Johnny Iuzzini lands in the West Coast; Photo courtesy of Johnny Iuzzini
Pastry genius and Top Chef Just Desserts judge Johnny Iuzzini is on a food-hunting road trip, riding his motorcycle from California to New York looking for some of America's best places to eat. Follow along with his travel journal here at foodandwine.com, and help Iuzzini find incredible food along the way by connecting with him through Twitter @Johnny_Iuzzini and @fandw using the hashtag #JIfoodride.
I have spent the past twenty years straight working in restaurants—and seventeen of those working at the four star level. I have big aspirations for my future but first I want some time to clear my head, travel and see the country. It occurred to me that I have traveled extensively around the world in search of amazing food, but not so much in the good old U.S. of A. I am also an avid motorcyclist, in fact one of the first things I did when I got some free time was to start taking motorcycle racing lessons. So, this past December I retired from my position at Jean Georges as executive pastry chef and started making plans for a cross-country, food-hunting road trip.
I'm going to have my beloved Ducati shipped out to San Francisco, spend a night there, have dinner at Coi, and then start the trip. First, I'm going to ride down to the Laguna Seca raceway in Salinas to watch the Motorcycle Grand Prix, then head east, zig-zagging across the country. There are some things that I know I want to see: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon. But there's a lot of stuff out there that I don't know about. And that's what I need help with. I will constantly be tweeting and uploading my location on Facebook, letting people know where I am and where I am headed. I am looking for people to tell me what not to miss along the way—especially when it comes to food. If there is a spot with a dish that people come from miles to taste, let me know and I will ride hundreds of miles out of my way to try it. If there is an amazing road with beautiful scenery then I want to ride on it. I want to avoid highways and see and taste my way across this amazing country. I am giving myself three weeks or more if needed. You can follow along on my journey with the Twitter hashtag #JIfoodride.