This world has a lot of great food in it, if you only know which of the world’s many culinary scenes to explore to find it. One person who knows a thing or two about international foodie magnets is Chef Charles-Laurent Lelievre, a cake designer and openly gay man who grew up in Northern France and currently calls New York City home.
A fashion model-turned-master baker, Charles-Laurent sees the art in everything, whether it’s a couture cake or his own body, which he’s worked hard to sculpt over the years. As a pastry chef, his slogan is “Eat cake and look good, too,” which is a message we can stand behind (whatever “looking good” means for you).
Charles-Laurent has been blessed with the ability to travel the world, including in his most recent incarnation as an accomplished pastry chef, so who better to speak about the world’s top culinary scenes?
“Going to a new city means eating your way through it, if you know what’s good for you,” he tells us, and considers there to be two types of people in the world: “those who think traveling all the way around the world just to eat is crazy,” and “people who believe there is food so unique, so rich, so special and utterly delicious, it’s worth flying anywhere, even just for a couple days of enjoyment.”
Here are the world’s top 5 culinary scenes, according to Chef Charles-Laurent:
1. Paris, France
“From croissants and espresso at a brasserie to cheese samples from a fromagerie, Paris is a non-negotiable destination for any traveling food lover. Whether you’re playing it loose and plan to eat where your adventures take you, or you’re a jet-setter with a plan, there’s so much good food you might need to bring a second stomach.”
2. Florence, Italy
“Don’t get me wrong, you’re going to love the food in Italy wherever you go, but asking an Italian is the key to everything. After all, where do you think pizza and bolognese came from?”
3. Tokyo, Japan
“Japan sets standards for the preparation of food like few other places on earth. Attention, care and honor go into every morsel, resulting in simple presentations with the most outstanding flavor.”
4. Barcelona, Spain
“Barcleona offers some of the best value for your money, and you’ll find simple, rustic and powerful food that will make you seek residency here.”
5. New York City, USA
“NYC has over 10,000 restaurants, and you’ll find every kind of cuisine imaginable and for every budget. It’s the world’s true food mecca, allowing you to go on a gastronomic trip around the world without ever leaving the city.”