SF Travel Profile: The Chowhound

Clay McLachlan, 38
Sausalito; food and wine photographer

Obsessed with: Camembert, pimientos de Padrón, white truffles.

In the last five years: Been to Thailand, India, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Mexico.

Best food-smuggling intel: Hard cheeses are allowed in the cabin, but soft cheeses must be vacuum-sealed and stored in your checked luggage.

Preferred SFO pit stop: Ebisu in Terminal G for the unagi rice bowl.

Tell us about your most unforgettable bread-breaking experience.

I once visited a monastery outside of Rangoon, Burma, where the monks were starved for information but also extremely knowledgeable with respect to world affairs. They presented me with a tiny, but absolutely mouthwatering Burmese salad. We spent most of our time sharing stories about food.

Which dish most memorably sent you to worship at the porcelain throne?

A delicious eggplant dish in Darjeeling, India, followed by the worst travel day of my life—a four-hour taxi ride along narrow winding roads in the Indian Himalayas, then a flight to Calcutta, then another hour in a taxi to a hotel where I just lay on the floor for a few days calling room service for cans of ginger ale.

If you had to plan your last supper, what would be on the menu?

It would take place in Piedmont, Italy, with close friends and family. We would hunt for white truffles in the middle of the night and shave a mountain of them over the tajarin con tartufo bianco, a traditional pasta made with seven whole eggs and seven additional yolks.

What does food heaven look like?

Bangkok. Street stall after street stall serving up som tum (papaya salad made to order), tom yum koong (sweet, spicy, sour and salty soup with prawns), green curry, whole fried fish and sweet, fresh mangoes.

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