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A hotel in a snowy valley with snow-covered evergreen trees in the foreground and snowy mountains in the background.
A hotel in a snowy valley with snow-covered evergreen trees in the foreground and snowy mountains in the background.
Chateau Lake Louise. Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta

Last year my friend Tina and I spent a weekend at the historic Chateau Lake Louise Hotel in the middle of February. The destination hotel was built as a vacation spot at the turn of the 19th century, where guests can enjoy stunning views and delicious food. On our visit, we accidentally discovered something else — the best damn hot chocolate in the world.

Tina and I went for a long walk on the frozen Lake Louise — it took us a few hours to walk the entire circumference of the lake. …


Trade shaming for moderation

A watercolor of a restaurant

If you type into the Google search bar, “What is the healthiest prefecture in Japan?” one spot comes out on top in big, bold letters: Nagano Prefecture.

Some people might be surprised, expecting Okinawa to be the healthiest prefecture. The Okinawan diet is famous around the world and its people are known for living long, healthy lives. While this is true, especially among traditional Okinawan communities that continue to adhere to old ways of living, Nagano has surpassed it.

In 2015, the people of Nagano had a life expectancy of 84.72 (81.75 for men, 87.68 for women), an average that…


And how to make it your own

Okinawa, an island prefecture in southern Japan, stands out among a country that is already well known for longevity. They have a much lower rate of coronary heart disease compared to mainland Japan.

Mortality rates from coronary heart disease and cancers in Okinawans, Japanese, and Americans (Source)

A separate study on Japanese centennials living in Okinawa, where the researcher went back and analyzed at what age these individuals were able to live independently (cook for themselves, do their own house chores, live in their own home, among other factors), came to another fascinating discovery: The study was only on 22 individuals, but among them, 82 percent were still independent at a mean age of…


For one, it’s not a stealth way of feeding a sugar addiction

“Can we have two iced teas?”

Before Covid, we were at an American diner somewhere in Connecticut, in the middle of one of the hottest days in August. My dad and I had just finished moving me into my new apartment, and we were both thirsty and tired from the back-and-forth carrying of boxes.

Relieved to finally sit down and get a cold drink, we ordered the first thing on the menu that wasn’t water. …


A Gen-X story about kayaking, the Whiskey Rebellion, and David Bowie

A kayak on top of a car.
A kayak on top of a car.
Photos: Sherrie Flick

Embark on a guided float trip that is wacky and irreverent while paying tribute to the 1790s Whiskey Rebellion. We’ll tell the story of this historically significant rebellion in an entirely new way — by hearkening the voice of David Bowie. Why Bowie? We believe that a spirit of rebellion — revolution even — threaded the experiences of the rebels and David Bowie (albeit nearly 200 years removed). We’ll use music and interpreters in such a way that you won’t possibly forget what the Whiskey Rebellion meant to both the region and a young nation.

They also promised two cocktails…


Everything you need to know about the ultimate U.S. liquor and where to learn more

A bar whose shelves are filled with bourbon.
A bar whose shelves are filled with bourbon.
Photo: Adam Wilson via Unsplash

The last time I traveled with my dad, he inadvertently over-drugged me with my first decongestant 20 minutes before a college admissions interview (rejected). We’ve not traveled alone together since, and many of our current conversations are simply one admonishingly amused sentiment: “Dad!” But we both enjoy a bit of exploration and drink, and the admissions mishap is more than a decade past, so we planned a bourbon expedition without sibling or spouse.

America’s Native Spirit can be made anywhere in the U.S. and still be called bourbon, but some 90 percent is Kentuckian. In the Bluegrass State, there are…


Shiso pesto is the fusion of two food cultures

An illustration of a shiso leaf.

I went to Italy for the first time two summers ago with my family, and I still bring up the food every chance I get.

“Do you guys remember that Amatriciana we had? Oh my god, it was so good.”

“But that gelato! I’d fly back to Italy just for that.”

“I still dream about that pizza, too — a perfectly salted, toasty crust with a savory red sauce.”

One flavor I couldn’t get quite enough of was fresh basil — on pizza, on pasta, in pasta, with cheese, on bread. Traditional Japanese food doesn’t use basil because it wasn’t…


Where mealtime is a moment for change

People sitting around tables.
People sitting around tables.
‘ALL’S Dinner,’ a big outdoor table to dine together with Christian citizens, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and laypeople in Rome, Italy, as an answer against all forms of intolerance and racism in June 2019. Photo: Stefano Montesi /Corbis/Getty Images

We live in a system in which a white cop feels empowered to kneel on a Black man’s neck for nearly 9 minutes and take his life. That system is held up by politicians, officers, and everyday citizens who grew up in homes with a narrow view of America — an incomplete narrative, one that vilifies Black Americans. Those in power don’t learn these behaviors in adulthood; they’re often learned in the dining room or the kitchen, where conversations can lead to stereotyping and mocking those who are different.

The uprisings in response to George Floyd’s murder and the death…


When you can make sure that the food is appropriately connected to a context, it becomes long-lasting’

Watercolor illustration of storefronts on a city street. One of them says “N.S. Meyer, Inc.”
Watercolor illustration of storefronts on a city street. One of them says “N.S. Meyer, Inc.”
Illustrations: Kaki Okumura

Michael Anthony is the executive chef and partner of the Michelin-starred American restaurant Gramercy Tavern. Established in 1994, it is regularly rated as one of the most popular restaurants in the city and has become a beloved establishment in NYC fine dining.

But what makes Anthony compelling to me is not his long list of professional accolades, but that he speaks like a dad — with an eagerness and excitement to share his knowledge with everyone. …


This is what I learned

A grandma sitting in between two young women. They’re all holding up glasses of red liquid with lemon wedges on the rims.
A grandma sitting in between two young women. They’re all holding up glasses of red liquid with lemon wedges on the rims.
From L–R: the author, Grandmother Sharon from North Carolina, and Iska Lupton. Photos: Iska Lupton

Unsure of what to expect beyond burgers and squelchy macaroni cheese, we set off in our tiny Ford Fiesta, two women with a very specific mission: We were in the U.S. from the U.K. to hunt down grandmothers. More specifically, American grandmothers who can cook.

It’s part of our quest to share stories and recipes of matriarchs in the Grand Dishes cookbook, for which Iska Lupton and I have been traveling the world to uncover the culinary secrets of each nation through its grandmothers’ cooking.

Just before the Covid-19 outbreak, the final leg of our mission culminated in a Great…

Heated

Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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