AFAR Conversations: A Discussion and Dinner in L.A.

At the event, we explored questions like how we define luxury in 2016 and which values increasingly unite travelers worldwide

AFAR Conversations: A Discussion and Dinner in L.A.

Mingling at The Spare Room before the panel discussion.

Ivy Augusta

AFAR Conversations brought us to The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel this spring for a fascinating discussion of the new global citizens.

Editor in Chief Julia Cosgrove led the panel, featuring Mark Miller, Chief Strategy Officer at the advertising agency Team One; Eric Odone, VP of Sales & Marketing, Americas, at Cathay Pacific Airways; and Jane Whitehead, VP, Americas, for Tourism Australia.

They explored questions such as how we define luxury in 2016 and which values increasingly unite travelers worldwide. Miller observed, for instance, that it’s no longer about a three-day hotel stay, but rather a three-memory stay and what you’d pay for memories that last a lifetime.

Whitehead added that Tourism Australia’s target consumers have money but are time poor, so they’re focused on making sure they get the best out of what they do and that every trip element is special.

To that point, Odone noted that outstanding service comes from individual attention and the ability to identify what an individual traveler wants.

After the panel, AFAR staff and our Travel Advisory Council kept the conversation flowing over dinner at the hotel’s Public Kitchen & Bar. We recently caught up with Chef Tim Goodell, a noted grill master, for a lightning round of seven quick questions. Read on for his take on the evolving restaurant scene—and follow our upcoming events at #afarconversations (the Miami edition kicks off tonight!).

What sparked your interest in food?

Growing up, I was surrounded by a family passionate for food and travel. I had many inspiring experiences dining in great restaurants at a very young age.

You’ve won raves for your burgers at 35 Degrees, a burger and wine bar concept. What’s a tip for successful grilling?

Preheat your grill or pan well in advance to get a great sear on your burger.

Tell us about your approach in the kitchen at Public and any favorite menu items.

We developed a concept that was rich in traditional American family dining and that plays off the concept of “Sunday supper.” My family is Hispanic, and I’m a big fan of the chicharrones we serve at Public.

Where else do you recommend travelers go out to eat while in L.A.?

I live in Orange County and frequent the restaurant scene there much more often. Wafu of Japan for sushi in Costa Mesa; artisanal bread from Jonnie LoFranco’s Bread in Santa Ana; and tacos from el Gallo Giro in Santa Ana.

How have your travels inspired your approach to cooking?

Traveling to many regions around the world has opened my eyes and palate to many new and different products and cooking styles.

If you could eat only one regional cuisine for the rest of your life, what would you choose?


How do you think the restaurant scene is changing?

Specifically in L.A., restaurants are becoming simpler in their approach to food and service while marinating a high level of quality of ingredients. Another trend is the rise in quick service/counter service restaurants.