I’ve been to Chicago, Sydney, Brisbane, Minneapolis, and Calgary since late April (as well as New Orleans, northern California, Tampa, and Montreal) — a list that might elicit a yawn from some road warriors.
That hopscotching has given me the opportunity to dig deep into one of my favorite tools for finding restaurants in unfamiliar places: Find. Eat. Drink., an app that compiles chef, bartender, and sommelier recommendations for dozens of cities around the world.
It’s a concept so simple I wish I’d thought of it. After all, chefs usually have the lowdown on the best places to eat, as they often spend their scant free time checking out dishes created by friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
Find. Eat. Drink. has distilled that swirl of knowledge into a chef/crowd-sourced website and app with the motto, “Go Where the Pros Go.” On F.E.D.’s website, you can find articles such as “Chef’s Guide to Chattanooga” and “Sommelier’s Favorite Miami Wine Lists.” It’s the app, though, that’s a true traveler’s friend. Tap the orange icon, choose a destination, and you can comb through the bullet-short recommendations of chefs such as as April Bloomfield (who loves the fried fish at Blue Ocean in London) and John Besh (who recommends the gumbo at Dooky Chase in the Treme section of New Orleans).
Almost every time I open F.E.D., the app downloads new recs and regions (recent adds include Cajun Country and Tucson). It’s addictive reading, even when I’m sitting in my own kitchen, and makes each new place seem like a culinary wonderland.