So. We heard Culinary Travel will be big in 2019.

Just color us very smug already (because culinary is practically our middle name and we have been booking locations for food for the last two decades).

At Rothschild Safaris we believe food and travel is a perfect pairing. You don’t need to be a foodie to benefit from well thought out and beautifully prepared meals on your trips. But you will get that much more out of every journey if you pay a little closer attention to the vibes and the culture that accompanies fabulous food.

Why is this culinary travel angle so satisfying?

Eating food requires all your senses. And the human experience becomes exponentially better with every added sense you use.

Nothing reveals the true identity of a region like the food it serves. In South Africa, you find history in the Malay dishes and stubborn survival in the biltong.

If you have fallen in love with a location you will love recreating the local food back home. Not only will this instantly transport you back but it is also a great hack for introducing friends and family to your travel darlings.

Plan to get the most out of a destination’s gastronomy.

Bring good shoes. A great guide. And a hat.

Walking through local markets takes time and patience. On your first visit somewhere a guide is essential. It may take many seasons to figure out what is best and who provides it etc. Dress comfortably and don’t get caught by the sun.

Arrive a little prepared

Learn about the local culture before you travel and engage people in discussions about food. Ask them what they love eating and what a typical meal at home will look like. Almost all the properties Rothschild Safaris recommend will prepare local food on request and the staff will love to discuss their local food and culture with guests.

Be adventurous and courteous

Decide to suspend your disbelief and try every local delicacy or staple once. If you have a great guide you will be informed about the most polite behavior and special considerations around food and people in a country.

If at first, you don’t succeed…

While medicating should never be a given it is true that local food and experimenting with unusual ingredients and flavors may play havoc with your digestive system. Carrying calming medication with you might be just another part of your plan for culinary domination!

Three restaurants we will have our eye on in 2019

Mil, Cusco, Peru

We have been fans of Virgilio Martinez’s Central Restaurant in Lima for almost a decade. Will we follow him on a 45-minute drive taking us to 11,706 feet (3500 m)above sea level into the Peruvian Andes to his Mil restaurant?

That is a silly question to ask a company that specializes in travel to the wildest corners of Earth!

The full street address of Mil is ‘ascend 500 meters from the Archaeological Complex of Moray’. Here Virgilio has formed an alliance with all the nearby farming communities and, with his sister Malena as head of the group’s native ingredient cataloging operation, he is on a mission to document and use the ancient local ingredients and methods of preparation. Francesco D’Angelo Piaggio mother saw a Netflix episode featuring Martinez which resulted in him eventually joining as staff anthropologist.

Best enjoyed once you have acclimatized (although an oxygen tank is on hand for an O2 boost should you require it) stop by for a lunch of eight moments (what they call the courses). You can stay for the day and harvest potatoes if you like.

Oh, and the views of the Sacred Valley from on high aren’t bad either!

Laura, Mornington Peninsula, Australia

The Point Leo Estate’s Jaune Plensa sculpture has inspired a restaurant. The eponymous Laura has incredible views across the Western Port Bay and the set menu is an ode to the Mornington Peninsula. Diners have a choice of four, five, or six courses that tell Phil Wood’s culinary tale embodying the season and the region.

The Gourmet Traveller’s reviewer says the food

balances precision cooking and artful plating with elements of surprise

Salt at Paul Cluver, Grabouw, South Africa

Magic happens when each of your six courses is paired not only to a specific wine but to a specific salt as well. Craig Cormack and Beau du Toit spearheaded this restaurant in the Paul Cluver winery in the lush Elgin Valley near Cape Town that has chef Mechell Spann at the helm. They promise honest, no fuss but tasty food in a relaxed atmosphere with superb wines.

What’s not to like?