So the Puglia tour. It was a very emotional and enduring experience that only Puglians and their ancient history can give you. It's such an old culture and such a simple one and the people are relaxed, warm (some might even say hot-blooded where the men are concerned) and proud. They don't feel they have to impress anyone, they know their seafood is beyond fresh, their pasta is made right in front of your eyes with fresh wheat and their traditional wild music makes the heart jump. It's a land where capers grow out of buildings, strangers put their arms around you and fresh burrata (cream infested mozzarella) just slides down your throat. I was privileged to have (yet again) a fantastic group of gastronomads who understood, respected and adored everything Puglia has to offer.
First up in 2020 is zingy Vietnam – the people and the food in Vietnam contribute to your life in a way that is unforgettable, that makes life seem richer, that balances you with its yin and yang. You too can eat raw mangoes, pho (beef noodle soup), happy crepes, munch on banana flower leaves, sip sugar cane juice and nibble on French croissants. We have FOUR places left on this tour, it's close to home and who can say no to noodle pillows, local hootch and a day fishing on the river? And if not Vietnam, then you could be tempted by one of my other destinations in 2020 ...
Vietnam – 28 March – 7 April 2020
Marrakech – 31 May – 7 June 2020
Basque Country – 27 June – 4 July 2020
Puglia – 30 August – 6 September
North India – 3 – 13 October 2020
Rajasthan – 20 – 29 October 2020
We have to be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us' – Joseph Cambell. I am available for event speaking in New Zealand to explain why beating things till stiff changes your life, why food is the secret to happiness, why redheads have more fun and how travel not only improves your mind, it makes your mind. Available from November to mid-May – details on the website.
I'm off to India to host my North India tour and will then head back to NZ to launch my new book 'Eat Your Heart Out' released on 5th November. The book is about unusual love stories from history, literature, art and mythology. You may be interested to read about bird love, puppet love, heart eating, ancient love, perverse Japanese love and what to feed your lover. It also includes a few recipes, for example how to cook artichokes. They say a woman who spreads her favours far and wide has a heart like an artichoke – only the lover she really likes will get the heart; everyone else gets leaves.