At Cook's Country, we're big fans of road trips. For the last decade, our team has traveled all around the country in search of the very best traditional and down-home fare. We've visited small towns and big cities, home kitchens and busy restaurants, truck stops and taco trucks. Why? To bring recipes that have flown under the national radar back to the test kitchen and then to Cook’s Country magazine, so anyone can recreate the best in American fare at home—no matter where they live.
Since we love stories—and food—from the road, I reached out to our Cook’s Country team to ask them about their ultimate, no-limitations road trip.
Today’s dream trip comes from senior editor Ashley Moore, who’s likely made you laugh once or twice as a test cook on Cook’s Country TV or during a Cook’s Country Facebook Live. She’s no newbie to the road. In fact, she’s driven cross-country three times. Here’s where she would go, what she’s listening to, and most importantly, what she would eat.
What are your top 5 must-visit destinations and what are you eating when you get there?
Once I eat my fair share of cheesesteak and pork, I’ll head to Nashville, Tennessee for some hot fried chicken. I love the south—from the people to the food to the history. People down there are so passionate about their neighborhoods and everything that’s happening there. I went to New Orleans not too long ago and I’m still in awe of how amazing that city is. The people and the food just blew me away.
Next, I’ll head to Washington State to slurp down more oysters and drink some fine wine. The water is where I belong, so I'd like to travel along the coast. When I travel I'm always most interested in seeing how the coastline, roads, trees, menus, and people differ from back home. I'll have to hop on a boat to check out some nearby islands, too.
Finally, I’ll hop over to Hawaii and go to a pig roast and luau on the beach. I’ve never been there and I think that would be an amazing memory to have with my husband and son. One of the most important things for me at each stop—and this may sound kind of cliche—is to talk to as many people as possible. I want to find the characters of as many towns as I can in each state to ask them the questions they don’t normally get asked. I want to find the diviest bars or the seafood shacks only a few people know about. I don’t want to open up a travel guide and find my information that way if I can get my intel from the locals.
Who are you bringing along?
I’m bringing along my husband and newly one-year-old son, Jackson. We travel often on the weekends throughout New England. Jackson's been great in the car . . . fingers crossed that lasts!
What will you be jamming to while on the road?
I’ll definitely have a playlist made for this road trip. It will be a mix of my favorite songs, including Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell, Pointer Sisters, Chaka Khan, Radiohead, and maybe even a few sets from DJs I love.
We’ll need to have a little bit of everything for whatever the mood invites. You have to have some calm driving music, some pick-me-up music, and of course, some “let’s get there already” driving music. Oh and my husband is driving . . . I hate driving on the highway. (And in a perfect world, we’ll be in a convertible, none of us will get sunburned, and my son’s hat won’t fall off.)
Any car snacks?
Lots of water, peanut M&M’s, and any local snacks we can find on the road. In the local gas stations down south they sell some of the coolest foods.
Any car games?
I tend to talk a lot on car rides so I’m sure my husband and son would prefer we play a car game. There’s always I Spy, naming the capitals, and some alphabet games—anything that keeps me from talking too much. My son does love bubbles but I don’t know if I want to blow bubbles for this entire trip. That's a lot of bubbles.
Cook's Country Takes AmericaThe Cook's Country team is inspired by the home cooks and regional dishes in every region of the country—and we're determined to get to know them all. View this article to read about where we've been, what we've eaten, and how you can recreate our favorite regional dishes at home.
Don’t forget to check out our other team members' ultimate road trips below.
- On the Road with Cook’s Country: Test Cook Matthew Fairman’s Ultimate Road Trip
- On the Road with Cook's Country: Deputy Editor Scott Kathan’s Ultimate Road Trip
- On The Road with Cook's Country: Test Cook Morgan Bolling's Ultimate Road Trip
- On the Road with Cook’s Country: Executive Food Editor Bryan Roof’s Ultimate Road Trip