Padma Lakshmi is one well-traveled lady. The Top Chef host is a foodie and world explorer whose culinary journeys have led her everywhere from Paris to Ibiza to Mumbai. "It’s true: I’ve been known to get on a plane for a meal," she writes in a new article on Condé Nast Traveler.
So where does she recommend fellow foodies go to satisfy their palettes? "If you’re traveling to eat, I’d recommend Bali for its pan-Asian food culture. And Singapore," she writes. "In India, I’d send you to Kerala; the food there is gorgeous and unusual—and it’s ideal if you’re vegan or vegetarian. I don’t think Westerners have really discovered how different Indian food is, and I predict that regional Indian cuisine will be the next great food trend in the West."
The cookbook author also credits traveling with helping her to refine her own culinary skills. "Travel taught me to understand spice and flavor," she writes. "Say you want to incorporate a hit of citrus into a soup or salad: You can use a dried Omani lime, or a preserved lemon from Morocco, or a kaffir lime leaf from Thailand. All are very distinct, very memorable flavors." Padma recommends scouring local markets for ingredients as well as unusual kitchen tools, something she is always keen to do herself.
"I never want to eat at the hotel. I always prefer to go to some crazy market," she confesses. "And there are few things I like more than pulling off the road because I see somebody barbecuing out of the back of a truck."
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[Source: Condé Nast Traveler]