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lovely ladies eating koshariYesterday, we had our first serious Koshari Street event, setting up stall at the Mayor of London’s Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square. It was quite amazing. We never stopped for one minute, serving people of all ages, all nationalities, all sexes who all loved our koshari. And we loved them for wanting it. I particularly loved the two young girls in the picture above, university students who had come up to London for the festival and had stocked up on  food from other stalls which they carried in blue plastic bags. I should have asked them to put the bags aside for the sake of the picture but then I wouldn’t have caught them so natural. Another one I loved was the gentleman in the picture below squeezing through the crowd anxiously carrying away his pots of koshari. I also liked his fashion sense although not as much as that of two Italian ladies who also enjoyed our Koshari. I am not sure why I didn’t take their picture. They were just as gorgeous as the two university students. But I took others, all with instagram, which I resisted for years but no longer and if you are curious to see them, you can in our facebook album!

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sao paolo-bar in the favela copy

I think it was after I watched City of God that I decided I had to visit a favela. Except that it is not quite what you do as a lone female traveler. Nor even as a lone male traveler. As luck would have it, I was again invited this year by lovely Luiz Camargo to attend Paladar Cozinha do Brazil. Luiz had invited me to this wonderful event back in 2009 and I wrote about it. However, back then there was no visit to a favela on the schedule. This year though there was and we went with the inspirational David Hertz of Gastromotiva who trains young disadvantaged people to acquire culinary skills to a favela in Paraisópolis to meet some of his trainees, hear their stories, watch them cook and eat their food and of course to visit the place where some of them live and work. This particular favela is not as rough as others but it is still an extraordinary world where wonderful characters hang about in tiny bars, just sitting as if they were waiting for Godot, or play snooker or cards with loud music booming from cars, homes or shops that no one seems to pay attention to! Quite an amazing day with wonderful people and delicious homely Brazilian food!

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mendoza-guessing wines at catena zapata copy

Last week I did something quite mad and flew all the way to Argentina to spend 3 days in Mendoza for the Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine. I had missed it the previous year and didn’t want to this time round despite the long journey for such a short stay. I am happy I went. And if you haven’t been, you should go. Mendoza is beautiful. The wines and food are great and the people totally charming, and beautiful.

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I am just back from a wonderful trip to Mendoza in Argentina where I was for the Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine. The trip was incredibly long but totally worth it. I absolutely loved Mendoza. The landscapes are beautiful, the people very lovely, and the food and wine very good.  I will tell you more about the event and the wineries we visited in the next post but I thought I would leave you with this clip of a tango show in the lobby of the hotel. I had missed the previous one in the courtyard. It was my first time watching tango dancers in real life and it made me want to take tango classes immediately except that it wouldn’t make much difference. Sadly, I have no sense of rythm!