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Chef's Tour: The Ardeche, France

Chef's Tour

It’s not every day that one of France’s most respected chefs—we’re talking the three-Michelin-star, Bocuse d’ Or-winning ilk—would travel to Manhattan and cook for an entire weekend. In fact, it’s been more than 20 years since Régis Marcon of Hôtel et Restaurant Régis et Jacques Marcon has cooked in New York City.

Marcon brought his talented sons Jacques and Paul with him last weekend, teaming up with longtime friend Daniel Boulud to create a series of exquisite meals out of Boulud’s equally Michelin-star-studded Restaurant Daniel. After dropping by the kitchen to chat with Chef Marcon during the city’s annual Citymeals-on-Wheels benefit (Boulud is co-president this year—check out his awesome new Chefs Deliver initiative), I’m dying to dine at his restaurant in France’s south-central Ardèche region. Read on, and then fight me for the last available aisle seat to France tomorrow.

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Local Tips: Where Hotel Employees Eat

hotel employee

What hotel employees crave during their shifts.

Chicago: Hearty rib-eye sukiyaki and shoyu ramen from Cocoro are go-to orders for the staff at the Peninsula, seven blocks away. 668 N. Wells St. $$

Hoi An, Vietnam: The bell desk at the Nam Hai swears by the pork-and-pâté bánh mì from beloved Hoi An stallkeeper Phuong, who recently opened a brick-and-mortar shop. 2 Phan Chau Trinh St.; no phone. $

Mexico City: Around the corner from the Four Seasons Hotel México, D.F., Tacos de Fabiruchis fills fresh-made tortillas with chorizo in salsa verde or home-style chicharrón prensado (pressed and shredded pork rinds). Calle Burdeos; no phone. $

Mumbai: Just behind the landmark Taj Mahal Palace is the equally iconic Bademiya, where Mumbaikars have come since 1942 for their late-night smoky, spicy kebab fix. Tulloch Rd.; 91-22/2284-8038. $

Appeared as “95 Places to Eat Like a Local: Staff Meals” in T+L Magazine

Related Links:
Best Places to Eat Like a Local
Best Local Specialty Foods
Chefs’ Favorite Hot Spots

Photo by Jonny Valiant

Food Face-Off: Shanghai vs. Hong Kong

Wei Xiang Zhai

How do China’s rival food capitals stack up?

The Noodle Joints

Shanghai: Wei Xiang Zhai (pictured)
Join a communal table and order ma jiang mian, thick wheat noodles covered in a peanut-sesame sauce and spiked with chili oil. 14 Yandang Lu; 86-21/5383-9032. $

Hong Kong: Kau Kee
Beef brisket on noodles (flat, egg, or vermicelli) in a clear, flavor-packed broth is the ultimate Cantonese comfort food. Taste it at this tried-and-true spot. 21 Gough St., Central; 852/2850-5967. $

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Best Desserts to Try Around the World

Best Desserts: Flour Bakery's sticky bun

Your unofficial fourth meal awaits.

Flour Bakery, Boston: Call ahead to reserve your sticky bun—these caramel-smothered, pecan-studded brioche rolls are among the best you’ll ever have. No wonder they sell out in mere hours.

Charly’s Bakery, Cape Town: Where to find Cape Town’s premier buttercream-frosted everythings? Behind a pastel-pink-and-white façade resembling a giant layer cake, of course. Our preferred pairing: the “wicked” chocolate cake, topped with a layer of dark ganache. 38 Canterbury St.

Gion Kinana, Kyoto, Japan: With a taste akin to peanut butter, kinako, or roasted soybean flour, is as quintessentially Japanese as matcha. It’s the signature ingredient at this tiny ice cream shop, inside a traditional wooden merchant’s house in the Gion geisha district. 570-119 Gion-machi Minami-gawa.

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Classic Restaurants You Need to Eat at Now

Classic Restaurants: Brittania & Co.

Where every order comes with a side of history.

Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor, Dania Beach, FL: Alongside an endless array of vintage kitsch (turn-of-the-20th-century license plates; displays of retro candy) are 45-plus flavors of south Florida’s favorite ice cream, handmade daily for 58 years. 128 S. Federal Hwy. $$

Fountain Coffee Room, Beverly Hills: The luncheonette at the Beverly Hills Hotel has served local starlets and studio heads since 1949. While the banana-leaf wallpaper remains, there are nods to today’s tastes: cold-pressed juices and a decadent caramel pumpkin pie named for Mary J. Blige. 9641 Sunset Blvd. $$$

Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, Melbourne: Melbourne’s reputation as a coffee capital began here, where the city’s first-ever espresso was made in 1954. The look is pretty much unchanged, as is our order: a short black. 66 Bourke St.; 61-3/9662-1885. $

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Locals’ Favorite Hometown Foods

Hometown Foods

Food-obsessed Instagrammers share their top local meals of the year.

Seattle: “This chanterelle, apple, and egg dish at Sitka & Spruce ($$) is the ultimate winter brunch.” —Aran Goyoaga (@Cannellevanille), Food Blogger and Stylist

Los Angeles: Kang Hodong Baekjeong (3465 W. Sixth St.; $$) has the best Korean BBQ in town right now, if you’re willing to wait in line.” —Zach Brooks (@Midtownlunchla), Founder of the Midtown Lunch Blog

New York City: “Harold Dieterle creates delicious Thai-inspired dishes at Kin Shop (469 Sixth Ave.; $$$). This house special is braised cobia fish with sawtooth herb, mini bok choy, and rambutan curry.” —Daniel Krieger (@Danielkrieger), Photographer

Asheville, NC: “I love the bánh mì and spicy sriracha chicken-fry sandwiches at Asheville Sandwich Co. (202 State St.; $). They put fries in the sandwich.” —Tim Robison (@Timrobisonjr), Photographer/Illustrator

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Appeared as “95 Places to Eat Like a Local: The Hometown Dish” in T+L Magazine

Related Links:
Best Places to Eat Like a Local
Best Local Specialty Foods
Social Media’s Most Innovative Travel Companies

Clockwise from top left: photos by Aran Goyoaga, Zach Brooks, Tim Robison, and Daniel Krieger

Relaxed Getaway in Mendocino

Mendocino

Less than two hours north of San Francisco, this chilled-out county is a world away. Here, where to take it all in.

Get Outdoors: Overlooking a rocky sweep of the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (Fort Bragg) is home to 150 species of birds (ash-throated flycatchers; savannah sparrows) and rhododendrons that thrive in the foggy air.

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Best Breakfast Spots to Eat Like a Local

Best Breakfast: Van Kahvalti Evi

Seven indulgent reasons to get out of the hotel early.

Pancake Bakery, Amsterdam: Bacon-, cheese-, or apple-topped pannenkoeken (larger and thinner than American flapjacks) are the items to order at this intimate canal-side space. 191 Prinsengracht. $$

Lauras Bakery, Copenhagen: In a land obsessed with morning pastries (Danish, anyone?), Lauras takes the cake. Expect rows of kanelsnegle (intensely spiced cinnamon rolls) and Pop-Tart-like hindbærsnitters, all in the culinary mecca that is Torvehallerne Market. 17 Linnesgade. $

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Rosanne Cash's Favorite Southern Towns

Rosanne Cash

I love little towns with histories: quirky, literary, musical, genteel, revolutionary. Dockery Farms in Cleveland, Mississippi, is the plantation where Howlin’ Wolf, Charlie Patton, and all the blues guys worked. At night they’d play on the porch of a little juke joint. The music that came out of there is incredible. My dad was three when his family moved to Dyess, Arkansas, a colony created for poor families during the Depression. When I was 12, my dad took us for a visit. I couldn’t believe he’d grown up there. I’ve said no to almost all the Johnny Cash projects that have come across my plate, but when Arkansas State University bought the house and told me they wanted to restore it, I said, yeah, I’ll get involved.

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Avenue Restaurant Brings American Flare to London Food Scene

201402-hd-avenue-restaurant-londonjpg

With Christie's auction house right around the corner and the Queen’s palace not too far away, Avenue restaurant on the posh St. James Street in the heart of Mayfair, has re-launched, bringing a distinctive Manhattan power-dining scene to London. Everything from the Prohibition era cocktails to the wine list to the menu to the portion sizes to the friendly service is done with a nod to England’s former colony across the pond. This trend toward all things American is not new in London. Every other opening recently has been some variety of burger shack, hot dog stand, or BBQ joint, but Avenue offers a more upscale take on Americana. You get two cornmeal crusted soft shell crabs for a starter and they’re crispy and lovely with the spicy mayo sauce that accompanies them. Meanwhile, the very large lobster macaroni and cheese is positively packed full of lobster meat and the aromas wafting from the “pig” loaf at the next table made me swoon. With reasonable prices and many more items on the list I’d like to try, Avenue made this American girl feel very much at home. 

Sally Hurst is a chef and food writer based in London. You can follow her on Twitter at @chefsallyjane

Photo Courtesy of D&D London

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