My wife and I love to pick our travel destinations based on restaurants. We truly believe that happiness comes from having memorable experiences in life rather than acquiring material things. What better way to make these experiences last than documenting them on our blog, and hopefully inspiring people along the way to do the same.

We wanted to document our experiences from the perspective of a couple who writes about the emotional response that come from eating at these fine restaurants, not from the perspective of a chef, a food critic, or a restaurant scout. We purely wanted the passion for the experience to come across in the blog, almost from a layman’s perspective.

This is why we took the play on words and mixed the word Panson (Spanish for big bellied one) and fused it with Pasion (Spanish for passion) and turned it into a team endeavor, with the term Los (describing the two of us) and -istas (suffix for one who follows a principle or system of belief). So there you have it, Los Pansionistas!

Our Resume:

Animal 01/24/10,10/20/11, 06/23/12. 12/05/12, 08/03/13
Son of a Gun 03/11
Gjelina 09/23/09

French Laundry 2/25/10 (where I proposed to Erika)

Providence 07/23/10 (our engagement dinner in private room), 6/28/11, 09/15/11, 11/06/11, 09/19/12, 11/06/12, 10/07/13, 11/06/13, 05/19/14, 06/27/14, 10/02/14, 11/06/14, 06/30/15
Racion 09/20/14, 10/12/14
Shiro 03/20/14
Maison Akira 04/01/14
Luminaries Dinner event sponsored by Wally’s Wine 04/29/14, chef from Melisse at Paul Marciano’s House
Republique Burgundy Dinner 04/19/15 Hosted by Wine Hotel
Blue Hill Stone Barns 04/18/15
Bouchon 04/08/11
Le Bec Fin 08/16/11
L’atelier De Joel Robuchon 10/14/12
Ad Hoc 12/24/11, 07/25/14
Mustard’s Grill 07/26/14
The Restaurant at Meadowood 07/26/14
Bistro Jeanty 12/23/11
Joe Beef 03/06/12
Cabane a sucre au pied de cochon 03/04/12
Pujol 08/20/12, 12/27/13
Biko 03/02/13
Le Calandre 04/05/13
Osteria Francescana 04/01/13
Enoteca Pinchiorri 04/04/13
Mesaamerica Conference May 19th 2013
Trois Mec 07/04/13, 10/07/13, 02/24/15
Petit Trois 10/18/14
Eleven Madison Park 08/08/13
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle 08/09/13
Red Medicine 02/25/12, 1/26/13, 03/17/13, 04/23/14, 06/13/14
Al Covo 04/07/13
Al Cavalina Bianco 04/02/13
Da Romano 04/07/13
Alinea 02/04/12
L20 10/31/14
Quintonil 05/22/13
Bestia 06/10/13, 12/04/13
Corazon Del Tierra 06/23/13
Momofuku Saam Bar 08/11/13
Mugaritz 09/25/13
La Vague D’Or 09/28/13
La Truffiere 09/20/13
Azurmendi 09/26/13
Mirazur 09/29/13
Chateau de Rochegude 09/23/13
Maison Troisgros 09/22/13
Cordeillan-Bages 09/25/13
Arpege 09/20/13
L’ambroise 09/21/13
Le Pressoir D’Argent 09/24/13
L’Oustau de Baumanière 09/28/13
L’Osteria Del Becco 12/27/13
Grand Truffle Tasting Dine Around Eugene Oregon 01/24/14
Frantzen 08/29/14
Mathias Dahlgren Matsalen 08/30/14
Paul Bocuse Auberge du Pont de Collonges 09/09/14
Lameloise 09/08/14
Georges Blanc 09/08/14
Fiskebar 09/01/14
Noma 09/02/14
Geranium 09/03/14
Hertog Jan 09/04/14
Hof Van Cleve 09/05/14
Not including Japan, we‘ve eaten over 100 Michelin starred meals, some of which I am probably forgetting or have closed since. We‘ve been to Providence at least 12 times. Animal and Red Medicine were pretty frequent too

17 comments on “About

  1. Hello! This is Hillary Folkvord, we met briefly in Las Vegas with my parents. My husband and have one night in San Fransisco to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. I know you both love the food in SF, where would be a great place for us to have dinner?




    • Hi Hillary, so sorry I missed your message earlier this month. I have been on blog hiatus and never got an email that a message was sent to me. We had a great time with your parents in Vegas. My wife Erika is an old soul and all our foodie friends are in their 50’s and 60’s. If you had to go to one place in SF, I would say Benu all the way. It really knocked our socks off, wine pairings killed it. Truly the best 3 star in CA besides French Laundry. Check the post I made on the place. I heard you are looking into blogging. I think WordPress is so easy. I just scrolled through 100’s of templates until I found this one. I think it’s called gallery view or something. I hope these recs are not coming to you too late. I don’t know how to fwd messages on this page, so I will include my wife Erika’s email as she really wanted to stay in touch with your mom. Her email is erika.toriz@gmail.com. If you guys ever come to LA for any reason we would be more than happy to take you to the best places. KIT!


    • We loved Scandinavia, not just Noma, but we had an amazing time at Frantzen in Stockholme. Some of the most personal and friendly service we have ever had. The som was very heavy handed, we stumbled out of there pissed drunk. The rose that was in at the time at Faviken, Geranium and Noma was Rose du un jour. http://www.legarageavins.com/rose_d-un_jour_mark_angeli__p123533.html

      We tried to schedule the Netherlands, but thought we could knock off more places with 3 stars by hitting up Belgium instead, heading to Hof Von Cleve and Hertog Jan. By Librije was on my radar. I think once we finish getting the big picture with Italy, we may go back to the Nordic region and go to Oslo, as well as Faviken, which has been eluding me on several attempts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We liked Noma (were there before I had a blog) and Frantzen (very recent, did you read my review?). I have to say though that Frantzen is about twice of what you would pay for a similar meal in Amsterdam.


  2. P.S. It would be nice if you could include an index of all the posts on the blog. This could be by linking from the resume.
    Have you been to Ryugin in Tokyo? We were there in 2011 and thought it was amazing.


    • I wanted to go there, but our concierge could not get reservations. Japan is somewhere we will be going back to for many years, it’s like an archeological site for foodies, the more you excavate, the more layers you find underneath, it just sucks you in. Good idea about the link. I need to update the resume as well. To be honest, I started the blog more as a way to write off the taxes for my meals eventually if I were to somehow get lucky enough to get enough hits and sponsors, etc and make some sort of income from it. I am so computer illiterate it’s not even funny. I feel like a fraud compared to your blog’s longevity and cooking/som experience. This is why I have prefaced that it is from a completely non-professional perspective that I write this. I will definitely work on this link though. This is a good idea. I have also toyed with ways to increase visibility such as paying for google search rankings, but I’ve been afraid to be too militant about this as I don’t want to lose the joy of blogging at my convenience rather than having deadlines to meet, and a certain level of output, etc. Thanks again for all your feedback. My wife and I really feel a kindred spirit to you in reading your blog, as I searched many webpages and blogs in our Italy searches and your really seemed most intriguing, honest and real!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I saw “resume”, at first I expected to read about your education and/or work experience. But it actually makes sense to call it a resume. From the reviews I’ve written I can tell you pay a lot of attention to the food and think about it, and you are able to articulate elaborate opinions and descriptions about what you eat. After having done that at 100+ of Michelin starred restaurants, I’d say you are definitely qualified as a food critic. As far as I know there is no education for that, so food critics are always self taught. You could perhaps improve on writing or photography skills by taking a class, but after having eaten attentively at so many great restaurants you are in fact an expert. (And perhaps even more so than some so-called professionals.) To challenge yourself, you could perhaps try to rate and/or rank your experiences, as that would force you to consider and analyze all the aspects. But of course that shouldn’t take the fun out of it. I do all my restaurant reviews based on any written menus that are provided and my photos. I am there to enjoy the evening with my husband (and/or other people), and so I’m not going to take notes while I eat.


      • Thank you. Honestly, most of my family thinks we are crazy to spend most our money on food, but my wife an I are all about experiences, and life is short, we rather would have experiences vs possessions. Also, I look forward to making international friends for future travels, with like minded people. Thanks for your kind words, I would rather make connections with people like you than to become famous from my blog, or turn it into a profit based thing. However, I am motivated by your comments. I often thought about rating the food, but then I saw this guy on Netflix who has been to all the 3 stars in the world, and he had a similar system. I did not want to mimic him, and kept the focus more on funny anecdotal, and cultural and socioeconomic commentary on the food, etc. I just looked back at my fiorst blog post compared to now and it looks drastically different. I may need to go back to some of my older blog posts and edit them to look more professional. We bought notebooks, so that is something I need to make more of a habit our of.

        Liked by 1 person

    • haha, it is similar to that in Spanish. It’s more a derivation of the word panson in Spanish, slang for people with a big belly. My mother in law teases me and calls me panson, as I am tall, with a belly since I eat so much. I wanted a made up fusion word so I would never be replicated by anyone else. But that is funny, people think we are retired by the amount of vacation we take. However, we own a small home and spend very little every day on household items an d spend months planning and saving for Michelin binging.

      Liked by 1 person

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