Raleigh couple finishes round-the-world culinary adventure

A Raleigh couple has been on the hunt for the world’s best meals.

Shelby and Evan Pushcak, both emergency physicians at WakeMed Hospital, have dined at the world’s best 50 restaurants, a list created by industry experts.

Shelby Pushcak said the two are always searching for their next best meal.

“This goal has forced us to go places and see places we would never otherwise have thought about going,” she said.

The journey, which was five years in the making, has taken them to all continents, including Antarctica.

Their favorite experience came at El Cellar de can Roca in Spain. Evan Pushcak said the entire experience, “from the aesthetics and beauty of the restaurant” to its “delicious and playful” cuisine made it a top pick.

Their favorite dish? The 21, 31, 41, 51 salad at Piazza Duomo in Alba, Italy. It’s named because it started with 21 ingredients, then the chef added more bringing the total to 31. That ingredient list just kept growing to include at least 100 items. It is served with tweezers so no two bites are the same.

“There’s no seasoning. There’s no dressing and so you get this bowl full of 100 different elements to this salad,” Shelby Pushcak said.

The couple has also dined on some unusual dishes including goat brain, cactus ceviche, emu eggs, reindeer heart, young pinecones and piranha skin.

The two described the piranha skin as delicious with a “salty flavor” you’d expect from a crispy fish skin.

“It’s really been fun to expand out conception of what is edible and what is good,” Evan Pushcak said.

What wouldn’t they eat?

Shelby said no to eating the Sao Paulo specialty – ants. Evan said he ate two ants and said they tasted like lemongrass.

With the average meal length at about four hours, the couple estimates that they have spent 200 hours dining at these restaurants.

And getting into some of these restaurants wasn’t easy. Some restaurants only have eight to 10 tables. One meal required them to book up to 11 months ahead of time.

Through it all, the Pushcaks said they learned to “keep an open mind and try new things.”

The Pushcaks blogged their entire journey and posted images to their Instagram account.

Published at Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:25:11 +0000

Source: https://www.wral.com/raleigh-couple-finishes-round-the-world-culinary-adventure/18340943/