Journeys way off the beaten path, and the power of everyday people.

Nature's Most Simple Wine

Jean Pierre slips the harness around the thick trunk of the palm and ties it tight. It is made out of fronds itself, tightly wound into rope and dried. Leaning back like a lineman working on an electric cable, he grips it and lifts his left bare f…

America's Not Quite Top Chef

Last night, Olaf made me dinner to be nice. I'm sick. Tonight, I want to make him dinner. Without exxageration, this is how it goes: I find a can of spicy Vindaloo sauce, with directions — in English. I don't eat spicy food. This is what we will…

Stuffed. Literally. Stuffed.

I've finally eaten the equivalent weight of a small child in schoko croissants, pretzel croissant devil spawn and double baked Paderborner bread. Before you say I'm exxagerating to make a point, I literally ate 8 pieces of Paderborner bread yester…

Best dining view in town? $6

Good places I have eaten ... lamb and kumara pie. Everyone else is in restaurants eating $30 meals. I'm not going to lie, if I was rolling in it, I might join them, but my view from the stone wall at the pier with my $6 pastry pie is best in Queen…

Ugali cooking lesson

Unless you’ve eaten ugali, you have not eaten. This, Lydia says, is what most Kenyans feel when it comes to their staple of maize flour cooked with boiling water into a thick cake. Lydia teaching me: Most times, that means a portion sliced int…

Anthony says...

What Anthony Bourdain tells me, I believe. When I saw his episode of No Reservations on Peru, I paid attention. He said ignore the casino facade and go to Toshiro's sushi. The owner will greet you. It blends Peruvian flavors with traditional sushi…

Hablo Espanol .

Interesting 5-minute exchange with the woman in the tienda down the road. I wanted peanuts. DId not see any. I tried to explain what I wanted: you know, a fruit from a tree but it's not a fruit like an orange. No, not a pineapple. Or a pea. You ca…

Hot (and tasty) stuff

A few weeks ago, I learned how to make tortillas in Alcides' house. Or, rather, his wife tried to teach me. Mine was still burnt on one side and an off-kilter circle. They gave it to me to eat with a hard-boiled egg (a first here) and an enchilada…