One thing you should know is that Bra, the small city I used to live in is located nowhere near a lake or ocean. The closes thing we have to a body of water, is the local pool, which gets insanely crowded, making the summers become unbearable. So, how does a lizard like me overcome melting during the Italian summer? Easy, find yourself a German crew that takes you to the west coasts of Liguria. No jokes aside, Ebru and Max are two of the most loving and brilliant people I have ever met. The love for each other, and for me (jeje) is inexplicable. They definitely made me feel like home in various occasions, and this trip to Alassio was not exception.
I am a passionate slow-traveler eager to experience every corner of the world as a local.
No expectations, bucket lists, or pressures.
I want to find hidden gems, interact with communities, learn about food traditions, and say yes to everything along the way.
I have learned that through food, and sharing meals, we put our barriers down and connect better. That is why for me it is so important to bring people to my table, as well as becoming a guest in the table of others.
Some of the most inspiring. eye opening, and vulnerable conversations I have had, have been around the table, with a fork in hand, and a glass half full. By sharing a meal we reach fair agreements, discuss respectfully, and hear the experience of other without judging.
Here you will read about all the different places I have explored, the people I have met, and everything I have learned while indulging in delicious eaaaaats.
Hope you enjoy and learn something new too.
Less than hour away from Bra, you will find the elegant city of Torino. Known for its coffee culture, and less importantly for its soccer team 😂 It is homee home of Lavazza and Caffè Vergnano, making it quite the spot to understand how Italians enjoy coffee.
As I've mentioned many times before, life has brought me many little miracles. In all shapes and sizes, situations and environments. Switzerland was no exception, it might have been the place where I needed little miracles the most. I moved to Switzerland in January of 2020 to the most unreal and beautiful town called Vevey. It is located in the Lavaux region in between Montreux, the Jazz capital, and Lausanne, the Olympic capital.
Geneva has a dear place in my heart. I got to live in it for a bit over a year, and the people I met, the places I visited, the food I tried, made me who I am nowadays. I must confess, Switzerland was not easy. I moved to Switzerland, in a very small town called Vevey, 2 months before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit. I had many plans, dreams, expectations -- but life seemed to have other plans.
Although I have only gotten the pleasure of visiting Portugal one in my life, and it was only visiting Lisbon, it exceeded my expectations. Back in college, my roommate and dearest friend Mary was the only Portuguese person I knew. People would mock her about being born in the most boring country of Europe. Apparently the most exciting thing about Portugal was Cristiano Ronaldo. Ignorance and unconscious jealousy are bliss, I guess.
Traveling to Barcelona always implies exquisite and diverse food options, from the local seafood and fish, to restaurants from every corner of the world. Although I try to travel budget friendly, I do like discovering small and local businesses that thrive for simplicity, authenticity, and higher-quality experiences. With time, I have learned the importance of supporting businesses that work with the planet, through seasonal menus and locally sourced ingredients or products. If this will be your first time in Barcelona, you're in for a treat. If it is not your first time, you're in for new treats recommended by me, which is a plus.
After spending 4 years living in San Francisco and completing my bachelor degree in International Business and Marking, I had the crazy and brilliant idea, to use my OPT (Optional Practical Training), a 12-month work authorization available for international students, to move and find work in Austin, Texas. Whenever I mention I lived in Texas, people wonder why (a lot), considering all the misconceptions and stereotypes around this area. However, in my case, it exceeded any expectations. I found a home away from home, and it helped me grow personally and professionally.
If you are interested in coming to visit Colombia, beware you will need to pack clothes for all seasons even if seasons do not exist near the equator. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, hosting 7 different climates, from tropical jungles, glaciers, and even deserts. Bogotá, the capital and largest city in Colombia, is the third-highest capital in South America, with 2,640 meters (8,660ft) above sea level. So do not be surprised if Bogotá forces you to layer up, Medellin feels like the eternal spring, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts are humid and hot.
Emilia-Romagna, also known as the food valley, is undoubtedly one of the richest and finest regional cuisines in Italy. Its collection of PDO's (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI's (Protected Geographical Indication) products like Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico di Modena, and even Culatello di Zibello says it all. Emilia-Romagna is located in Northern Italy, neighboring Liguria, a bit of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, and the Adriatic sea.
The Langhe is a hilly area in the south region of Piemonte. It is well known for its high quality wine areas, considered to be some of the best in the world. Picture this, hectares and hectares of vineyards over hills are what you will most probably see when touring the area. In 2014 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Monferrato and Roero, for their cultural landscapes and centennial winemaking traditions. As I lived in Bra, I had very easy access to the Langhe region. However, the most convenient way to get around is with car, so keep that in mind. These are different locations in the area that could be visited in one day, but if you could could make each location a day trip on its own.
There is no better way to spend your ✨ Golden Birthday ✨ than surrounded with the most important people in your life, and in the most spectacular location in the world, New York City. Growing up I remember thinking I had the most inconvenient birth date ever. Like, I honestly couldn't stand the FOMO after Christmas and had to come before New Years Eve? It seems like my cravings to celebrate couldn't take it longer. I spent my childhood never being able to celebrate with school friends my birthday, as everyone would leave for the holidays. However, after many years of growing up to do and maturing, I realize two very important lessons.
There is nothing more fun than spontaneous and express trips somewhere in Italy. We would leave late in the afternoon to make it just in time for lunch in Milano, spend the night, and then train back to Bra after brunch. The train ride is almost 3 hours, so it is the perfect amount to time to relax, destress, and enjoy the view. I hadn't been to back in Milano since 2013, so for me, it was quite exiting, considering I was traveling with two expert foodies.
As you know, I am am Colombian. Born and raised in the capital, Bogotá. Nevertheless, I have spent half of my life in Cali, as my mom is from there. Cali is the salsa dancing capital of Colombia, making me the best mix in this world. Every summer and end of the year, I would spend at least two weeks. Embracing and honoring the life of a "consentida" or spoiled grand daughter.
As our master program began in March, we were right around the corner of Semana Santa or Holy Week, Spring Break, or Easter (however you want to call it.) Never did I knew, the Monday after a whole week long is a holiday in Italy. This holiday is called Pasquetta , and it is usually the day friends gather together, after being only with family, for a day party. As it is the starts of the spring, the tradition is to make a grill outdoor, and so as gastronome, we had to deliver:
It didn't take me more than a day to realize I had found my Italian long-lost sister. Her name is Leti, Leti Gualinetti. Truly a name hard to forget, as it rhymes, of course, and because she one of my little miracles. She grew up in Biella, a small town in norther Italy, and home birth of the iconic Menabrea beer. I came with her this weekend, to get a full Gualinetti master class, and so we did.
Back in 2019, before the infamous Covid-19 pandemic took over our lives, I had the privilege and honor to tour my home country's Caribbean before moving to Switzerland. Approximately two weeks soaking the sun, eating fried fish by the beach, drinking piña coladas, and wandering the most beautiful country in the world: Colombia!
Alba, the historical and economic capital of Langhe region, is located in the Piedmontese region of Italy. Its wine-growing hilly landscapes crossing the south and east of the Tanaro river are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a great region to enjoy the view wile drinking the highest-quality glasses of wine. Apart from the amazing wine, Alba is also known world wide for its production of white and black truffles. Every year during the fall, the city hosts a truffle festival allowing producers to show-off their goods, and for visitors to get truffl-immersed.
Personally, one of the things that excited me the most about going to class in the University of Gastronomic Sciences was, you guessed it, lunch time! The cafeteria, also called Academic Tables (or Tavole Accademiche in Italian) is an innovative project aiming to educate and offer the UNISG community haute cuisine (like fine dining) with local produce and fair prices to students.
Oaxaca is a region in Mexico known for being the root to Mexico’s mother ingredients. Did you know it was the first cuisine to receive the UNESCO culinary heritage status?
A typical Saturday in Bra as a Gastronome would look a little bit like this... ✨ sourcing the best ingredients to have a fresh and easy lunch!
This was my first time experiencing the iconic ✨Terra Madre✨ Salone del Gusto in the city of Torino. This project was brought to life by the Slow Food movement, following the manifesto of building a bridge to bring together a network of producers working to establish a system of good, clean, and fair foods.
The Netherlands is a multicultural melting pot with colorful markets, water cannels covered with trees, bridges filled with bikes and flowers, vibrant street-food, and an array of authentic restaurants from all over the world. In terms of food and why it such an attractive destination for Gastronomes, The Netherlands is a leader in sustainable and circular economy systems withing businesses and individuals. They host, incubate, and accelerate the Research & Development of plant-based and plant-forward practices. Additionally, lets not forget they are one of the most bike friendly nations in the world, incentivizing the reduction of carbon footprint and increase of active lifestyles.
After 7 years of not returning to one the most vibrant, diverse, and delicious countries I have ever visited, I made it back to visit one of the OG little miracles, Paola! I landed in the City of Mexico, hungry and ready to conquer along my best friend and local. I had 8 days, just enough time to wander around the city, visit all the local markets, get lost in the street bazaars, try all the varieties of tacos, talk to street vendors, eat chapulines (aka crickets), and collect jumping magical beans.
Have you ever heard of earth ovens? Pit cooking? Peruvian Pachamanca? Mexican Pib? Or Hawaiian imu?
Less than a month after starting my masters in the only Slow-Food University in the world, I decided to take a spontaneous weekend trip to Bologna with some of peers. Bare to say, we had just met each other, the only thing we knew for sure about each other, was that we wanted to attend a massive Slow-Wine fair.