Lomo Saltado – Recreating the flavors of Peru at home
In many of our articles we talk about the sensory link between food and travel. To experience a sense of place and the history and culture of a region, food is one of the first things we look to. The aromas, the textures, the spices, and flavors all speak about a place almost as much as the local people, the architecture, the music, and the surroundings. Great food also tantalizes all of the senses; sight, smell, sound, feel, and taste.
For many years on this site we have shared our travel experiences through food; often times we’ve shared recipes in our articles that were inspired by our travels or those created by chefs we’ve interviewed. Other times we’ve highlighted special dining experiences and mentioned particular dishes that were worth the trip, no matter how far from home we traveled to try them.
When we were asked by Trip Advisor to partner with them to talk about finding the best dining experiences when traveling and to post a recipe that was inspired by our travels, it was the perfect fit. With our focus on culinary travel, we frequently use Trip Advisor as a reference guide for finding the best hotels and restaurants when planning our travels. We will also refer to the Trip Advisor app on my iPhone when we’re looking for a restaurant while walking around a new and unfamiliar city or driving through a place we’ve never been before. In particular, I search out the Travelers’ Choice award winners and the places that have received a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.
Years ago there were several reliable sources I referred to when planning a trip or dining out. You can probably guess a few of them (guide books or online sites such as Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Eyewitness, and several luxury hotel sites), but times have certainly changed.
Now there are new online options for seeking out the best in places to stay, dine, and visit and there are reviews for everything (including historic attractions and tours) as all travelers have places to voice their opinions. It’s not just trained independent reviewers and critics who are writing reviews; guests and diners who are visiting the hotels, restaurants, and attractions are sharing their honest opinions about their overall experience, the food, the atmosphere, and the service. Many of them are seasoned travelers. This is why Trip Advisor has become so popular; it’s a source of trusted reviews that are current.
Many hotels and restaurants now proudly display Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence and Travelers’ Choice awards status just as they would recognition from Forbes Travel Guide, Condé Nast Traveler, or AAA Four or Five Diamond Award plaques.
One of the many Certificate of Excellence restaurants where we have dined is La Mar by Gastón Acurio at Mandarin Oriental, Miami and their executive chef, Diego Oka, is one of the most talented young chefs we’ve met. You can read more about Chef Oka in this article. His exciting flavors are inspired by his Japanese heritage and Peruvian roots and both he and La Mar have received impressive accolades, press, and awards in addition to the outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor.