Today we’re happy reintroduce our guide to the 50 Best Festivals in America in the form of a handy, downloadable eBook (PDF) that’s been revamped with even more photography, insight and trivia than before. It’s a ready-to-go handbook for your iOS, Android or Kindle device — never out of reach the next time the road comes calling. Oh, and it’s free. Download it here.
Keeping the good times always close at hand
Finding the right underground supper club
What are underground supper clubs and how do you get an “in”? Our guide has all the info you need.
Highly Alcoholic, Highly Worthwhile
After years of global vilification and false stigma, absinthe is making a comeback. We tasted six new American versions.
a trojan horse of meat, cheese and fat masquerading as a salad
Preparing duck confit is a quick way to tell everyone you know your way around the kitchen, and an even quicker way to put on a few pounds. It was developed by the French, and mastered by Chef Peter Droste. Here is his take on the classic cooking style.
Home cooking gets an upgrade
Underground supper clubs, where strangers eat home-cooked meals made by professional chefs, are spreading throughout America. Gear Patrol sat down at one in Brooklyn, New York to see firsthand where the trend’s headed.
Burgeoning Seattle Chef and Restaurateur
From catering obscurity to acclaimed chef, Seattle native Ethan Stowell is living his dream. As the chef and owner of nine Italian-inspired restaurants, a pizzeria, wine cellar and more, he’s taking over this northwestern city.
Whether you’re flying from Cleveland to Chicago in coach or Boston to Bangladesh in business, the reality of flying involves cramped quarters, mediocre wi-fi, and floppy tray tables. That doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Here are three setups — tailored to regional, transcontinental and international flights — to maximize your jetset (or weekly airborne slog) efficiency.
Taking the Long Way 'Round
Unlike the America’s Cup, which is all about speed over a short distance, the Volvo Ocean Race is a challenge of endurance. In this year’s running of the race, starting in October in Alicante, Spain, crews of eight sailors will race around the globe in stages lasting up to four weeks at a time, stopping in various ports such as Capetown, Auckland and Newport along the way. We set sail with Team Alvimedica as they trained out of their home port of Newport, Rhode Island.
1.16 miles and 300 feet of elevation gain in (less than) one minute
The annual Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England centers around a storied Hillclimb, which winds 1.16 miles through event founder Lord March’s private estate and rises 300 feet. Drivers — piloting any type of car, new or old, from sports cars to supercars to deft Formula 1 racers to Nascar stock car growlers — rip through the narrow course in under a minute.
Brain-rattling bacon from The Forge in Miami
Bacon doesn’t need to be fixed. And so it’s with some reluctance that we offer a recipe for making your own bacon, particularly one that requires two days, five different cooking techniques and more than ten ingredients. But once you’ve tasted chef Christopher Lee’s Jamaican jerk bacon with tropical salsa at The Forge in Miami, Florida, you’ll be spending plenty of quality time with swine belly and Jimmy Buffet’s fifteenth album, Floridays.
Get Your Glass in Order
There are serious benefits to matching your glass to your beer. Here’s our guide to the different types of glasses and the brews you should sip out of them.
Is there anything left to discover?
Adventure travelers have an advantage that others don’t: Anyone can get on a plane and land in a remote location, but no matter how much someone talks about that place deep in the wilderness, few have what it takes to make the journey.
An afternoon with a surfer, winemaker, and philosopher
“Why do I surf, why do I make wine?” Johan Reyneke says, laughing to himself. “I don’t know. It just happened. It’s just meant to be.” In this short film by The Perennial Plate, Reyneke surfs in False Bay and explains the way he makes wine. They’re two disciplines that may seem quite different but are actually quite similar through the lens of his life’s philosophy.
On the 'cue trail in Texas
Texas is home to the original cowboys, the gunslingers and trailblazers. They pushed 20 million head of cattle through Dustbowl territory during the historic cattle drives. Beef is in their blood. And their barbecue is the best there is. We sought out the legendary joints in the heart of the Lone Star state.
5 Courses, 1 Grill, No Dishes
The life of a dinner shindig can be as simple as quality charcoal, a few tunes and some great beef. Oh, and good beer. The “One Grill Meal” isn’t a challenging culinary proposition. In fact, outside of skillet cooking it’s about as simple of a trick as they come. And whether your have propane or charcoal it’s a pretty damn simple affair and about as American as it gets.
Happy Independence Day
Mark Twain said many things that ought to be remembered, but this speech, simple and succinct as it is, from his visit to Keokuk, Iowa in 1886 just 45 miles or so from his home town, is a great thing to recall on this July 4. Happy Independence Day, everyone.
A Sandbox for Adults
Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley are the tallest dunes in America, reaching peaks of 750 feet. GP contributor Will McGough took off his shoes and played in the sand.
It isn’t a big secret that we’re more than a bit enamored with the beauty and mystique of all things Cuban. That includes the ubiquitous mojito. And while the original recipe will suffice any day, adding the sweet, tangy flavor of grapefruit should boost the mojito to the top of your summer “To-Drink” list.
Flatiron, 10:45 p.m.
Fundamental techniques for grilling
Whether you have a cheaper grill or a top-dollar wood-fired jam, one thing should be made clear: grills don’t cook steaks by themselves. Tom Mylan, owner of The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, NY, explains in this excerpt from his book.
The Magnum Opus of Grilling
Comprised of the sirloin with all of its various muscles intact (including the tenderloin), the Man Steak is a beautiful thing to behold. Tom Mylan, owner of The Meat Hook, a whole animal butcher shop in Brooklyn, NY, shares a recipe for one from his cookbook.
One Breath, One Dive
Most of the people who come to Bonaire are SCUBA divers, hauling heavy bags of gear — buoyancy vests and regulators. But on this visit, I decided to try something different: freediving. No tanks, just a breath of air. I wanted to experience the transcendent silence and freedom freedivers talk about. The best man to learn from is in Bonaire, and I was about to get a one-on-one lesson from him.
Prepare your stomach...and your eyes
Food should always be the main concern when visiting any eating establishment. But in a town like Vegas that’s bursting with superstar chefs from around the globe, weighing a few other factors will help narrow your plan of attack. These restaurants boast one-of-a-kind interior designs to go along with their top-chef menus, offering dining experiences all of your senses will appreciate in full.
American Beer Meets Irish Whiskey
Among the fastest growing trends named by brewers at the American Craft Beer Festival was barrel aging, so it’s no surprise that the world’s largest Irish whiskey producer, Jameson, is constantly approached by craft brewers looking for used barrels. Despite this, not once in Jameson’s 234 years of distilling whiskey had the company loaned their barrels to a U.S. company. Well, not until this year, when they gave KelSo Beer Co. founder Kelly Taylor ten barrels to use for an aged IPA.
The capital of empires, today
Istanbul is a great place to visit: it’s located right smack on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, with a wealth of historical and religious sites, bazaars, a rich food culture and nearby islands that can be gotten to via ferry rides. Photographer and GP contributor Isaac Zapata recently explored the city and experienced its “clash of beauty, history and a controlled sort of chaos.”
Bertoli? That's crude.
You shouldn’t have to wonder whether your olive oil is the real deal or just grease in a bottle. These are five of the best olive oils available today.
The World Without Sun
I had been warned to keep my depth above 50 feet to maximize bottom time, and as I slipped under the “porch” of Aquarius, I saw my computer read 48 feet. I popped up inside the moon pool, removed my regulator and mask and took a breath of the pressurized air inside. “Welcome to Aquarius”, Fabien Cousteau said with a smile as he stood above me in the wet room.
Adrenaline by any means necessary
Vegas is home to an endless array of entertainment, so much so, that it’s easy to overlook the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities available beyond the plush confines of strip. Interested in driving Supercars at full clip on a professional track? It can be arranged. Ever dreamed you could throw a basketball with an excavator? Vegas can make it happen. Wish you had the skills of Jason Bourne? This town can teach you. But don’t just take our word for it. This list of adventures should will set the record straight.
A Dish Best Served Al Denté
Know Your Foods is a new culinary crash course on various foods and ingredients — and if we’ve done our job right, also an inspirational kick in the ribs to expand your dining horizons. Use it for your next meal. Use it impress a girl. Use them to land a job or to silence a patronizing maître d’. But for the love of garlic, use it somewhere. First up, that delicious, carbo-loaded ingredient: pasta.
Bushwick, 10:18 p.m.
For our latest edition of Late Plates, GP’s J. Travis Smith ventured out for midnight Southern fried chicken, biscuits and fries with filmmaker, author and endearing eccentric Onur Tukel to discuss his latest film, which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival.