In its April 2013 edition, the influential New York-based Travel + Leisure magazine, which boasts a monthly readership in excess of 4.5 million, has listed the Hanoi Cooking Centre as one of the best cooking schools in the world.
Founded in 2009 by our very own Intrepid Foodie, Melbourne chef and cookbook author, Tracey Lister, the Hanoi Cooking Centre was one of only four schools in Asia to make the list of 27, which includes the likes of internationally acclaimed Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
Affectionately known as ‘KL’, this cosmopolitan city is a melting pot of cultures: Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the variety of cafes, restaurants and impromptu stalls all over town, dishing out foods formed from some 150 years of fusion.
Forget cereal, toast and eggs at home – do like the locals do and eat out! Intrepid traveller Kelly Law lists her Top 5 dishes to try while you’re in Malaysia…
When Intrepid’s Eliza Anderson headed to Vietnam to get a firsthand taste of our new Food Adventures she expected to completely indulge in all the flavours of this fascinating country. But never did she anticipate discovering cures for everthing from dull skin to an upset tummy…
“I was there to cook, but suddenly I had a higher purpose. It seems food isn’t my enemy, but my knight in shining armour. According to the Vietnamese, there is a herb to cure any aliment or vanish any beauty flaw. I was sold! It’s easy in the West to view food as your adversary, but for people in Vietnam, food isn’t just about flavour, it truly feeds their soul and fuels their lives.
From tacos to tostadas; from chipotle to chorizo – Mexico’s culinary delights are world-renowned as some of the hottest dishes around.
But there’s more to this country than just its food: don’t overlook its much-underrated accompaniment: tequila! Few are as clued-up on the subject as our very own Intrepid Foodie, Thomasina Miers. We caught up with Tommi on all things tequila, and even discovered a pretty unusual way to use it in our cooking!…
“When life gives you lemons, break out the tequila and salt!”
Exploring the world one meal at a time sounds like a fabulous way to travel. Macca Sherifi, gapyear.com travel editor, loves letting his stomach decide where to next and he enjoyed getting a local taste of Vietnam with Intrepid…
“One of the things that I love about backpacking and travelling is the food. There are so many tastes and smells that I associate with countries around the world, and many of my memories from my gap year involve food and drink somehow. There’s nothing quite like having dim sum for breakfast in China, a creamy and sweet curry for lunch in India, or a fresh and sour Som Tam salad for dinner in Thailand. If you’ve been to any of these countries you’ll know exactly what I’m on about; you’ll also know that they’re infinitely better than having a take-away at home.
Frogs in France. Tick. Grilled cockroaches in Thailand. Done. Guinea-pig in Peru. Just like rabbit. Well what about dog in Vietnam? No doubt we’ve all photographed the menu boards, gasped at the tales of inadvertent consumption, and possibly put our fork into unorthodox ‘delicacies’, but how far should our gastronomic limits be pushed? Intrepid’s Taz Liffman explains how the responsible traveller can avoid local food leaving a bitter taste…
“When it comes to opportunities for new sensations, experience and adventure, travel has few rivals. While overseas, the symptoms of FOMObia – that is the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ – typically become more acute and pronounced as time and again we’re encouraged to be open to new ideas and try new things; to transcend the norm; enliven the senses; test the boundaries; awaken the taste buds. But when it comes to gastronomic novelty, would we be pushing these so readily if we knew the realities they entailed? What would we really missing out on?
SPLAT. Did you hear that? That was the sound of a few thousand packed lunches being thrown out the window. Yep. The Intrepid Food Truck is in town!
Lunch-ladies, waiters and stale-sandwich makers of the world, have the day off, because we’re taking over Sydney and Melbourne’s hungry-hot-spots and serving up a complimentary mouth-watering street food feast – and everyone’s invited.
“When you arrive in India, whether it’s Mumbai or Delhi, you’ll think to yourself, “I better eat at the hotel, or the fancy TripAdvisor recommendation. Well that is WRONG. Embrace the streets! Indian street food is your most delicious, and in my opinion, safest path towards a wonderful culinary experience in the land of spices. Just think about it: at a street food stall you can see how everything is made, the cleanliness is clear and the popularity of the stand is obvious. Meanwhile, a fancy hotel has a hidden staff of young cooks that don’t care if you come back, and the kitchen and cooking conditions are hidden to the public. To me, the choice of popular public display of delicouness trumps the restaurant kitchen behind door number 4.
If you’re feeling a little blue, then travelling to Bolivia could be right up your alley thanks to a great local treat.
Maize is a food with endless permutations; fresh, popped, ground into flour for bread, as a syrup, or an oil. Travelling through Latin America you will find so many delicious foods with maize as the main ingredient. Travelling in Bolivia you will find something extra special. A blue maize drink called api.
In Mongolia many things are different to what we are used to at home, but especially the food. Trying fermented mare’s milk, dried curd, sour yoghurt and other traditional dishes is all part of the fun, and Intrepid’s Denis Sobnakov explains why a Mongolian barbecue gives you a special taste of the local lifestyle…
“We finally reached our remote destination, where we were warmly met by our hosts, Bat and Tsetseg. Our Mongolian friends invited us to their ger and Tsetseg gave us each a cup of salted milk tea and put a bucket of small breads, that looked like donuts, in the centre of our table. We talked for a while and our hosts told us that for dinner they will cook a meat dish and we’ll eat it in the traditional way.