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Eating out in Liguria

Olives and focaccia, Niasca Portofino

I know I extol the virtues of fine dining a lot and, when I travel independently, I always try to squeeze in as many of “those types” of restaurants as I can. But there are times when really good food isn’t found on top of starched white linen tables or presented as part of a…

Food bursaries, competitions, awards and more

IPOF holding image

One of the things that I’m often asked is how I got into food, though perhaps more pressing is the question which follows, “how can I get into food”. Well there are no straight roads into food – everyone finds a different route and some get lost along the way. But here are a few…

Chocolate terroir at Valrhona’s Loma Sotavento

Loma Sotavento Cacao plantation, Dominican Republic

Over the last few years the provenance of ingredients has been something of a fevered trend. Ingredients seem to spring from increasing obscurity and arguably at the expense of common sense. Sometimes, it’s hard not to feel like we all have a bad case of the Emperor’s New Clothes. While sorting through some old photographs…

Eating out in China, Part Four: Shanghai

Baked snapper, salad, kale, almonds, Saltvand at Henkes, Shanghai

Shanghai was the final stop on my lengthy China trip that began in Chengdu. There’s something about Shanghai that switched on the European bulb in my vision of dining. Perhaps it was when I crossed the river from Pudong (where I was staying at the Mandarin Oriental, home of Richard Ekkebus’ Shanghai outpost), came out…

Eating out in China, Part Two: Xian

Assorted dumplings, Dumplings feast at De Fa Chang, Xian, China

Three days after hitting the tarmac at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, I had packed my bags again and was off to Xian on assignment for Higher View. I’ve never been to Xian, and knew very little of what the city had to offer; beyond the very obvious terracotta warriors. And, to be honest, I was…

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