On the move for the love of food

What does travelling mean to us? For many, it is a way of exploring new places, interacting with people, learning about heritage, and more.
Chef Radhika  Khandelwal in Minorca. (File Photo)
Chef Radhika Khandelwal in Minorca. (File Photo)

What does travelling mean to us? For many, it is a way of exploring new places, interacting with people, learning about heritage, and more. Radhika Khandelwal—chef and owner of Fig & Maple, GK2—mentions that travelling is more of a stress-buster for her. “Travelling is a release of all sorts of negative energy. Being in service for the entire year, it is that one time that I can unwind.” We speak to Khandelwal about her favourite travel destinations, memorable experiences, different cuisines to try when on vacation, and more.


On favourite vacations…
It’s got to be Spain, especially Madrid and Minorca. The cuisine, people, culture—they’re beautiful. I have been to Spain five times now but the country still fascinates me. I remember hiking up a hill for an hour in San Sebastián and right atop the hill was a bar where I had the best Tapas and Pinchos I’d ever eaten.
On exploring a place…

The food of a place resonates with me a lot, so wherever I go, I explore the farmer’s market. I also enjoy restaurant and bar-hopping. While I usually focus on the cuisine, I like that the food and the heritage of most places are interconnected—most local markets are set up in spaces that hold some significance. For countries, I love to explore parts of it as a way of diving into the country entirely.

Farmers’ market in Spain
Farmers’ market in Spain

On must-try cuisines…
I absolutely fell in love with Portuguese cuisine when I visited Faro. It was delicious and everything was so fresh. Another place whose cuisine I truly adore is Sri Lanka; it has inspired a lot of my cooking.

On choosing where to next…
There have been times when I repeat a place judging by how good my experience has been. However, I choose a place where I can go and switch off. Most places with deep influences in culture and cuisine attract me. The beauty of the landscape is also a must—even though I had been to Spain earlier, I had never been to Minorca before, and I fell in love with the landscape.

On travel musts…
When travelling, I carry spare change to visit local markets and try out different products. I always carry my phone and charger. I love to explore and walk around so Google Maps is always switched on. Having a full battery is important.

On dream destinations…
While my recent travels have mostly been shuttling from Delhi to Goa for the new franchise, I do hope I can visit Vietnam next year. I have never been there and I am looking forward to it. Their cuisine is rich, I just want to go and eat as much as I can!

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