★ Featured Article, Culinary By Dayna Engberg

New Twists on Old World Favorites

It’s the fuel for our adventures and for many of us, the sole motive for our travels. Cuisine is most captivating when it conjures a story; imparting a glimpse into another narrative entirely. The most inspiring dish is one that progresses beyond an investigation of its flavors to unearth the traditions that inspired it, appreciate the indigenous natural elements that birthed it, and witness the art of the process by the people who crafted it. From modern spotlight affairs of artful presentation to the simple beauty of authentic longstanding staples, here are three cities that exemplify this elegant intersection of cuisine and culture.

London



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Many travelers hold sacred the culinary philosophy that the best dining experiences are solely those authentic to the immediate destination. English food has its signature strokes—and they can be delightfully gluttonous in moderation—but the heavy pies, creambased accompaniments, and butter-drenched morsels of traditional English cuisine comprise but a small wing in London’s larger gastronomic gallery; most works are international. 

Whether you prefer white linen wonders or budget-friendly bites, London is brimming with bold international flavors. From the up-and-coming chefs hidden amongst the Borough Market food stalls to the friendly local restaurateur around the corner, you can taste flavors from the far reaches of the earth in a few short London blocks. As they say, the sun never sets on the British Empire. London is the living metaphor of contributions from previously colonized countries around the globe, and it’s these diverse fusions, adoptions and collaborations which make the city’s food scene so unique.



Paris


In French culture, enjoying fine food and wine is not reserved for celebratory occasions, nor is it considered an occasional luxury, but the primary benchmark of an abundant life itself. This is evidenced by the French term for an epicurean, le bon vivant, directly translating to “one who lives well.”

With restaurants boasting over 140 Michelin stars, living well is easy in the city of Paris, perhaps most notably at the establishments of Alain Ducasse. Among the most esteemed chefs in the world, Ducasse holds a total of 19 Michelin stars across 23 restaurants in seven countries. His flagship Parisian restaurant is a beacon of epicurean fortitude, crafting unexpected combinations such as Brittany langoustine in lemon cream alongside golden Iranian caviar, Groix Island sole filets with héliantis roots and black truffle, and a dessert of Landes apricots with avocado and fresh almond tofu.

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Barcelona


Inspired by its ample shoreline as much as its mountains and nearby fertile pastures, the gastronomy of Barcelona is a graceful expression of geographical biodiversity. Perhaps it was this exact combination that set the stage for the explosion of the tapas movement. These small plates have become Spain’s means of exhibiting their culinary aptitude in a course-by-course award ceremony showcasing the region’s ecological forte complemented with its most flattering flavor siblings and dished up like tiny works of art.

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If you’re familiar with only one name in the Barcelona tapas scene, it is most likely Adrià. Brothers Ferran and Albert were responsible for the famed restaurant El Bulli, which closed in 2011 only after having gained global recognition as one of the most influential restaurants in the world. Today, six restaurants bear the illustrious Adrià name. Crafting everything from Nikkei cuisine at Pakta, the only restaurant in Barcelona serving this distinct Peruvian-Japanese fusion, to high-end tapas at the (literally) flashy epicurean amusement park Tickets, the brothers Adrià have forged a culinary empire.

Hotel Restaurants

The wonderful thing about staying at SELECT Hotels & Resorts is that you do not have to travel far to savor the city’s gastronomic delights. Many of these properties include world-famous chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants right on site.





Contact your agent to receive VIP bonus amenities at these SELECT Hotels & Resorts properties