Talking World Touring Culinary Creations with Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas and her husband Simon (2RidetheWorld) hold the world-record for the longest continuous motorcycle trip. They’ve been living from the seats of their bikes since 2003 when they hit the road for what they thought would be a 16 month adventure. 14 years later, they’re still at it and they’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Lisa does the cooking for the duo and realized quickly, that cooking on the road, often only using ingredients on-hand is a challenge. Being able to prepare meals using the just tools you’re carrying on your bike is tricky, but it has to be done. In Dirty Dining: An Adventurers Cookbook Lisa takes you on  a step-by-step guide to creating culinary delights from the back of a motorcycle. It’s also an homage to a life on the road. It’s full of stories, tips, tricks and surprises. I had the chance to speak with Lisa recently and I asked her a few questions:

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Touratech: How long were you thinking of writing the cook book before you actually set pen to paper on the book?

Lisa Thomas: I began thinking about writing Dirty Dining about 3 years prior to actually putting pen to paper, yep I actually wrote it out by hand.  The idea for Dirty Dining first ran through my head during our time in Mongolia mid 2009.  Sitting and cooking on the dusty plains in the middle of nowhere, with only a few scraps of food and my basic provisions I still managed to create a tasty meal. It was then that I started to think about sharing my love of cooking and the ability to make something out of almost nothing with others! 


TT: What is your favorite recipe in the book?

LT: I think my favourites are any recipes, which bring back good memories, both from our journey and our time before. My Spanish chicken recipe and my chicken curry recipe, taste fantastic. I used to make both at home prior to setting out on our trip and for me, they always produce a comforting ‘homely’ flavor, wherever it is in the world that I cook them.

TT: What is Simon’s?

LT: Thai Green vegetable curry!  He loves it,. This dish it full of rich flavor, and no matter where I cook it, he says it tastes ‘ fancy and posh!” 


TT: If you were on a beach in Seattle, WA (home of Touratech-USA) right now, what would you cook for us?

LT: Well, this isn’t in my cookbook, but as I would be sitting on a beach in WA it would probably be a mussel or clam dish or any kind of crustacean really.  There is nothing quite like being able to dig up fresh shell-fish for dinner.  After washing/rinsing them thoroughly they would be simply cooked in garlic, butter and white wine.

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TT: What is the difference in what you prepare and eat now as compared to when you and Simon first began your trip all those years ago?

LT: I worry less about getting the perfect ingredients!  I have learned how to substitute ingredients, and which ingredients work really well together.  Simon often asks ‘what are we eating tonight?’ and I tell him but halfway through cooking I change the meal to end up with something entirely different!  I’ve learnt to adapt meals and combine ingredients on the fly. My cooking is much more intuitive these days.

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TT:  What is the hardest ingredient to find?

LT: In many countries its good fresh ingredients of any type! But mainly, good leafy greens can be hard to find.

TT: What is the weirdest meat you ever cooked?

LT: Iguana.  Not something I would like to do again, well it just tastes like chicken and the claws are kinda’ chewy!

TT:  What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

LT: Eyeballs (of any type!) not dissimilar to squid in texture but its just the thought of what was in my mouth… It freaked me out and made me want to gag!


TT: If I took you to a restaurant tonight and you could order anything, what would it be?

LT: Oysters, Lobster, Foie gras, with the essential glass of champagne.  The list is endless as I love food!  So, it’s a date then?

TT: What beer goes best with your Chicken Curry?

LT: Well, neither of us are really beer drinkers, so I would say a hard apple cider would be best!  However, if it had to be beer I would choose an Asian beer such as Kingfisher, Everest or Singha.