Style Files: Kristen Stevens

Kristen Stevens
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Kristen StevensProfile

Name:  Kristen  Stevens

Occupation:  Chef / food blogger / traveller

Where were you born?:  Kelowna, BC

Where do you live?:  Vancouver, BC

Kristen is a Vancouver based chef, recipe developer and founder of The Endless Meal. She’s passionate about creating and sharing healthy, whole-food recipes made from local and in-season ingredients.

She’s also the owner of a small underground restaurant where she gets to cook and share her food with local foodies every weekend.

Her favourite things are her camera, bourbon sours, sailing the waters of BC’s beautiful coast and anything super spicy.

Travel Style

How would you describe your travel style?

Spontaneous and adventurous. My travel plans are often made only a few weeks in advance, at most.  For our last big road trip we simply hopped in the truck and started heading south. We had no idea when we left that we would end up at the Grand Canyon!

What’s your earliest travel memory?

My mom took my sister and me to Mexico when I was 8; at that time Puerto Vallarta was still just a small town. It was the first time I was served fish with the head still attached and I remember looking at its puffy white eyeballs and thinking that it was so strange. I also remember a monkey coming up to me and stealing the small, glass Coca Cola bottle right out of my hand.

Churros

When researching travel destinations, how important are food/drink choices and experiences to your overall decision-making process?

With the exception of a few fast-food-only-towns my sister and I drove through on our way from Canada to Mexico once, I’ve always been able to find great food wherever I go. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten has been at tiny roadside stalls with no other tourists in site.

Culinary traveler or food explorer?  Which do you identify more closely with?

Food explorer. I love finding great food off the beaten path. When my stomach starts growling I always look for places that are packed with locals; they always have the best food.

If we ask your best friends if you’re a foodie, what would they say?

Oh hell ya!

What’s in your carry-on?  Any essential food or kitchen tools you won’t leave home without?

I never take checked luggage with me so everything’s in my carry on! When I go on road trips and can pack a little more freely I always take my Shun knife and my citrus squeezer.  Those two even come camping.

Fish

Sailing Canada's West Coast

What’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten?

I had snake wine in China. About 20 minutes after ordering it at a busy outdoor restaurant an old man carrying a wiggling burlap sack arrived. He pulled out a snake, cut its head off with a pair of children’s scissors and then drained its blood and venom into a bottle of bijiu, Chinese moonshine. Sounds horrific but the snake’s venom makes you feel nothing short of a super hero.

If we handed you a ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have yet to visit Peru and I’ve been hearing more and more that it is really a mecca for amazing food.

What’s the best culinary travel experience you’ve ever had?

Impossible to pick just one! I remember sharing sweet chai with some farmers in a field in the Thar Desert in India, just south of the Pakistan border.  It was a full moon and they were praying and chanting for a good harvest. It was a really special moment.

Any great travel tips to share?

1. Don’t get too caught up with planning.

2. Go with the flow and be open to changing your plans. If the opportunity to experience something awesome comes up, take it!

3. Ask locals where the best LOCAL restaurant is. Stay away from tourist restaurants at all costs.

Chickens in the Market

Kristen’s Picks

Favorite Cuisine:  I have a big thing for Mexican and Thai food.

Favorite Restaurant:  I love the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu. There few things that beat an evening spent on their porch or under their banyan tree.

Favorite Street Food:   Tacos! There’s a food truck in Vancouver called Tacofino that makes some crazy delicious fish tacos. Their chicken kaarage tacos are pretty amazing too.

Favorite Food Market:  There’s a market a block away from me called Sunrise that I couldn’t live without. It’s one of the smallest, most cluttered and chaotic places I’ve ever shopped yet they always seem to have everything I could ever want, and many things I might not want. You’ll find everything from organic amaranth and truffle oil to bags of msg and pigs intestines. It’s pretty awesome.

Favorite Gourmet Shop:  The Gourmet Warehouse. I’m like a kid in a candy store there.

Favorite Winery:  That’s a tough one! The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia has some incredible wineries. Hillside, Antelope Ridge, Church and State, Blue Mountain and Le Vieux Pin are some of my favs.

Favorite Brewery:  Storm Brewing. It’s just a tiny little place and most of their products are sold on site but man can that guy make good beer.

Cuba

Connect

Website:  http://www.theendlessmeal.com

Twitter:  @TheEndlessMeal

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TheEndlessMeal

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/theendlessmeal/

Bacon Donuts from TheEndlessMeal.com

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Laura Goyer is a world traveler and culinary travel professional, on a mission to help busy prime-time women find the best local food when they travel.

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2 thoughts on “Style Files: Kristen Stevens

  1. Dina says:

    Oh, great interview. I agree with her on so many things and now I wish I was in Vancouver at the Sunshine market. No sure about the snake story though, sounds scary. I look forward to more interviews Laura, what a great idea with those.

    • The Culinary Travel Guide says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the interviews as much as I am, Dina. Wait until you see who we’ve got lined up for April. You’re going to love it!

      As for the snake wine, I would have left the restaurant as soon as I saw the guy with the burlap sack. Snakes are my BIGGEST fear.

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