felt absolutely free.

spirited life that would make up for lost time. After a sunset wedding on a tranquil beach, they boarded a Caribbean cruise and left their worries behind. At a wine tasting, a huge bottle of Caymus brought a rush of memories—the Cab Sav was the first wine the couple had shared when they first met. In Labadee, Haiti, they zipped and played. At Paradise Beach, in Cozumel, bartender Ricardo kept the party rolling. “Whenever he passed us he would yell, ‘Mojito?!’ And we would cheer, ‘Mojitoooo!!’ A few minutes later, more mango mojitos would arrive.”

Hailing from Chicago, Sarah didn’t get to enjoy her teens as her school mates did. She spent those years caring for her mother, who lost a hard-fought battle with cancer when Sarah was just 21. To break free of the grief, she flew to Florida for a fresh start.

On board, they started each day with balcony breakfasts. “We would sit there and enjoy the quiet before we got off at the ports. It was very romantic,” Sarah recalls. One evening, they joined a group of revelers at a private party in the Rising Tide Bar. “It floated up above the whole crowd!” Since then, they’ve cruised together several times.

There, she met and fell madly in love with Travis, a commercial architect with a hipster beard, a dazzling smile, and a heartache from a recent divorce. Together, Sarah and Travis craved a joy-filled, free-

“We made lifelong friends on our honeymoon cruise.” How cool is that?!

Each evening, we met for sunset cocktails, then made our way to two large tables for boisterous family dinners. One night,

one of my family members got overly enthusiastic about ordering escargot and asked for 10 orders “to share.” Riiiiight. Can you say mortified? Kudos to the wait staff who put up with us that night and every night of the cruise. They definitely deserved a raise after that week. A few days later, in a jewelry shop in Cozumel, Mother picked out a BIG beautiful tanzanite ring as my father waited outside, poised to come in and “make the deal.” He was a true Texas rancher who drove a hard bargain on every occasion. One time, on a cruise in Alaska, he tried to trade a bull for a diamond. This time, to our relief, he offered a credit card for payment. And Mother does love that ring. Not long ago she pulled me aside and said, “My darling daughter, do you like this ring? Because, when I’m gone, it will be yours.” I was astonished, and I do love the ring … but I love my sweet mother even more.


Curious, Just Like You Call us today to start planning your next delicious escape—and discover a world of new flavors and dining experiences that go far beyond the ordinary. As Ensemble Travel member advisors, our curiosity about the world has taken us around the globe and back again. Those experiences shaped the expertise, connections, and inside access we leverage to ensure your getaways are truly extraordinary. When you book with us, you’ll get more than transportation, meals, accommodations, and tours. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the warm welcome of our local partners, happy little surprises, custom-tailored amenities, and access to the most remarkable dining experiences the world has to offer.

The only questions left are, “How many and where to?”

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ENSEMBLE TR AVELER ’S TABLE 2021