What’s in my travel bag: Gerald Tan

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Gerald Tan is one of Doha’s most prominent food bloggers (boulangerry.com). With a background in TV journalism, he is originally from Malaysia, and worked in Kuala Lumpur and Washington DC before moving to Qatar in 2011 for a job at Al Jazeera English. He is currently working on a show for the station that will examine the culture of a city through its food.


My day job is dynamic, fast-paced, and ever-changing, and by night I get to be a food critic. In Doha, IDAM at the Museum of Islamic Art ticks all the boxes for me. The menu is designed by Michelin-starred master Alain Ducasse – regional ingredients cooked with classical French techniques. If you’re going to try camel for the first time, this is the place to do it.

The bag

I’ve seen the world with my sturdy Crumpler messenger bag by my side for a good decade now. Mine protects my DSLR camera and still has plenty of space for my laptop and other essentials, including a special compartment for chocolate.

Cross Townsend rollerball pen

I still write postcards to my family and close friends from every new country I visit. Ink on paper sends a different message from mass emails, so I carry my trusty pen everywhere. Plus, I need it for writing in my journal…

Moleskine journal

This one is particularly handy for jotting down notes and recipes I encounter, and also has a special place in my heart because of the puddings and sweets etched onto the cover.


I like to maintain my regular skincare routine when travelling. So I pick up my favourite moisturisers in plane-friendly sizes: ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm, Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter, and Tromborg lip balm.

iPhone 6

Although my DSLR camera with macro lens captures the best food photos, I rely predominantly on my iPhone for shots that can be instantly shared on social media.

Emergency chocolate

There’s always food in my bag. Granola bars, roasted nuts, dried fruit, biscuits, the lot. But for those moments when everything seems to be going wrong, I reach for my hidden stash of Valrhona chocolate.

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