One of my favorite travel activities is shopping. We usually rent a place that has a kitchen and we cook and eat at home a few nights of our stay. Figuring out how the the markets work in Italy was great fun. How to weigh the produce, always use a plastic glove to handle fresh items, what familiar items are not available, what new ones are. Not to mention shopping in the farmers type markets. One memorable shopping experience was at the Rialto market in Venice. I couldn’t figure out how to tell the vendor I didn’t want a kilo of mussels and ended up buying them anyways. It’s also a great way to interact with the locals.
I’m just speaking from experience, I guess I didn’t really answer the question. I’ve attended many neighborhood potlucks in a town full of great chefs and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a few who cooked for a living and they could definitely be considered “serious.” But they also have no problems with delivery pizza (seems to be a favorite) and KBBQ (another favorite). Also, you’ll probably find microwave dinners and cheap vodka, so I disagree with comments like, “OMG, there was canned pork and beans in the pantry, I can’t eat here!” No, that’s not a indicator of good/bad cook at all, it’s an indicator the poster is a “pretentious” eater.
There’s a lady who runs a foodie group in town and she was a professional cook (she’s retired now) and everyone raves about her food. At one of her brunches, she served chorizo (you know, pig innards) and scrambled eggs and it was the fluffiest, lightest scrambled eggs you ever had, made to order. Everyone ate it up. Now, that’s a great cook.
On the other side of the spectrum, there was this young guy who thought he was hot shit and he was telling me about how great his pie crust was because it was homemade. He literally forced me to eat some (I swear to god, true story, he put that shit like in front of me and told me to eat it) and just to humble him a bit (he had no idea I made pies for a living) I named off all the ingredients in crust. He was so proud of himself because he used “all butter”. In his defense, his pie was ok, but I made a point to say that my crust was made with lard, not “all butter.” And he was absolutely adamant that pie crust MUST be made with all-butter. He has no idea that most factory made pies are made with cheap vegetable shortening, NOT butter.
Anyways, that’s an example of a “serious” cook whose food I did not find appealing and, imo, was not “great” at all.
Now that’s a problem I’d love to have!
I’m strategically located. One and half to 2 hours by bus or train and I’m in several big cities with international airports. One hour flight takes me to the Austrian alps or the UK. Two hour flight takes me to most of Europe, and 3+ hours then the possibilities are near endless.
1050km (650 miles for you Americans) is the closest to the north pole I could get to. Besides SAS no other commercial airliners fly this route (but maybe they do now?).
LOL! For sure, this young guy takes himself too seriously, but compared to those who bought the ready made dough, he is comparatively more serious.