The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

It’s finally here! After hinting for the last several months, and after a full year of hard work, my first culinary travel guide is here! Introducing The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy! It’s no secret that Eric and I love Italy, and about three years ago, we discovered Emilia Romagna. Since that time, we have made five visits to the region, that encompasses Bologna, Modena, Parma, and more. Why do we love this region so much? Emilia Romagna is home to some of the best food, and food products, in the world. It is home to Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, traditional balsamic vinegar, and more. It is the home to Slow Food and Fast Cars. It is home to amazing wines, including world famous Lambrusco, and some Italy’s secret wines, including Negretto and Albana. It almost kills me when people tell me they are traveling to Italy and limiting their trip to Rome or Venice. There is so much more to see of the country than the primary tourist spots. I do understand the draw to those cities. I understand wanting to see the Coliseum, or the Bridge of Signs. But, after Rome and Venice, where should you travel to in order to experience the REAL Italy? Where should you travel to in order to eat the best food in Italy? The obvious answer is: Emilia Romagna! And, my new The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna can help you plan the perfect trip through the breadbasket of Italy. In a full 250 pages of culinary guide book...
How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

We had a fabulous timing when visiting Chengdu earlier this year. We saw a giant buddha, spent time with pandas, and ate some amazing Sichuan cuisine. It is also where we learned how to make an Old Fashioned cocktail.   Now, generally I enjoy receiving a lesson on how to make a good cocktail. We learned how to make a proper gin and tonic at the Four Seasons in Lisbon, as well as at the Ritz-Carlton Macau. We’ve explored cocktails in Brno and drank many a Aperol Spritz in Italy, all in the name of research. This time, though, enjoying a few cocktails at The Bar in Chengdu, China, caused a little bit of a problem. What kind of problem can an Old Fashioned cause? A little bit of an addiction. Prior to our visit to Chengdu, the Old Fashioned was not in our repertoire of drinks. Now, we can’t get enough of them. Tips On How To Make an Old Fashioned There was a certain formality to making this particular Old Fashioned. There was a bit of pomp and circumstance. Part of that was because we were at one of the top cocktails bars in Chengdu. Part of it, though, was the bartender, who marched through the steps, with a seriousness not often found in cocktail making. A seriousness that was followed by a generous smile, and a pride in knowing he made a great drink. Back to that Old Fashioned. A heavy bottomed rocks glass. A large single ice cube, to ensure the ice doesn’t melt too quick. A sugar cube. The bartender slowly dripped just a few drops...
S2E21: Baton Rouge Craft Beer

S2E21: Baton Rouge Craft Beer

Talking Baton Rouge Craft Beer Looking for something to do in Louisiana, before noon, on a weekday? How about drinking down a few pints of Baton Rouge craft beer. That’s just what we did when we met Joe from Southern Craft Brewing Company. When he’s not a project manager for large oil and gas clients, he’s brewing beer, just through the back door of his uniquely located tasting room. We pulled off the highway, and wound our way to the back of an industrial park, and there’s where we found the Southern Craft Brewing Company. We talked with Joe about his transition from home brewer to official brew master. And, he’s off and running with award winning beers with names like Pompous Pelican, Red Stick Ryle, and Swamp Sting. We also got a quick little history lesson on Baton Rouge, and the famous red stick and what it means to follow your passion. And, when I said you should head over to the tasting room in the middle of the day, might want to check their hours first. In this case, Joe left his day job to open up the tasting room, and talk with us about the Baton Rouge craft beer scene. And, of course, there’s some country music playing in the background. Check out Southern Craft Breweing Company in Baton Rouge! Mentions on This Week’s Culinary Podcast Where to Find the Best Gulf Coast Eats! – Our guide on what to eat in Baton Rouge, and the rest of the region, including several of our restaurant recommendations where you can find Southern Craft Brewing Company beer. How We Survived Our...
Where to Eat in Athens Georgia

Where to Eat in Athens Georgia

  I wasn’t sure why I wanted to visit Athens Georgia. We were trying to skip Atlanta in favor of smaller cities, like Macon and Savannah. I heard Athens was a fun college town, home to the University of Georgia Bulldogs. I thought it would be fun to drink at college bars, and eat at some southern greasy spoons. We found those experiences, but some of the other experiences we had made me realize there is more to eat in Athens than college grub. A Weekend to Eat in Athens Within minutes of arriving in Athens, after a lengthy drive from Macon, we sat down at Seabear Oyster Bar. It’s not at all what I expected for our first meal in Georgia. Seabear Oyster Bar is located in the Bottleworks, a group of buildings once used by Coca-Cola to bottle. Now, it houses a series of restaurants and food outlets, each of which tries to work within the historic characteristics of the buildings. I was famished after the drive, and we chowed down. The menu was a mix of Asian and Southern fusion. And, although prior to this stop on the #USChowDown I wanted all classic southern food, I was happy to get just a little taste of Asia. An Asian inspired scallion pancake formed a crispy bottom for sweet rock crab and a spicy mayo: Beautiful chargrilled okra was a nice change from the tasty, but fried, okra we had been eating along the trip. This version, served in a cast iron skillet, was topped with an aioli sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning: Seabear Oyster Bar prides themselves on...
S2E18: Talking Culinary Careers and the Food Network With Jay Ducote

S2E18: Talking Culinary Careers and the Food Network With Jay Ducote

Not everyone follows the path that was originally laid out for them. We certainly didn’t. And, neither did Chef Jay Ducote from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We sat down and talked about culinary careers, and how we ended up in ours, along with how the food blogging world has changed. How did Jay Ducote go from teaching Algebra to becoming the runner up for the Next Food Network Star? Jay was a substitute teacher, grant writer, and wanna-be professional tailgater. Luckily for us, he made the switch. All of Jay Ducote’s Culinary Careers We sat down with Jay Ducote at Tin Roof Beer in Baton Rouge, over a few dozen craft beers (yes a few dozen). We learned about all of his various culinary careers. And, he is one busy guy. He started his food blog, Bite and Booze, during his daily office worker lunch breaks. The food blog started from just wanting to share the stories of the meals he was eating around Baton Rouge. From that modest start he became the unofficial food mayor of Baton Rouge. Jay launched his own BBQ sauce and rub, his own wine, his own food podcast, and even his own local radio show. And, yes, he was a runner up on the Next Food Network Star. We talk about how he made it to TV and what is it like to be on a culinary reality TV show. You can follow Jay through his Bite and Booze blog on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Mentions on This Episode of our Culinary Travel Podcast Where to Find the Best Gulf Coast Eats! The Next Food Network...
S02E16: Talking American Craft Beer at Parish Brewing Company

S02E16: Talking American Craft Beer at Parish Brewing Company

Parish Brewing Company We are craft beer novices, as we’ve mentioned before when we talked craft beer with The Opportunistic Travelers on episode 09 of season 2. But, during our #USChowDown 6 week long US culinary road trip, we wanted to learn as much as possible about American craft beer. And, we were schooled in Louisiana, at Parish Brewing Company. After a trip to Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Mississippi, and a week of drinking craft beer in New Orleans, I think my taste buds are getting the hang of American craft beer. I am still not a fan of the IPAs, which are a little too hoppy for my tastes. But, I’ve been enjoying quite a few of the beer we’ve tasted. When we walked into Parish Brewing Company in Broussard, Louisiana, we were greeted in a bustling Tap Room by the owner, Andrew, and his adorable puppy, Murphy. Andrew gave us a tour of the brewery. And, we tasted every one of their 12 (!) American craft beer varieties, and I enjoyed quite a lot of them. On this week’s episode of the food travel podcast, we sit down with Andrew to talk hop wizardry, how he ended up in the American craft beer industry, and why the food in Lafayette, Louisiana is so darned special. Although right now Parish Brewing Company only distributes their craft beer within Louisiana, it is easy to find all over the state. In particular, search for my favorite, the Parish Brewing Company Canebrake, and Eric’s favorite, the Everie IPA. Just before we arrived in the Gulf, horrible rains plagued Louisiana, with...
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