World Dinner Club

World Dinner Club
World Dinner Club

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Introduction to Izakaya

While many people still associate Japanese cuisine with sushi, it is far more diverse and varied. Izakayas are casual places where people grab a beer and small plates of different foods. One popular dish at izakaya is chicken yakitori (left).

The exceptional products from lesser known or emerging producers makes our World Dinner Club December box quite special, like soy sauce that is micro-brewed in small batches and finished in bourbon barrels.

 For more information, including vegetarian options check out’s Recipes and More Section.

What does izakaya mean exactly? In Japanese, "Iru" means "stay" and "sakaya" means "sake shop." So a sake shop that you would hang out and eat snacks in, while grabbing something to drink, would be an izakaya. The equivalent in Spain is tapas and in Italy you have the enotecca.

Most izakayas are very casual places where people head after work. However, in both Japan and the United States, some trendy ones have emerged where small plates of food of all kinds are served, and the checks are anything but small. There’s also a lot of innovation in Japan with izakaya chefs serving western foods, like sausages, alongside local classics.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everything you ever wanted to see and eat in Japan in one video

The Perennial Plate founders Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine spend 18 months traveling to showcase sustainable eating around the world. Here they are in Japan.

Friday is the last day for new members to get the Japanese Izakaya-themed dinner box for December! Sign-up for 50% off your first box.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hungry Globetrotter Curation: How we Discover Great Artisans

Friday was a an exciting day meeting artisans making products from France and Brazil.

We met Coco and Henri from Maison de Monaco.  Coco had a premier line of jams in France for 10 years before moving to California, where she has launched an extraordinary brand.  

This is French quality made in San Francisco. It's great to discover true artisan style: they are cooked in small batches in a copper kettle.

Jam is jam right?  Not at all. Many jams are loaded with sugar and preservatives, but these have low sugar content ( 70% fruit and a "brix" sugar content of 42 to 45 compared to 70+ for supermarket jams) and a light texture so that the taste of the fruits comes through very well. The ingredient list is reduced to the minimum: fruit, sugar, pectin and flowers for aroma. There's no citric acid or corn syrup or other preservatives. 

The packaging is simple and clean and enhances the natural appeal of the fruits They have a unique emotional appeal since the fruits are mixed with flowers . There is nothing really like it on the market at this stage, so we are excited to offer unique fruit plus flower jam flavors like peach and lavender or blackberry and poppy in our Holiday gift boxes.

Henri also took us to discover Kika's Treats who are making small batch chocolate coated cookies. 

The salted caramel and dark chocolate was divine as was the Caramelized Graham Crackers in dark chocolate, but what we are most excited about is the Brazilian honey cakes in pure dark chocolate, which we want to share with subscribers of the World Dinner Club in the future

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The New Tab on the Right of our Home Page

Some of you have posted on our FB page or shared Pins and Tweets.(Thanks!!) 

Based on many of your suggestions, We adding more functionality to the Hungry Globetrotter site itself, by creating a community where people can share stories and pictures from their experience cooking, eating interesting things and traveling. You may have noticed the tab on the right side of our home page:

If there's a story you want to share or if you'd like to blog or post something about your September or October World Dinner Club box, please go to and click "Tell Your Story." (One can log in with FB or Twitter to start sharing).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hungry Globetrotter dining out with Dishcrawl

Hungry Globetrotter is teaming up with Dishcrawl to offer folks greater food discovery.  Dishcrawl organizes groups to try several restaurants in a neighborhood: meeting chefs and making new friends. 

We had a great time with them in Mountain View, CA this week where we sampled food and drinks at a beer garden, a Mediterranean restaurant, a Japanese spot and a unique organic frozen yogurt store.

One highlight: We got an introduction to izakaya (Japanese small plates) at Bushido Restaurant. From left to right: kurobuta pork belly bun, cucumber salad and okonomiyaki (a Japanese pancake). 

This was fun, because Hungry Globetrotter is planning an izakaya dinner kit in December for subscribers of the World Dinner Club.

Folks had their phones out and Instagram was in force force. Of course, the best tweeted picture of the night won a great prize--one of our subscription boxes!

Checkout Dishcrawl in your city and Hungry Globetrotter nationwide.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Foraging for Dinner in SF

San Francisco Chef Iso Rabins (@forageSF) has been foraging for food and cooking underground for years.  His exploits, like discovering seaweed and wild fennel and putting on the menu with local boar and mushrooms, got the attention of the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern.

Recently Iso led the successful funding on Kickstarter of Forage Kitchen, a new co-working space (like an incubator for food) he is launching.

After supporting the Forage Kitchen kickstarter effort, I went to a foraged dinner with S and a old friend from DC.  We had a fun time over a family-style meal at a communal table with others.  There was a Pre-Thanksgiving theme that evening with turkey and woodsy, comfort food, which turned out to be perfect on a cold, rainy night.

Our dinner started with a bowl of radishes with "nasturtium (a relative of water cress) butter" and salty wild boar prosciutto. This was followed by a earthy, porcini bisque with home made creme fraiche. Our exciting fish course was crispy-fried lake smelts with tempura North Bay Sea beans  These apparently grow where salt water and fresh water mix.  This seemingly random vegetable is all the rage among certain foodies. There was a lovely "nordic" salad of wild house-smoked local salmon with fingerling potatoes with fresh horseradish creme fraiche and dill dressing with little gem lettuce that was simple yet transported you to Scandinavia with every bite.

The piece de resistance was a Caja China roasted turkey.  That's a turkey that's been cooked in a wooden box that gets the meat juicy and the skin rendered thin. A rich chanterelle and lobster mushroom stuffing , braised brussel sprouts and unctuous wild boar gravy made it the kind of Thanksgiving that would have made the original foragers--the Pilgrims--proud. Our dessert was a refreshing palette cleaner that, as Iso put it, smelled like California.  He made a eucalyptus and wild huckleberry popsicle that smelled and tasted like the California Coast.

So often we go through through life looking for the obscure ingredients from far away when we can be equally impressed by those that our in our backyard.  A love of both keeps my curiosity piqued.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Argentine Odyssey: Parilla and Recoleta

Small streets of tombs in Recoleta
 On our last day in BA, we visited the Recoleta Cemetery and found ourselves quickly lost among the mausoleums in this small city of tombs.  
Nice place to rest for eternity

Makes the pyramids look understated

Evita's Family Crypt
Naturally, we had to find the tomb of Eva Duarte Peron.  A bit difficult to find without a map, Evita can be found in the Duarte family’s mausoleum down one alleyway and then another from the center of the cemetery.

Tender Flank Steak

We knew a final meal at a parilla (steakhouse) was in order and had a late lunch at Miranda in Palermo.  I had another variety of flank steak called tender flank steak. 

Lamb Fillet

This is a salad?

S had a beautifully caramelized lamb fillet and we managed to eat a massive salad topped with pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, and a very oily pesto sauce, which was rather superfluous and gilding the lily.

Persico Gelato

With a fine malbec, we were happy with our last choice.  

We followed it up with a dulce de leche and cognac gelato on top of a scoop of dark chocolate chip from the Persico ice cream parlor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Argentine Odyssey: Polo Lessons

Me and Tostada
Trying to Make Contact
OK, Tostada... √°ndale!

Polo is not leisurely. It is a fast-paced, dangerous sport and also one of the most beautiful, but Nacho Figueras can relax.  I won't be giving him a run for his money any time soon.

 Back in Buenos Aires, I was able to take a polo class with Polo Elite. It was exciting to head out into the Pampas region and see the miles of horse farms, dotted with polo training grounds.   I found myself with an interesting group, including a British couple that was traveling the world for a year, a nanotechnologist from Switzerland and two experienced equestrians from Canada.

 Our instructor, Fernando, was more than able to accommodate our different skills and quickly got us on our horses and helped us get used to our mounts. Unlike the old horse I rode in Patagonia, who was sluggish, here I had a spirited steed that didn’t trot and only ran. I only had to inch my hand forwards and “Tostada” would break into a gallop. My first time learning to hit the ball was problematic given my usual lack of coordination and my horse’s innate reluctance to do anything slowly. Still one learns some basic skills and managed to play an abbreviated game.

That night’s dinner was in the trendy area of Palermo where we found creative sushi and sushi-inspired dishes.  Sushi is popular in Argentina. However, the rolls in Buenos Aires were very different from what I would recognize in the United States.  There is cream cheese in every thing. At least half a dozen variations of the California roll exist. Overall, the better stuff are the nigiri classics that one would know well. After drinks in Plaza Serrano,  we found ourselves heading home at 1am, just as the area was getting going.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Haute African

AFAR - Where travel can take you:

'via Blog this'

South Africa is one of the most interesting places to eat in the world. One of my most memorable meals will always be medallions of kudu steak I ate at a restaurant in Melville area of Johannesburg in 2004 after leaving Cameroon after two years with the Peace Corps.

 It is interesting to read about the food scene in South Africa today and the innovative chefs who have such a profound respect for their culinary heritage.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More From our Test kitchen: Sri Lankan Spiced Pork Chops

No that is not a ribeye! That is what you can do with a pork chop if you have the right tools in your bag of tricks.

From our test kitchen: "porterhouse-cut" pork chops with small batch ground Sri Lankan spices. Coming to a future dinner box!

We paired the chops with oven home fries with shallots and green peppers. Uh huh. It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cracking Crabs in Maryland

They say that crab cakes and football are what Maryland does...

Somehow this seems appropriate for a state's odd motto: "Fatti maschi, parole femmine," which translates as "Manly deeds, womanly words."

But theres's nothing quite like opening freshly steamed crabs with Old Bay seasoning when you are in the Baltimore area, as I was in the last week.

Best of all I got to show my nieces the fun of playing with your food or at least the fun of breaking it out of an orange shell!

Overall, they took to it with enthusiasm. They were naturals with a mallet and were excited to break the claws! Useful skills for kids growing up there, one figures.

Crab cakes are great, but real Marylanders don't mind getting a little Old Bay on their fingers!