Today we have a guest post written in collaboration with Air Charter Service – an itinerary I have to say looks pretty dreamy!
Creamy cheese on fresh, crusty baguettes in France, little morsels of intensely flavoured pintxos in Spain, tender bacon sandwiches in the East End of London… I can safely say I’ve eaten my way through Europe’s cuisines. As a young traveler, though, you have to think about your wallet as well as your appetite. Air Charter Service recently asked me to imagine a culinary adventure with no-holds-barred budget, private jet charter included. So I decided to follow the Michelin-starred road…
David Toutain – Paris, France
First stop: always Paris. But my choice is not the most characteristic of French cuisine. David Toutain has studied some of the most iconic of French chefs, and he eventually ventured off to open his own culinary haven. A daily changing menu satisfies his curious and inventive mind, and vegetables are welcomed in the starring roles. Expect unusual twists such as asparagus with smoked egg yolk and fish-skin chips garnished with trout roe.
Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italy
In this yummy daydream of mine I hop onto my private jet and fly over to Modena, to experience art as well as culinary greatness at the second best restaurant in the world. Massimo Bottura presents dishes inspired by the irony of pop art, and has channeled the likes of Damien Hirst and Picasso into delectable plates. All I know is that no meal is complete until it has been finished off with an ‘Oops I Dropped The Lemon Tart’ dessert.
Fäviken – Jämtland, Sweden
I can only reach so far in my private jet before I have to step off and into a car to reach this destination. Isolated in a rural part of the Swedish landscape, Fäviken creates miracles out of a limited range of ingredients. Seasonal is taken to all new heights as these chefs harvest what they can at its ripest in Summer and make use of hunting and ancient preservation methods in the more barren months.
Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
While we’re in Scandinavia, a visit to Noma is mandatory. This restaurant has become an institution, and arguably pioneered the seasonal method of restauranteering. Having just returned from a pop-up stint in the warmer regions of Australia, this restaurant will sadly close at the end of the year. Which means I have a small gap to tick this off my list!
Ox, Belfast, Northern Ireland
While we’re still in the Northern regions of Europe, I would probably swing past Northern Ireland, which is emerging as a culinary destination coveted by foodies the world over. The first Michelin-starred restaurant in Ireland for a while, Ox succeeds in elevating seemingly modest Irish ingredients into delicate and intense mouthfuls of flavour.
The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium
Last, but not least, I would stop off in the up and coming city of Antwerp for a religious pilgrimage. Located in a former chapel, The Jane is bold and international, and the dining experience completely unique and dramatic. All dishes are prepared at the former altar, an immense steel and glass chandelier towers above and the light is dappled by a modern version of stained-glass windows, featuring good, evil, life and food.
Sadly, at this stage I’d have to give up my private jet charter to explore the arty streets of Antwerp, but if you visit a few of these destinations, I’m sure you’ll vouch for me in saying that this all makes for one delicious ride.