The 10 Best Vacations for Foodies - United Hub

The 10 best vacations for foodies

By The Hub team

Some people travel to see the sites. Others, like us, go pretty much exclusively for the food. But while the list of culinary destinations around the globe is endless, there are certain places that really are all about eating. Here are ten trips every foodie needs to have on her bucket list.

Colorful macarons in Paris

We Heart It

Paris

Freshly made crepes, flaky croissants and piping-hot baguettes--no trip to Paris is complete without a daily dose of treats from the city's spread of chic cafés, patisseries and bakeries. Order a buckwheat galette with andouillette, ham, cheese and egg from the crepe stand at the Marché Président Wilson. Next up, baguettes, which you'll take with you on your bike ride to the Tuileries. Atthe boulangerie Poilâne, the bread is still baked in an antique wood-fired oven just downstairs. For dinner, you don't want to miss the lamb shoulder--with a bottle of wine, of course--at Au Passage.

Sushi platter in Tokyo

Nick's Pics

Tokyo

Fun fact: Tokyo restaurants have more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world. And we're talking so much more than sushi. Think steaming bowls of ramen, udon, soba and tonkatsu pork. Order the omakase menu from any stall at the Tsukiji fish market and pound sake with skewers of grilled meat at any izakaya. Queue up early (like, 3 a.m. early) for the best raw fish you've ever had at Sushi Dai. Then, for a taste of the upscale, be sure to score a reservation at the French-influenced Narisawa for nature-inspired dishes by visionary chef Yoshihiro Narisawa.

Marbled jamón ibérico and potatoes in Barcelona

T-Styled Me

Barcelona

This is the land of El Bulli. In the wake of the famous, and now closed, restaurant by chef Ferran Adrià, you'll find no shortage of fresh seafood, sizzling tapas, paella and sangria. See and be seen at Albert Adrià's upscale tapas joint Tickets. Then take an afternoon and sample marbled jamón ibérico, freshly pressed oil from Catalan olives and fresh fish from fourth-generation fishmongers at the stalls of La Boqueria.

Insalata Mista in Tuscany

Tuscany

We all know that Italians take their food and wine very seriously. And while gelato, risotto and Chianti should be part of any trip, for a truly authentic experience, it's best to dig deeper. In Florence, make a reservation at the stylish Michelin-starred Ora d'Aria, and order a heaping bowl of spaghetti with smoked buffalo mozzarella and panzanella. Head to the lively port city of Livorno for torta di ceci, a street food made from chickpea flour that's almost like a tortilla. A short trip to Vicchio lands you at Villa Campestri--the first olive-oil resort in the world, where you can partake in tastings, get an olive-oil massage and eat a multi-course, olive-oil-laden meal, all of which comes from olives grown on-site.

Typical cuisine in BangkokChasing a Plate

Bangkok

Scents of kaffir lime, lemongrass, chile, mint and coconut milk hang heavy in the air here, and the sound of sizzling woks rings louder than temple bells. In Bangkok, street food rivals haute cuisine for top billing, and at the trendy Taling Pling, beef massaman curry is king. For a meal that toes the line between street stalls and high-end eats, go to local favorite Supanniga Eating Room, where you'll drool over the best spicy crab you've ever tasted.

sugar-coated beignets in New Orleans

The Hungry Nomad

New Orleans

Fried-oyster po'boys, shrimp étouffée, spicy crawfish gumbo and jambalaya--these are just a few of the Cajun and Creole must-eats on any trip to NOLA. Go for French-Creole fusion in the French Quarter at Antoine's, Arnaud's or Galatoire's. And don't leave without a least a few (OK, a million) sugar-coated beignets from the world-famous Café Du Monde, which has been serving up these beloved deep-fried fritters since 1862.

 Steamed dumplings, dim sum, barbecued pork buns in Hong Kong

Anakjajan

Hong Kong

The former British colony is beloved for its Eastern flavors tailored to a Western palate. Steamed dumplings, dim sum, barbecued pork buns--we're reaching for our glass of water just thinking about all the salty goodness. Tim Ho Wan is your answer for buns, and, oh yeah, it also has a Michelin star. Head to The Chairman for steamed flower crab and braised bean curd with Chinese mushrooms. Of note: The chef here has banned MSG from his kitchen, so you might as well make it a double order.

Open faced Danish sandwiches in Copenhagen

La Pitanza y Yo

Copenhagen

In 2014, Noma was named the best restaurant in the world, and its chef René Redzepi became something of a food god. You'll be hard-pressed to get a table here, but luckily, the Danish capital has much more to offer in the way of culinary treats. If pickled herring is too fishy for your taste, try a smørrebrød (the fancy Danish word for an open-faced sandwich) from Aamanns instead. We suggest the pork rillett with thyme, mustard, pickled squash and gooseberries. Wash it all down with a few brews from the world-famous Mikkeller Bar.

Classic Moroccan dishes, Harira soup

Plan-It Fez

Fez

With a mash-up of influences (France, Africa, the Middle East), the food in this Moroccan city is nothing short of eclectic. Less touristy and more authentic than Marrakech, the narrow alleys of Fez's medina are lined with colorful spices and clay pots. Learn to prepare classic Moroccan dishes--harira soup, Berber pancakes, tagines--at one of the many cooking classes on offer at Café Clock. Then reward yourself with a meal of salads, tagines and couscous at Maison Bleue.

Classic dish in Oaxaca

Restaurante Catedral

Oaxaca

Long known as a culinary destination, Oaxaca is much more than the fish tacos symbolic of Mexico. Instead, think complex moles, soups, tamales and giant tortillas (or tlayudas). Order the huitlacoche crepes in poblano sauce at the upscale Catedral, and try a pastry cone stuffed with hibiscus flower at the trendy La Biznaga. And OK, you have to at least try fried grasshoppers (or chapulines), a tradition that dates back to the 16th century.

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Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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