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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Roger Mooking

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Once best known as MC Mystic in his group Bass is Base, Roger Mooking is recognized by foodies worldwide for his work on television ("Man Fire Food," "Heat Seekers," "Everyday Exotic") and cookbooks. Born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, Mooking is based out of Toronto. The chef and restaurateur says that one of the small pleasures of life is finding ice cream and gelato spots wherever he travels. "I would eat ice cream every single day and after every single meal if I could get away with it, says Mooking, whose latest album is "Eat Your Words." Fans may stay in touch with him via Twitter (, Facebook ( and Instagram (

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. When my family moved to Canada when I was five years old, we spent a few months traveling the country end to end by train. I recall this trip vividly. I would wander off to the kitchen car, because the staff used to give me free food. My parents soon learned that when I suddenly disappeared on the train, I could always be found in the kitchen hanging out with the cooks. The cabin crew got to know me pretty well and before long I had a train hat, uniform, pin and was basically unofficially working there. I don't remember much else about the cities we saw, but I will never forget that train.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. My grandfather is from a small village in China. It's actually a village of all Moos -- my (real) family name is Moo. The Moos are from the Hakka tribe, which are a nomadic tribe in China, so traveling is in my blood. It is a village of signature round houses and my name is in a book in the main round house in the village. My dad has been there and saw the house his father was born in. It was a very small, single-room stone house. It is my dream to go there with my family.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?


A. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is one of my favorite places on the planet. Some of our most memorable adventures have been to Tokyo and Kyoto (Japan), Milan and Bologna (Italy), Paris and Bangladesh. Each place has its own unique fashion, food, architecture, social dynamics and energy. We go with very few plans. Once we settle in, we pick a direction and walk for hours in one direction and usually end up running into the things people seek out, as well as others you would never find if looking at those guidebooks exclusively.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Kuala Lumpur, New Orleans, Tokyo, Paris, Toronto.

Q. What is your suggestion for people who may be a little timid about traveling to a new destination?


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