To research his forthcoming cookbook, My Portugal: Recipes and Stories (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, fall 2014), F&W Best New Chef 2011 George Mendes of New York's Aldea went on an enviable food tour of his family's native country. Here, he and co-author Genevieve Ko share their top ten plates to try in Portugal, from gooseneck barnacles and egg custard tarts in Lisbon to nontraditional razor clams with lemongrass and curry at Restaurante Vila Joya in Albufeira. Chef Dream Trips: Portugal.
Photographer Neal Santos is the perfect guide for F&W's Philadelphia Photo Tour. A founder of the project Farm 51, which grows produce and raises chickens in urban West Philly, Santos fills his popular Instagram feed (@nealsantos) with scenes from life as a local food obsessive. When he’s not taking mobile pics, he loves using his dad’s Canon A-1 film camera: “It’s a sensory experience: the smell of my childhood house in Jersey City, the sound of the shutter, the feel of the spring and the mechanisms. There’s absolutely nothing like it.” Click through his photo set and then check out his top Philadelphia picks for where to pop cannoli, drink old-fashioneds and stay in a boutique hotel, below.
Best Philadelphia restaurant. Too many to choose, but the folks over at Vernick Food & Drink have the tastiest uni dish. Barbuzzo’s salted caramel budino is the perfect blend of sweet and salty. Paesano’s panelle sandwich is my go-to lunch. The list goes on.
Favorite Philadelphia bakery. Termini Brothers for any of the cannoli. The Metropolitan Bakery is a close second for its bread.
Top Philadelphia bar. Vernick Food & Drink for an old-fashioned.
Philadelphia boutique hotel. Hotel Palomar.
Best affordable activity for a visitor. Try a walking tour of the Italian Market, kayak the Schuylkill River for one-of-a-kind views of the city, or hit up as many Philadelphia murals as possible.
Favorite shop. DiBruno Brothers in the Italian Market for some of the best cheeses sourced locally and beyond. The cheesemongers are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and don’t be afraid to ask for samples.
Ultimate Philadelphia souvenir. A basket of whoopie pies, a few bottles of spirits from Art in the Age, and a mixed six-pack of locally brewed beers. Try the whoopie pies from Flying Monkey or any Amish baker in the Reading Terminal Market. I like Art in the Age’s Sage and Root spirits. And make your own six-pack at the Foodery.
Tips for shooting (especially food). Always try to tell a story, especially when it comes to food. Don’t be afraid to introduce human elements: the hands of the chef who prepared it, the face of the farmer who grew it. Put dishes on chairs, on floors, shoot through windows and capture reflections.
Chef Gerard Craft. Photo courtesy of Greg Rannells Photography.
As the World Series heats up between the Red Sox and the Cardinals, baseball fans can drink and eat their nerves away at some fantastic local restaurants. Empire builder Barbara Lynch has shared her favorite spots in Boston. Here, chef Gerard Craft —whose restaurantPastaria often hosts Cardinals players—divulges his hit list for the St. Louis area. Read more >
Writer Stephen Whitlock extols sourdough waffles cooked over live fire, smoked-reindeer sandwiches and more proudly Swedish dishes.
Swedes and Danes have a long-standing and fierce rivalry. Over the centuries, they've fought countless wars, with Sweden generally viewed as the stronger imperial power. Yet, since Noma opened in 2003, Copenhagen has prevailed as Scandinavia's culinary destination, leaving Swedes to fume—and simultaneously try to score a table. Now, Stockholm is rediscovering its pride in its own culinary traditions, with new restaurants rethinking husmanskost—traditional Swedish food.
When Ekstedt (ekstedt.nu) opened in 2011, it was booked for months. Once I secured a reservation, I found a room furnished with copper that caught the light from wood-fired ovens. Dishes like mackerel with smoked parsley are wonderfully delicate, while sourdough waffles with cloudberries are gently sweet.
Oaxen (oaxen.com) looks to the present rather than the past. It recently moved from a remote island to a modern building in Stockholm, with a massive window overlooking the water. One of its dining rooms, Krog, offers a 10-course menu for $300. But I head for the more laid-back Slip. The menu is full of Swedish dishes: herring, lamb with carrot chutney. The best is a simple bowl of scrambled eggs served with pork belly and house-smoked bacon.
The most inventive of the new-comers is Smörgåstårteriet (smorgastarteriet.se). It takes its name from the "sandwich cake," made here with layers of sourdough bread, roast beef and pickled vegetables. It's a highlight on a menu that's a tour of Sweden: Other sandwiches use shrimp from the south and smoked reindeer from the far north.
Stockholm hasn't yet caught up to Copenhagen—the city has no rival to Noma yet—but here's hoping the Scandinavian food fight continues.
Stephen Whitlock lives in Stockholm and writes for the New York Times.
For an insider view of the world’s most beautiful and exciting travel destinations, F&W asked our favorite photographers on Tumblr to show us their cities.
F&W follows Pernille Zierau Larsen on Instagram and Tumblr for her black-and-white (or barely-colored) Copenhagen imagery. And for the pug shots. Larsen snaps her dog Woody in various situations, like riding in a bicycle basket staring at the road ahead, and slips those moments into a feed of graphic lifestyle pics. The result feels highly-curated and naturally Scandinavian. “To me, less is more,” she says. For aspiring photographers, she recommends focusing on one interesting element in the frame. “Things don’t necessarily have to be in the center—try shooting the same subject from different angles,” she adds. Click through Pernille’s F&W Photo Tour: Copenhagen. And, below, find her insider picks for the best cinnamon buns and Scandi shops in her city.
Favorite Copenhagen restaurants. Two things come to mind. The indie restaurant Manfreds & Vin for beef tartare with watercress and toasted rye bread. And the beautiful restaurant Mother, which serves the most delicious stone-oven-fired pizza: "Burning Love" with mozzarella, potatoes, fried onions and smoked pancetta.
Best Copenhagen bakeries. Meyers bakery has the best cinnamon buns. Brød bakery makes the most wonderful buns and chocolate croissants.
Essential Copenhagen coffee shops. Original Coffee is low-key, with a great interior and I always stop by for a flat white when I’m in the neighborhood. Riccos is right around the corner from my house, and the place I go for a latte to-go.
Go-to Copenhagen bars. Mexibar is a fun and quirky bar for old-school, colorful drinks. Malbeck Winebar is a beautiful, rustic wine bar with a nice selection of wines, especially reds, which are powerful and intense. Paté Paté is also great for wine—I like the Riesling Kung Fu Girl from Columbia Valley. Dyrehaven is a hip, young bar—ideal for a beer.
Beautiful Copenhagen shop. COS is a Scandinavian clothing line with simple, sleek and clean-cut lines. It’s classic, feels very high-end and the quality is great. I almost never leave the COS store empty handed.
Ultimate Copenhagen souvenir. I would invest in some Danish design, whether it be a graphic print to hang on your wall, a design object for decoration or some ceramics for the kitchen. Illums Bolighus and Stilleben are both great places to get items like this.
Chef Sean Brock is known for obsessively championing Southern ingredients at his restaurants. Brock's research takes him as far as Senegal, and F&W joined the chef there for a story in our November issue.
For an insiders’ view of the world’s most beautiful and exciting travel destinations, F&W asked some of our favorite photographers to show us their cities.
After a decade of traveling, photographer Andres Gonzalez turned his passage through countries as varied as Norway and Tajikistan into a photo book called some (w) here—published with help from more than $20,000 in Kickstarter funds. Gonzalez’s career started in Namibia at an “Outward Bound-style school,” where he taught after leaving behind plans to become a fiction writer. “My father gave me a Minolta X-700 and a handful of black-and-white film before I left the States. Over those two years I realized that photography drove me toward a more honest and poetic way of telling stories.” Gonzalez is currently stationed down South, with a new gig as an adjunct professor of photography at the University of Mississippi. He traveled to Memphis to give F&W a tour of the soulful food-and-Elvis-loving city. Browse the photo set and check out his top picks for barbecue and record shopping, below.
Best Memphis restaurant. Tops Bar-B-Q. I love their BBQ sandwich. It’s basic and sloppy, but so good I want to lick my plate clean afterward.
Favorite Memphis coffee shop. Otherlands Coffee Bar. It’s a bit trendy, but there are so many little nooks, and lots of plants and desks and great ambient light. If I lived in Memphis full time, it would be my day office. I usually order a medium Red Eye.
Go-to Memphis bar. A friend turned me onto the Lamplighter Lounge. It has a great jukebox, and walking in feels like Christmas, with sparkly lights everywhere, and purples and pinks and warm tones all mixed together. Each table has a funky ashtray, there are cheap ornaments hanging from the walls, and life-size cutouts of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. It’s a wonderful balance of Southern kitsch and dive.
Classic Memphis shop. Shangri-La Records. I don’t collect records, but I enjoy going in just to browse through all the gorgeous album covers.
Best place to stay in Memphis. Man, I’d say Airbnb. I haven’t hit up a hotel in so long, and there are so many great Airbnbs in Memphis.
Ultimate Memphis souvenir. Go to Sun Records and first do the tour. It’s unforgettable. Then on the way out get yourself a milk shake and buy a double CD mix of all the Sun Records artists. It’s incredible how many talented musicians came out of there.
Before opening the New York offshoot of their hit Boston tapas joint, Toro, co-chefs and empire builders Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette embarked on a food-and-drink-filled research trip through Barcelona and San Sebastián. Their Spanish exploits influenced dishes now being served at the cavernous new Chelsea location, like setas (left): luscious plancha-cooked mushrooms with a farm egg yolk, olive oil and parsley. The prepartion is inspired by a simple plate of cèpes (porcini) at one of Oringer's favorite restaurants in San Sebastián. Here, the chefs reveal more exclusive highlights from their itinerary in Chef Dream Trips: Spain.
Indonesia-based Instagram star Putri Anindya captivates more than 200,000 followers with dreamy, near-spiritual landscapes shot with an SLR camera or iPhone (she loves the VSCO app for filters and editing). Anindya took F&W on a photo tour of Bandung, the breathtaking West Java capital and a destination for food-obsessed tourists from Jakarta and around the world. Here, the local shares where to eat in Bandung right now and tips for aspiring photographers. Read more >
Winemaker and restaurateur Joel Gott on Napa's new late-night scene.
"Just a few years ago, the only options after 10 p.m. in Napa Valley were cigarettes and beer at the local dives: Pancha's in Yountville, Ana's Cantina in St. Helena or Henry's in downtown Napa. And there's nothing wrong with those spots. But now there's a real late-night scene here, with craft cocktails and great wine. It's particularly true in downtown Napa. The place that really started it all is Morimoto [open until 1 a.m.], which has the biggest late-night scene: It feels more like Los Angeles than Napa. Down the block is The Thomas [open until 1 a.m.], which gets a lot of locals, sort of a wine-dork group. And it has a rooftop that's like a big party. Empire [open until 2 a.m.] launched a few months ago, and it has a serious cocktail program. It gets a good tourist crowd, since it's right next to the new Andaz hotel, which also has a lively bar scene until 1 a.m. Napa's not just about daytime tastings at wineries. We're the adult Disneyland, so we need to cater to everyone."
Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.