Saying Good Bye

Saying good bye is never easy, especially when you encounter such wonderful and giving people. Standing in front of the hand built home of Indica and Peoni, I said my final farewell after an incredible week of filming. These two amazing people not only invited myself and the Trading Dishes film crew into their home, but also cooked with us, taught us new recipes, showed us the devastation climate change has had on their crops and even gave us gifts to take with us on our journey! Traveling the world and meeting beautiful individuals like these two, makes all the difference. Chef Steven Fernedingme with locals- TD-2771

Save the elephants

On an extremely hot day, while on safari in Sri Lanka, we were discussing the effects climate change is having on these magnificent mammals. Unfortunately, because of the droughts and deforestation in this region, the herds are having to go beyond their protected areas and to try to find food. It was incredible to find out, these little guys consume over 350 pounds of vegetation a day! Chef Steven Ferneding ‪#‎savetheelephants‬ ‪#‎elephants‬ ‪#‎tradingdishes‬elephant-16

Cooking over a bucket

Throughout the filming of Trading Dishes, I had the opportunity to cook in many different environments. Every time I entered a new kitchen, I was always fascinated to see the cooking equipment. When I first visited this small island village in southern Thailand, I noticed a metal “grilling basket” hanging next to their squirrel cage. (In the west we use this tool for grilling seafood over an open fire.) After seeing this incredible utensil, I was excited to grill fresh shrimp for the village. Once I explained my plan, one of the village elders brought me a bucket, set it on the ground and in his best English, pointed and said “Grill!”
~Chef Steven Ferneding
‪#‎Thailand‬ ‪#‎shrimp‬ ‪#‎Travel‬ ‪#‎natogeo‬ ‪#‎gril‬ ‪#‎tradingdishes‬shrimp-16

Desert Dweller

At 5:20 in the morning I was woken up by a noise I was unfamiliar with, not far from where I was sleeping. Still exhausted from the previous days trek, I managed to make my way out of my tent to discover the mystery sound.  Here, in the middle of the Great Indian Desert I was greeted by my friend, the trusty desert dweller. He was chomping down on his breakfast, which mainly consisted of sticks. I sat down beside him, as we both watched the sun emerge from the sand. ~Chef Steven FernedingCamel in Thar desert

Honorable Sacrifice

In one of the most honorable sacrifices I’ve ever witnessed, we sat in silence as this Holy Balinese woman gave the final blessings to the sacrificial suckling pig. As she sang the prayers to the Gods above, we were brought to tears by the grace of thousands of years of tradition. This is a moment in time I will never forget.
Chef Steven Ferneding12592039_10105837486008141_1376415147_o

Fishy Squid

On a very hot and humid night, in a hand crafted wood hut, I tried dried squid for the first time. I was a little apprehensive to say the least. It’s not that I don’t love squid, but the intense fishy smell of this particular dried squid was astounding. In addition to my uneasiness, the entire village, my cameraman, the Trading Dishes film crew and the fisherman who caught the squid, were watching and laughing as I ate it. To the disbelief of all my audience, I actually really enjoyed that little dried squid.
~Chef Steven Ferneding
#tradingdishes #thailand #fishysquid #travelSquid-20

Preparing Dinner in the Slums

Throughout the filming of the Trading Dishes show, we were often surprised by the generosity of strangers. Within a few minutes of talking to our rickshaw driver, he invited us to his home to cook and film with his family. In a room not much bigger then a closet, we prepared chapati (Indian flat bread), spinach curry, and steamed rice. For a majority of the cooking, the young girls of the family would try to squeeze their way in and lend a helping hand. It was here in the slums of Jaipur, I realized how the children of India love to be in the kitchen.

~Chef Steven Ferneding making bread-14

Nepalese New Year

This shot was taken one week before the devastating earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal. We were there on location capturing the festivities of the Nepalese New Year celebrations. The woman is this picture is praying in front of one of the oldest temples in Nepal. Unfortunately, that temple and many others around Kathmandu have been destroyed. The Nepalese have started to rebuild, but it is still a long road ahead. If you are interested in helping out the victims, check out http://www.helpnepal.net/usa. woman praying -29

Treated as locals

Three Westerners in an ancient, non-English speaking village, draws quite a bit of attention. On a late afternoon in western Nepal we decided to go for a walk through the village. Within minutes we had a full entourage. It including: laughing children, giggling babies, grazing cows, two goats and about half the village residents. The bonus was, they treated us as locals and welcomed us with open arms.kids in the street with sun burst