Globetrotting gourmands can’t resist eating their way around the world (and documenting every spoonful) but in 2020 it’s about a more mindful approach. Whether that translates as more diverse experiences, respecting the environment, questioning provenance or deliberately seeking out the female chefs, here are our ten suggestions for broadening your food-travel horizons.
ALPINN, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY
The ideal setting for three-Michelin-starred chef Norbert Niederkofler’s ‘cook the mountain’ philosophy, AlpiNN restaurant is perched at an altitude of 2275m on Mt Plan de Corones, overlooking the Dolomites and housed in the Lumen Museum of Mountain Photography. Open since December 2018, it uses only produce sourced from the region and has a relaxed ambience enjoyed by skiers, hikers and destination diners.
ALCHEMIST 2.0, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Fancy 50 courses over six hours? Since the spring of 2019, Alchemist 2.0 has been outshining its predecessor (which opened in 2015) in an extraordinary reincarnation. Chef Rasmus Munk presents his ‘holistic cuisine’ in a 20-times-bigger (2230 sq metres) location in the former Danish Royal Theatre, which includes two sensory-experience rooms with actors, artists and installations presenting themes such as NYC and LGBTQ. The new Alchemist is in Copenhagen’s artsy Refshalevej neighbourhood and the set menu is around US$650.
EKO KITCHEN, SAN FRANCISCO, USA
San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant from financial analyst turned pop-up chef Simileoluwa Adebajo has been blazing a trail for African food in the Bay Area since it opened in May 2019. Inspired by the street food of Lagos, Nigeria, Simileoluwa is keen to demystify the culture’s popular dishes, such as goat meat pepper soup, jollof spaghetti and moin moin.Eko Kitchen is located at Joint Venture Kitchen, 167 11th St, and is open Friday to Sunday.
L28 CULINARY PLATFORM, TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
This unique fine-dining restaurant run by NGO Start-Up Nation Central is also a chef accelerator: since October 2018, talented emerging Israeli chefs take six-month residencies here with culinary mentors. Shuli Wimer pioneered her mix of Israeli Galilee and Italian dishes here and handed the baton to Gabriel Israel and his North African-Ashkenazi menu in May 2019.
TASTE THE ISLAND FESTIVAL, IRELAND
This two-month festival debuted in mid-September 2019 and showcases some of the lesser-known Irish food and drink regions to the world, acknowledging travellers who want to enjoy authentic culinary experiences. Take a food trail; forage with experts; visit niche producers, distillers and brewers; partake in traditional skills. Oh and eat very well, in either small-town cafes or Michelin-starred establishments.
MERCADO LITTLE SPAIN, NYC, USA
An ambitious food hall from the famous Adrià brothers and Michelin-starred Spanish-American chef José Andrés opened in March 2019, bringing a touch of Spain’s markets to the far west side of Manhattan but with a modern twist. Dine fast or slow: indulge in patatas bravas, churros or Galician empanadas, even pick up some Bomba rice to make your own authentic paella at home.
SUPER LYAN, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam’s first on-tap cocktails come courtesy of the two-time World’s Best Bar winner. Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka London’s Mr Lyan) opened his first international outpost in April 2019. Expect his sustainability-meets-innovation approach and homemade stroopwaffles, bitterballen and vegan doughnuts in a stunning space with a ‘traditional Dutch brown cafe’ ethos, including a resident cat.
DI STASIO CITTÀ, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Open since February 2019, this long-awaited venue from an Australian restaurant stalwart has more than met the sentimental hype. ‘Ronnie’ Di Stasio pioneered his first restaurant, Rosati, thirty years ago and now he’s back in a beautiful Brutalist building, with video installations by Australian artists and the city’s best pasta.
KJOLLE, LIMA, PERU
Pia León’s restaurant has had much fanfare since it opened in August 2018. The focus here is 100% Peruvian: the ingredients, the wood and stone used in the decor, and the Amazon-sourced cedar and capirona dishware. Pia was named by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants as Latin America’s Best Female Chef (2018). Then Kjolle (pronounced ‘koy-ay’) was shortlisted by the World Restaurant Awards for Arrival of the Year in 2019. She’s cooked alongside her husband Virgilio Martínez for more than a decade. Now’s her time!
LA DAME DE PIC, SINGAPORE
The almost two-year restoration of Singapore’s historic Raffles Hotel has rewarded patient food lovers in particular. Open since August 2019, the hotel houses not just new restaurants by Alain Ducasse and Jereme Leung but the Asian debut of three-Michelin-starred Anne-Sophie Pic. La Dame de Pic showcases her contemporary French cuisine interwoven with Singaporean flavours.