Rachelle Lucas takes a bite out of travel

2013-09-30 15:42
Conversation, laughter and bonding over food is the common denominator that brings people together in every region and culture. We catch up with Rachelle Lucas about her journey as a travel blogger.

Tell us about the Travelbite.com

My fondest memories of travel are always those created sharing wine around a dinner table, huddling by a street cart vendor, or crammed elbow-to-elbow in a small mom & pop diner.  That is why my most prized collection of travel souvenirs are my recipes. 

On TheTravelBite.com, you’ll find these recipes as well as helpful travel tips and “bites” of information to help you plan your next getaway.

What taste sensations best describe Cape Town for you?

Hmm.  That’s a complicated one since there is such a diverse mix of cuisine. 

I’d have to say sweet, spicy, and aromatic.  Also, the taste of coriander reminds me of Cape Town. 

Might be because of biltong.

Most unusual dish or ingredient discovered while travelling, tell us about the experience?

There’s been many!

But the most recent one was an eight-course meal made of ice cream right here in Cape Town at The Creamery.  We started with an Almond Gazpacho with frozen honey, moved on to a vegetable terrine which was really wild to see and feel the texture of ice cream but taste sweet carrots. 

I think the most unusual course though was the chorizo ice cream with baked apples and candied bacon.  It totally worked!

If you could do one thing differently since starting the Travel Bite, what would it be?

It’s only a small technical thing, but I would have the same Twitter handle as my website.

Your top three destination recommendations for foodie travellers?

Omigosh.  I could probably name five to ten.  It’s so hard to just pick three! 

I wouldn’t call these my “top 3” as there are ten that are a tie. 

But these are the most recent:
•    The Emilia Romagna region of Italy as it’s the origin of Balsamic Vinegar, Parma Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano, white truffles, and quite possibly the best pasta you’ve ever tasted.
•    Croatia has some fabulous wines that you can only taste while in the country as they don’t export much. They also have an amazing sheep’s milk cheese from the island of Pag that is to-die-for.  Just about everywhere you go will serve Pag cheese risotto.
•    My home state of Florida.  There’s an abundance of fresh fruit and seafood, as well as quite a mix of different cultural influences, from Asian, to Southern American, and most notably, Latin.  We call it Flor-ibbean and it’s a refreshing mix of seafood with latin spices and tropical fruits.

Of course, I’m here exploring food in Cape Town now and will likely completely fall in love with the flavors here as I do with most places I visit.

What’s been the most useful travel innovation for you?

Smart phones have really put a lot of useful tools in the palm of your hand.  From photos to currency conversion and maps to locate where you are.  But if I had to pick a simple or more basic innovation, it would be suitcases with wheels.  I remember borrowing my grandmother’s luggage for one of my first trips as a teen.  It was a brilliant shade of turquoise with leather straps and quite stylish.  But after packing it, I could’t  lift the thing, much less carry it through an airport.

Your biggest extravagance while travelling would be?

Transportation.  I prefer to have a hired car or taxi and relax and take-in the sites rather than using public transportation.  It might cost more than taking a local bus or train, but I feel it’s worth it as you typically save time and energy.

Camera phone or DSLR Camera and why?

I always bring both, but it’s part of my job.  For everyday travelers on holiday I’d say the camera phone.  It’s small and convenient, plus there are so many great apps for photo editing and sharing.  Not to mention the added bonus of having extra apps for currency conversion and language translation.

Do you have a favourite souvenir or travel memento and what is?

My favorite mementos are the three charms I have around my neck.  One is a black pearl I picked out in Bora Bora.  Another is a silver elephant from Thailand.  And the third is a Santa Chiara charm I picked up on my honeymoon in Italy.  She’s the “Patron Saint of Television.”  I was hopping she’d bring me luck in turning this blog into a travel show.

Complete the following:  When visiting a place for the first time…

… grab a map and go for a walk.  I find there is no better way to get to know a place then to orient yourself to the location, walk the streets, smell the scents, meet the people, and pretend for a moment that you’re a local.  If you find a grocery store, pop in and peruse the aisles.  It’s quite a wonderland of new and interesting foods.

Plugged-in or switched off – what’s your approach while travelling, running commentary or detailed round-ups on the return?

Plugged-in, always. I love taking photos and sharing moments.

Three most useful travel apps you’d recommend?

•    Trip-It is extremely helpful for having all of your flight and hotel information readily available without having to dig through emails or print them out.  You basically email them your itinerary and it magically ends up in your app.
•    I use Currency Converter quite a bit when trying to keep track of the cost of things and make it relevant to my home currency and budget.
•    Word Lens is a useful tool for reading signs in foreign languages.  Basically, you hold it up to signs or any type of large lettering and it will automatically translate it for you.  It’s priceless when navigating train stations or other directions.  Plus it’s pretty fun and entertaining in restaurants.



24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.