London - There’s never been a better time than now to be a gourmet traveller. The globalisation of food trends and culture may have led to a certain homogenisation at the top end of the market, but it also means that chefs and restaurateurs are keener than before to rediscover what’s local and authentic.
Foodie destinations are more accessible and Michelin-starred chefs continue to expand their empires into new and sometimes unexpected locations, helping to increase the quality of dining out around the world.
For the real deal in Southern American cooking, head to Nashville, which is set to become as well known for its restaurants as it is for its music. Chef Tyler Brown, of Capitol Grille at Hermitage Hotel (001 615 345 7116; capitolgrillenash- ville.com), has reconnected with the land and his heritage with dishes such as cobia fish served with cornbread, bacon and celery root purée, and breakfasts including Tennessee “Jack” egg sandwich made with Jack Daniel’s-infused toast, fried egg, jowl bacon and tomato gravy.
If you associate Tenerife in the Canary Islands with rowdy nightlife, timeshares and bad food, then it may be time to reassess, especially as British Airways is launching a new direct service from Gatwick on March 31. As well as producing its own wines, the island now has more than 30 restaurants listed in the Michelin guide. Its two Michelin-starred restaurants are both housed at the Abama Golf and Spa resort (00 34 922 126 000; www.abamahotelresort.com). It is overseen by one of Spain’s leading modernist chefs, Martín Berasategui, and offers a seasonal tasting menu with dishes such as crispy oyster salad with grapefruit and nuts.
At Kabuki, Canarian chef Daniel Franco fuses Japanese cuisine, Mediterranean influences and local produce into dishes such as usuzukuri of local cherne fish, layered over the islands’ black potatoes, and served with the region’s spicy red pepper “mojo” sauce.
With all the recent hype about European gastronomy that has encompassed Spain and now the Nordic region, Germany has been unfairly overlooked. But that’s set to change as the country was awarded 37 new stars in this year’s Michelin guide and is now second to France in terms of three-starred restaurants in Europe.
At La Belle Epoque in Hotel Travemünde, in Lübeck (00 49 4502 3080; columbia-hotels. com), chef Kevin Fehling serves elegant, refined dishes – white chocolate foam with matcha green tea jelly, radish, peach sorbet and pomegranate – that are a world away from traditional Germanic fare. – The Independent on Sunday