At Barbados Food & Rum Festival, a renowned chef shared her secrets for creative, sustainable food (as well as the treat she can't travel without!)
"The smell of happiness is, for me, frying plantain in Barbados."
Shelina Permalloo is a British-Mauritian chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author specializing in Mauritian cuisine. She's known worldwide as the first woman of colour to win BBC's MasterChef competition in 2012, but when I met her, she was thrilled to simply be an attendee of the Barbados Food & Rum Festival (just like me!)
Permalloo first visited Barbados after finishing university (she reports: "There were 16 of us... and the island knew when we arrived!") That initial trip made some lasting impressions, as the large group quickly made friends with locals, got invited home for homemade dinners, and provided the future chef with an abiding love of Barbadian (Bajan) cuisine.
During the Food & Rum Festival's Chef Classics event (an intimate series of cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs), Chef Shelina shared her thoughts on elevating traditional comfort food, embracing sustainable ingredients, and the special treats she can't live without when she travels.
There's no travel treat I love quite like a fancy coffee. But would fate keep me away from the decadent delights in Victoria-By-The-Sea?
Have you ever had one of those travel moments when you really, really want to visit a place but it seems that fate is determined to keep you away?
That's how I've felt about Island Chocolates in the small Prince Edward Island village of Victoria-By-The-Sea for YEARS now! I had the shop (and, specifically, their chocolate-infused "factory coffee") since 2021. That autumn, Ryan and I rolled into town in the middle of a brutal rainstorm and we couldn't find the shop. This is clearly a reflection on how road-weary we were, as the shop is on MAIN STREET. We must have been a bit loopy in order to miss it. As such, our only moment of triumph from that visit was finding public washrooms. No chocolate for us.
I had a second chance in 2022 when I was visiting PEI with friends. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner in Victoria-By-The-Sea before taking a leisurely walk up to Island Chocolates... except that it was closed! Once again, it was our fault. We didn't look up the hours and it's not surprising that they'd be closed after supper time.
Would my luck change in 2023? Well....
*This is a sponsored post from a TurnipseedTravel supporter*
Canada, undoubtedly, is one of the world's most loved countries for its beautiful landscapes, vast wilderness, diverse culture, and friendly people. One locale that particularly stands out as a must-visit area for domestic and foreign travellers alike is the West Island region of Montreal, the picturesque island that lies in the southwestern part of Quebec province.
The Allure of West Island
In its off-beat charm and subtle beauty, West Island is a treasure trove of unique experiences waiting to be unearthed. Its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, great food, and distinctive architecture all add up to offer a wonderfully balanced tourism palette.
What happens when you combine a hotel cat and cheap wine? Bed bugs, that's what. Here's what happened to me.
Venice in August is not the best time or place to get a great meal.
During this traditional month of Italian family vacations, many a restaurant shuts down for a week – or more. Despite my advanced planning, I still ended up at a tourist trap during our 2016 trip. The dour staff refused to serve free tap water. Only pricey bottled water was available, chafing against my frugal principles. Given the dire circumstances, I opted for a more economical choice: a bottle of cheap rosé. And thus my bed bug saga began.
Skipping merrily home to my clean but threadbare hotel, I encountered the property’s resident cat, Pierre, on the steps. I should pause and say I assumed it was the property’s cat, based on his cat-like claim of the courtyard space, but, as Ryan points out, it really could have belonged to anyone – or no one at all. But with the demon liquor in my veins, I considered it prudent to scoop Pierre up and bring him to my room in a brazen hope of enjoying a genuine cat nap with him.
Intoxicated with the love of a temporary pet (and bargain-basement wine) I didn’t perform my customary bed bug sheet check...
This gorgeous, sun-soaked Spanish city is the perfect cozy escape.
What does the perfect holiday abroad look like to you? Does it conjure up images of sun-soaked coastal spots? Maybe it involves getting in touch with your inner art connoisseur, as one can expect with a tour of Barcelona’s famed art museums. Personally, we're partial to cozy locales. And one spot we haven’t been able to stop thinking about is the charming city of Seville, Spain.
Below are a few attractions we highly recommend, especially for first-time travellers, as well as some packing tips to keep in mind.
The Hawk on Cape Sable Island is Nova Scotia's southernmost point and home to its most unusual beach.
When you go as far south as you possibly can in Nova Scotia and the pavement ends, you’ll find yourself at a quiet beach known locally as “The Hawk.” This isn’t your average Maritime beach with soft sand and smooth pebbles. The shores here are filled with thousands of fossilized tree stumps.
The Hawk (most likely named after a schooner washed ashore in the 1800s) is located on Cape Sable Island. No, that’s not the same place as Sable Island, famously home to wild horses. Cape Sable Island sits between Yarmouth and Shelburne and is the southernmost part of the province. There isn’t much in the way of horses in the area, but birds are a different story. Bird watchers love this beach, and The Hawk is part of the Cape Sable Important Bird Area.
However, the wildest thing of all are the fossilized tree stumps, part of a 1500-year-old drowned forest.
Sure, it's hard to resist cool travel stuff but these are nine things you really don't need weighing down your bag.
Within my travel-loving soul, there lies a contradiction.
I love packing light. Like, I really, really love it. You know that joke "How do you know if someone travels carryon? They'll tell you!"? It was written about me. I not only love packing light. I equally love being insufferable about it. Oh, you just took one suitcase for your resort vacation? Well I used one backpack for a six week round the world trip and half the space was taken up with camping gear.
Like I said, I'm insufferable.
But I also love, and I mean LOVE, specialty travel gear. The more task and trip specific, the better. I am obsessed with travel supply catalogues and I haven't met a packing cube that I don't love. But the truth of the matter is that much of this stuff is, well, how do I put this? It's garbage. It's poorly constructed mass produced stuff that preys on our fears of being unprepared, the uncertain nature of the open road, and the shame that comes when you don't keep pace with fast fashion. All of this stuff has weighed down my bag at one point or another and I am here to tell you that you don't need it. Any of it.
Some people explore via food tours or shoe shopping. It seems my destiny is to discover the world one optometrist at a time.
What do Paris (France), Portland (Maine), and Yarmouth (Nova Scotia) have in common? Not much, to be honest. But I’ve come to see them through a new lens – if you’ll pardon the pun – thanks to local optometrists.
Some people see the world through – here’s that pun again – a specific lens. They explore destinations via a particular filter or set of experiences, discovering cities via food tours or shoe stores. I hadn’t thought that approach applied to me until I realized I was getting to know the globe via eye health facilities, one city at a time.
The Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, is a beloved spot for adventure. But how would an anti-adventurist like me fair on this hiking route?
I have a rule when it comes to hiking. I have to be able to complete the route while holding a travel mug, full of a delicious latte. If you're going to trudge through the forest, you might as well do with a tasty hot beverage in hand, right? And having a hot drink to balance means you're avoiding anything too arduous. However, while on a press trip to Manitoulin Island, located just outside Sudbury in northern Ontario, I broke that rule all in the name of, well... I'm not sure exactly. Adventure? That doesn't sound like me. Being a bold, brave travel writer? Welllll.......
Like many anti-adventurist excursions, I had several moments of doubt along the way, but I'm ultimately happy that I did it. Here's what it was like to hike the Cup and Saucer Trail - in the rain!
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