If you’ve ever seen the Avett Brothers live, then you’ll know that Joe Kwon shreds a cello like no-one else. He also has a deep love and appreciation of good food, which he shares through beautiful photographs on his blog, Taste on Tour, as well as through his Twitter feed. We asked Joe to share some of his favorite, and most surprising culinary experiences while on tour. Here’s how it went:

TM: You obviously have a real love of food, which shows in your beautiful photographs, and I’m wondering how much research you do about a destination before you get there in order to find great places to eat? 

JK: I used to do a lot more research when we were playing venues closer to the downtowns of cities. One of the downsides of growing out of some of the smaller venues is having to be pushed further out of town and therefore further from food destinations. More and more we are having event catering take care of our meals so getting out to eat is tougher and tougher.

TM: What has been your favorite food discovery on tour? Anything new that you’d never tried before hitting a certain destination?

JK: As far as adventure eating, I tend to do that on my own time. Feeding the group is difficult when it comes to odd foods because you’re having to satiate several appetites. That being said I had the chance to eat at Per Se and Collichio and Sons in NYC both while I was on tour. I also had the chance to check out Kiss Seafood in San Francisco during a 2 night stay at the Filmore West. 

TM: Have any cities surprised you by having way better restaurants than you expected?

JK: The little Japanese restaurant we went to in Alaska really blew me away. I also was amazed at the variety Portland, OR has to offer. 

TM: Where did you have your most unforgettable meal (so far)? 

JK: Eating is so much about nostalgia for me. So my most unforgettable meal and the best meal I have ever had are two different things. The most unforgettable meal was for my 23rd birthday. We had brunch at Union Square Cafe in NYC with my cousins. The wine was amazing and the food was to die for. 

TM: Are there any places you really want to go eat, and are they on your tour schedule? 

JK: I always want to eat regardless of where I am. I want to make things and I want to go to farmer’s markets all over the place. It is very difficult though to get around without a mode of transportation and a terrible sense of direction.

TM: One thing I love about travel is picking up neat ingredients then cooking for my friends at home. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve picked up on the road, and always wish you could get more of? 

JK: I can’t think of any ingredients, but I often think about flavor profiles that I store in my memory. One of the ones that sticks out right now and gets my mouth watering was this Spanish white sardine with celery, and lemon juice, it was amazing.