My name is Layne Mosler, and I live in Berlin. Wherever I go, I get in a taxi, ask the cabby to take me to his/her favorite place to eat and document the adventure, culinary and otherwise.
The Back Story
In May 2007, 18 months after moving to Buenos Aires, I left a tango club, hailed the first cab I saw and asked the driver to take me to his favorite restaurant. When I ended up at Parrilla Peña, face to face with a plate of transcendent bife de lomo, I knew I was on to something.
In June 2009, I moved to New York City to see how the taxi adventures would translate in one of the greatest cab cities (not to mention one of the greatest food cities) on the planet. Before long, the cabbies of New York started to lead me to some truly delicious food: souvlaki in Queens, Ghanaian in the Bronx, and Russian deliciousness in Brooklyn, among other things.
Still, in confining my adventures to the back seat, I started to sense I was missing something, especially after I met Iris and Constance Marie, two lady cab drivers who love their jobs as much as they love to eat. In 2010, I became a yellow cab driver myself.
When I read a Lonely Planet piece about Berlin cab drivers who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage, I took the Taxi Gourmet® blog to Berlin, where there’s more good food than you might imagine. Here, I met a cab driver named Rumen, who danced on the Wall the day after it fell, who introduced me to the wonders of East German cafeterias and Vietnamese curry, who’s been chronicling the transformation of Berlin since he started driving a cab twenty years ago. In 2014, we got married.
The Taxi Gourmet® blog has been featured on ABC News and MSNBC, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and in major media outlets in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and Italy. Serious Eats called it “a great concept” and VenusZine recognized it as “randomness at its most delicious.” To see additional press mentions, click here.
I grew up in a southern California family of butchers, bakers, failed farmers and great cooks, started working in restaurants at age 17, and was inspired to major in cultural anthropology after my first overseas trip to Russia.
I’ve written for The Guardian/Observer and NPR Berlin, reviewed restaurants for New York magazine, served as a New York editor for Not for Tourists, written a food column for South American Explorer, reported on restaurants for The Buenos Aires Herald, and contributed to The Travel Channel’s worldhum.com and Time Out. My stories about taxi adventures around the world have also been anthologized in The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2012.
My first book, Driving Hungry (Pantheon/Random House, 2015), is the story behind the story of the Taxi Gourmet blog. It’s a memoir about food, wanderlust, tango, taxi drivers, Buenos Aires, New York, Berlin, the beauty of chance encounters, the pleasures of not always knowing your destination, and the possibility of creating a life well-lived.
To see a list of my published food writing, click here. To get in touch, email me at layne(at)taxigourmet(dot)com.
* TAXI GOURMET® is a trademark of Layne Mosler