Cabarete, Domincan Republic
Six o’clock of an early May afternoon on the northern coast of the island. The wind cautiously starts to ruffle the palm trees of the small jungle surrounding Natura Cabana. At the same time, Nico, in-house executive chef, heads to the vegetable garden, looking for perfumed herbs and ripe vegetables for dinner and the last practitioners hurry down that same path, leading to the patio overlooking the beach, where the last afternoon yoga class is about to start. A few days are enough to understand that whatever rain may take you aback in this Caribbean land, it will be harmless and transient, sometimes merciful. Like the one that is going to fall tonight, just to make the shades of green even brighter, hibiscus and tropical almond trees even more scented and sky and ocean even more shimmering. Our cabana is the one where Franca spent her childhood together with her family. Of Chilean origins, she also has Ligurian ancestors on her father’s side, doe eyes, amber-coloured skin and an athlete’s healthy and fit body. She tells us that she arrived here from Chile when she was a child and that what started as an improvised but warm hospitality for friends coming there to visit slowly turned into a lodge based on the principles of ecology and Feng Shui. Natura Cabana is today a reassuring oasis of happiness. A handful of rustic cabins made of stone and wood in a forest of palm, banana and almond trees and mulberries, overlooking a small, secluded beach, North to Cabarete. A Caribbean version of our ideal is served for breakfast: we spread rust papaya jam on perfectly roasted slices of bread, enjoying sweet sips of tropical vitamins from homemade juices as we wait for our serving of soft and fragrant pancakes. Then we venture out headed to the plantation of organic cocoa and coffee on the central plateau and we come back just in time for the last yoga class and for another creative dinner of our Argentinian chef. Natura Cabana, Caribbean style, in the hippie, raw, pure version we were looking for.
Six o’clock of an early May afternoon on the northern coast of the island. The wind cautiously starts to ruffle the palm trees of the small jungle surrounding Natura Cabana. At the same time, Nico, in-house executive chef, heads to the vegetable garden, looking for perfumed herbs and ripe vegetables for dinner and the last practitioners hurry down that same path, leading to the patio overlooking the beach, where the last afternoon yoga class is about to start…
South Tyrol, Italy
There are many reasons why you should seat at an open-air table of Leadner Alm. Some of which are, definitely, the paths and meadows you have to cross to reach it, the XL glasses of delicious buttermilk and the most genuine homemade version of canederli. Hot food until 5pm.
South Tyrol, Italy
Maybe you will arrive at the San Luis hotel on a June afternoon. You will leave behind Merano and its noble gardens, the vivid grazing lands in Avelengo, the wood and stone huts and you will enter the shade of a larch and pine wood. You will get to the reception hall, enjoy a refreshment of local products specifically selected for you and, sipping your apple juice, you will plunge all at once in the atmosphere of this place…
We are Annalisa and Valentina – friends, colleagues and mothers, always looking for new culinary destinations. Between Madrid and New York, we met in Milan, where we tried to mix places, flavours and experiences. That is how Gourmeando was born, a project devoted to twin different countries in order to create culinary unions and fusions. We enjoy describing places through their traditions and typical features, and thanks to the chefs we met in every country and who became our special guides.
South Tyrol, Italy
We do not know Merano, not as much as we wish we did. However, we do know Linda (what a beautiful name!), who opens the door of Monocle pop-up shop for us while her son Marco is turning off the lights. Linda does not know us, but she hands us the book we were looking for, saying ‘This is for you’ and, when we ask ‘Where can we have lunch?’, suggests without hesitations Restaurant Meteo. ‘Ask for Agata and tell her I sent you there’. For the first time we promptly approve of a restaurant even before trying it. It will not be easy to find it, but its nostalgic and learned style – of which we would like to steal a piece every time – will make up for this difficulty, along with the fulfilling and intelligent culinary innovation that always pleases our palates and hearts.