It all started with a goat, roasted over a fire and served to friends last July at the organic Beetlebung Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Since then, bold-faced names including Saturday Night Live cast members have been spotted at chef Chris Fischer’s greenhouse dinners, where everyone sits on bales of hay as he cooks island-only ingredients on camp stoves. As SNL’s Seth Meyers puts it, “You spend the entire meal pretending to listen to the person next to you while anticipating what the next course is going to be.”
Temple visits and lulur body scrubs are must-dos on this Indonesian island. Now you can add eating chocolate to that list. Big Tree Farms—which collaborates with Balinese artisans to create products such as lychee-blossom honey and locally harvested sea salt—recently unveiled “the world’s most sustainable chocolate factory.” At the expansive, all-bamboo structure, guests can take cooking classes, watch the bean-to-bar process, and sample confections sweetened with coconut palm sugars.
Here’s a first-visit-to-Cape Town mandate: you must do the scenic Cape Point drive. If you enjoy views, or fresh air, or anything good in life, this is surely one of the world’s most epic routes. Leave the city by looping around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and head south along the coast, with stops at Maiden’s Cove and Chapman’s Peak for some stellar photo ops. You’ll pass lovely towns, and may want to drop by the Bay Harbour Market at Hout Bay or the salty waterfront at Kalk’s Bay, where a visit to Olympia Café & Deli is preordained. Beware of baboons—they’re known for letting themselves into passing cars in hopes of relieving people of their snacks—but the ostriches you might spot on the side of the road are harmless.
With Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History opening May 25 at the recently renovated New-York Historical Society (in which you’ll learn that home-brewing has been around in New York City since the 17th century), now is the perfect time to check out some of the city’s newest brew-centric spots.
Top Hops Beer Shop(pictured): A former distributor for Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, owner Ted Kenny is the mastermind behind this Lower East Side beer emporium. The 700- bottle selection fills refrigerators in the back, while the custom wood-and-polished aluminum bar up front offers 20 beers on tap (tip: order a flight). The menu is limited, so don’t come hungry—just really thirsty. 94 Orchard St.; 212-254-4677.
It’s true: We like it when people read (and share) our lists. We like it even more when people create entire videos about them. So we were thrilled to see this from our fans at the Providence, RI tourism board, which is eating up the news of its ranking as the best burger city in America. Now when you visit Rhode Island’s capital city, you’ll know exactly where the locals go to get their burger fix.
Planning to devour some sticky barbecued ribs this weekend? Don’t feel guilty: they could be your ticket to a free trip to Blackberry Farm, the Travel + Leisure's World’s Best Award–winning resort in Walland, Tennessee. Starting today, “spot” Southern dishes—from BBQ to grits to gumbo—on Foodspotting, a website and app for finding the best meals around the globe, and you’ll be entered for a chance to a win a trip for two to one of the country’s best foodie escapes.
The chef-as-rock-star trend may have played itself out, but here’s a new spin: star chefs plus music icons. And no, they aren’t just sizing up each others’ tattoos. At a handful of events from coast to coast, our country’s top toques are catering alongside the most anticipated stage shows of the summer. Below, a few that we’re especially excited about.
The Great GoogaMooga (May 19-20, Brooklyn) New York’s first food-and-music fest makes its debut in a big way, with 73 chefs (including David Chang, April Bloomfield, Marcus Samuelsson, and Daniel Boulud) and 150+ wineries all aboard. As for music, expect The Roots, Hall & Oates, and Preservation Jazz Hall Band. And the best part? It’s free to enter and open to the public—though you may want to splurge on ExtraMooga, with culinary demos and tastings by industry greats like Ruth Riechl and Anthony Bourdain.
In Bravo’s latest culinary competition show, Around the World in 80 Plates, 12 up-and-coming chefs crisscross the world, battling each other in challenges of both skill and strength. (Yes, it takes a certain type of strength to scarf down excessive amounts of kidney pie.) Here, co-host Cat Cora (the Iron Chef America star-cookbook author-restaurateur-philanthropist shares duties with Australian celeb chef Curtis Stone) dishes on the action-packed show, reveals her ideal family meal, and more.
Q: How would you define Around the World in 80 Plates?
A: The competition is very much like Top Chef, but in a fresher sense. The challenge is in the style of Amazing Race, and the elimination part is Survivor. I think someone even threw in American Idol. It’s such a new take on a competition show that also there’s nothing like it out there.
In Beijing, five years is more like two decades. The last time I was in the Chinese capital was before the 2008 Olympics, when the city was just entering a building frenzy and gaining prominence on the world stage. When my husband announced that he had gotten a job in Beijing, I knew to expect a transformed city—China, after all, has emerged as an economic powerhouse. But the pace of change is still breathtaking.
For starters, I don’t recognize anything. Granted, I haven’t had a chance to visit the historic monuments like Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. (Expats’ dirty secret: you save the sights for when visitors are in town.) But I thought I'd at least recognize old haunts that survived the construction boom. One night, I confidently told my husband I knew the exact location of Nali Patio, a complex in the Sanlitun neighborhood that’s home to trendy restaurants and bars, where we were meeting friends. What I hadn’t reckoned on was that everything around Nali Patio had been demolished, with a shiny shopping development and dozens of bars in their stead.
Can't get a reservation at Noma until 2020? This summer, you have two other ways to work up an appetite for chef Rene Redzepi's wildly inventive New Nordic cooking, which just topped the Restaurant magazine's World's 50 Best Restaurants list for a third consecutive year. On July 1-2, the second annual MAD Symposium (Copenhagen, $350) addresses "Appetite" as its theme; along with Redzepi, expect tasteful thinking from other culinary wild men like Wylie Dufresne, Fergus Henderson and Ferran Adria. Then Redzepi moves his team to London for "A Taste of Noma" pop-up at Claridge's Hotel in Mayfair. (Five courses, $320, July 28-Aug. 6). To pre-register for reservations, click here now. First come, first serve!
Shane Mitchell is Travel + Leisure's special correspondent.