Search: Advanced | Preference
Traveling Boy means the travel adventures of the Traveiling Boitanos
Travel adventures of Eric Anderson Boitano
Travel adventures of John Clayton
Travel adventures of Deb Roskamp
Travel adventures of Fyllis Hockman
Travel adventures of Brom Wikstrom
Travel adventures of Jim Friend
Travel adventures of Timothy Mattox
Travel adventures of Corinna Lothar
Travel adventures of Roger Fallihee
Travel adventures of Tamara Lelie
Travel adventures of Beverly Cohn
Travel adventures of Raoul Pascual
Travel adventures of Ringo Boitano
Travel adventures of Herb Chase
Travel adventures of Terry Cassel
Travel adventures of Dette Pascual
Travel adventures of Gary Singh
Travel adventures of John Blanchette
Travel adventures of Tom Weber
Travel adventures of James Thomas
Travel adventures of Richard Carroll
Travel adventures of Richard Frisbie
Travel adventures of Masada Siegel
Travel adventures of Greg Aragon
Travel adventures of Skip Kaltenheuser
Travel adventures of Ruth J. Katz
Travel adventures of Traveling Boy's guest contributors

Ketchikan Bed and Breakfast Service

Panguitch Utah, your destination for outdoor discovery

Alaska Sea Adventures - Alaska Yacht Charter and Cruises

Colorado ad

Sorrel ad

Polar Cruises ad

write me    Feeds provide updated website content        

A McDreamy McMeel
by Wendy Koro

Irish celebrity Chef Noel McMeel
Irish Chef Noel McMeel

Celebrity Irish chef Noel McMeel is a charmer --- self assured, boyishly good-looking, and positively exuberant about food. It's no wonder he's caught the fancy of television audiences throughout the UK, cooking at the forefront of an edible revolution blazing across Ireland. I had the great pleasure to sit and chat with him recently during his lightning quick promotional tour of the U.S. at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel. He was relaxed and engaging despite a brutal schedule, effortlessly balancing his obligations to the press with the culinary pressure of cooking a fabulous meal for 300 hungry critics later that night. Confident in his abilities, Noel is a talented Irish chef on a mission, conquering one set of taste buds at a time.

The principles McMeel endorses are lofty, yet simple. Find the very best locally grown seasonal ingredients. Support farms and businesses that respect the earth. Prepare meals that delight and excite the senses, but don't let creativity lure you to overcomplicate or overdo. Rule #1: let the natural flavor of good food shine through.

Noel's commitment to these concepts is long-standing, unwavering, and not merely the residual effect of the many kitchens he has graced. He is quick to credit sustainability guru Alice Waters and her staff at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for life changing lessons in culinary simplicity. But McMeel is bent on paying forward those ideas in his own grand vision for modern-day Ireland. This man has very big dreams.

wood pigeon breast on a caramelized onion glazed puff
A McDreamy McMeel

He's not content to revel in his success at Castle Leslie, where he cooked for seven and a half years for the likes of Sir Paul McCartney's lavish nuptials, where he stamped his personality so vividly that the place is virtually synonymous with his name. It's not enough that he's a frequent presence on BBC television's Great British Menu, Food Poker and Master Apprentice and RTE's The Afternoon Show --- all while undertaking a new challenge at the luxurious Lough Erne Resort (that's pronounced Lock-Airn, all you Yanks) in Northern Ireland. No, Chef McMeel has even more fish to fry.

a view of Kilkenny, Leinster
Kilkenny, Leinster

As much as he is presently focused on fine dining, Noel is intent on spreading his knowledge and philosophy beyond his own kitchen and across any invisibly drawn class lines. He recently teamed up with Tourism Ireland in a splashy Boston to L.A. tour of the United States, just to show American palates firsthand how remarkable Irish cooking has become. (It was a devious plot to soothe and tantalize us… who knew that sensual shot glass of goats buttermilk sorbet was addictive? But now that we've tasted McDreamy's luscious breast of wood pigeon atop a caramelized onion glazed puff, his delectably rich Silver Hill duck confit straddling creamy mashed potatoes with chive and fennel and an intense drizzle of Irish orchard honey-sweetened stock reduction, they know we can't stay home.) And Noel's looking to the future, maybe even a legacy, in another powerful project he's cultivating --- a hands-on garden-to-kitchen school program to get kids cooking early… not just in Ireland, why stop there? To top it all off he's building a new website to showcase his ideas, share his recipes and boost his friends' businesses at In fact, despite basking in the current fickle spotlight of competitive cooking, McMeel seems to be a team player-genuinely grounded-and first and foremost, a really nice guy.

Exceptionally devoted to his craft, Noel uses his talent, ethos and celebrity to promote a fresh return to smart idealism in the kitchen. The result is grand food simply delicious to the tongue, healthy for the belly, good for the Irish economy and oh so kind to the earth.

Check it out, people. One more reason to indulge in a wee bit of travel... I see a McDreamy Irish McMeel in your future.

Hi Audrey,

Love your lamb shanks.

--- Paul, Scottsdale AZ

Haven't been called Tad for . . .gee, maybe I've NEVER been called Tad . . . guess I'm the only one with chutzpah enough to mention Bourdain. BRILLIANT?

--- Ken, Shutesbury, MA

I think we must have had an entirely different experience in the UK. (Fresh Food and Real Ale – week 1). We were up in Edinburgh and they served something called ‘Neeps & Tatties.’ The items were boiled so long that I couldn’t even recognize what I was eating. Come to think of it… I couldn’t taste them either. Later I found that Neeps’ are Turnips and ‘Tatties’ are potatoes.

--- Lindy, Phoenix, AZ

My mouth was watering as I read some of your descriptions of the fantastic fare of ... England? I had always felt smug about the lowly reputation of British cuisine as this gave us at least one country with a worse culinary reputation than America's. I guess I'll have to change my views. Your article made me actually want to take a CULINARY tour of Britain. Yummy yummy yummy.

--- Sandy Miner, Portland, OR

Thanks for your note. Thanks to Traveling Boy I get to interview a world famous chef this week who is widely recognized as spearheading the Yummy movement in Ireland. Guess I'll have to take yet another culinary tour a little further north and check it out... (I love my job!) --- Audrey

Very interesting, mouth-watering piece by Audrey! (A McDreamy McMeel). Your web site is fascinating!

--- Susie, Victoria, BC

Combining travel, food, and intelligent advice -- BRILLIANT! Your site fills a long-felt need for hungry roamers. Keep it up! It's Anthony Bourdain with reservations and CLASS.

--- Tad, Boston, MA

Name: Required
E-mail: Required
City: Required

Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Three Musical Pilgrimages: Mozart, Grieg and Hendrix

Troldhaugen Villa in Bergen, Norway
Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791) could read and compose music, plus play the violin and piano, when he was five years old. Born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria (then the Holy Roman Empire), he had a unique ability for imitating music, which first became evident when he recited a musical piece by simply observing his father conducting a lesson to his older sister. This led to a childhood on the road, where the young prodigy performed before many of the royal courts of Europe.

Go There

Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: The Irish Goodbye (Dispatch #20)

Irish sunset

The Palladian Traveler brings to a close his 20-part series on the Emerald Isle from an upscale restaurant in downtown Dublin where he files his final dispatch and then quietly slips away.

Go There

John Clayton's travel blog/review
Two "MUST SEE" Truly Spectacular Places in Europe. Here's Why.

Culzean Castle, Scotland
The Han Grotto and Culzean Castle. As the name of my Traveling Boy feature is "Travel With a Difference," it's important to me to always bring you offbeat and unusual tourist places around the world you may not know about. These two fit that category to a T, and they're absolutely worth a visit. One's in Scotland and one's in Belgium. Culzean (pronounced CULLANE) Castle is located near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.

go there

Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's Gold Country

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

go there

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Puerto Vallarta: Magic and Mayhem on the Malecon

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
So I heard that you could spend from dawn to dusk on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and never get bored and I thought, "Okay, I'm up for that challenge." Well, maybe not the dawn part – I'm not a morning person – so I had no problem leaving those early hours to the joggers and those seeking an early start to catch their red snapper for dinner.

Go There

© All Rights Reserved. 2015.
This site is designed and maintained by WYNK Marketing. Send all technical issues to:

For a wealth of travel ideas to fit every price range, interest and style, see Whether your passion is food, history, gardening, golf, castles, the arts, incredible scenery, or all of the above, you can enjoy the magic of Ireland on foot, cycle and horseback, by self-driven car, on escorted tours or in chauffeur-driven luxury. "Cookery courses" in the Search bar will yield an extensive list of cooking schools.

Click here for Noel's goat's buttermilk sorbet recipe, see

A helpful site is which lists many food events, artisan and farmer's markets, and some of the best eating and drinking spots in a host of Irish locales.

Friendly Planet Travel

Lovin Life After 50

Big Sur ad

Tara Tours ad

Alaska Cruises & Vacations ad

Cruise One ad