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5 Emerging Food Destinations in Europe

Posted: 23 July 2015


We take influences from across the world when deciding upon new classes and themes for events at Jenius Social. As a result we have built up a good understanding of some of the world’s greatest gastronomic locations. Here are five in Europe to add to your culinary bucket list.


1. Puglia, Italy

The lowdown:

Puglia is Italy’s go-to region for gastronomes these days. Found on the heel of Italy’s boot, the area is flush with seafood from the neighbouring Adriatic Coast and famed for its diet of artichokes, artisanal breads and local pastas like Orecchiette. All of which can be enjoyed in the many markets and osterias of Bari, Ostuni, Lecce and Gallipoli.

Where to go:

Blessed with a vibrant food culture and scenic architecture, the medieval town of Ostuni is a particular favourite among tourists. Seek out Osteria Del Tempo Perso, housed inside a cave and former bakery. The Puglian meats are to-die-for.

The closer-to-home option:

Ostuni of NW6 and Apulia next to the Barbican lead the way currently, but expect to see many more opening up in the next few years.

Want to learn how to cook Italian cuisine like a local? Sign up to our Pasta Pronto class where you’ll prepare some fresh, flavourful pasta.


2. Dubrovnik, Croatia

The lowdown:

Across the water from Puglia lies Dubrovnik, one of the largest cities in Croatia and perhaps its epicurean capital. Croatian cuisine is diverse – with influences from Italy and its Central European neighbours - but here the emphasis is on Mediterranean fare inspired by the city’s coastal location and backed up by some fine Croatian wines.

Where to go:

Head to Dubrovnik’s old town and you won’t go far wrong, especially if you share Dalmatians’ appetite for stripped-back seafood dishes. Founded in the 19th century, Proto remains one of the city’s best.

The closer-to-home option:

Croatian cuisine has yet to find a worthy flag-bearer in London (one imagines it won’t be too long) but there is a Croatian deli in Borough Market.

For more Mediterranean delights check out our Mediterranean Street Food class.


3. San Sebastian, Basque Country Spain

The lowdown:

San Sebastian has the second highest density of Michelin starred restaurants per capita of anywhere in the world, and while not everyone is a fan of the little red book the city’s foodie credentials are indisputable. Tourist numbers may have swelled in recent years, but the city and the wider Basque region has a rich culinary heritage dating back millennia. Here you can enjoy the likes of salt cod, Rioja and pintxos as the locals do.

Where to go:

While Mugaritz, Arzak and Martín Berasategui lead the way on the fine-dining front, San Sebastian’s true culinary worth can be felt in its bustling food markets and omnipresent Pintxos bars. There is no such thing as an average restaurant here – so let spontaneity lead.

The closer-to-home option:

Test the water for a trip to San Sebastian at London’s Michelin starred Ametsa. The food doesn’t come cheap, but this is modern Basque cuisine at its finest – with experimental options such as beef with red wine foam complemented by an enviable cabinet of Sherries. The décor is pretty special too.

Alternatively, book a spot on our Tempting Tapas class to satisfy your cravings for Spanish cuisine.


4. Cornwall, England

The lowdown:

Reams of coastline and a warm climate make Cornwall a gastronomic paradise. With Cornish crab, cod and mussels considered superior across Britain (the difference here being that everything is at least one or two days fresher), seafood lovers are in for a treat. But its treasures are not limited to the sea. Real Cornish pasties are unrecognisable from the flabby pastries you find elsewhere in motorway service stations, while scones lathered in clotted cream and jam (cream tea) can be enjoyed in the area’s many tearooms.

Where to go:

Most tourists congregate in the towns of Cornwall’s north coast, where famed chefs like Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Rick Stein reside. On the south coast, near Portscatho, Chris Eden conjures similar magic from his Driftwood restaurant. There are many less lauded restaurants worthy of a visit, too – particularly those serving local lobster for a fraction of its London price in Port Isaac.

The closer-to-home option:

Outlaw’s at The Capital, Knightsbridge, allows you to sample the cuisine of perhaps Cornwall’s greatest chef in London.

If you’re a fan of Cornish fish and seafood then why not come along to our Fantastic Fish cooking class, where you’ll learn how to source, prepare and cook fish like a pro.


5. Copenhagen, Denmark

The lowdown:

For the last decade or so, Scandi cuisine has been on a mission to reinvent itself – and no city is leading the charge quite like Copenhagen. Sure, it has some of the world’s top ranking restaurants in its midst – namely Rene Redzepi’s Noma - but it also has a thriving street food scene and plenty of food shops and cafes. Most proudly parade Nordic produce and culinary traditions – so expect pickled fancies, Danish pastries and open rye sandwiches aplenty.

Where to go:

Head down to the city’s Vesterbro area to find the best cafes and bars. To sample Copenhagen’s favourite organic hotdog, look out for Døp – located close to the Round Tower in the city centre. As for Noma… beware: tables are hard to come by and prices are astronomic. If you do want to go, you will need to book well in advance, or, alternatively, keep your eye on the restaurant’s twitter feed for tables freed up by last minute cancellations.

The closer-to-home option:

It is hard to imagine Agnar Sverrisson’s Texture and Mikael Jonsson’s Hedone thriving in the way they have had Copenhagen’s food renaissance never happened; both Michelin starred eateries are worth a visit should your budget extend that far. More casual options include Shoreditch’s hip Fika café and Nordic Bakery (Marylebone, Soho and Mayfair). Oh, and there’s always Ikea of course...


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