Anthony Bourdain Talks Culinary Travel at Ensemble

by Cheryl Rosen
Anthony Bourdain Talks Culinary Travel at Ensemble

Food talk was on the menu at the Ensemble Travel Group International Conference in Orlando on Monday, kicked off by keynote speaker and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain gave a funny and even touching talk about the importance of the human connections that food can forge.

“If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Shanghai, don’t stand in front of Starbucks; if you’re in Tokyo and you’re eating at the Hard Rock Café, there’s something wrong,” he chided.

Instead, consider the culture in which you find yourself, and go with the food for which they are famous. Sure there are five-star restaurants in New York—but there are five-star restaurants everywhere. If you’re in the Big Apple for one day, go to a deli for a great pastrami sandwich and some chopped liver instead.

Never turn down local food that is offered to you—“when people offer a stranger food they are telling you the story of what they love,” Bourdain said. “And the story often is the struggle to make a lot out of very little.”

And remember to be grateful for that passport in your pocket and the safe life and abundant food that it brings, he said.

“Be grateful that if the militia comes on the bus, they’re not coming for you.” So be polite and eat what is offered.

As for Bourdain, he carries a bottle of Mylanta.

Other foody tidbits at the conference included:

  • Norwegian has doubled the size of its sales team in the past year and is booking close to 40% ahead of this year for 2016, said vice president of sales Nathan Hickman. And while acknowledging that “we may not have the best cuisine, we will,” he promised, now that the Oceania team is overseeing the menus, and hiring and training the chefs.
  • In the audience, Lisa Goldman, co-founder and vice president of Tour de Forks in New York, said her culinary customers are headed to Italy, Spain, France, but also to Turkey, Australia, South Africa, and South America. In the United States, Sonoma, Charleston, New Orleans, and the Hudson Valley in New York are hot with the culinary crowd. For 2016 she will be adding culinary tours to Nashville, and cheddar-cheese-making at Shelburne Farms, on Lake Champlain in Vermont.
  • And at the Hotel Louvre in Paris, the dining room has changed its menu from international fare back to classic French. The change came at the behest of new owner Hyatt, which suggested that when customers travel to a historic property in a historic location, they are looking for an authentic experience. And they were right, said associate director of sales Alice Boulez.

Meanwhile, Ensemble Travel Group co-president Lindsay Pearlman announced the group has developed a global air ticketing platform, dubbed Aviate. Already in beta testing, the system began as a way to streamline Australia and New Zealand bookings, but then was expanded to make it a global offering with “firewalls between every IATA, so you can load a fare for 50 people only, that no one else can see it,” said senior vice president and general manager Trish Shepherd.

Pic: Lwp Kommunikáció

  1
  2
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Offline Places to Find Luxury Travelers

1. Local schools.

2. Professional services.

3. Local luxury retailers.

4. Arts community.

5. Luxury establishments.

Source: TMR

Top Stories
The ‘Rhythm Never Stops’ in the Caribbean, as the Region Looks Ahead
The ‘Rhythm Never Stops’ in the Caribbean, as the Region Looks Ahead

A new regional campaign aims to maintain and grow market share, while communicating the Caribbean is as vibrant and thriving as ever before.

Why New York State May Be the Hottest Ticket This Summer
Why New York State May Be the Hottest Ticket This Summer

Record-breaking visitor counts in New York State have raised the bar, as have this year’s crop of new resorts, hotels and inns.

Two Luxury Resorts in St. Barths Set Reopening Dates
Two Luxury Resorts in St. Barths Set Reopening Dates

After months of renovations, the premier luxury properties will come back better than ever, with upgraded accommodations, restaurants and amenities.

Destination Wedding Couples Are Happier
Destination Wedding Couples Are Happier

New research says couples who have a destination wedding are more satisfied with their happy day than those who have a close-to-home wedding.

Las Vegas’ Mandarin Oriental to Be Reflagged a Waldorf Astoria
Las Vegas’ Mandarin Oriental to Be Reflagged a Waldorf Astoria

Upgrades at the rebranded Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas will include new dining concepts, views of The Strip from the hotel’s exclusive 23rd-floor bar, helicopter rides, and spa retreats.

AccorHotels to Open First Raffles Hotel in North America
AccorHotels to Open First Raffles Hotel in North America

Boston's Back Bay area will host a new luxury property that will include a mix of the brand's signature hotel services and public spaces.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line