Samantha Brown on Food Travel



Food Travelist was thrilled to interview travel expert and Travel Channel host Samantha Brown to learn about her favorite food travel memories, where she still wants to travel and what food travel trends we can expect in the months ahead. Known for her cheerful personality and practical tips, Samantha Brown also knows a lot about food! We had a chance to catch up with her while she was on a visit in Vermont. Check out this video of Samantha Brown’s food travel insights.


Samantha Brown on Food Travel Interview Transcript

Read below for the transcript of our interview with Samantha Brown.

1.       You travel to many different parts of the world. Tell us a little about what places have surprised you with great food. 

I guess the place that really knocked my socks off was Thailand. Just being in Bangkok, I loved it and it was the food carts. The thing I love about food carts is that these were owned by generations of families. Four, five, six generations of families where they made one or two different items every single day and done that their entire lives for five generations. So you would wait in line and pay like three American dollars and you would get this plate, just like a paper plate and it wasn’t dressed nicely or looked fancy, but it tasted like the most luxurious meal you have ever had and again just like I said knocked your socks off. All the flavors were there and you spent two dollars and I love when I can just be on the streets, eating street food with the locals and not shelling out $50-$70 per person for a great meal and that’s what I really loved about Bangkok. 

2.       What destination have you not yet been to but would like to visit and why? 

Wow – I have not been to so many places, I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about me is that I have been everywhere and I have been to 51 countries and I have traveled for 15 years, but the world keeps getting bigger, not smaller. Places I would love to go to, I would love to go to Finland to see the Aurora Borealis, that’s my dream. I would love to go to Glaciers National Park in Montana to go on a bike ride. Things like that, I love being active, I love being in the outdoors. I don’t necessarily like sleeping in the outdoors, I still need that nice resort to keep me warm at night, but I love those far flung destinations that exist even in our own country. 

3.       What undiscovered destination would you recommend?

Well, it really has to be South East Asia that is the mecca of food. It is possibly a little expensive to get there about a $1,200 flight, once you get there everything is petty cash cheap. You can go to Malaysia and have some of the best food of your life. In the island of Penang where there is not only a Muslim influence, but Asian, Chinese, Indian and it’s a confluence of flavors and dishes and for very little money just change your idea of what food should taste like especially from a cart or roadside stand. 

4.       What is one of your favorite food travel memories? 

I have so many, again if I may use Asia, I was in Singapore and I had fish head curry and I’m not the Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel, he has the bizarre food. I like to stick to the chicken tenders, well not that bad but a part of the dinner was for the guest of honor to have the eye of the fish and this eye was probably this big and it’s the cooked eye of a fish. And everyone is watching me because they know as a Westerner that probably this is not my most favorite experience that I was going to have and I put it in my mouth and I just waited. I had this large eye in my mouth and everyone is watching and it just dissolved and it tasted like butter and the flavors of the curry were mixed in and it was sensational. I loved it and I said “well there is another eye right?” because don’t fish have two eyes? But as the guest you only get the one eye, but it’s always taught me that we have a reaction to food like “oh, we don’t eat that” and then you try it and it’s wonderful so it was one of my best experiences where I really got to try something that I would never try again, but I really enjoyed at the time.

5.       Do you see any trends in culinary travel? 

I think I see the biggest trend being one that I love is to make really great food accessible to the masses. Why do we have to stand in line at a really nice restaurant or not get in because we don’t’ have an expense account to the best chefs. These food trucks that are happening all over the United States is such a great way to have a little bite and really get a feel for something special. So I love the idea that I love when food is accessible and still really fabulous at the same time and I think that even though the food truck is a trend, it is here to stay.

Travel Expert, Samantha Brown
Travel Expert, Samantha Brown

BankAmericard Travel Rewards

During Samantha Brown’s stay in Manchester, Vermont she was partnering with BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card, which earns 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on purchases. You can redeem points to pay for flights, hotels, vacations, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.  Learn more about the program by clicking here.

We want to thank Samantha Brown for her time and thoughtful responses.

Thanks, Samantha! We wish you safe and tasty food travels in 2015.

Let us know what some of your favorite food travel memories are in the comments below.

THE QUICK BITE: Food Travelist interviews travel expert Samantha Brown about her food travel experiences and what trends she sees coming in the months ahead.



22 thoughts on “Samantha Brown on Food Travel

  1. I’ve loved Samantha ever since her “Great Hotel” days 🙂

  2. Hey, Samantha and I have something in common. I, too, “have not been to so many places.” It IS a common misconception about travel writers. And the more places I visit, the more I learn about other places I haven’t visited. There’s always one more hidden corner to explore. Great interview.

  3. Great interview! My husband actually saw her in Bangkok when she was shooting her show. My husband waved to her and she actually waved back. How nice….

    1. Hi Jennifer! Not surprised. Samantha is really nice and down to earth. We had another conversation with her at the Chicago Travel & Adventure show. We were supposed to have 15 minutes, but she couldn’t stop sharing her food travel stories! We adore her.

  4. Great interview, love Samantha Brown! Sounds like South East Asia really is a mecca for food – I’ll have to prioritize a trip!

  5. I love her! She is my favorite host and although I can’t watch the video because my internet is so slow in the jungle of Costa Rica, thank you for writing the transcript so I can still read her answers. Great interview!

  6. You chose a great interviewee! We have occasionally looked at food in our travels, we should do more of it, especially since in 2 weeks we will be in Italy, then Spain, then France!

  7. When I lived in Asia I was too young to know about food trucks. Now I want to go back

  8. I recently moved back to Texas after living in Penang for 3 years,and what I really miss is cheap but absolutely amazing food. Food trucks in the USA are the closest thing to street food carts in Malaysia, but food trucks are not nearly as prolific or cheap.

  9. I loved this interview! I recently attended the AARP Convention in San Diego and Samantha Brown spoke for an hour! She was absolutely delightful and full of great stories. I am a foodie, so I particularly enjoyed this interview. Great job!

  10. Samantha Brown is fun to watch. I haven’t seen her in a while, so this was nice. I agree with her about Thai food, and I can’t wait to eat my way through more places in SE Asia. But I don’t plan to eat an eyeball. Interesting description, though. This is my Thailand food YouTube video that has had more than a half-million views!,

  11. Super job on the interview. James Beard said food is our common ground. Accessible food – street carts and food trucks – bringing deliciousness to everyone, love the emphasis and love her down-to-earth personality.

  12. I agree completely with Samantha about the fabulous food in Malaysia – even breakfast is a unique and special experience!

  13. Food writers always amaze me. My food vocabulary just wouldn’t stretch to fill an article about a restaurant or meal. So hats off to all of you food writers and your amazing talents!!

  14. Interesting post. I do enjoy seeing Samantha on TV and like her realistic approach to travel. Curious and adventurous, but not over the top!

  15. Great interview! My husband met her when she stayed at a property he worked at in Santa Fe and he, too says she’s great.

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