Hungry? Open Instagram and search for David Dudi Califa's profile, @the.hungry.tourist. He shares mesmerizing videos of Japan's best chefs demonstrating their knife skills and appetizing pictures of tortellini handmade by Nadia Pasquali, the pope's personal pasta maker. Perusing his page is like going on a virtual, mini-version of one of his enviable food tours. His well-curated excursions immerse participants in the dining scene of the world's most delicious cities. We got in touch with Califa to ask him about everything from how he got started organizing food tours to the dining experiences every hungry tourist should have on their bucket list.
What are your favorite cities around the world to dine in? Tokyo, Istanbul, Barcelona, Bangkok and New York. In that order.
How would you describe your travel style? Light, constant and luxurious.
How did you get your start traveling and giving food tours? I was traveling for food as long as I can remember. I started doing tours after being asked by many people for years.
How do you decide where to do tours? I choose destinations that excite me, and have a deep culinary culture and diverse food. Since my tours are tailor-made for foodies, most of them include local partners with deep roots (and connections) in the destination's culinary community. This allows us not only to discover hidden and secret gems but also to secure 'impossible' reservations. We work with restaurants and chefs on special menus that incorporate their 'all-time-best' dishes.
What Are Your Top Five Food Experiences?
- Lunch at Tour D'Argent's and a visit to its wine cellar.
- My first visit to Noma
- Sushi Saito
- Noma Mexico
If you had to create a whirlwind, global food tour, where would you choose to dine for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack and/or drink? I'll start my day with Thai breakfast at Sri Panwa resort in Phuket, then move to the best Sunday brunch in the world at The Four Seasons hotel in Istanbul. I'll have lunch on the terrace at Etxebarri near Bilbao, and dinner will be at Sushi Saito in Tokyo. Then I'll close with midnight ramen at Nagi in Shinjuku.