Don’t eat the guanaco and go easy on the merlot: two pieces of advice that seem counterproductive to a trip through Chile. However, when you’re staying more than 2.4km above sea level, I advise soaking up all the tricks and tips to avoiding altitude sickness.
Recently, I chatted with Max Vera, the grandly titled Chief of Excursions at luxury lodge Tierra Atacama, about travelling at high altitudes. Based in San Pedro de Atacama, a village in Chile’s Atacama Desert, he helped me acclimatise with short, scenic walks and horse rides through landscapes that have been movie stand-ins for the moon, before I pushed up to the Geysers del Tatio, at 4.3km. To put that all into perspective, Latin America’s most visited site, Machu Picchu, in neighboring Peru, is the same altitude as San Pedro, at 2.4km.
|Photo: Belle Jackson – instagram @global_salsa|
“So,” says Gianni, taking my arm. “Do you like to eat?”
only one response, when the food and beverage director of an Italian
five-star hotel has you in their grip. “Si,” I reply. And again, con
inhales deeply, drawing himself up to his full height which, like me,
is an imposing 163 centimetres, and we sweep into the breakfast room of
the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
Italy’s luxury goes up a notch when you’re on Lake Como, where I managed to fit in three decadent meals a day, capped by rizo, oro e zafferano (rosotto with gold and saffron).I even have the certificate that authenticates the dish (#100624), conceived in 1981 and considered the genesis of Italian haute cuisine.
certified by Italy’s first three-Michelin starred chef, Gualtiero
Marchesi, whose dishes are presented at the packed La Terrazza each
night by the hotel’s executive chef Osvaldo Presazzi.
The path to the Sunshine Coast beach town of Noosa is a well-worn path for southerns. However, chef Cameron Matthews’ recommendations of what to eat will send you up into the cool hinterlands to try Asian-inspired creme caramel, wash-rind cheeses and fresh feijoas.
You can find out what his seven must-eat dishes are by clicking here
A couple of months ago, I met Washington chef-entrepreneur Erik Bruner-Yang at the glamorous Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, China, where he was part of a competition to create new iconic dishes for the hotel chain, which lays rightful claim to the Waldorf salad (amongst many others).
When he wasn’t cooking or overseeing dumpling creations by ham-fisted journalists, he was powering through the city streets, discovering the food scene. We had a chat about where to eat in his hometown, and the influences of his own Taiwanese-Belgian background upon his food.
He tipped Filipino cuisine as the next big thing in the USA, recommends his favourite traditional Japanese restaurant and also shares a hot tip on the best customised pizza in Washington DC – it’s a pretty eclectic food safari.
You can read his hot tips in this short piece for the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald/ The Age newspapers.
It might be the greatest
three-course meal in Australian history but the public won’t get a
taste. Three of Australia’s top chefs, Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore and Ben
Shewry, have been charged with creating our finest menu for a gala
dinner in November to showcase Australian dining. The ‘‘Invite the World
to Dinner’’ event, at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania,
will bring in 80 guests from around the world, including influential
food and wine writers, critics, chefs and celebrities, from Australia’s
key tourism markets. The event is part of Tourism Australia’s new global
campaign ‘‘Restaurant Australia’’ – the latest part of the ‘‘There’s
nothing like Australia’’ campaign launched in 2010. The three chefs have
outstanding credentials, with Perry’s Rockpool, in Sydney, and Quay,
where Gilmore is executive chef, receiving three hats in the 2014 Good
Food Awards. Shewry’s Attica, in the Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea, was
named restaurant of the year at the Melbourne awards. ‘‘This dinner is
saying to the world here is Australian cuisine, we have amazing produce,
diverse cultural influences and through our cooking we bring a certain
spirit of openness, adventure and freedom,’’ said Gilmore.
– Craig Platt
World at your feet
your heels and find yourself wherever in the world you want to be, with
the cutest women’s shoes from Venezuelan brand Hot Chocolate. Imprinted
with an old-school map of the world, they have a rubber sole for
comfortable strolling and the soft polyester upper makes them easy to
clean. Flip the buckle and they’re an ideal inflight shoe, but if you’re
not travelling anywhere soon, just look down, map out your route and
daydream. Bon voyage shoes, $75. 0499 116 659, see pimposaustralia.com.
Taming travel with tots
new travel website devised by mother-of-two, Ingrid Huitema, is
dedicated to journeys with babies. The site takes the grunt out of
travelling with young children and give parents time to reconnect.
“Taking a few hours each day to eat lunch uninterrupted, walk on the
beach or try a surf lesson usually doesn’t happen on holidays with
babies,” says Huitema. “We want to change all of that.” Packages in
baby-friendly Bali comprise villas tailored for children, with pick-up
at Denpasar airport, car seats and nannies. A five-night stay in
Seminyak starts at $1895, with four days’ nanny service. 0408 112 728,
the bellwether, the pack leader, the one who swims against the masses,
and you’re demanding a hotel room decorated with street art. You’re the
epitome of the new traveller. “Curation is the future of online travel,”
says Mat Lewis, of new boutique accommodation booker View Retreats.
Travellers are seeking architectural statements for eye-popping travel
snaps. “Our most-viewed property is the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse in
the Blue Mountains, followed by Campbell Point House on Victoria’s
Bellarine Peninsula and Alkira Resort House and Rainforest Retreat in
the Daintree.” Romantic cocoons are the top request. See
Fabric of life
Weave through India’s exotic Rajasthan,
with Christina Sumner, OAM, former principal curator at Sydney’s The
Powerhouse Museum and Indian textiles aficionado. You will watch silk
and cotton weaving in women’s charities, learn about ancient tribal
dyeing techniques and block-printing, and visit renowned ateliers during
this new 15-day textiles tour. Other highlights include the 1st-century
Buddhist caves of Ajanta, sufi concerts, village visits and the
photogenic Rajasthani cities of Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Accommodation
includes Jodhpur’s Ajit Bhawan Palace and Samode Haveli in Jaipur. The
Threads of Rajasthan tour numbers are capped at 12, departing on
February 7, 2015. Costs from $11,500 a person, twin share, including
flights ex-Sydney, meals and guides. Phone 1300 130 218, see
tangerine or strawberry and you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t
miss your luggage on the carousel amid a sea of boring black. Online
retailer Kogan’s new budget-friendly three-piece luggage sets are
lightweight with a hard-side shell, and sit sturdily on four
multi-directional spinner wheels. The set has two suitcases, 100-litre
(4.2 kilogram) and 65-litre (3.5 kilogram), and a 40-litre (2.6
kilogram) cabin bag, with TSA-approved locks and a one-year warranty.
Colour challenged? Available also in charcoal. Kogan Hardside Spinner
luggage set, $159, three pieces. Phone 1300 304 292, see kogan.com.au.