If you’re about to go on vacation, you should definitely talk to a chef who knows the area, because they always know the best places to eat when you’re there. Baltaire’s chef Travis Strickland just traveled through Italy with his wife on a self-guided culinary tour that spanned Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Cinque Terre. Along the way he ate some food that was so good it’s even influencing his work as he’s returned stateside.
Strickland originally came to Southern California after stints at steakhouses in Chicago. Iinside Baltaire, he’s fused his past work with current influences to make the restaurant a more modern, West Coast take on a classic cuisine.
“We’re very much a steakhouse and proud of that. But most steakhouses just do meat and potatoes and side items; vegetables are kind of an afterthought,” Strickland says. “I’m very influenced by Southern California and the produce we have here, and adopted more vegetable-forward cooking.”
We sat down with Strickland to discuss his favorite places to eat across the country so you’ll know exactly where to go on your next trip.