21 Questions with an Audacious Foodie

 

Meet Patrick Harmon. An intrepid traveler, aspiring cellist and food fanatic currently living in Mexico City.

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Patrick developed his ravenous gourmandise at an early age and it snowballed ever since into a serious passion. He grew up on spicy Mexican breakfasts and other exotic delights, training his tastebuds for gourmet delicacies and fiery street food.

On Patrick's most recent journey to Morocco with Naya Traveler, we jam-packed his itinerary with a wide variety of foodie experiences. From a daring street food tour through the Fez medina, to some of Marrakesh's top restaurants, to a Berber Couscous in the Atlas Mountains, he was open (and eager) to try everything like a true traveler. 

To say that he loves talking about food is understatement and so we're delighted to pick his brain with 21 quickfire questions about his trip.

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1. Favorite town, city or place in Morocco?

I loved the Fez medina – it was like going back in time 1000 years.

2. Most special moment on your trip?

Getting to share a homemade meal on a saffron farm in the High Atlas Mountains or getting invited into a stranger's home in the Rabat Kasbah to get a view of the ocean.

3. Favorite meal you had in Morocco?

Our last meal of the trip in Marrakesh – we ordered Moroccan salads, a royal tagine, tanjía and some incredible Moroccan wine.

4. Strangest thing you had?

Goat eyeball has to take it here.

5. Sweetest thing you had?

All the honey on the morning breads, the orange and pomegranate juice and the dates in the markets.

 Image: Cathrine Wessel

Image: Cathrine Wessel

 Image: Andre Baranowski

Image: Andre Baranowski

6. Moroccan street food scene in three words?

Chaotic. Colorful. Aromatic

7. What Moroccan spice did you take home with you?

Ras El hanout, which literally translates to "The Head of the Shop". It's a combination of over 20 spices that are most commonly used in Moroccan cooking.

8. How would you rate Morocco’s chili paste, harissa, on your hot sauce scale?

Mild - but then again I'm Mexican. Maybe a 4 out of 10.

9. Three dishes would you recommend travelers not to miss in Morocco?

Tanjía, pigeon pastilla and goat head!

10. Favorite restaurant in the world?

Might be "The Girl and the Goat" in Chicago, or "Mirador de Ulía" in San Sebastian, Spain.

 Image: Peden + Munk

Image: Peden + Munk

11. A 3-star Michelin restaurant with a long wait, or a street food cart with the best couscous in town?

If the 3-star Michelin restaurant is free, I might have to pick that one. If it were a lamb dish at the food cart, I would have a tougher time deciding.

12. What’s the most exotic dish you’ve mastered at home?

Bacalhau (or Bacalao). It's a delicious Portuguese dish of dried and salted cod. 

13. Favorite no-fuss food?

Eggs and bacon!

14. What’s the one thing that you would never eat?

I don't think there's anything I wouldn't try... But I don't particularly like liver and try to stay away from fast food. Other than that, I think one should always be open to trying new and exciting things.

15. Most overrated food?

Quinoa.

17. Complete this sentence: “I’d like to see more _____ on restaurant menus and a lot less _____.”

Pulpo en Su Tinta; Caesar salad.

18 . What would you like to try and haven't yet?

Venison cooked in red wine.

19. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Octopus.

 Image: Ken Kochey

Image: Ken Kochey

20. What’s the most important piece of travel advice you give your friends who love food?

Try everything. If it's on a menu or it's famous in a certain part of the world, it's because at least a few people tried it and decided it was worth promoting.

21. Out of all our destinations, where would you want us to take you next?

Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar).

'Try Everything'