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In 2009, we started reporting from a borderless urban zone we like to think of as the “Culinary Backstreets” because we believed that there were countless stories of a city’s foodways that needed to be told. We wanted to focus on a more traditional side of urban culinary life – the workings of simple family-run restaurants, the masters passing their craft on to an apprentice, the banter of regulars gathered around an open table, the rhythm of a life committed to meatballs and nothing else. We were enthralled by all of the tiny epics we encountered while eating our way through the city and set out to share as many of them as we could. From the start, we vowed to go slow and collect these stories one-by-one, giving equal measure to the culinary side as the human element of the story. This way, we expected a deeper understanding of the city and its daily life to emerge with every bite. For us, it’s never just about the best meatball in town; it’s always about all of the meatballs.

We tell the stories of our subjects – unsung heroes who are sometimes forgotten or taken for granted at home – through weekly restaurant reviews published on CB, culinary walking tours, tailor-made Eatineraries, books, web design and smartphone applications. When we see the need, CB also acts as a fundraiser for causes connected to protecting and promoting traditional culinary culture.

By publishing the stories of our local heroes, visiting them on culinary tours, or directly fundraising for them when they are in need, we attempt to honor their work and their essential role in maintaining the fabric of the city. Our purpose is twofold. Yes, we want to get travelers to some good places to eat. But we also want to make sure that some of these spots and the artisans making food there find a new audience and get the recognition and support they deserve. They are holding back the tide of globalized sameness, which is not easy work – even if it’s done unknowingly. But we believe that every meal counts and, with the help of our audience, they will add up. We are committed to their perseverance and hope that our modest efforts encourage them to keep at it.

Our work is also guided by a belief in:

Honest Tourism: The places where we eat and craftsmen that we feature on our culinary tours are all selected with this purpose in mind. We’d never accept a free lunch or consider a discount for our tour groups, because that would contradict our central goal, to support them. Nor do our guides receive any commissions from shopkeepers.

Honest Journalism: The same principal is applied to the publishing of stories. There are no sponsored posts or even advertising on CB. The writers and photographers are paid fairly for their work on stories that we all believe in.

The cities we are drawn to all have a culinary tradition of untold richness as well as a certain tension, be it political instability, the tug between East and West, the clash between modern and ancient identities, migration, rapid gentrification, bankruptcy, or a post-colonial hangover. Our decision to get started in a city is always the result of a trip filled with many meals where we are given in intimate view of that tension, right there on the table. By getting lost in this warren of independent food purveyors struggling to preserve or adapt tradition in fast-paced urban life, we start to discover the deep complexity and true flavor of the city.

At present, you’ll find our regular dispatches from Istanbul, Athens, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Mexico City, Tbilisi, Tokyo and Lisbon. In the Elsewhere section, we feature one-off reports and small series from cities outside of our regular beat that we just couldn’t resist.

Helping those unsung culinary heroes persevere requires first and foremost the telling of their stories. All of us working with Culinary Backstreets are storytellers in our own medium – writers, tour guides, photographers, coders and web developers. All of us work independently or as freelancers. That is the CB culture and we strive to create a refuge of independence in media and tourism, even if it’s a small one.

CB’s work was started in 2009 by Ansel Mullins and Yigal Schleifer as a humble food blog called Istanbul Eats. The following year we published a book of our reviews, now in its fifth edition. That year we also launched our first culinary walk in Istanbul, a route we are still using today.

In 2012, we realized that what we built in Istanbul was needed in other cities we knew and loved. We started CB that year with Athens, Barcelona, Mexico City and Shanghai as pioneering members of our network.

In 2013, we added Rio and also launched our iPhone application in Istanbul.

In 2015, Tokyo and Tbilisi came into the fold. That year we published mini-guides to Barcelona and Athens and also launched an iPhone application in those cities. Our Eatinerary service, which provides travelers with tailor-made culinary travel itineraries, was also launched in 2015.

In 2016, Lisbon – the latest city to kindle our curiosity – joined the CB network.

Culinary Backstreets

Yigal Schleifer
Yigal , CB Co-founder and Editor in Chief
A co-founder of CB and of its predecessor, the blog Istanbul Eats, Yigal currently resides in Washington, DC. Between 2002 and 2010 he lived in Istanbul, where he worked as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, Eurasianet and the English-language service of the German Press Agency (DPA).He is also one of the authors of the 2009 Fodor’s guidebook to Turkey. Over the years he has worked for the New York Post, New York Times and Vanity Fair and written for various other publications, covering everything from Central Asian pipeline politics to New York’s competitive eating circuit.
Ansel Mullins
Ansel , CB Co-founder and Chief of Development
Ansel is a native Chicagoan, living in Istanbul since 2001. He is a co-founder of CB and of its predecessor, the blog Istanbul Eats. To support his writing habit, he has restored old homes, tended bar, sold mobile phones and taught physical education in a kindergarten. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur Magazine, Monocle, The Guardian and other publications. As CB’s Istanbul bureau chief, he has appeared on Dangerous Grounds with Todd Carmichael, CBS Sunday Morning, and Rick Bayless' podcast, The Feed He assisted in the production of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. He appeared in a commercial for Yeni Raki, the national "spirit" of Turkey. He now spends most of his time working with the CB team to develop culinary activities.
Madeleine Roberts
Madeleine , Chief Operating Officer
Madeleine was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and left the cold weather behind to study chemical engineering in New Orleans. In a hardhat and boots, she worked at a chemical plant in Taft, Louisiana, before moving to Istanbul on a whim in 2001. That adventure has lasted 13 years, produced two children and a fast-paced career in management consulting. In 2015, she left her job as a consultant to join the CB family full-time where she manages operations.
Emma Harper
Emma , Managing Editor
Emma is a writer and editor based in Milan, Italy, although a part of her is always missing Turkey, where she lived from 2008-2010 and 2012-2017. She writes about arts and culture, travel, and food and drink, and her work has appeared in BBC Travel, Cornucopia Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, Hyperallergic and other publications. When she's not writing or working with others on their writing, she can be found reading books on Ottoman history or eating Italian cheeses.
Vanessa Able Whalen
Vanessa , Eatinerary Coordinator
CB’s Eatineraries Coordinator Vanessa writes about people, places and food for the New York Times, National Geographic Traveller, the Guardian and Esquire. She's lived in Mexico, India and Italy and even served time in Istanbul as the Editor-in-Chief of Time Out magazine.
Derya Inal
Derya , CB Scheduling Manager
Derya Inal, CB’s scheduling manager, is currently studying Political Science in the University of Chicago. A native of Turkey, she likes to eat and listen to the stories of food and the people who make it. She likes to think about where ingredients come from and why people use them; who in the family makes a dish different than the others and why; where recipes come from and how they are transformed as they travel, and how they stay the same.
Jeff Yas
Jeff , Graphic Designer
Jeff, CB’s graphic designer, is brand marketing specialist based in Brooklyn, NY. When he’s not creating logos, emails, posters, letterhead, animation, social media graphics, apps and websites, Jeff will gladly sing you an original song.


Angelos Damoulianos
Angelos , Athens Walk Leader & Correspondent
Angelos Damoulianos is an expert sommelier with a degree in Greek viniculture from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Previously involved in the banking industry, Damoulianos 15 years ago became obsessed with his country’s wine and has since been criss-crossing Greece in search of that true Greek classic: the perfect bottle of wine.
Carolina Doriti
Carolina , Walk Leader & Bureau Chief
Carolina was born in Athens where she grew up in a family with a long culinary tradition. She graduated from the American College of Greece (Pierce College) in 1997 and moved to the UK for six years, where she completed a BA in Media and Cultural Studies (Sussex University, Brighton) and an MA on Arts Administration and Curating (Goldsmith's College, University of London). In 2005 she set her museum career aside to follow her true passion: cooking! Since then she has been working as a chef, restaurant consultant and food stylist. Along with her work as CB's Athens bureau chief, she has written for various publications including Greek gastronomy magazine Gefsignostis (Γευσιγνώστης). She is the Culinary Producer of My Greek Table, a TV series on Greek gastronomy, broadcasted on PBS across the US. She has appeared on various cooking shows on Greek and Spanish TV and gives cooking classes and workshops in Athens. She has studied the history of food, loves everything edible and is fluent in English and Spanish. She is currently writing a cookbook that will hopefully be published soon!
Constantine Kalfakakos
Constantine , Athens Walk Leader
Constantine is a third generation Athenian. He studied nursing, acting and radio script writing. He started working as an actor at the tender age of 16, and later he moved on to become a radio host and a TV presenter on Mad TV (a Greek music channel). He now works as music supervisor and DJ for corporate events & parties and as an exhibitions and events coordinator at the Cheapart Gallery which is located in the center of the city and the northern suburbs. He loves cooking and reading books about health, food and music.
Diana Farr Louis
Diana , Correspondent
CB Athens correspondent Diana, a native of the Big Apple, moved to the Big Olive in 1972. Passionate about the country and its "soul food," she began writing guidebooks and food columns in the late 80s and has since published scores of articles and three cookbooks: Prospero’s Kitchen, about the Ionian Islands, Feasting and Fasting in Crete and 2016’s A Taste Of Greece. For ten years chief travel correspondent for the weekly Athens News, she now writes a column, “Eating Well Is The Best Revenge,” for the website Weekly Hubris, and for the new monthly Greece Is. She is also working on a memoir of her early years in Greece.
Johanna Dimopoulos
Johanna , Athen's Correspondant
Johanna was born in London, but raised in the northern suburbs of Athens. She Archaeology in Athens and Oxford, but food and everything around it finally won her over. Johanna started her blog, Food Junkie, in 2007 as a bilingual food blog to showcase Greek and other recipes and it has since then become one of the most successful Greek food blogs. She considers Athens to be a fascinating culinary capital and hopes others will also see it as such!
Kyriaki (“Kiki”) Vasalou
Kyriaki (“Kiki”) , Athens Walk Leader
Kiki was born in Athens but she originally comes from the islands, Crete and Santorini. She has studied communication and mass media and she is working as a travel editor for a Greek newspaper. She really loves to meet new people and taste all different kinds local and international cuisines.


Benet Ferrer
Benet , Barcelona Walk Leader & Graphic Designer
Born and raised in Roses, resident of Barcelona for the past decade, Benet has spent his entire life in Catalonia. When he is not cooking up one of his family's recipes, or leading a culinary tour in Barcelona, he is usually leading a life drawing lesson in his home in El Born. Benet lives for art, his home region and loves to share its beauty.
Cristina Bais
Cristina , Barcelona Walk Leader
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cristina travelled around the world while working for a multinational company. As a consequence, her life is filled with experiences of different colors and flavors. After living in United States and Germany, she relocated to Barcelona in 2010, a city which she has always been secretly in love. Along the way, she studied Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management and got her sommelier certification. Now she dedicates herself to her passions: culture, art and the world of wine! Cristina works as a professional guide both in cultural and wine tourism, she collaborates with several wineries in Catalonia and organizes different type of wine tasting experiences.
Danny Adler
Danny , Barcelona Walk Leader
Danny is a native New Yorker, born and bred in Manhattan and has been living in Spain since 2007. With a background cooking in some of New York City's finest restaurants, he traveled to Spain and after falling in love with this incredible country, he could not bring himself to leave. While he is passionate about all aspects of life in Spain, from history to the arts, above all else he is a die-hard foodie and oenophile, and loves to share his knowledge with visitors.
Laia Escribano
Laia , Barcelona Walk Leader
Born and raised in Catalonia, or better yet, in her mother’s busy Catalan kitchen, Laia grew up on xató, salad with codfish, and sípia a la bruta, cuttlefish with potatoes, and escudella, a broth with meat and vegetables, that always means Christmas in Catalonia. Laia is at home in the tiny bodegas of El Born, the wineries of southern Catalonia and the neighborhood eateries of Gracia. As a professional guide passionate about her culture and cuisine, business is always pleasure.
Mireia Font
Mireia , Walk Leader & Correspondent
Mireia, "Mi", among friends, was born in Barcelona in the bosom of a family which believes that enjoying food is as important as breathing. Having lived around the world working as a Spanish teacher and translator, she returned to her hometown to get her priorities straight. Naturally she went straight into the kitchen. Inspired by her experiences abroad, she wrote two cookbooks that were published by Random House. These days she's doing what she loves- giving cooking lessons, writing about food and taking visitors to the eat at her favorite places.
Nick Law
Nick , Barcelona Walk Leader
Originally from the U.K., Spain enchanted Nick more than 20 years ago and he hasn’t left since. A professional guide focusing on Spanish culture and cuisine as well as trekking in the countryside, Nick has called the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona home for the last 12 years. His mother tongue may be English but the Catalan and Spanish of his adopted home country flow naturally from him. When cooking, as is his passion, he is purely native Catalan.
Paula Mourenza
Paula , Bureau Chief
Paula, CB’s chief Barcelona correspondent and its operations manager, is a writer who cannot understand life without the pleasure and the power of food and wine. Born in northwest Spain’s Vigo (excellent seafood, home of the Albariño wine region), she has lived and worked in Barcelona since 2000. After a stint in the world of advertising, Paula became a versatile freelancer working as writer, designer and creative-consultant for Barcelona Media Culture Lab. A wine enthusiast, she has also worked as wine writer and wine labels design manager for the wine club VinoE. Paula has contributed to online media in Spanish, including Yelp Barcelona, covering bars, restaurants and places to see in Barcelona and has worked for one of the world’s top tea connoisseurs, Inés Berton, in her showroom Tealosophy BCN, supplier to numerous restaurants and hotels. She also served as the Barcelona researcher to the National Geographic show “Top Tables Top Cities.” She has been a part of the CB team since 2012.
Sam Zucker
Sam , Correspondent
Sam, one of CBs Barcelona correspondents, is originally from Boston and works as a freelance writer in Spain. Along with CB he also writes for, Barcelona Metropolitan magazine, Seasonal Cities travel app, and Delius Digital guidebook publishing. In addition, Sam is a professionally-trained chef (Culinary Institute of America) and also works as an Account Manager at a Barcelona social media/digital marketing startup. His favorite things to do in Barcelona are to wander around the Ciutat Vella with his camera in hand, and to drink vermouth and eat cheese and pickled anchovies on a Sunday afternoon in his neighborhood of El Born.

You can find all of Sam's articles for CB here.

Sam's social media and other writing can be found on his website

Sandra , Barcelona Walk Leader
Catalan born and bred, Sandra grew up in the wine country of Catalonia where the distinct sparkling cava comes from and was raised in a household where Catalan cultural heritage was celebrated through cuisine. As a professional guide, sharing her homeland's cuisine is more than a job, it is a proud act of cultural preservation.


Filiz Hosukoğlu
Filiz , Gaziantep Walk Leader
Gaziantep native Filiz grew up at her grandmother’s elbow in the kitchen. Her most vivid childhood memories are of her grandmother managing a squadron of women for the family in a monthly bread-making ritual that fed a large extended family. Building on her personal passion for local culinary culture, Filiz guided cookbook writer Paula Wolfert during her research for her book, “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean.” Similarly, she has consulted and guided for the Culinary Institute of America, Conde Nast, New York Times and Saveur Magazine. She presented her own research on baklavaat the Food Symposium in Istanbul. She has also prepared the exhibitions in Gaziantep’s Food Museum. An avid homecook, Filiz’s favorite dish to cook and eat is the Gaziantep classic, pirpirim asi, a delicate stew of purslane.


Anna Maria Aslanoğlu
Anna Maria , Istanbul Walk Leader
Born and raised in Istanbul's funky Beyoğlu district, Anna Maria has been exploring Istanbul's culinary backstreets all of her life. As a professional tour guide she's trained on the classic attractions but she'd rather wax about the charms of grilled liver kebab. When she is not leading culinary walks, Anna Maria unearths and translates forgotten manuscripts from old Istanbul from Greek to Turkish for a local publishing house.
Benoit Hanquet
Benoit , Istanbul Walk Leader
Originally from Belgium, Benoit (a.k.a. Selim) has been living in the heart of Istanbul for more than twenty years. Though he was in the textile business for many years, he now focuses on guiding in Istanbul’s backstreets and on long distance hikes throughout Turkey. His favorite dish is ‘patlıcan dolması’ (eggplant stuffed with rice and spices served as a cold starter), a typical dish of southwestern Turkey.
Dalia , Syrian Kitchen in Exile project Correspondent
Dalia, who writes for CB’s Syrian Kitchen in Exile project, moved to Istanbul from Virginia in 2011 as a rookie reporter and expert eater. In the years since, she has built her portfolio reporting breaking news, politics and features on current affairs, meanwhile exploring the intersection of identity, migration, culture and food. It’s a crossroads that has marked her own life as the daughter of Syrian immigrants and inspired her project. She’s a regular on PRI’s The World and other public radio outlets, and has written for Al Jazeera, GlobalPost and Deustche Welle, among others. When she’s not in the field or transcribing tape, you’ll probably find her coaxing unsuspecting loved ones and Istanbul street cats into taste-testing her culinary experiments.
Esin Yaşar
Esin , Istanbul Walk Leader
Esin was on her way up the corporate ladder, seven years into a marketing career for Toyota, when she realized that this was not the life for her. She longed for a slow glass of tea streets of Istanbul, family wedding feasts in her father's hometown of Kayseri, markets filled with fresh fish and produce in Alanya, where she grew up. She had to get out of that office job and that is just what she did to become a professional guide. Extensive world travel and a passion for her home country gives Esin a special point of view when leading tours on her favorite subject, Turkish cuisine. She's not so much a guide as your friend in town. In addition to Turkish and English, she speaks Japanese.
Gonca Karakoç
Gonca , Istanbul Walk Leader
Born in Hamburg, Gonca studied translation and interpretation at Hacettepe University in Ankara. Afterwards, she continued her studies in Florence, Italy. She loves cooking and eating, drawing, painting, gardening, sewing, designing fabric purses, sailing, trekking, cats and music.
Jennifer Hattam
Jennifer , Correspondent
Jennifer, one of CB’s Turkey correspondents, is a freelance journalist originally from San Francisco and based since 2008 in Istanbul, where she writes about arts and culture, the environment, food and drink, politics and society, travel, and urban issues while exploring the many corners of the city. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic's CityLab, The Christian Science Monitor, Cornucopia, Discover, GOOD, The National, Sierra, Wired, Women's Running, Yale Environment 360, and Zester Daily, among many other publications. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her hiking, running, cooking, gallery-hopping, or taking the night bus on a new adventure in Turkey.
Katerina Senkopopovsky
Katerina , Istanbul Walk Leader
Katerina was born in Istanbul to a family of Greek and Russian roots. Though she studied French language teaching and worked as a teacher for four years, she now focuses on another passion – guiding visitors through her home city, Istanbul. Her favorite dish is karnıyarık, fried eggplant, split in half lengthwise and filled with ground beef and vegetables.
Remziye Kurt
Remziye , Istanbul Walk Leader
In the Turkish diaspora community in Germany where Remziye lived for decades, traditions were kept alive in the kitchen. The smell of melted butter and garlicky yogurt poured over fresh bread crusts summons strong memories of her childhood home in Eastern Turkey where they call this simple dish by its Kurdish name, targac. Remziye’s passion for her culture and home country led her away from a career in textiles to a new life, in Istanbul as a professional guide and avid home cook.
Senem Pastoressa
Senem , Istanbul Walk Leader
Senem was born in Istanbul and raised in the nearby city of Bursa. After graduating from university, she spent almost a decade abroad, experiencing food and culture in many corners of the globe. She first had a scholarship in Florence, where she met her husband Giovanni, an engineer and a cook. She has also studied in Brazil, Mexico, and France. She traveled from Mexico to Patagonia by bus (which took one year!) and some of her other favorite trips include India, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Syria, and Jordan. With a mother of Greek and Bulgarian origin, a father of nomadic Turkic heritage, and an Italian husband, Senem is kind of like Turkish lentil soup – you think it’s just made of lentils but discover there are many more ingredients inside!
Uğur Ildız
Uğur , Istanbul Walk Leader
For Uğur, having guests over for dinner meant içli köfte, a friend visiting for an afternoon tea was mercimek köfte. Winter meant boza, summer was sour cherry compote. Bosphorus offered the most delicious fish, aunts in the east sent the spices, and olives came from the uncle living on the Mediterranean. A native of Istanbul, Ugur (a.k.a. Adam) shares his enthusiasm for this city with his guests. Despite receiving a B.A. in Business and working in the business world for many years, he found his passion to be for history, people, different cultures, and most of all for food, and decided to become a full time professional tour guide where he could utilize his interests and knowledge by sharing with others. He’s one of the few lucky in this world who makes a living by not working a single day. He has the incurable and contagious disease of always smiling, and enjoys spreading it to others.


Angela Alegria
Angela , Lisbon Walk Leader
Born in the south of Brazil, Angela came to Lisbon to study visual anthropology, focusing specifically on the experience of migrants in Lisbon. Having fallen in love with the city, she hasn’t left since. She is fascinated with the interconnections between Brazilian and Portuguese cultures, those existing in many aspects, food included, of course! Her favorite spot to take a coffee is Praça das Flores and neighborhood for a stroll, Graça.
Célia Pedroso
Célia , Bureau Chief
Célia, CB’s Lisbon bureau chief, is a freelance journalist, writing mostly about travel and food, and is the co-author of the book "Eat Portugal", winner of a Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Her work can be seen in such publications as The Guardian, Eater, and DestinAsian. In 2014 she started leading food tours in Lisbon through Eat Portugal Food Tours and now does the same with CB. She wrote the Portuguese entries for the book "1001 Restaurants you Must Experience Before you Die" and keeps searching for the best pastéis de nata so you don't have to.
Francesca Savoldi
Francesca , Lisbon Correspondent
CB Lisbon correspondent Francesca is an academic researcher and freelance writer interested in spatial and social practices in cities. She is about to complete her PhD in planning and she has published in magazines about urban issues and contemporary culture. Originally from Italy, she has lived between Spain and Portugal since 2005. Food secrets and mega-cities are her obsessive topics of conversation.
João Freitas
João , Lisbon Walk Leader
João is a 27 year old recently back from Germany, where he studied Business Management in Berlin. After finishing his bachelor's degree, João helped organize street food events in German speaking countries in Europe. Now back in Lisbon, where he was born and raised, he is working on a Master's degree in City Studies. João also has a passion for wine, developed while working in wine stores. Nowadays, along with his city research, he's constantly trying to find the best pairing between wine and food.
Kika Menano
Kika , Lisbon Walk Leader
Born and raised in Lisbon, Kika has always lived in the city she loves de most. Because that's where she keeps falling for the : light, the "azulejos" (tiles) in every corner, the history, the beaches and, of course, the food! She's crazy about Portuguese pastries and she has a sweet tooth for sure! She has worked as a kindergarten teacher for many years and has recently completed a degree as a tour guide.
Lucy Pepper
Lucy , Lisbon Walk Leader
Lucy is an illustrator and writer who fell in love with Portugal a long time ago. She is British and has lived in Portugal since the end of the last century. She is the author of “How Not To Starve in Portugal”, co-author of “Eat Portugal” a guide to Portuguese eating, and co-producer of the bi-lingual podcast “Stories of Saudade and Other Things”. When she’s not drawing or writing, she’s usually eating.
Martim Vaz Da Silva
Martim , Lisbon Walk Leader
Martim was born in Lisbon and has been rambling on its backstreets for the last 28 years. He got a bachelor in Law and worked as a lawyer for a few years, but recently decided to take a chance out of the corporate world. Passionate about the richness and history of the Portuguese gastronomy, Martim loves the Portuguese people's way of life and their deeply entrenched habit of spending long hours around a table with family and friends.
Miguel Crandrade
Miguel , Lisbon Walk Leader
Lisbon-based journalist, consultant, food researcher, chef connector, pop-up orchestrator, and all-around bon vivant, Miguel started his career in Economics but soon his background - a mix of a family from Goa and Lisbon - pushed him to start researching about ingredients, producers, and recipes. Miguel sees food in a way beyond what arrives in front of you on a plate - he goes to search for stories, history, and culture.
Rodrigo Cabrita
Rodrigo , Lisbon Photographer
Photographer Rodrigo Cabrita was born in Oeiras, Portugal in 1977. He started his career at the daily newspaper Diário de Notícias in 2001 and has worked at a variety of publications since then. He is now a freelance photographer and takes part regularly in exhibitions. Rodrigo has won several photojournalism awards, most notably the Portuguese Gazeta award. You can see more of his work at his website and his Instagram page.
Syma Tariq
Syma , Lisbon Correspondent
CB Lisbon correspondent Syma is a freelance journalist, editor and independent researcher interested in radio and sounds related to migration and the global south. She works as a correspondent for Monocle in Portugal, and is also a copy editor for The Guardian’s news and opinion desks. She is a regular contributor to Monocle24 radio, covering urbanism and social issues, politics, business and culture. She is currently developing the ongoing radio project A Thousand Channels.
Tiago Pais
Tiago , Correspondant
Born and raised in Lisbon, Tiago Pais has been eating for as long as he can remember, and writing about what he eats for the last 8 years. He did it for Time Out Lisbon and more recently for Observador newspaper. Between meals, he also wrote a book about his favorite tascas, the typical no-frills restaurants one can find on every corner of the city, which is unimaginatively entitled The 50 Best Tascas in Lisbon.


Ben Herrera
Ben , Correspondent
Ben, one of CBs Mexico City correspondents, was born and raised in the Mexican capital. His family owned a restaurant, where he grew up, for about 40 years. In 2000 he moved to the US where he lived until 2010. While in the States he started blogging about Mexican food. His inspiration were the flavors and aromas of the food he cherished from his childhood memories. Since his return to Mexico he has been researching the regional foods and traditions of Mexico and worked as a culinary tour guide and consultant for different outlets. His favorite region of Mexico is Oaxaca, which he tries to visit as often as possible.
James Young
James , Mexico City Correspondent
CB Mexico City correspondent James has lived in the Mexican capital since 2000. He has a degree in experimental nuclear physics and has been published too often. He is a writer now for 13 years. He loves Mexico City and finding its hidden edible treasures.
Paco de Santiago
Paco , Mexico City, Team Leader
Francisco de Santiago ("Paco"), one of CB's Mexico Team Leaders, is a Mexico City native who has a deep passion for his country's cuisine. He is also sort of renaissance man -- a former champion chess player and bullfighter. But these days, Paco focuses on the antojitos, or little culinary cravings of his hometown, which are a hallmark of a culinary tour of the city with him. In addition to leading culinary tours, Paco is the co-founder of Quest Mexico which offers unique tours tailored to the visitors interests.
PJ Rountree
PJ , Photographer & Videographer
PJ, a California native, is a photographer and filmmaker based in Mexico City. He studied sculpture, photography, and video at the Rhode Island School of Design earning his BFA in 2008. After living in Rome and New York City, PJ moved to Mexico City in 2009 where he has lived and worked ever since. In 2012, he and some fellow food-lovers founded the food project Pichón, a pop-up restaurant inspired by Mexico City's local ingredients and culinary traditions. With Pichón andnow CB, PJ has produced numerous documentary photo and video projectsconcerning Mexico's rich and diverse culture of food. His images have appeared in Vice (USA), Vice México, I-D México, L'Officiel Art (Fance), Revista Animal (Mexico), Uncube Magazine (Germany), Hoja Santa (Mexico), American Suburb X (USA), Esquire (Russia), and others.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo , Mexico City, Walk Leader
Ricardo is a proud native of Mexico City and passionate ecological conservationist. In addition to leading tours, he heads up a project in Xochimilco which assists farmers working in this ancient agricultural territory. Over the past decade, he has built a close relationship with the farming community and gained an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of this fascinating site.


Amedeo Colella
Amedeo , Naples Culinary Walk Leader and Correspondent
After 25 years in a career in communications, Amedeo finally succumbed to his true calling, dedicating his life to the study of a phenomenon that he calls "Neapolitan way of living”. The city’s unique cuisine, music, literature and local dialect are all a part of his ongoing research and the subject of lectures he gives at a local university. He is the author of several books about Naples, including Mangia Napoli, the definitive guide to eating in Naples and operates a publishing house called, Cultura Nova. His passion for Naples is best experienced walking with him in the backstreets, where he knows everyone by name and, most importantly, where to find the very best bites of the city.
Chiara Garofalo
Chiara , Walk Leader
Chiara was born in Sicily. Soon after secondary school she moved to Naples in order to attend the Oriental Languages University. She fell immediately in love with this amazing, incredible and unique city. She loves to travel, and when she cannot, she likes to read modern literature. She loves her job as a professional tourist guide because it is the perfect expression of all her interests such as art, archeology, history, culture, food, communication; in one word, her passion for her city.
Sonia Starace
Sonia , Walk Leader
Born and raised in Naples, Sonia studied art history, archaeology and Oriental languages before working for years as a schoolteacher. Eventually, her true passion- frescoed churches, incredibly rich archaeological sites, the cuisine and street life of Naples- led her out of the classroom and into the streets. Now, as a professional guide, Sonia gets to spend all of her time with her beloved subjects. Sonia is eager to challenge contemporary stereotypes of Naples by showing off the city’s classical beauty, hospitality and unique cuisine.
Sophia Seymour
Sophia , Correspondent
Sophia graduated in History of Art and Italian at University College London and L'Orientale in Naples. She divides her time between giving tours, making documentaries, writing, working as a fixer for filmmakers and journalists, helping refugees and researching grassroots social, arts and culture movements.


Carine Castro
Carine , Porto Walk Leader
Native of Porto, Carine was raised in Paris where her father worked as a chef and exposed his children to the world of gastronomy. Her childhood home was filled with foie gras and French charcuterie, but her mother’s cooking was fully Portuguese comfort food- Porto style tripe, blood-thickened chicken stew, and, of course, codfish. As a teenager Carine moved back to Portugal, studied tourism and become a guide in the Port Wine cellars of Porto. There she dug deep into the city’s wine and food culture, rediscovering dishes from her past and witnessing the birth of new culinary traditions. She loves her city and will never say no to a plate of tournedos with port wine sauce.
Vanessa Rodrigues
Vanessa , Porto Experience Designer and Contributor
Vanessa Rodrigues is a story hunter- a journalist, documentarian and researcher- but her first love is travel. She's from Porto, but lived in São Paulo, Rio, Amazonia, Amman and now she’s considering a move Mozambique. So if you open her kitchen's cupboards it's quite probable you'll will find tapioca, next to cardamom, curry, Portuguese wine, coconut milk, cans of tuna and cavala.


Brad , Queens Correspondent
Brad Fox's stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, Urban Omnibus, and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He teaches at City College in Harlem. He just started a newsletter, which is here:
Dave , Queens Correspondent
Dave Cook, one of CB's correspondents for Queens, is a New York-based photojournalist. He grew up in the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut, but his college years in New York cemented his love for the Big Apple. Since 2005 his website Eating In Translation has explored lesser-known food in the five boroughs of the city and, occasionally, farther afield. His work has also appeared in The New York Times; The Art of Eating; Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City; and many other publications.
Esneider Arevalo
Esneider , Walk Leader
Esneider has over 25 years of experience in the New York City food scene, most recently as co-executive chef at Angelica Kitchen, one of the city's first vegan restaurants. Originally from Medellin, Colombia, he enjoys introducing visitors to the diverse immigrant neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, where he has lived for the past three decades. He performs in a hardcore punk band, is an avid swimmer, cyclist, and runner, and loves to travel.
Sarah Khan
Sarah , Queens Correspondent
Sarah, is a Pakistani-American who talks fast. A focused wanderer, she recently returned from a Fulbright year in India. In between walking all over the 56 Queens neighborhoods, she is completing the Indian Women Farmers Documentary Film series. She studied nutrition, public health and plant sciences (ms, mph, phd). Her writing, short films and photography have appeared in The Art of Eating, Modern Farmer, Roads and Kingdoms and Zester Daily. Now she just wants to create media content with the superhero Amrita Simla graphics, animation, maps and the occasional song. She's waiting for the time when you can download and stream smells.


Catherine Osborn
Catherine , Correspondent
Catherine is an American journalist who has been working in Rio for several years. A fluent speaker of Portuguese, Catherine enjoys exploring Rios untouristed neighborhoods in search of great food, music and characters. Be sure to ask her about good spots for samba and dancing.
Courtney Crumpler
Courtney , Rio de Janeiro Walk Leader
Courtney is an artist and anthropologist who has lived in Rio de Janeiro since 2013. She worked as a political organizer for three years and now focuses exclusively on her dancing and independent projects. Courtney loves public festivals and cultural event, especially those where delicious food can be found.
Horacio Storani
Horacio , Rio de Janeiro Walk Leader
Horácio is a folk culture enthusiast who is very curious about food and it's ethnographic roots. Working as a performing artist worldwide, he has had many interesting food experiences: from sharing a manioc breakfast with indigenous people in rural Brazil to eating an exotic fermented fish in Sweden. Deeply involved in Rio's cultural life, he believes that food gives us a great opportunity to connect with the essence of the city, its people and its history.
Juarez Becoza
Juarez , Rio de Janeiro Correspondent & Walk Leader
Juarez Becoza is a carioca journalist. He works as culinary columnist and bohemian guide in Rio de Janeiro. He writes weekly about botequim for Jornal O Globo, a major brazilian newspaper, for more than 15 years now. For his column "Pé-Sujo", he searches and writes about the best, oldest and more hidden bars and popular restaurants in town. Juarez has already visited more than 1.500 drinking and culinary places in the city. Recently, Juarez traveled the World, in a personal project called Around the World in 80 Bars, documenting bars and restaurants from more than 40 countries.
Paxton Winters
Paxton , Rio de Janeiro Walk Leader
Paxton is a cameraman, filmmaker, and photojournalist currently developing a feature film project with community members from Morro dos Prazeres, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pacified is about an unlikely friendship between a tough little girl and an ex-trafficker, and will be cast and filmed in Prazeres, where Paxton has been living for the past year. Paxton has worked and traveled in Central Asia, the Middle East, South America, and the Caribbean. In addition to exploring new cultures through the lens, Paxton loves to do so through local food culture.


Jamie Barys
Jamie , Correspondent
Jamie, one half of CBs Shanghai team, has been a resident of China since 2007. A native of Tennessee, Jamie believes that the best way to get to know a culture is to eat your way through it. Whether shes exploring Shanghais hidden hole-in-the-wall restaurants or sneaking back into kitchens to snag behind-the-scenes recipes, shes always hungry for more. Never one to keep a good thing to herself, Jamie can be found leading culinary tours to delicious best-kept secrets with UnTour Shanghai, the citys top-ranked food tour provider, and writing about her tasty finds for Glutton Guide, a guidebook series designed by foodies for foodies.
Kyle Long
Kyle , Correspondent & Walk Leader
Kyle, one half of CBs Shanghai team, is an Oregon native with a hunger for finding the citys best noodles, dumplings and just about any type of dessert. Hes been sharing his love of authentic food and drink with his writing since moving to China in 2007. After co-founding Shanghais top culinary tour company in 2010, he took a sabbatical to cycle the world (well, 15 countries) and clocked in 18,000km while raising funds for clean water charities. When hes not running or cycling to make room for more Chinese food, you can find him scouring the web for cheap flights for his next trip.


Andrew North
Andrew , Tbilisi Illustrator & Correspondent
Andrew, the creator of CB’s Tbilisi Sketches series, is a British journalist and artist and first tasted khinkali when he was sent to Georgia in 2008 to report on the war with Russia for the BBC. He worked for the broadcaster for nearly 20 years, with long stints reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan and many other parts of the Middle East and Asia. Andrew is now mixing art and journalism, while also working on a book. He moved to Tbilisi with his family in 2014 and you’ll sometimes see his work in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. He’s yet to taste a Georgian dish he doesn’t like, but he’s yet to meet a Georgian who likes that old British favorite Marmite.
Kristo Talakhadze
Kristo , Tbilisi Walk Leader
Kristo, a native Georgian, has lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands for 10 years, graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy, and has worked as a manager of Amsterdam's oldest jazz club Alto for 5 years. Later she was back to Tbilisi, after years with her family and friends launched restaurant concentrated on organic products from villages and local farmers, supporting them by organizing weekly farmers market. Her hobby is wandering in old town neighborhoods and collecting forgotten flavors from around Georgia.
Paul Rimple
Paul , Bureau Chief
Paul, CBs Tbilisi Bureau Chief, is a northern California native who gave up a cooking career to move to Chicago to front his own blues band. He spent much of the 1990s in Krakow, Poland before moving in 2002 to Tbilisi, Georgia, where he works as a freelance journalist and performs with his band, The Natural Born Lovers. A former columnist at The Moscow Times, he has been a regular contributor to, The Christian Science Monitor and Deutsche Welle and has written for Foreign Policy, Roads and Kingdoms and the BBC, among others. His only regret is there are no Mexican restaurants in Tbilisi, yet.
Tamar Babuadze
Tamar , Tbilisi Walk Leader
Tamar is a journalist, essayist, food blogger, culinary researcher, lecturer with a husband and two sons. She has millions of things and diverse spheres of interests to handle, but since she can't get enough, she joined our wonderful team to guide people throughout the city. When not acquiring new hobbies and not taking care of her family, Tamar works for INDIGO - 120-page magazine on culture, arts, people, new ideas, travels and such, which she founded with her colleagues and friends. Once a week, she has a course of Creative Writing at the local University GIPA with second year students in the audio-visual department. She often writes about food and new restaurants for INDIGO and also runs different food-related projects with my friends. Currently, she is involved in a project of translating author Zadie Smith into Georgian.


Fran Kuzui
Fran , Bureau Chief
Fran, CBs Tokyo Bureau Chief, became part of the Culinary Backstreets team after joining a walk in Istanbul and writing them a fan letter. Her years as an active movie director, producer and distributor have given her an excuse to travel the world and an opportunity to eat very well. Born in New York, she met her Japanese husband on a movie set in the United States and they began splitting their time between New York City and Tokyo. They now live on the grounds of a Buddhist temple in Nikko, Japan. She has written pieces for Japanese magazines and several screenplays, one of which she directed and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. While Frans culinary tastes run from high-end sushi to any kind of yakitori, shes never met a noodle she didnt like.
Kelly Haavaldsrud
Kelly , Walk Leader
Hailing from a family of lumberjacks in Northern Ontario, Canada, Kelly has called Tokyo home for more than 25 years. A huge foodie and Japanese sake fan, she is also an avid hiker and outdoor photographer who has been on many off-the-beaten-track pilgrimages in Japan. With her favourite place as a home base, she has travelled to more than 40 countries, studying food, drink, language, and culture with an unwavering passion. She has several careers under her belt, including working as an ESL instructor, international art coordinator, children's entertainer, voice actor, and financial editor in the Tokyo stock market. She is excited to be showcasing her beloved city and the spectacular culinary offerings of Japan to visitors.
Mairi Wallace
Mairi , Tokyo Walk Leader
Born in the gorgeous wine region of Hawkes Bay New Zealand Mairi has spent most of her adult life living in Tokyo. Originally moving to Tokyo to study a degree in Japanese language and history she only planned to stay a few years. 25 years and two degrees later she is still constantly fascinated by this amazingly vibrant city. She has worked for many years in live theater and event planning and production and is a keen traveler having visited nearly 50 countries. Having a deep interest in food and especially the relationship between the Japanese diet and their extremely long life span, she has recently completed an online nutrition course from Cornell University.
Michelle Cove
Michelle , Walk Leader
Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and British father, Michelle was educated in Japan and the U.K. and spent the first half of her childhood in Japan and the remainder over in England where she stayed on to work in both London and Brighton. She returned to Japan to be closer to her family and has been residing in Tokyo for the past decade. She has worked mostly in bicultural environments, and in recent years she has been traveling across the country performing song and dance shows for children learning English, where she has used the opportunities afforded by her work to explore and eat her way through each region. Having also discovered during her travels that almost every prefecture produces its own regional sake, she decided to delve further and has now completed a Master of Sake sommelier course.
Miki Dezaki
Miki , Tokyo Walk Leader
Born in the United States to Japanese parents who immigrated to the US in the 70’s, Miki has been around gourmet food his whole life, as his father was a French and Japanese gourmet chef. After graduating from university in Minnesota, he moved to Japan to teach high school English in Yamanashi and Okinawa for five years. Currently, Miki is studying toward a master’s degree in Global Studies in Tokyo; however, prior to coming back to Japan, he lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand as a Buddhist monk for one year. Because of his father’s influence, Miki has a love for all kinds of cuisine, but Japanese food holds a special place in his heart (or belly).