Browsing CategoryWhat to Eat

genoa cooking class

If you want to dive into local cuisine and culture, one of the best things you can do is take a cooking class when you travel. This one was organized by our tour guide in Genova, Italy, at Creattivando  (if you go, tell Mario and Cristina hi!). We made pesto in a mortar and pestle, handmade pasta, and a few other dishes. As we were led through the preparation process, we learned about Italian meal traditions (many nonnas still cook a big Sunday meal, but they take more shortcuts now) and cuisines. I left, sated, both from the food I helped make…

susan and crawfish

I love this photo. I was maybe three, chunky and barefoot in our neighborhood in Houston. My parents would buy live crabs—or, in this instance, crawfish—and boil them for a feast. It was their way of connecting to their Louisiana roots. My mom tells a great story about how, when they took me to Red Lobster, they would usually give me applesauce. But one day, they foolishly gave me a taste of crab. What a mistake. I’d shriek, “crab! crab!” and refuse the paltry applesauce. I don’t remember eating my first crawfish, but I love that this photo depicts my…

anthony bourdain

Anthony Bourdain’s death has reverberated around the globe. People I didn’t even know had heard of him mourn with me that one of the most influential men in travel and food has departed this world. I first glommed on to Bourdain with his show, No Reservations. I’d been an armchair traveler up until then, watching Rachael Ray and Samantha Brown navigate the always-clean and PG worlds of very safe cities around the globe. But Bourdain, man. He dug deep. He got out of the tourist lines and into homes of locals. He ate things I’d never be brave enough to…

simons specialty cheese

The first thing you need to know about me is: I like cheese. I mean, I really like cheese. And I’m not talkin’ Velveeta and Kraft Singles (does anyone eat that stuff?). I have a book, in French, of the 300+ kinds of cheese in France, and yes, I intend to try them all. So it should be no surprise to you that when I visit my BFF, Rachel, in Wisconsin, cheese is always on the menu.