Rants & Raves
January 1, 2023
Eat to Live. Live to Eat.

Watching my mom prepare family meals was always engaging. Over the years, I've learned to cook for myself and declared my love for all things edible. This being said, the adventure that travel represents, especially the discovery of new culinary delights, has become one of my favorite pastimes.


Whether it's roadside attractions or highly regarded fine dining destinations, I find culinary adventures undeniably rewarding. Using details from my latest book "My Life in Gluttony: A Culinary Adventure," I thought I'd share a few of my favorite encounters.

AUSTRALIA    Australia has always been a place of curiosities. In Melbourne, I marveled at the clocks that adorn the entrance to Flinders Street train station, saw my first kangaroo, rode one of the oldest roller-coasters in the world and fell in love with the iconic Four’N Twenty meat pie, a hand-held pastry filled with beef, mutton and carrots. In Sydney, I visited the Circular Quay, rode a ferry to Manly, encountered fruit bats, jumped through waves at Bondi Beach and discovered the “Tiger Pie” at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, a homemade version of the Aussie meat pie filled with chunky beef topped with mashed potatoes, mushy peas, and gravy. Along with some of Australia's remarkable wines, especially their shiraz, it doesn't get much better than this.

GEORGIA    Georgia is thousands of years old and, at the same time, remarkably vibrant and contemporary. Situated at the crossroads of the storied Silk Road, there is a centuries-old confluence of culinary influences from Europe, throughout the Caucasus and Asia. While the kharcho, dolmas, chashushuli and khinkali are marvellous, I was captivated by the ubiquitous Georgian cheese bread known as khachapuri. Widely available in supermarkets, convenience stores, bakeries, take-out stalls and fine dining restaurants throughout the country, their variety, flavor and texture is thoroughly enjoyable. Along with some of Georgia's remarkable qvevry wines, it doesn't get much better than this.

SERBIA    While on assignment in Belgrade, the capitol city of Serbia, I enjoyed a remarkable variety of local and international cuisines. The most memorable meal featured a mountain of barbecued ribs resting on a foundation of French fries, all topped with a generous serving of kajmak (a local cheese similar to clotted cream). Along with Serbia’s endless variety of street foods, especially palacinke (crepes) filled with mushrooms, ham and cheese, these are among my most treasured culinary experiences from the Balkans. Accompanied by a steady stream of rakija shots, it doesn't get much better than this.

Jeffrey Spear has been writing about food, creating culinary brands, developing recipes and producing cookbooks for more than 40 years. If you're looking to develop a cookbook, enhance the impact of your culinary brand, or simply need someone to tell your story in ways that are visually and emotionally appealing, give Jeff a call: 866 787 8761 - or shoot him an email: jeff@studiospear.com