My life is very conventional. That point really hit home for me after learning more about some of the people featured in this May travel issue. Andrew Zimmern, for example, grew up fewer than 10 blocks from me in Manhattan; when we met, we discovered that we hung out at the same neighborhood pizza place as teenagers. So you might think we'd share a similar sensibility about eating. But as host of the TV show Bizarre Foods, Andrew is far more adventurous, devouring things like porcupine belly as naturally as I eat oatmeal. For this issue, Andrew, a former chef, adapted his most exotic recipe discoveries to make them more accessible but still exceptionally delicious. You have to try his andouille, crab and oyster gumbo.
When I met Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, scion of a famous Italian winemaking family, I felt as if I knew where he was coming from: I've visited Tuscany, home to his family's Tenuta San Guido estate, and been lucky enough to drink their amazing Sassicaia, the groundbreaking Super-Tuscan. But Piero has traveled to a remote part of the world to make his own mark: Patagonia. He's producing extraordinary Pinot Noirs at the end of the earth at his Bodega Chacra property and cooking robust Italian dishes to match, like a marvelous spaghetti with bottarga and almond bread crumbs.
With Andrew and Piero as models, I want to augment my pedestrian travel life by flipping through the "Go List," our annual travel guide, and picking out the least predictable location for my next vacation. Until then, I'm going to cook my way to different countries. I'll visit Austria by making the rhubarb-cheese strudel from Manhattan's Edi & The Wolf. And I'll learn about unfamiliar wines by watching the new public television show Vine Talk, starring F&W's Ray Isle and actor Stanley Tucci (that's Stanley with me in the photo). But traveling to the unknown is not as much fun if you do it alone. Won't you join me?