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The Hungry Crowd: John Robshaw

Food & Wine’s food-obsessed community has a new member, textile trendsetter and Asia explorer John Robshaw.

Learning from Locals

For his eponymous lines of block-printed fabrics, tableware and clothing, designer John Robshaw travels to India to find inspiration, work with local artisans and oversee production. “I become a character in the lives of the people I work with,” he says. “I go to their weddings, celebrate their festivals. I develop relationships with the people who are teaching me. When you look at my textiles, it’s like you’ve been on the world tour with me.”

John Robshaw, Fruit Omnivore

“I always sample from fruit vendors when I travel. In the Philippines, I tried durian, which is cottony, and I actually liked it. Thailand has great fruit, like longan, star fruit and mango. Every country seems to have its own kind of mango; Thai mangoes are my favorite. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I’m a sucker for sticky rice and mango with coconut milk.”

Asian Food Adventures

“I travel to Asia for at least three months each year. It can be challenging to stay healthy, but I’m a pig, so I eat everything. I don’t worry too much about getting sick.”

Uzbekistan

“I visited the homes of the local weavers in Fergana, where I tried all of their homemade breads, olives and cheeses.”

John Robshaw Shops the Delhi Spice Market
John Robshaw shops the spice market in India. Photo courtesy of John Robshaw.

India

“In Delhi, I stock up on nuts and dried mangoes on Khari Baoli, a street in the spice market packed with fruit and nut stalls. They have a million kinds of nuts, all mixed with different spice blends made from secret family recipes.”

John Robshaw Eats Live Shrimp in Korea
John Robshaw eats live shrimp in Korea. Photo © istock.

Korea

“While drinking soju at the wharf by the Noryangjin fish market in Seoul, I tried live shrimp. You rip the head off and eat it.”

John Robshaw Eats in Thailand
John Robshaw eats in Thailand. Photo courtesy of Soul Food Mahanakorn.

Thailand

“I always stop in Bangkok on my trips to Asia to eat for a few days. Soul Food Mahanakorn is a fantastic spot where American expats make great Thai food.”

Published May 2012
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