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rome, behind piazza di spagna - Flickr_Moyan Brenn
Flickr/Moyan Brenn

Earlier this spring, some of Waldorf Astoria’s most talented chefs from around the world partnered up with five James Beard Foundation chefs in a competition to create the best locally inspired dish for the year. The WA master chefs helm kitchens in all corners of the globe, from Rome to Shanghai to Palm Springs, California. Naturally, we picked their brains for the best ways travelers can taste their cities. (And if you can’t make it to them all? You can now tuck into the winning truffle-laced Celery Risotto Alla Waldorf at any of the brand’s 26 properties.)

 

Caledonian Highland Egg
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Taste of Waldorf

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EDINBURGH — WA Master Chefs Jeff and Chris Galvin
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Culinary Creation: Caledonian Highland Egg

What’s the best way to taste Edinburgh?
Find out where the locals like to eat. We had a flat in Edinburgh for around six months in 2012 when we were opening The Pompadour and the Brasserie at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and we ate a lot at a great local place called First Coast that was close to our flat. For something a bit more upmarket, try Ondine, Castle Terrace, or The Honours.

Don’t leave Edinburgh without eating _______.
The shellfish in Scotland, which is second-to-none. As is Scotch beef.

Favorite tip for experiencing local flavors while traveling:
Always try to seek out the local farmers’ markets, or food shops that sell local produce and speak to the people selling you the food. You’ll source some amazing things to eat, and will hear the story behind it as well.

 

Velvety Pumpkin Soup
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Taste of Waldorf Astoria

BERLIN — WA Master Chef Roel Lintermans
Waldorf Astoria Berlin
Culinary Creation: Velvety Pumpkin Soup

What’s the best way to taste Berlin?
Berlin is very hip and trendy, and street food has a long tradition here. Markthalle neun in Kreuzberg combines all influences that make the Berlin food scene so special.

Don’t leave Berlin without eating _______.
at LES SOLISTES; we have become in just over two years part of Berlin’s gourmet scene with our own style of cooking, praised by several culinary guides.

Favorite tip for experiencing local flavors while traveling:
Just get out into the city and discover the different parts of Berlin…they all have their own identity and own eating scene!

 

Shanghai Suckling Pig
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Taste of Waldorf

SHANGHAI — WA Master Chef Jan Van Dyk
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
Culinary Creation: Shanghai Suckling Pig

What’s the best way to taste Shanghai?
Shanghai has a variety of its own flavors — the typical sugar and shiny red soy sauce; local seasonal seafood hairy crab; local vegetables, local home-style dishes; very unique breakfast selections; etc. You should decide what flavors you are interested in to seek the best restaurant for it. For instance, if you’d like to sample authentic Shanghainese dishes, you can go to the Wei Jing Ge restaurant in our hotel, for deep-fried yellow croaker in soya sauce, sautéed river shrimp in the Shanghai style, stewed minced pork ball, and goose liver in soya sauce. If you’d like to try Shanghainese dim sum, you can go to Yu Garden for all kinds of gourmet dumplings.

Don’t leave Shanghai without eating _______.
Xiao long bao (Shanghai-style pork dumplings)

Favorite tip for experiencing local flavors while traveling:
I would suggest you to visit a food market and get to know the local ingredients. It’s very different from any western markets. Seasonal vegetables, meat, seafood, herbs… then experiencing the produce in local stalls around the market.

 

 Tierra Y Mar
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Taste of Waldorf Astoria

 PALM SPRINGS — WA Master Chef Jimmy Schmidt
La Quinta, A Waldorf Asotria Resort
Culinary Creation: Tierra Y Mar

What’s the best way to taste Palm Springs?
The Riverside County Tamale Festival….every kind and every flavor.

Don’t leave Palm Springs without eating _______.
Shield’s Farm Date Shake.

Favorite tip for experiencing local flavors while traveling:
Follow the farmers markets to experience the best local products as well as artisanal local food.

 

truffle celery risotto
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Taste of Waldorf Astoria

ROME — WA Master Chef Heinz Beck
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Culinary Creation: Celery Risotto Alla Waldorf

What’s the best way to taste Rome?
Visit the area around the Pantheon, go to Campo dei Fiori market, and just have a walk in Piazza di Spagna — stopping to sample anything that catches your eye.

Don’t leave Rome without eating _______.
A sandwich at 200 Gradi, at Piazza Risorgimento

Favorite tip for experiencing local flavors while traveling:
Go to Salumeria Roscioli [a restaurant and deli] on Via del Governo Vecchio.

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