Books + Reading Lists
How do you become a travel writer? We asked two authors to sit down and have a conversation over Twitter to find out. Here are highlights from a recent chat between T+L's News Director, Luke Barr, and author and T+L contributing editor, Gary Shteyngart.
Be sure to pickup (or download) Shteyngart’s latest novel, Little Failure: A Memoir and Barr’s first book: Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste.
Photo credit: Jeff Morgan
The U.S. ramen scene is booming—and it’s about to get even more exciting with the arrival of one of Tokyo’s hottest noodle gurus, Ivan Orkin. The New York native—who earned serious food cred in Japan at his two Ivan Ramen restaurants—is returning to his roots, bringing two outposts of his cult brand to Manhattan. Here, Orkin, whose first cookbook is out this month, gives us the lowdown on the soup that made him famous.
Q: How did you break into the Tokyo dining scene?
A: It was a crazy idea for a white guy from New York to open a ramen restaurant there. But in Japan, people respect passion and a good work ethic, and I think that came across. Also, when I started, making your own noodles was very uncommon, and I decided to do mine in house.
Talk about a dream team: renowned German photographer Juergen Teller, London-based author Will Self, and chef Antonio Guida—whose restaurant at Tuscany’s luxurious Hotel Il Pellicano has earned two Michelin stars—have all come together for Eating at Hotel Il Pellicano (Violette Editions). The pink-paged cookbook highlights 11 multi-course menus, each named for a prominent hotel guest of the past and present; think Missoni, Borghese, and Noguchi. Dishes range from surf (roasted lobster with masala, hazelnut oil, and couscous) to turf (suckling pig with celeriac purée and Campari-marinated beetroot) to sweet (beignets with chocolate, gold leaf-wrapped caramel ice cream, and rosemary sauce). But you’ll likely spend more time gawking at the beautiful photographs than you will trying to recreate the recipes in your own kitchen. The chef himself concurs, writing in the intro that they are “too challenging for a home cook without a brigade behind him or her.”
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Violette Editions
Consider it a happy accident of timing that a mere week after Time magazine’s men-only Gods of Food issue came out and offended everyone that had a clue, the hottest restaurant guide in Paris, Le Fooding, assembled an august, all-woman panel of eleven chefs, a sommelier and a winemaker to put together a pop-up dinner from November 15-17. Le Clan des Madones, as the event was called, had actually been in the works for six months, and Le Fooding had nothing else in mind for it but to shine a light on the abundant female talent working in France, and raise some money for an orphanage in Brazzaville, Congo. But Time’s article, and a similarly exclusionary piece on “the new French bistro” published the day before in the French newsweekly L’Express, gave the event, held in a macho (and freezing) parking garage in the 15tharrondissement, an added dose of right-on-sisterliness.
William P. Rayner is not a fan of Facebook. His ideal outlet for chronicling his life and travels? Good old-fashioned black sketchbooks. For the last 40-plus years, the trained painter and former writer for Vogue, House & Garden, and Vanity Fair has kept diaries while on the road, filling them with personal reflections and watercolors, plus wine labels, stamps, and other memorabilia. Now, he’s opening them up to the world in the two-volume Notes and Sketches (Glitterati Inc.), one covering North Africa and the Middle East, the other India and Southeast Asia.
Danielle Steel’s new book, Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love (on sale Oct. 29th), highlights her travels with dog Minnie—perfect inspiration for the next trip with your own four-legged friend. If you can plan with T+L, all the better.
Though they may not be reading, T+L does have its fair share of traveling canine fans. This shot of Daisy the Maltese was taken just before her trip out to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. According to Instagram follower @kpe319, the seaside town is this pup’s favorite vacation spot, with its number of dog-friendly inns.
A new book about the global fascination with bargain hunting by frequent T+L contributor Mark Ellwood hits shelves today, giving valuable and often hilarious insights into the changing landscape of secret sales, online shopping, and good old haggling.
Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World focuses mostly on the recent surge in U.S. discounting—sales of sales have more than doubled in under a decade here—but it also takes readers to the bazaars in Istanbul and the megamalls in Tokyo.
Ellwood's inspiration for the book occurred when he saw shoes on sale for 50 percent off just days after he had purchased them for 10 percent off. “I got the sense that no matter what I was paying, there was always a way to pay less,” he explains. “The more I looked into it, I realized I was falling down a half-price rabbit hole.” Bargain Fever is the result of his deeply researched quest to find out why and how that “rabbit hole” came to be.
Ever heard of schnecken? How about pawpaws? Me either. If the new book Taste of America (Phaidon, $29.95) does one thing, it will make you realize that you know a lot less about American food than you thought. (Answers: a raisin-studded cinnamon roll found in Cincinnati, and mango-like fruit native to the East Coast’s temperate forests.)
Written by Colman Andrews, the co-founder of Saveur and a former editor at Gourmet, this illustrated anthology includes 250 write-ups of foods that define eating in the U.S., broken down by category (baked goods, poultry, and condiments, to name a few). It’s a mix of specific products from specific brands (e.g. Butter Mints from Katharine Beecher) and more general entries, such as cherries and rainbow trout.
Anna Wintour. Vera Wang. Tina Turner. The client list of interior designer Stephen Sills reads like a who’s who of the style world. Since the 1980’s, Sills—one of Elle Décor’s Top 25 Designers—has decorated everything from a penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to a modern mountain retreat in Aspen. (Back in the day, he also worked on hotels, including London’s Connaught Hotel and the St. Regis in New York.) As for his own Bedford, New York country house? Karl Lagerfeld has called it the “chicest house in America.” His latest book, Stephen Sills: Decoration (Rizzoli), which celebrates 16 design projects, hits shelves this month. Here, Sills shares some inspiration, advice on navigating antiques markets, and more.
The Telegraph's Soo Kim reports on plans to open a Jackie Chan theme park in Beijing. The best news? Admission is expected to be free. (Peter Schlesinger)
Skift takes a look at budget airline Ryanair's first foray into social media. Famously brash, the company is now tweeting with attitude. (P.S.)
I'm a sucker for commercials with nice music. This new Carnival Cruise Lines ad (the company's first TV spot since the Triumph debacle last spring) fits the bill. Showcasing Instagram photos from passengers, it is an upbeat step forward for the beleaguered cruise line. The New York Times reports. (P.S.)