Charming journal of three globe-hopping months, largely around Southeast Asia, by a pair of seasoned food professionals.
With five James Beard awards and more than a dozen cookbooks and travel guides under their belts, the Jamisons in 2005 cashed in years of frequent-flyer miles and planned an itinerary guided by nostalgia, curiosity and, most importantly, taste buds. They started in Bali, where the couple reminisced about their honeymoon there 20 years earlier, participated in a cremation ritual and sampled traditional smoked duck in the home of their driver. Their exploration of the Australian wine country came alive under the guidance of a series of welcoming local farmers and vinters, and they splurged on some five-star dining in Sydney. Singapore stood out largely for the abundance of street vendors dishing out everything from oyster omelets to banana fritters. The next stop was Thailand, where they happily navigated the produce markets of Chiang Mai with a fellow culinary enthusiast and tried to dodge tourist traps in Bangkok and Phuket. They took a memorable houseboat trip (complete with professional chef) in southern India and hosted an impromptu cooking demonstration in China before fleeing Asia for South Africa. There, they went on a safari cookout and sampled the unique fusion cuisine of Cape Town. No culinary journey would be complete without a stop in France, and for the Jamisons that meant returning to their favorite inn, La Riboto de Taven in Provence. Finally, the couple headed to Brazil for a special stay in Salvador, vibrant capital of Creole culture. Despite their distinguished stature in the food world, husband and wife write with a wonderfully humble, familiar touch that makes world travel seem as accessible as it is exciting.
The appealing Jamisons prove themselves consummate guides to culinary travel.