Although he's a host of Market Kitchen, a cooking show on British television, Tom Parker Bowles's approach can be a bit, well, unconventional. "I get into trouble for dipping my fingers into the food and tasting it," he admits. "They have to shout, 'Cut,' and film the scene again." No wonder he's reluctant to offer his services to Prince Charles, whom his mother, Camilla, married in 2005. "I think he'd probably be horrified," Parker Bowles says. "He has people who are better that cook for him."

Better, maybe. Better traveled? Probably not. In 2005 Bowles set out across the globe so he could sample different kinds of local grub, an experience captured in his new book The Year of Eating Dangerously (out this week). By testing more familiar fare as well as rare dishes that may not be for the faint of stomach, Parker Bowles, 32, says he hopes to encourage different cultures to embrace each Golden Goose UK other's cuisines. "The Chinese might see Stilton cheese and say, 'Hang on, you think we're weird? You eat rotten milk with blue mold in it!'" he says.

He celebrates a number of savory discoveries in the book. There were the "sweet" barnacle-like percebes shellfish harvested from the swells of the Atlantic off Spain. And he was smitten with the fare and smells of Laos. Still, he admits that there were more than a few times when he found himself hankering for the "comfort food" of home鈥攕pecifically, the roast chicken (see recipe below) and shepherd's pie that Camilla would make for him and his sister Laura, 29, an art gallery manager, when they were growing up in the bucolic countryside of Wiltshire. Korean silkworm pupae left him cold, but nothing chilled his appetite like the water beetle salad in Laos鈥?The huge head stares at you menacingly."


A chili freak who always carries a bottle of Tabasco, Parker Bowles "is the greediest and most enthusiastic gastronome," says his cousin Ben Elliot. "On family holidays he was always asking chefs for more spice鈥攐r simply just more." It was his parents (his father is Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, 67) who encouraged this love of wholesome, fresh food鈥攁 banquet compared with the institutional fare of his boarding school days. "My dad was a mad, keen gardener," says Parker Bowles. "And my mum Golden Goose Sneakers Sale was a really good, basic British cook.