Why Champagne is champagne, Part I

Champagne. Is any other beverage so widely equated with “the good life,” social status celebrations, and special events around the world? “Champagne” has become so well-known in popular culture and yet so misunderstood. The term has become so synonymous with sparkling wine that it is easy to forget that it is really a brand, a…

Healthy Diplomat: Four tips for staying healthy away from home

Frequent or long trips away from home can wreak havoc on one’s body. Overdosing on new food, exposure to new germs – especially during air and rail travel, limited access to fitness facilities, and altered routines easily can lead to illness, weight gain, and falling out of shape. When I travel, I try to follow…

The best (restaurant) Indian I ever ate

The best restaurants tend to be those recommended by locals. For a foreigner, I think it’s safe to say that a recommendation from a native who happens to be an expat or immigrant to your own home country is an even better bet. I call this the restaurant that is the best of both worlds:…

Eating Thai…Or a version of Asian in Bolivia

If you’re a foodie, frequent traveler and tend to have longer stays in a particular city, at some point, your objective might shift from “let’s try good local food” to “let’s try something different.” Perhaps you’re sick of your limited choices and just want anything you haven’t already tried. Perhaps you don’t like native dishes….

Rendezvous: Continental flavors meet the Andes in La Paz

I’d like to share with you another restaurant that embodies the spirit of The Culinary Diplomat. Rendezvous in La Paz, Bolivia brings the techniques and flavors of continental Europe and North Africa to one of the more insular capital cities of South America. While most people will never make the trek to Bolivia, I found…

The best plat I ever ate: Parisian seared foie gras ravioletti

It is a rare moment in life when you experience something so spectacular you know you’re going to remember the rest of your life. Whether it’s people, a natural wonder, a concert, a work of art, or food, you typically know soon that the moment will remain with you for years – if not a…

Pisco, national spirit of Peru…or is it?

If, for no other reason than as the namesake of the Pisco Sour, cocktail of (often upscale) Latin restaurants, you are probably familiar with pisco. ┬áMany may associate the pisco sour with Peru. But did you know that Chile produces, consumes, and imports more pisco than anywhere else? Fun fact: Pisco originated roughly at the…

LIMO – creative nikkei fusion in Cusco

Nikkei is a Peruvian term for Japanese-Peruvian fusion. Peruvian harvest staples – such as corvina (bass), prawns, corn, potatoes, avocado, and tropical fruit – meet Japanese cooking styles. Typical nikkei fare includes tiraditos – basically Peruvian sashimi – in addition to sushi rolls that incorporate Peruvian ingredients, corn and potato causas topped with fresh seafood,…

Gaston Acurio, Peru’s famous culinary diplomat

Who is Gaston Acurio? If you are Peruvian, travel throughout South America, or read The Washington Post (USA), Wall Street Journal (USA), or Telegraph (UK), you may have heard about Gaston, the Peruvian celebrity chef and restauranteur known to most by only his first name. Parisian Le Cordon Bleu trained, Gaston has become the emissary…

Danica: Peruvian-Italian fusion in Lima

My favorite restaurant in Peru was Danica. Mind you, claiming the top spot on my list of restaurants in Peru is quite an achievement. Peru’s restaurant scene, particularly Lima’s, is crowded with contenders. Many others bring celebrity chef credentials, expensive decor, a selective wine and cocktail menu – just as in any metropolitan city, but…