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HOW FAR would you travel for a great meal? Not long ago, one of my friends posed that question. Would I be willing to go an hour for an out-of-this-world farm-to-table experience? Without a doubt. Four hours to the best barbecue in the state of Texas? Sure, count me in. But then I started thinking beyond the boundaries of what we might have for dinner that night. To a meal of soufflés at a charming restaurant in Paris aptly named Le Soufflé. To a simple but sublime lakeside Argentine parrilla. The truth is, I would travel to the other side of the world for a great meal. Experiencing the cuisine of another country, or state, or even a small town that’s just a short-but-rarely-taken journey from home is, to me, what travel is all about. And in this issue, we took our appetites with us as we explored the world in search of epicurean adventures.

In Italy, Rome-based writer Andrew Sessa sat down — over a good meal, of course — with Trudie Styler. Styler and her husband, Sting, are producing wine, olive oil, and honey at Il Palagio, the stunning Italian estate they own, and which we showcase. If ever there were a person to make the agrarian lifestyle look glamorous, it’s Styler.

Stateside, in Las Vegas, Michael Kaplan went in search of Sin City’s exclusive and sometimes limited-access experiences. I wasn’t surprised that food — in particular, meals at some of the big-name Vegas draws such as Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, and Joël Robuchon — was inextricably connected to his over-the-top weekend.

Across the pond, June Naylor got a hands-on lesson in Irish cookery at the charming Dunbrody Country House Hotel. Just reading the roster of recipes she mastered, from Irish brown bread to beef Wellington to pastries, will whet your appetite and make you gain a new appreciation for Emerald Isle cuisine.

We also set out to uncover trends in food, wine, spirits, and culinary travel, which you’ll find throughout the issue and, in more depth, in our article “Eat, Drink, Explore,” a headline that befits the piece but which might also describe this entire delicious food-and-wine-themed issue.

Fortunately, magazines are not like children; you’re allowed to name your favorite without hurting any feelings. So I can say — without sending anyone to therapy — that the Food and Wine issue is my favorite of the year. It’s a reminder to me that there is a world of flavor out there to be experienced. As you peruse this issue, I hope you’ll discover new restaurants, new destinations, and new food and wine trends. And as always, I hope you’ll share your thoughts about the magazine with me. 

Signature of Lori Stacy