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Jun '08

Foodie Vacations: Top Chefs Weigh in on Their Favorite Destinations

Ever wonder where top chefs like Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, and Tom Colicchio like to go on vacation, area restaurants they can’t resist, what their guilty culinary pleasures are on the road, and more?

Then you’ll enjoy this series of interesting pieces from Fodors which features 14 top chefs including Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Tom, Colicchio, Ming Tsai, Suvir Saran, Lidia Bastianich, Govind Armstrong, Michelle Bernstein, Gavin Kaysen, Bobby Flay, and Suzanne Goin, sharing their favorite foodie meccas (excerpts below):

Anthony Bourdain on New York:

“What do we do in New York better than anyone else in the world?’ The answer to that question is deli…It’s the food that I miss when I’m away, no matter how well I’m eating. Even in places with fantastic food — Singapore, Hong Kong — the food that I miss first is deli.”

(You can read more from Anthony Bourdain on the subject here.)

Thomas Keller on the Napa Valley:

“When I think of lunch in Napa, I think of something quick that’s kind of comforting. And one of the places I like is Taylor’s Refresher. They have great hamburgers and fish tacos and you can sit outside in the beautiful weather because they have a big lawn right behind it. One of the things about Napa Valley, which is so unique, is that all of our restaurants are really good…People come to Napa Valley primarily to eat and drink, so we have great wine and great restaurants.”

(You can read more from Thomas Keller on the subject here.)

Tom Colicchio on Charleston, SC:

“What’s great about the South is that the idea of hospitality is second-nature. One of my favorites in Charleston is Hominy Grill. It is just the epitome of Southern casual dining. Breakfast, lunch, dinner — every single meal is just wonderful. Usually when I go to Charleston, I go right from the plane to Hominy Grill. I try to get there for breakfast — they do shrimp and grits and different egg dishes. Whatever they serve is usually seasonal, wonderful, delicious. Last time I was there I had shad roe and scrambled eggs for breakfast…

For me, going to South Carolina, it’s not so much about the beaches, it’s about the marshes. It’s just wonderful to get a kayak and go through the marshes. You see everything from redfish to alligators to dolphins. It’s amazing — the amount of birds and wildlife…

There are so many little fish shacks around Charleston. There’s a little place called Bowen’s Island, an oyster grill where you sit at a picnic table, and the guy comes by with a shovel full of oysters that come off the grill and just puts [them] on the table on top of newspaper and they’re kind of steamed open from the grill — and that’s it. You dip them in butter and that’s all they serve…”

(You can read more from Tom Colicchio on the subject here.)

Also, you can see photos of Bowen’s Island on our FlickR Photoset here as well as read the full series of top chef interviews here.

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