Guest Bloggers Adam McCulloch and Emma Sloley are married travel writers based in New York. Originally from Australia, they moved to the U.S. in 2004. They have traveled to over 60 countries and written for a wide range of publications, including Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, New York magazine, Gotham, Gourmet Traveller, Coastal Living, Reader’s Digest and Outside. Adam and Emma are sending us stories and pictures daily from their 14-day voyage aboard Seabourn Odyssey between Rome and Venice. Come by and read their blogs often.
If you ever needed proof that chefs are the new rock stars, witness the gusto with which we swept ashore with an excited gaggle of fellow gourmands to go shopping at the local markets with Seabourn Odyssey Executive Chef Rafael Peterkovic. Today’s travelers sign up for the kinds of activities we used to think of as chores: prepping for meals, shopping for groceries, eating in the kitchen. (We sincerely hope the next rock star job isn’t in recycling, or we’ll all be touring landfills.)
We got to Corfu’s “Popular Market” only to find that it wasn’t so popular…at least not today. It was yet another public holiday in Greece – with Easter just gone and next Easter’s preparations probably already underway – so only a smattering of despondent vendors were hawking their wares. Did that deter us from descending like locusts on the few stalls that were open? It did not.
Chef Rafael became a Pied Piper in chef whites, stopping to sniff punnets of wild strawberries, frown over fat zucchini flowers, tut-tut over shark fin, haggle over Swiss chard and poke fish. (Pro-tip: the flesh should bounce back straight away.) At one point, he vanished then reappeared at the end of an alley, beckoning us with a triumphant grin. It turned out his favorite fishmonger, Christos, had heard the ship was in port and had opened specially. Cigarette clamped permanently in the corner of his mouth, the fishmonger cocked his roller door halfway like he was about to conduct some shady deal. Here, Chef Rafael purchased red snapper, red mullet and 26 pounds of sea bass, which reappeared on the menus at lunch and dinner.
Three Important Food Groups: Anyone concerned that we’re not eating properly should be assured that we’re dutifully getting all three food groups. We consume 80 bottles of champagne a day, 40 pounds of caviar a week and 50 pounds of foie gras. (OK, the other guests probably help a bit.)
Secret Shame: You know those fresh-made grissini bread sticks at dinner? The ones you pretend to not notice? Well, someone has been eating them. In fact, the ship goes through 17,500 grissini per week. Stack them end-to-end and you have 3.5 miles worth.
Souvenir: One of us left our hat on a tour bus a few days back. While shopping for a replacement we came across this millinery abomination. It gives new meaning to hat-hair.