The Taste Trekkers Food & Travel Expo returns to Providence for its second year on October 3-5. The Expo is designed for foodies who love travel, and features talks and sessions on cuisines from different regions around the world.
Christopher Bakken is the author of the culinary memoir Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table. He is also the director of Writing Workshops in Greece: Thessaloniki & Thasos and he teaches a food and travel writing workshop on the island of Thasos each summer. Christopher will speak twice at this year’s Expo: about culinary travel writing at Industry Day on October 3rd, and about Greek cuisine on October 4th.
We asked him a few questions…
1. How did you come to fall in love with Greek food?
I lived in Thessaloniki in the early 1990s and practiced my rudimentary Greek by traveling the entire country by motorcycle, asking questions of fishermen, farmers, and wine-makers, and eating everything in sight. My conclusion: Greece is a very beautiful and delicious place.
2. Where should a foodie traveling to Greece for the first time go?
Crete: with a cuisine that is its own, but also completely Greek, the island’s olive-oil (from some of the world’s oldest living trees), wine (fascinating, unique varietals grown in island micro-climates), wild greens (every Cretan is a closet botanist), and bread (made with wild-yeast) are enough to make the journey worthwhile. And those are just the pantry staples!
3. If someone is new to Greek cuisine, where should they start?
Find a psarotaverna (a taverna specializing in seafood) no more than twenty steps from the sea, preferably one owned by a fisherman. Make sure there’s a vegetable garden in the back-yard. Begin by saying hello, smiling, and then walk right into the kitchen to see what they caught that morning (yes, with your own eyes) and to ask what else they happen to be cooking that day. Then order everything.
4. What will you be talking about at the 2014 Food & Travel Expo?
I will be speaking both days. On Industry Day, I’ll be talking about the way culinary travel writing–both the reading and the making of it– can enhance the food-traveler’s experience. On Foodie Day, I’ll be offering tips for travelers who wish to wander off the beaten path in search of gastronomic adventure in Greece.
5. Where should aspiring culinary travel writers start?
By reading! That’s where all writers start. Buy M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating, which collects exquisite food-writing from across her prolific career, and enjoy what happens when the mind, the senses, and the appetite are on the same page.
For more information on the Taste Trekkers Food & Travel Expo, please visit http://tastetrekkers.com/expo/.
You can also view scenes from the 2013 Taste Trekkers Food & Travel Expo below.