The culinary world favors those with vast and adventurous appetites. Hot spots are constantly emerging, making last year’s destinations for gastronomic enlightenment seem, well, so last year.
Sweden’s restaurant scene is coming into its own. Taste 50 species of wild berries – cloudberry scone, anyone? – at Rosendals Tradgard in Stockholm, or sample the tasting menu at Matsalen, chef Mathias Dahlgreen’s two-Michelin-star restaurant in the renovated Grand Hotel Stockholm. Still hungry? Indulge in local sausages at Taylor & Jones in Stockholm’s trendy Sodermalm, or grab boozy milkshakes and sandwiches on house-made bread at Kak. If you’re visiting during summer, go further north to Magnus Nilsson’s award-winning Faviken restaurant 200 miles from the Arctic Circle.
Duck breast is extremely popular in France and will usually be served roasted or fried and sliced fairly thin. Duck is served rosé, slightly pink inside. If you want your duck breast cooked in a manner other than rosé you should inform the server; in France it is unlikely that you will be asked how would like your duck cooked. Go to the Saint-Sauvage restaurant, the best in Toulouse!
Chicago, United States
The original: Deep Dish Pizza. It features a moderately thick and crumbly crust, which is topped with loads of mozzarella, toppings, a layer of tomato sauce that is usually on the chunkier side. This is the style you’ll find at most of the big name Chicago chains, including Lou Malnati’s, Uno’s, Pizano’s, and Gino’s East.
Schwartz’s is a traditional Hebrew Deli that has been serving smoked meat since 1928. The sandwiches are served on rye bread, with a smear of yellow mustard. You can order Smoked Meat Sandwiches medium, meaning there was a “medium” amount of fat. The smoked meat had a delicious, unique taste, thanks to the special blend of pickling spices used during the smoking process.
I enjoyed the simplicity of the sandwich and that it was really just about providing a vessel for the delicious meat. No need for any fancy condiments or ingredients, just simple, high quality smoked meat.
In the last decade, Spain’s most celebrated cooking has taken place in molecular gastro-labs around Barcelona and Basque Country. Culinary prowess recently recalibrated to Madrid, where gutsy chefs are reinventing traditional Spanish fine dining. Tasting menus at Dstage, a newly Michelin-starred restaurant in the Salesas district, nod to heritage ingredients with avant-garde preparation and plating, as in a mackerel starter cured with Madeira-scented smoke. At Table By, a pop-up restaurant in Hotel Urso, a different chef from a different region of the country commands the kitchen every month.
Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.