What are Alex Guarnaschelli’s favorite cities?

I am smitten with Charleston. The connection that this small group of chefs have is inspiring, as is the great food that they are creating. They are working with ingredients from around the world, like mangos, that come in — and have been for a long time — as it is an important port city. But they are also handling seasonal and regional food beautifully. Mike Lata at FIG. Sean Brock at Husk — he has his own garden and making all kinds of beautiful charcuterie. The cocktail scene is thriving there.

I love to just walk around. I love to have a great lunch and walk around all those beautiful squares and historic mansions and homes and go to Fort Sumter. Very historic and very relevant to American history. That is important to me. Really important. And to walk off a meal while I am traveling is important. When you walk you see so much. And all the Gullah history and cuisine is important. Real America. Oh and just to have delicious, simple hominy and biscuits. A good walk after that is very necessary.

I really like Nyack, New York. I like all of the antiques, the way it feels up there and that the air smells like spearmint gum. It’s really peaceful. I do a lot of traveling, and I go to Miami quite a bit and to Los Angeles. I don’t mean to be boring, but I really love Los Angeles and I feel like it’s underrated. I just think Los Angeles has become an amazing place. I love to go to the farmers market there and just watch the artichokes breathe and I love to just eat nectarines until my stomach hurts. There’s just something really special about it. I also love San Diego because it’s kind of off the beaten path. I love going to Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe and just buying tons of heirloom beans and cooking them.

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