On the Road

Spring Road Trips with the Local Palate

By: The Local Palate

As 2021 came to a close, I found myself poring over the pages of the cookbook Getaway by the accomplished and beloved Seattle chef Renee Erickson. She’d been in Nashville a few weeks earlier, cooking recipes from the book at one of my favorite spots, Henrietta Red. The night was transportive—a bright and glowing evening, filled with delicious bites that took us on the same journeys Erickson writes about in her book. At my table, the conversation revolved around wanderlust. In 2022, it was decided, we would go to far-off places, have life-changing adventures, and travel well and intentionally. Cue our season of spring road trips.

These past two years have made all of our worlds feel smaller, more confined. When I did travel, it was to drive-able destinations where safety and protection remained top of mind (such as Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Cashiers, North Carolina). So, Erickson’s book, full of stories and recipes inspired by her travels to London, Paris, Normandy, and Oaxaca, shouted out both for its beauty and the ability to whisk me away. Reading through this issue, I’m filled with the same jolt of excitement. It’s time to get back on the road and visit the many Southern cities I’ve missed these past few years. And, what better way to tackle a visit than with a cheat sheet from a local? From Raleigh to Houston and points in between, we asked chefs like Cheetie Kumar and Dawn Burrell to give us their recommendations for what to eat and do in their hometowns.

Speaking of eating on the road, I wish I’d been a fly on the wall for Samantha Fore’s road trip across Eastern Kentucky with pal Patrick Hallahan. Or, to have hit the docks early alongside assistant editor Jacob Hollifield as he traced the work of a handful of colorful stone crabbers who set off from Clearwater to bring the succulent, yet fleeting catch to an insatiable audience each season. If travel is still off the table, we think chef Adrienne Cheatham’s recipes for dressed-up Southern dishes, from her forthcoming book Sunday Best will brighten the air a bit, while a cocktail recipe from Fritai in New Orleans will transport you to a Caribbean beach. If all else fails, Mason Hereford’s book Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin’ in New Orleans does the job of bringing the mad-fun chef’s specific flavor of New Orleans straight to you—just be sure to buckle up for the ride.

—Erin Byers Murray


Top of my list is a retreat with the Tea Huntress, Nashville-based Sarah Scarborough who brings small groups to locales like Iceland, Morocco, and Mexico for yoga, tea ceremonies, spa treatments, and community

We put a trip to Texas Hill Country on hold in 2020 but this feels like the year for us to escape to a cabin rental or the luxurious Lake Austin Spa Resort for a week. We’ll invite friends, splash around, and just generally forget about life for a bit. As I swing through the city, though, I’ll be making a stop at the Grey Market, from the team behind the Savannah icon slated to open this spring, for a pile of grab-and-go provisions.

I’m already fawning over the pictures coming out of the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, particularly from Alon Shaya at Miss River, which is sharing space under the same roof with another of NOLA’s beloved chefs, Donald Link’s Chemin à la Mer. This spring will be just the right time to hit up the property in person, especially since the spa has just opened.

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