Food and travel combine to create an intense love affair. Chef Brian Lee

 

You may be in the comfort of home, but one smell of Gambas a la Plancha will evoke the memory of a beachside lunch in Barcelona. A taste of Roasted Duck Leg and French Fingerlings transports you to a candlelit dinner on a patio in Paris with the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the background.

Carefully prepared dishes can pack the spirit of a foreign culture into one bite. When languages don’t perfectly translate, food is there to serve as the common denominator, uniting strangers into a common experience.

International palates seeking the very best from all over can stop searching for their favorites from afar. Portico Global Cuisine has made Dunwoody the epicenter for global cuisine.

Stimulate the Senses
Culinary time travel involves all the senses. Sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch all combine to both create memories, and evoke them. For Portico Global Cuisine Executive Chef Brian Lee, his cooking brings him back to a very special part of the world: his mother’s kitchen.

“It was the memories of watching my mother cook traditional Korean meals and viewing Jacques Pepin and Martin Yan cooking shows that ignited my passion for cooking,” Lee said. “I realized cooking was truly my destiny.”

This destiny translated into enticing European and Asian flavors, like Lee’s Lemongrass infused Lobster Bisque, an Asian influenced variation on the classic method or his Steamed Mussels, a traditional European dish with Middle Eastern and Spanish accents.

Culinary Culture
While taste preferences are individually unique, food contributes to culture as a whole. Food shapes us and our culture, while some may argue food is culture.

“Much of the inherent pleasure associated with food comes from our curiosity in exploring the many different ways that people throughout the world think about, use, and value food,” Gastronomica Editor Melissa Caldwell said.

Food is a basic need, but there is nothing boring about it.

In Spain, socializing is centered around tapas. These small plates that are full of flavor, contribute to conversation and become a focal point of the day.

It is such a valued practice, that the word has been made into an action. The phrase “Vamos a tapear!” Literally means “Let’s go eat tapas!”

Food similarly brings people together in Italy. Sunday lunches are reserved for family time, and can extend well into the evening as the meal begins with antipasto, closes with dessert, and is followed by caffè and ammazza-caffè. Conversation fills the in-between moments to make it much more than just a meal.

Portico Global Cuisine adds indigenous aspects of Atlanta alongside these global traditions. Relying on the freshest seasonal ingredients, Portico’s kitchen is committed to utilizing the highest quality products sourced from farms and artisanal producers both locally and abroad. The result is a whirlwind adventure around the world, found in one bite.

Sharing the Experience
As these culinary traditions express, dining is very much an experience of life that is enhanced when shared with others. Stimulating flavors augment private gatherings and special events.

Sharing the experience of food is a tradition that stems back into ancient history. It was customary in ancient societies to provide food for others as a symbolic gesture of friendship. To accept the food was to show trust. These practices have evolved into the meetings, private gatherings, and special events we know today.

“It’s never ‘just dinner’,” Lee emphasizes. “Food will always be a unifying factor of community and permeates our lives from the time we wake up, until the time our heads hit the pillows.”