A few decades ago, crossing town for a meal would have been considered rather adventurous. These days, of course, we happily jet halfway across the globe to treat our taste buds to a Michelin-starred meal or fresh-from-the-grill street food.
It is a long way from the days when France was considered the only serious destination for foodies. Today, new gourmet getaways spring up like mushrooms after a downpour.
In Europe, travellers are discovering that countries such as Turkey and Belgium offer just as many culinary delights as Italy and Spain. Asia exerts a magnetic pull on diners, who flock to Vietnam to chow down on pho, to Singapore to feast on chicken rice, or to Japan to eat – well, everything. Even South America has attracted the attention of gastro-nauts eager to sample Argentina’s superb steaks and Peru’s ever-surprising cuisine.
So in this age of global gourmands, it is possible that have we conquered every food frontier, or have we? Are there any unsung destinations left for diners to discover?
When we put this question to some of Australia’s best chefs, the answer, perhaps surprisingly, was yes. From the fragrant cuisine of Iran to the Mediterranean melting pot of Malta, these are the under-explored countries that our panel picks as the new frontiers for hungry travellers.
THE PLACE: RUSSIA
THE CHEF: Alla Wolf-Tasker
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“The two bedrocks of Russian cuisine – the Orthodox church and its feast days, and the dacha, the summer house where Russians grow their own food which they pick and preserve – were present when I was growing up in Melbourne in a very Russian household…”