In Allen’s words…
As an event planner, I have the opportunity to visit cities and explore what they have to offer. Recently, on a site visit to West Palm Beach FL, I learned about the food scene in town through a food tour conducted by Kristl Story, owner of West Palm Beach Food Tours. On the tour, I tasted fresh ahi tuna from Blind Monk, a delicious Cuban sandwich from Hullabaloo, refreshing coconut water and dessert at Ganache Bakery and tasty small bites at Jardin Restaurant.
In addition to all the delicious food, Kristl provided in-depth history on West Palm Beach, shared stories behind each establishment and introduced the group to some of the chefs and owners.
Kristl was personable, knowledgeable and a great host. I enjoyed interacting with her on the tour so it was only fitting to reach out for an interview after I returned to NY.
FP: What was your inspiration for starting West Palm Beach Food Tours? Share your background with us.
KS: As a child, I dreamed of being a baker and a travel agent, and at the age of 50, I turned my passions into a food tour business.
Two years ago, I took my first food tour in Austin, Texas and that’s where the idea for West Palm Beach Food Tours was born. Culinary tourism is the hottest trend in travel, so it was time for West Palm Beach to join in!
I believe the best way to experience a city is through food because food tells the story of a neighborhood’s people, history and culture. Whenever we travel, food tours top our list of things do do because it’s a great way to combine sightseeing and try lots of new restaurants. As of today, we’ve taken 15 food tours and there are more on the horizon!
Our love of food and travel began 30 years ago when I asked my boss (a former New Yorker) where we should eat in New York City. He scribbled down the address of a pizza place that he insisted was the best. Within an hour of landing at LaGuardia, we were in pizza heaven. Since then, whenever we’re in New York, John’s Pizza is always on the menu.
FP: Let me know the next time you’re in NY so we can grab a slice of pizza or two!
What are some of your guilty pleasures? We call them foodie pleasures, hence the name of our blog!
KS: Just one guilty pleasure…dessert (baking & eating)! In my world, vacations are for eating, and that means sweets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course I can’t resist those homemade cookies that many inns put out in the afternoon. How’s that for a guilty pleasure?
FP: Who can resist dessert?!
If you could get on a plane tomorrow and travel to any destination just for its food, where would it be?
KS: That’s an easy one…Paris! A picnic along the river Seine in Paris is my perfect meal…a fresh baguette and cheeses along with a few French pastries.
FP: Besides operating West Palm Beach Food Tours, what are some of your interests and hobbies?
KS: When I’m not busy with West Palm Beach Food Tours, there are 4 things I love to do…
1)Biking on our waterfront path
2) Kayaking…we look at the water everyday on our tour, so it’s nice to be able to get out on it
4) Shopping some of our fabulous consignment shops
FP: Outside of West Palm Beach, where are some of your favorite places to eat?
KS: Cane Rosso in Dallas, Texas – great Neapolitan pizza (ranked best in Dallas for 5 years in a row), great outdoor dining, great neighborhood (Deep Elum). Did I mention they have a Nutella dessert pizza?
Elizabeth’s on 37th in Savannah, Georgia – fine dining in an elegant historic Southern mansion. When that basket of biscuits arrives, you’ll know you’re in southern food heaven.
Irma’s in Houston, Texas – It’s tough to find great Tex-Mex food outside of Texas, and I proclaim Irma’s to be the best! The Wall Street Journal, Food Network, James Beard and countless celebrities agree. No menu, no fancy decor…just delicious Tex-Mex food using fresh ingredients. Don’t miss their homemade lemonade!
Norma’s in New York City – Over the top brunch menu and ginormous portions! My favorite…Donut Even Go There French Toast – a cheesecake-stuffed, coconut-rolled French toast with orange drizzle and vanilla ice cream. Yes, I was on vacation, and this is what I consider dessert for breakfast.
FP: Sounds like a delicious list!
What are three words that your friends and family would use to describe you
KS: Creative, adventurous, ambitious!
FP: Do you cook at home? If so, what is your favorite meal to prepare for friends and/or family?
KS: You might not eat all of these together in one meal, but my “most requested” recipes from friends and family are:
Beverage: White Sangria
Salad: Spinach with Strawberries, Peaches, Toasted Pecans and Homemade Poppyseed Dressing
Sandwich: Chicken Caesar
Main Dish: Grilled Shrimp with Mango Salsa (summer) and Deep Dish Pizza (winter)
Side Dish: Macaroni & Cheese (the ultimate comfort food!)
Dessert: Chocolate Kahlua Cake or Carrot Cake (it’s a tie!)
FP: Wow, sounds like your kitchen is the place to be! I wish you continued success with West Palm Beach Food Tours!