To an outsider, Barcelona is an easily peggable city: Perched on the Mediterranean, it’s filled with wide boulevards, dreamy architecture, a lauded food culture, and a live-and-let-live atmosphere that’s noticeable within minutes of landing at El Prat airport. Spend a few days here and it’s easy to see why locals consider it one of the most livable cities on earth. (This piece is the introduction to a 12-part, weeklong guide to the city)
Chinese immigrants, mostly from present-day Guangzhou, first arrived in Mexicali around 1900, contracted by the Mexican government to build the railroad on both sides of the border. Today, Mexicali has less of a reputation for its vice-laden history and is now known for its particular brand of Chinese cuisine.
Franco initiated a grand economic plan designed to achieve self-sufficiency: Spain would pool its resources and centralize production. As part of this policy, quotas were enacted that outlawed milk production under 10,000 liters a day. This made small dairies and cheesemaking productions illegal.
For a growing number of National City families, Olivewood Gardens is where they learned how to cook healthy meals—and help their communities do the same.
This cluster of Caribbean islands escaped the wrath of this year's hurricanes and is open for business. With its unusual wildlife, unsullied beaches, and air perfumed with cinnamon and nutmeg, there's no better time to go.
What does natural wine mean in Mexico, anyway, and who is making it?
This isn’t some sad pizza topping; these are beautiful preparations of a regional specialty.
Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s wine country. People come here to sip little-known red wine blends and huddle up next to a roaring fire as the air cools and the sun slips behind the desert mountains. Then they return to their hotels, where they run the shower, blissfully unaware that every drop of water they use brings their hosts closer to disaster. Won Third Place in the Daily Reporting and Writing-Food Story category at the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Journalism Contest
Gaviria is the founder of Masienda, a company that acts as a broker and importer for small-scale Mexican farmers of landrace corn.
“Oh, that?” he said, pointing to the bottle. “It’s weed vermouth. You want to try?”
"I always respect other winemakers, but if someone asks me my opinion, I tell them, 'Your wine tastes like you got it from your hole. Your asshole.'"
One of my favorite things to do when showing visitors around Barcelona is to order them a vermouth. Almost always, they do a double take, with the same line of questioning: “Vermouth? Straight? Why is it dark?”
If there’s one question Barcelona’s culinary world is tired of hearing, it’s likely something along the lines of “what’s going to be the next El Bulli?” Nobody more so than Albert Adrià, chef and principal of the elBarri restaurant group.
It only makes sense that successful Mexican chefs look north to try and expand their reach, though doing so means learning and navigating the legal and social customs of an entirely different country.
The area around Lakes Garda and Iseo boasts a quiet, homegrown food culture backed by the efforts of Slow Food Presidia, the farm-to-table organization that promotes small producers and their traditional production methods.
“What are you doing in this lane?” a Customs and Border Patrol agent in at the crossing into Douglas, Arizona, yelled at us from outside the car. This border crossing was not like the others. Won 1st place in the Online Domestic Travel category in the San Diego Press Club 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awards
It’s hard to think of a time before burrata. The ultra-creamy Italian cheese made of mozzarella and stracciatella is near-ubiquitous on menus these days: in a caprese salad, on Neapolitan-style pizzas or with peaches or pistachios, to give a few examples.
Waking up with with a serious hangover in Antigua, Guatemala either means last night was a raging success or a crushing failure. If you’re hanging out with the crew from Ilegal Mezcal at Café No Sé, a morning of squinty eyes, pounding head and mouth dry with the lingering taste of gasoline and smoke, generally indicates the former.
At a certain point on the road to Long Island’s east end, a stretch of beaches and farms, there’s a sign that reads “Welcome to: Long Island Wine Country.”
Just as the world is starting to take tequila seriously and opening its eyes to mezcal, another agave spirit has burst onto the scene. Raicilla, the newest drink on the block, is an herbal distillate from the Mexican state of Jalisco, an area best known for the tourist hot spot of Puerto Vallarta, and the country’s second-largest city, Guadalajara.
Things move at a different pace here in San Diego. National trends take a long time to reach us, but sometimes, we’re lucky enough to find ourselves at the cutting edge of one -- not because we’re on top of our game per se, but because we’re still enjoying it from its first incarnation. Featured in "Rum: Sailors, Pirates and Prohibition," a 2017 exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego
Ask those in the know about global food trends and, undoubtedly, one of their answers will be “Modern Mexican.” Paying tribute to the complex and, in many cases, ancient food traditions of Mexican cooking, chefs are upping standards and price tags by taking classic ingredients and time-tested recipes and giving them a fresh, fine dining-oriented spin. Won 2nd place in the Food-Online and Daily Newspapers category in the San Diego Press Club 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awards
Landing at Portland International Airport, seeing the familiar geometric teal carpet and jumping in the car only to head straight out of the dynamic city felt, truthfully, a little rebellious, but I had other things in mind.
With cannabis popping up in water, coffee and food, it was only a matter of time before it found its way onto your happy hour menu.
For a long time, people have been coming to San Diego for the beach, beer, and tacos, or on their way to Mexico. None of that has changed, but America’s Finest City has pushed beyond just serving as a mecca for surf bros and all things 1975, and the ever-expanding local food scene is a big reason why.
Absent was the feeling that anyone was too cool, that this had been done before or that the awards themselves were beginning to feel a bit insular or stale, as has been criticized. Instead, what Bogotá gave to the 50 Best Awards was a breath of fresh air.
Hana is a geographically isolated town under the Haleakala volcano on Maui's eastern shore, where food is essential to keeping the sense of community alive.
Many claim Oaxacan food is the heart and soul of Mexican cooking, owing its diversity and quality to a plethora of enduring pre and post-Columbian recipes and techniques. Hailing from Oaxaca’s central valley, the tlayuda is an iconic street food staple that shines as a shared plate.
If you go, you’ll find pristine, near-empty beaches; understated eco resorts; a varied and delicious homegrown cuisine with priority on sustainable foods; and a laid-back people who recognize you could’ve gone elsewhere, and who appreciate your efforts.
Too often, the discussion of Baja’s culinary revolution skips over the Valle de Guadalupe’s sleepier little sister, the port city of Ensenada. Flanked by desert mountains, facing the stark blue Pacific Ocean and bestowed with one of the most pleasant climates on earth, Ensenada is just 90 miles south of downtown San Diego, making it the ideal destination for a day trip.
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s totally natural to have a calendar full of parties, late nights, and drawn-out dinners with family and friends. It’s also natural to want to fill out your usual Sweetgreen and SoulCycle routine with some extra snacking and sipping.
Americans overlook this alpine region pocked with freshwater -- aside, maybe, from the famous Lake Como. But around Italy (and pretty much the rest of Europe) vacationers know and love these lakes between Verona and Milan, each with a distinct scene, whether that be sailing, celebrity, or simply being hidden.
It was during that low tourism period that Tijuanenses seized on opportunity and reintroduced Tijuana on their own terms, ushering in a golden age of food, drink, design and art to sustain the city. That effort has paid off; Tijuana has been rediscovered. Won 1st place in the Online International Travel category in the San Diego Press Club 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awards
Solo travel is a hot topic among jet-setting types these days, and for good reason—getting a change of scenery, plus a healing dose of solitude, just might be the healthiest choice you could make.
Just two hours south of the border, Ensenada is probably best known for being one of Mexico’s most famous cruise ports. But enthusiastic eaters know it for a far more important reason: It’s the home of the fish taco. (Photo appears in article, credit Getty Images)
Even after decades of accolades, including three Michelin stars and repeat appearances at number one on the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, the three Roca brothers at the helm of El Celler de Can Roca place family at the heart of what they do. Won Third Place in the Profiles category at the 2016 San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.
After chatting with people and getting through the requisite rounds of “Congratulations on your new president!”—which was funny, but also not funny—I sought out an apfelwein tavern to drink off the jet lag.
It must be said that as Mexico's most northwestern state and one of its youngest, Baja has a newer food culture and it has only crystallized in the last 15 years or so. Though Baja’s cuisine was previously undefined, what is for sure is that there are certain dishes— some of which are taking the food world by storm right now (um, tostadas, anyone?) — that are undeniably “Baja.”
Everyone knows someone who’s been to Barcelona. Through rigorous, scientific research we’ve concluded it has long been the number one destination for American college students looking to party/study abroad, which means you probably have no shortage of friends to ask for suggestions for your upcoming vacation.
While agave spirits were gaining traction around the world, hopeful vintners in northwestern Mexico were quietly making wine. Good wine. Fifteen minutes in from the Pacific Ocean and 90 minutes south of the United States-Mexico border is where the grape juice can be found, in Valle de Guadalupe.
Since early October, when Hurricane Matthew devastated an already limping Haiti, refugees have been fleeing the island, with many ending up in Brazil. From there, they take buses towards the United States, where their journeys often end in Tijuana.
What makes this a particularly odious option is the commodification of it all – that one must pay for something that should be public and egalitarian, putting us shoulder-to-shoulder, facing the organic pull of our common history.
Even in daylight, candles are necessary at Café No Se. The bar is a bit of a vortex: a dingy-yet-charming cave with no natural light in Antigua, Guatemala. Following the path of Café No Se’s several windowless rooms and through a crawlspace door will eventually deposit the adventurer at yet another bar, where they serve only mezcal.
There’s usually one way to wake up in Baja California's Valle de Guadalupe during a normal weekender: head pounding, eyes squinting, smelling like last night’s bonfire, and desperately groping for a water bottle. But add an organized festival to those regular festivities—a festival where winemakers, chefs, and hoteliers are ready to party—and you have an entire region in full-on revelry.
Do you like tequila, tacos, and fun? Congratulations! You must be a human. Are you also a human residing in America who's curious about crossing the border into Tijuana to experience said tequila, tacos, and fun? Well, you'll want to read this before you go.
You did it. You and your friends crossed from San Diego over the United States-Mexico border, made your way through Tijuana traffic, and maneuvered your car up a winding highway and over a hill to a sprawling view of the Pacific Ocean. This can mean only one thing: you’re on a weekender in Baja, heading south on Route 1D.
In a dining and drinking scene obsessed with what’s new and what’s next, it can be easy to forget the originals. The ones who stoked passion and started a movement. Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, now with multiple locations in Orange County, California, was one of those pioneers.
Things in Cabo are heating up—just ask recent Argentine transplant Cristian Schwuger, the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda Del Mar’s new executive chef .
Mexico’s premier wine region was abuzz with the news that a prominent Bordeaux wine family had decided to put down roots and create an Ensenada-based operation. For many, it was deep validation from the outside world that the region was creating something attention-worthy. That the winemaker was a woman — something relatively rare both in Mexico and France (and, frankly, the rest of the world) — was even more notable.
Long gone are the days when asking for vegan menu options yielded twisted faces and maybe a plate of tomatoes, if you were lucky. Today, vegan cuisine is all the rage, with chefs creating delicious, creative dishes that all diners crave—even omnivorous ones.
South Africa, a country known for surfing, political conflict, and safaris is now slowly beginning to be recognized as a vibrant food and wine powerhouse.
This is a list of must-hits while in San Diego, and includes everything from casual tacos and ceviches to sit-down extravaganzas worthy of a robust expense account. What’s common to everything on this list is simple: it’s all exceptionally delicious.
Often touted as Tequila’s smokier cousin, Mezcal is the Mexican agave spirit now distillate all over cocktail lists throughout the world. So, what is it? Is it any good? The answer starts in the southern state of Oaxaca, where most of the Mezcal sold globally originates. Won 2nd place in the Food-Magazines category in the San Diego Press Club 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awards
Every corner of the city has a new “must-visit” spot, including fine-art expositions, chic tasting rooms, rooftop dining and design stores. Here are a few places to fill your belly, quench your thirst and rest your head.
So, what’s wrong with us? Why don’t we love you, Colonia Verde? Like my charming date who just wanted me to crash into him, everything on this menu presents very well, but most of it is insanely bland. I actually thought for a second that I must have blacked out before dinner and powered through a carton of Marlboro Reds, because I really couldn’t taste a thing I was eating.
It’s just about time for the world to gather and watch the Monaco Grand Prix. The most glamorous event in Formula One, it’s also the most anticipated race of the season, with film stars, socialites and royalty all flocking to Monaco to catch a glimpse of the festivities. For those in the mix, excess is the name of the game.
The journey never stops, people. But part of that journey is celebrating all of life’s big moments - from graduations to anniversaries to promotions. And when it comes to celebrations, San Diegans definitely know a thing or two.
The surging popularity of dating apps has changed the game for good, but its transparency means that certain people can’t participate—those that are particularly wealthy, good-looking and well-known. Could you imagine what would happen if Joe Jonas popped up on Tinder? Yeah, neither could he, which is why he joined Raya.
What’s old is new again, as the saying goes. This has never been truer for one of the world’s most favored vehicles, the Land Rover Defender, which is living its best life in the form of a roaring aftermarket.
If you’re in the market for a yacht, chances are you’ve come across the work of master designer Luiz de Basto. His award-winning, eponymous yacht design company, De Basto Designs, is at the forefront of cutting-edge design and technology for yachts of all sizes.