Let's put it this way: oil and water don't mix. Especially when it impacts the livelihood of fishermen still struggling to make a comeback after Hurricane Katrina devastated the fragile wetlands of Southeast Louisiana. Oil from the BP rig explosion has started to wash ashore in the Mississippi Delta, leaving the men and women of St. Bernard Parish high-and-dry. These are the hard-working people who traditionally harvest the crab, shrimp, oysters and redfish that land on the plate at New Orleans restaurants such as August, owned by chef John Besh (pictured). "Life in the extreme Southeast revolves around the water," says the Louisiana native. "This culture dates back 300 years. When I saw the oil rig collapse, it just crushed me. I can always source seafood elsewhere but it's the local shrimpers and fishermen who are affected most by this spill."
Along with 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord, Besh donates to the St. Bernard Project, which supports fishermen and their families in the greater New Orleans community.
Here's how you can help too. Donate to www.stbernardproject.org.
Shane Mitchell is a special correspondent for Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Shane Mitchell.
Summer: the season of corn on the cob, fresh dripping watermelon, beach bonfires, and all-important barbecue. No matter what style of BBQ you prefer (Texas at the Salt Lick, North Carolina at The Pit (pictured)), now you have the opportunity to foist your brisket preferences on others.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society offers laymen like you and me courses and certifications to judge professional barbecue competitions. The society hosts 300 contests across America and has confirmed a veritable army of licensed connoisseurs. These competitions aren't small potatoes either - the state championship in Washington, DC on June 26th boasts a grand prize of $20,500.
Do you know a travel company that's changing the world? We want to hear about it!
In 2010, travel and tourism is expected to contribute some $5.8 trillion to the global GDP. Lately, more and more of that money is being channeled in ways that give back to the places we travel though. You know what we're talking about: the tour operator in southern Africa that's providing local communities access to education and jobs. The South American cruise line that's meticulously conserving fragile habitats. The European hotel group that's contributing to the preservation of a vulnerable historic monument. The multinational corporation that's lightening its carbon footprint and developing the technology that will allow others to do the same. And the multitude of travel companies that selflessly step in with resources and on-the-ground expertise when disaster strikes around the globe.
Every year Travel + Leisure 's Global Vision Awards recognize the companies and organizations that are leaders in responsible travel. If you know of one that we should consider for the 2010 awards, please encourage it to fill out this year's application, available here:
2010 Application for Nontravel Nominees
2010 Application for Travel Nominees
For more on last year's Global Vision Award winners, visit: TravelandLeisure.com/ideas/eco-travel
Amy Farley is a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Looking to save a few dollars on your next vacation? (Really though, who isn't?) As we announced in this blog last week, Travel + Leisure has teamed up with Luxury Link to create the exclusive, by-invite-only vacationist. The site offers members tremendous value on top hotels from around the world.
Today, two new sales started:
Montpelier Plantation in St. John's Parish, Nevis: From $160/night (50% off)
Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont: From $149/night (35% off)
These two sales—which are available for about seven more days—are accompanied by Las Brisas Ixtapa in Mexico. Available for about four more days, rates for this hotel start at a whopping $88/night (23% off).
As these sales end, more will be coming in, so if you haven't already, be sure to request an invitation to become a vacationist, and keep checking back for the trip that best suits you!
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.
Image courtesy of vacationist.
South Africa is on the radar these days as the countdown to the World Cup begins. Curious about the country but don't have the time or money to fly half way around the world? Try traveling through music.
Putumayo's latest country-themed release, "South Africa" is—in the classic fuzzy-wuzzy style of America's most ubiquitous world-music label—a "celebration of the diversity" of the destination. Admittedly, I have mixed feelings about Putumayo. While I enjoy the company's intentions (introducing people to music they might otherwise never know, giving charitably to the countries whose music it publishes, etc.), I'm not always the biggest fan of its sampler-style take on breaking international acts, or on the insistently feel-good focus, or on, well, of the commoditization of countries-as-musical-products.
Everyone loves a bargain, and these days, it seems like there’s a smart way to score all kinds of high-end goods—even travel. (Oh, by the way, have you seen Vacationist?)
Luxury villa rental agency, Wimco, is having a 48-hour villa sale featuring properties in Tuscany and Mykonos. From 10 am Wednesday, June 26th to 10 am May 28th, savvy travelers can find deals between 20–50% off low season pricing.
To book, visit wimco.com and do it quickly for goodness’ sake!
Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Wimco.
This weekend in San Francisco I met an illustrator named Jessica Wassil who has an amazing new project: creating illustrations based on anonymous reviews on Yelp. She takes the characters in the reviews, both the narrators and the subjects, and brings them to life in her drawings, with hilarious results. My favorite begins:
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, I thought I knew all about Latino cooking—which to my then-uninformed taste buds was pretty much limited to tacos, burritos, tamales, and other staples of Cal-Mex cuisine. I know different now, thanks to memorable plates of Brazilian feijoada, Puerto Rican mofongo, Cuban ropa vieja, and cosmopolitan Mexican dishes spiced with pico de gallo, mole poblano, ranchera, adobo, and dozens of other piquant sauces from south of the border. My eyes—and mouth—have been opened to the breadth of the region’s culinary treasures. (I confess, though, that I put my foot down when it comes to Andean guinea pig.) And then there are the cocktails: mojitos, daiquiris, caipirinhas, margaritas, pisco sours, pina coladas, Cuba libres…well, I get carried away.
It helps that I work in New York, where one can find restaurants from nearly every Central and South American nation, plus scores of Mexican eateries. So it’s fitting that New York is home to the new Gourmet Latino Festival, “the first world-class, socially conscious celebration of Latin culture and culinary traditions,” according to the organizers. Dozens of mixologists, chefs, authors, and wine experts will be on hand to share their knowledge and love of coffees, spirits, wines, beers, cultural traditions, and, of course, regional cooking.
The latest mod con in luxury private jets? An open-air viewing platform, perfect for watching wildlife, engaging in full-contact Parcheesi, or simply lounging with a postprandial sherry while the aircraft is parked overnight. (You didn’t really think you could stand on it while the plane was in flight, did you?!)
Here’s how it works: While the aircraft is on the ground, a massive side door opens up and serves as an awning. The platform, hidden in the fuselage, extends out to create a balcony for the deluxe living space within the plane.
Last night marked the end of an era. In living rooms around the country, fans of ABC's Lost were glued to their television sets for the epic, two hour series finale. (Some extreme fans in NYC even enjoyed Dharma Beer at the Bell House in Brooklyn, while a friend of mine's band, Previously on Lost, performed before screening the finale. Be sure to check them out; they're bound to keep performing long after the show's end.)
That being said, with the end of Lost, fans may feel somewhat, well...lost, themselves. What to do now that there's nothing new to look forward to? Pray for a feature film? A spin-off? (Unless it's about Bernard and Rose, this better not happen.)