Travel Tales: Victor Pisapia
Name: Victor Pisapia
Occupation: Chef/ Trainer/ Presenter/ Tour Leader
Favourite travel destination? Why?: This is way too hard to answer for a typical Aquarian. My favourite destination is always the last beautiful place I go so I will have to say Brazil this time. Why? Because it has a beat like no other country. People drum in the streets, dance samba throughout their lives and music is the soul of the country. You can’t help but be in a good mood when you are there – it’s infectious.
Worst travel experience? What happened?: It was probably crashing my VW bus into the side of the mountain in Spain as I was sipping wine out of a boda and listening to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I was all alone and a bus filled with Spanish men stopped and wanted to push my bus over the mountain to get rid of it. They kept yelling at me, ‘loco cabeza, loco cabeza’ (crazy in the head). Well, I couldn’t argue with them, could I? Then there was the time I spent eight hours in a Moroccan jail but that’s another story – how many do you want?
Best tips for beating jetlag?: Take two Normacin, drink 2- 3 glasses of red wine and presto, what jetlag?
What is the one thing you don’t leave home without?: My chilli spices in case the food is really bad.
Do you stay in touch with people while you’re travelling? If so, what is the best way to do this?: Usually now by email and text but before the modern age, it was slow snail mail on little pieces of aerograms that you could buy cheap.
Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?: Cal Pep in Barcelona. A tapas bar that puts others to shame. We sat at the bar all night while chefs cooked us everything on the menu. We devoured it all and patrons came up to us and gave us tastings of theirs also along with the most delicious Spanish wines. Eating out has to always be about the food, the atmosphere and the people and this place had it all and we were thrilled to have this eating adventure. The pasta dish in a little Italian village near Positana was second best for sure , cooked by this little old man who was amazing and reminded me of my father.
Best kiss?: My husband would kill me if I don’t say him so it was when our lips touched on a deserted beach in America and we knew we’d be together for life. 20 years later the kisses are still great.
Best/scariest/funniest drive?: The best drive has to be recently on the Inca trail Ruta 40 on our Motorcyle Diaries tour of northern Argentina. The scenery of the Andes in the background and the orange coloured canyons is beyond spectacular. The funniest has to be going cross country in a VW camper van after college with my friend Otto when we were 22. Sorry can’t go into details here – won’t this be published? The scariest has to be the rock road driving up to the village of Tafrout for the almond festival for my birthday in southern Morocco. We kept driving on rocks but had no idea it was the right road or a road at all. We only came across one person on a donkey hours later who obviously spoke no English. Finally we met an oncoming van and we all got out of our vehicles and embraced each other as we then knew there was an end to this god forsaken trail they called a road. Hours later I was dancing in a conga line with toothless guitar players at the almond festival in the high Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
What has been the big WOW moment of your travelling life?: Fulfilling a life time dream of going to Bora Bora as it was always a childhood dream from living in the cold East Coast of America. The day our little plane landed at the atoll near Bora Bora and the tiny boat took us onto the island really, there are no words that can describe such happiness.
Victor Pisapia is the Founder and Director of VictorsFood, a cooking and food experience company. For further information, please visit www.victorsfood.com.au