Marcus Samuelsson Will Have A Hard Time Topping His 2012 Itinerary

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Take it from us: Marcus Samuelsson does a lot of traveling. The Food Republic co-founder and Red Rooster Harlem/Ginny's Supper Club mastermind practically should have his own airline to jet back him back and forth between his childhood homeland of Sweden and New York, and he's prone to use any of his minescule spare time to saunter off to Seattle or Austin to cook alongside chef friends and taste the local cuisine. Last year, the release of his memoir Yes, Chef meant a nationwide book tour, and later, restaurant openings had him ricocheting between Sweden and Manhattan. It's often hard to say where he is, but we know one thing for sure: Samuelsson will be in NYC tomorrow, Thursday, January 10, when he'll speak on a panel at the American Museum of Natural History on the topic of food security; it's called "How To Feed A Growing Planet," and it begins at 7 p.m. You can buy tickets here, and you can read his travel tips below.

Where are you planning on traveling in 2013?

Last year was a great travel year for me. I was able to go to Ixtapa, and to spend time exploring other parts of the U.S. that I haven't seen ever or in a long time. I want to continue exploring the U.S. but I am also looking forward to going back to Africa, Norway, Gothenburg and other parts of Scandinavia I haven't seen in awhile.

If you could travel anywhere (else), and had infinite resources, where would you go in 2013?

Peru has been at the top of my list for a long time. I need to find a way to get down there.

How much does food/drink have to do, if at all, with your travel plans for 2013?

Food has everything to do with my traveling, whether for work or pleasure. But it is not just about the restaurants you can experience in a different place. For me, it is more about the food culture that is unique to that spot, the way you experience food differently than you would at home and the way you learn to appreciate food differently because of the company you share and the inspiring scenery.

What was your most memorable trip from the past few years?

Eating in Tokyo was incredible and remains a highlight for me. Eating in Singapore and learning about the cuisine there was also amazing. Of course, being able to cook and eat in Addis Ababa will always be a favorite memory and one I'm anxious to repeat.

What airlines do you fly?

I mostly fly American, but Emirates is amazing.

What about hotels? Any standout places that you've stayed or would like to stay?

There are two great boutique hotels in Austin I visited last year called Hotel San José and Hotel Saint Cecilia. I love how curated and comforting they are. Another favorite of mine is Taitu in Addis, which is a truly unique Ethiopian experience, but certainly not for everyone.

What are you favorite cities for food?

Cape Town is another great spot. You have to go there for the Malay food. New York, though, is at the top of that list. You can truly get any kind of food here!

Where are you yearning to go to try the local cuisine?

Even though it is not known as being a food destination, Manaus, Brazil is one of my favorite places to eat. It's the capital of the Amazon and has such a unique local experience that you won't find anywhere else. I can't wait to go back.

Is there a food you have traveled over 1,000 miles for?

I've traveled just for Fernan Adrià's tasting menu in Barcelona when El Bulli was still open. It was worth the long plane ride — I would do it again. I also traveled to Japan to have Fugu, pufferfish. It was a goal of mine that I'm happy to have knocked off the list.

Best travel advice you have been given lately?

The best advice is from locals. Ask them where to eat, where to shop local. Ask people when you are there. I also try to leave a day or two of my trip open, so I have time for things I wouldn't know to try.

Best food-related souvenir that you have ever brought back?

I brought back one of the best sushi knives I could find in Japan.

Any favorite cocktail/beer/wine spots from your travels?

Any winebar that serves Tej honey wine in Addis.

Any must-have travel items?

I always travel with a notebook for writing, my iphone to take pictures with and a sense of curiosity. I have found it is best to be open to whatever the trip will be, because travel is never what you think it will be.

Best travel nightmare story?

I've been sick with food poisoning, which is a terrible thing to have away from your own home, but you have to understand that that's part of traveling. It certainly doesn't keep me from going back or from eating more.

[All Fantasy Week Travel on Food Republic]