The Nomad Cooks: 6 Adventurers and Their Best Recipes
Kirby tours the world with her camera and a bottle of sorghum syrup. Based in Tennessee, she spends half her year traveling and hosting workshops on food photography. She has brought students to kaiseki meals at traditional bathhouses on Japan’s Mount Aso and taught a food-styling class in Venice. Recently, on a beach in Portugal, students switched off taking pictures while Kirby set a picnic scene with vintage enamelware, bread boards from a roadside flea market and plates of olives, chorizo and pastries. “After we get the shot, it’s time to eat,” she says. localmilkblog.com.
Portuguese Custard Tarts
These Portuguese egg tarts from blogger Beth Kirby have a supercrisp crust and a light, not-too-sweet custard filling.
Katie Quinn Davies
The Dublin-born, Sydney-based talent behind the blog and book What Katie Ate is a master at creating simple, brilliant recipes and gorgeous yet seemingly unstyled food photographs. The success of her first book set her off on nearly two years of constant travel, shooting for commercial clients and gathering ideas for What Katie Ate at the Weekend. One of her favorite stops: Italy’s Amalfi Coast, “without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever been to.” whatkatieate.com.
Tomato, Zucchini and Salami Pizza
This crisp pizza from blogger Katie Quinn Davies is the ideal summer pie, with toppings that include both zucchini and zucchini blossoms.
Elmlid, the Berlin-based founder of the barter site, blog and book The Bread Exchange, has traded her homemade loaves for concert tickets, bike repairs and jars of jam. But her favorite transactions involve travel. She has swapped her sourdough for (among other things) a cheesemaking class in Sonoma, California, and a baking lesson at a communal tandoor oven in Kabul, Afghanistan—a remarkable entryway into the culture. “The best trades are when someone lets you into their lives or shows you how to make something, because you’re going to carry that with you forever,” she says. thebreadexchange.com.
Leek-and Scallion Fry Breads
These crispy Afghani fry breads from blogger Malin Elmlid are delicious with the bright and nutty cilantro sauce served alongside for dipping.
Marte Marie Forsberg
Raised on a Norwegian island that she describes as “a little too quiet,” photographer and food stylist Forsberg has lived everywhere from Italy to the Dominican Republic. Then she chanced upon a photo of a thatched-roof cottage for sale in Dorset, England, and knew, “That’s my home.” Though she still loves to travel, her Instagram feed is dense with images of afternoon teas and Yorkshire puddings at local pubs. “All these lovely pubs are closing left and right here, which is a shame,” she says. mmforsberg.com.
Pork, Potato and Apple Pie
In her take on a traditional English pub meat pie, blogger Marte Marie Forsberg fills a flaky double crust with potatoes, apple, and ale-braised pork and chorizo.
Duguid is the ur-nomad cook. Over the past 30 years, the Canadian food writer and photographer has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, all around China and the Indian subcontinent, the Soviet republics, North Africa and the Middle East. She rarely brings a translator or an agenda; instead, she plunks herself down in a village or town and waits, curious and respectful, until the locals invite her into their lives. This approach has resulted in groundbreaking, award-winning cookbooks such as Flatbreads & Flavors, Seductions of Rice, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Beyond the Great Wall (all co-written with Jeffrey Alford) and, most recently, Burma. Now she’s working on another book, due out next year from Artisan, about Iran and its neighboring countries. naomiduguid.com.
Easy Persian Fried Fish
You can make this supersimple Iranian dish from cookbook author Naomi Duguid with any white fish fillets. Turmeric gives the fish a vibrant yellow color, but it’s the aromatic fenugreek leaves that give it a distinctive flavor.
Shu Han Lee
Shu Han Lee launched her blog when she moved to London as an art student, to prove to her family back in Singapore that she wasn’t starving. It’s evolved into a beautiful travelogue with recipes documenting her spontaneous, slightly scrappy trips. In the past year she’s been to the mountains of Turkey and the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn, where she hosted a pop-up serving pandan waffles. A solo trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, excited her the most: “I didn’t plan where to eat at all. I just followed the rule that the closer to the ground you’re sitting, the better the food.” mummyicancook.com.
Shrimp-and-Avocado Summer Rolls
Blogger Shu Han Lee calls these simple, fresh, herb-packed Vietnamese summer rolls “salad inside rice paper.” Avocado adds creamy richness to the raw vegetables.