I met the talented duo behind Authentic Food Quest at WITS in Irvine this past March and immediately fell in love! Claire and Rosemary quit their corporate jobs to travel the world and dive deeply into the food culture and the experiences of great destinations near and far. And while I love living in the RV, the idea of traveling the world with these two enthusiastic foodies is tantalizing! Maybe this duo should be a trio!
Let’s meet Claire and Rosemary!
When and how did you become a traveler?
R: Leaving Kenya and moving to the U.S. first ignited my love for travel. In my previous career in advertising, I traveled throughout the U.S. and enjoyed discovering the country. Living in Paris for 3 years and traveling around Europe also for my job exposed me to many diverse cultures and fueled my desire to see the rest world.
C: I’m originally from France. My interest in traveling was sparked by my parents who used to take us to different parts of France and neighboring countries every summer. While in Engineering school, I studied abroad in Canada and in Brazil and those experiences fortified my desire to travel. Shortly after I graduated, I looked for opportunities to work abroad and finally got a position in the U.S. where I travelled around the world for work.
Where do you love to travel?
We both enjoy visiting cities and urban centers. The vibrant energy and ability to blend in and be a part of the heartbeat of the city is exhilarating. On the flip side, being one with nature and hiking through the natural beauty of the mountains, rivers, and lakes is also very calming. We enjoy the two contradictory environments.
Most memorable travel moment
R: Visiting Machu Picchu in Peru in January 2016. This was the powerful realization of a childhood dream.
C: Hiking the Vallée des Merveilles (Valley of Marvels) in the French Alpes.
What won’t you travel without?
R: My phone which has my music and favorite meditations. My journal for personal reflections and a hat for the bad hair days.
C: My water bottle to keep me quenched all day 🙂
A day isn’t complete until I…
R: I have done some form of exercise.
C: I have accomplished something, a task for the business, a personal chore, or finish a chapter from the book I’m reading.
Travel essential – 3 things you always travel with
R: Running shoes, spork (spoon/fork combo), travel pillow
C: Running shoes, Kindle, ear plugs
Name one thing people would be surprised to find in your travel bag:
R: Sunscreen. The common and prevailing myth is that people with dark skin don’t need sunscreen (we do burn).
C: Swiss army knife: it has helped me in so many situations: fixing sandwiches, wine opener, beer opener, can opener, scissors to cut bandages, screwdriver to fix anything on the go and much more!
Perfect travel day from start to finish
Waking up together feeling refreshed after a restful night. Meditate and journal separately. Go for a bike ride or run for at least an hour. After a healthy breakfast/brunch visit the local farmers market and explore the local food specialties of the region. Connect, share and chat with locals. End the day with a delicious dinner together and a great glass of red wine.
What are your favorite food cities? What restaurants do you go to in each?
Dijon, France – Le Coin Caché, as the name state it is a hidden restaurant with amazing local cuisine for very affordable prices. Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, high-end fine cuisine, totally worth it!
Lima, Peru – Ronald or Punto Azul our favorites local cevicherias to get Ceviche in Lince neighborhood.
Bonifacio, Corsica, France – At the pier, Le Voilier for fine local cuisine (seafood and deer). The Kissing Pigs for good traditional and local products (cured meat, brocciu cheese).
Los Angeles, USA – Stamp in Los Feliz for the best breakfast or lunch. For dinner, head to Koreatown for the best Korean BBQ at Chosun Galbee. Or check out Little Tokyo for sushi at Sushi Gen.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
For both of us….We didn’t have any expectations about Santiago, Chile and we were quite surprised to find it a modern city, quite safe, with lots of green space inside the city. We were also amazed at the huge farmers and fish markets right in the heart of the city.
What has travel taught you?
R: That I can have great conversations with locals even though I may only speak a few words of the local language. There is power in a smile and an open heart.
C: Gratitude. Very grateful for the opportunity to travel and to discover the world. Grateful for the warmth, the generosity, and openness of people I have encountered on my travels.
Claire and Rosemary's Lightning Round of Favorites
Airline: Air France
Airport: San Francisco (SFO), Singapore (Claire)
Mode of Transportation: Train (Rosemary) / Bike (Claire)
Travel snack: Almonds
Country: France (Rosemary) / Brazil (Claire)
Travel Gear: Headphones and Camera
Travel App: Trail Wallet
Travel Book: The Alchemist (Rosemary) / Le Petit Prince (Claire)
Travel Movie: The 100 Foot Journey (Rosemary) / Lawrence D’Arabie (Claire),
Song on your smartphone: Beyond the Missouri Sky – Spiritual
Thanks Claire and Rosemary!
Claire and Rosemary aim to inspire people to travel through Authentic Food. You can follow their quest on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and of course on their website. To find authentic food on your travels click here to download their free ebook The 5 Best Ways To Find Authentic Food While Traveling.
How about you? What would you like to know about Claire and Rosemary?
Photos credit: all from Authentic Food Quest (except for the Marrakesh souk)
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