My Global citizen friend Max (whom I introduced once here) has done us the honor today of sharing his philosophy and way of packing. Basically, he tells us how to detach from your life and travel light and free. Enjoy reading a global citizen’s travel checklist 🙂 Continue Reading “Travel Checklist of a Global Citizen – A Drifter’s Packing Philosophy”
I have often been told: Follow your dream. Whatever you decide to do, it has to be in pursuit of your dream.
– Isabella Baffa
If you’re into the culinary world of Beirut, you’ve surely heard about Isabella Baffa. She’s the founder of Sapori di Tery (coming to it) and an amateur cook turned guest chef in all the popular, trendy and hip Beirut places-to-cook. On the 9th of December, Isabella celebrated Sapori di Tery’s first anniversary at Tawlet. A year before that, she was at the same place serving food to the food-avid Beirutis. Today, I’m sharing her story.
Isabella is Italian not only by name but also at heart. She worked for 17 years in the fields of PR, Marketing and Communication. But after realizing this wasn’t what was making her happy, and that what brought her the most joy was actually cooking, tasting and sharing food, she made a drastic change of career.
Inspired by her mother Tery’s cooking, together with her childhood days spent in the kitchen with “sauces simmering and cakes baking”, she created her own brand of sauces called Sapori di Tery (Italian for ‘Savors of Tery’). A year later, she’s still going strong. As well as preparing her sauces, Isabella gives cooking classes in all hip cooking places in Beirut (like Kitchen Lab and Tawlet). She also organizes dinners and lunches for private parties.
For Sapori di Tery’s first year anniversary, Isabella cooked at Tawlet, the first place she was given the opportunity to present her skills to the world a year ago.
Here I am a year later, right where I started my incredible journey and dream, in TAWLET.
Words fail to describe how fulfilled I am.
Experiences, hard work, happy moments, stressful moments, delight, feedback from each client coming back to buy Sapori Di Tery’s sauces, events making me discover a different world, cooking classes with all kinds of people, men women, children, cooking trainings in remote areas, sharing my passion with each and every person, ….
And yet only two words prevail: SHARE – LOVE
Being Italian, Isabella considers sauces as the basis of any pasta dish (the fundamentally favored Italian dish).
Isabella puts a lot of work into her sauces. Not only are they handmade, but their process took and still takes time, patience and heart. Isabella spent a year tasting and testing. She made them for friends who were kind enough to give true feedback, she traveled for inspiration, she peeled and still peels freshly-bought tomatoes. What makes Sapori di Tery is that it’s home crafted with a cook’s own hands, adding a delicate touch that is becoming very hard to find.
The sauces are numerous and different, and their flavours are mostly inspired by Isabella’s travels and friends. She sometimes names the sauces after the person who gave her the recipe, like Giusi and Giulia. Sauces with an identity is what created Sapori di Tery and kept it growing.
That’s Isabella’s story. I hope it will inspire all you cooks who enter the kitchen and see their problems swirling away with the smell of fresh ingredients and simmering delights.
But before you wander off to your stoves, that’s not all! I’m so excited to announce a collaboration between Breadonbutter and Isabella in 2015. Stay tuned for it, I’m sure you kitchen lovers will just fall in love with it.
P.S. You can find Sapori di Tery sauces at Farhoud, Rue du Liban Ashrafieh – The Food Dealer, Mar Mikhael Beirut – Maison Chal – Adma. You can also order them by calling directly on 03-201009 or by sending a message on Sapori di Tery’s facebook page (here).
Having lived abroad, watched movies and traveled loads of times, one always looks for things he learnt to love. As Lebanon is not an easy country and you spend your time longing for things you saw abroad that don’t exist in your own country, it’s a delight to find a hidden space that could possibly be “it”.
So when I contacted Rania and she agreed to chat about cakes, coffee, travel and books, I immediately jumped at the chance. Who could ask for better, right?
Papercup (www.papercupstore.com) is a bookstore located in Mar Mikhael, in Madrid Street (parallel to the mainroad). You can check their website for a detailed map. They also serve coffee and cake over there for a “coffee-infused book therapy” as they state agreeably.
Rania is Papercup Store’s owner. She has a publishing background, has worked in New York, is a reader and a traveler and also a new mom! And here’s a summary of our conversation.
Why a place like this and in this location?
I was living in the Mar Mikhael neighbourhood in 2005 and loved it. I saw that what was missing was a library and decided to go ahead with the project. I found a notebook I had 12 years ago in New York. That’s when I realized I was already thinking about the idea then because the whole plan for the place was in this notebook! I wanted to create a place where I’d personally like to hang out on a Saturday.
Why design, travel and art as a focus for books?
I worked in publishing abroad and then moved back to Lebanon 11 years ago and worked in distribution. I saw that there was something missing in the choice of books and noticed that people around me saw this gap as well. The gap was in things less mainstream and commercial. So this completed the idea of the bookstore. I saw there was actually a market for it.
How do you decide which cake you’re going to offer on a specific day? Where do you get the recipe? Do you bake it yourself?
It’s my sister who bakes the cakes. She’s actually the chef and owner of Frosty Palace (facing papercup, one of the best burgers and milkshakes ever). She basically decides which cake to bake. I just let her know we need a cake and she happily bakes it! There’s only 1 cake because it’s a tiny space and the point is a bookstore with a tiny coffee shop.
Where do you find the cool things and books you sell?
I just do really a lot of research, spend my time looking for these kinds of things because I like them and because I’m curious. I used to choose things alone but I now have a small team that helps me choose as well. We show each other everything we like ranging from books to cards to maps, etc…
Who are your clients?
There’s no specific client profile. Clients are mainly teachers, parents, artists, amateurs in art, design and photography.
How do you market yourself?
I don’t advertise. There’s no budget for that. My cousin is an architect and she did the whole place. At the time, there were a lot of available spaces in Mar Mikhael. I didn’t want the main road, I preferred the store to be a hidden gem, not too commercial.
For the opening, we sent out 400 private invitations and since it’s a small country and everyone knows everyone, word of mouth played its role to perfection. We also got a lot of international press.
Are you a cook? A traveler?
I love to cook but now I have no time. I used to host a lot of dinners however and try a lot of new stuff in the kitchen. I used to travel a lot but now I just had a child so there is a change in lifestyle happening. When I travel, I really travel with passion.
I have no favorite book but I can say the type of books I like the most are novels. I don’t sell novels, however, only once a year, we offer a guest table of summer reads. Every year, someone different (a guest) creates the table. The approach is basically that they make a list of their books with a written synopsis of why they chose the book and why people should read it and the table is displayed for a month. This year, Holly was the guest. She worked in publishing in New York, she’s a papercup customer and a big reader. She also reviews books and she’s a huge fiction reader.
My favorite cake is my mom’s carrot cake. It’s just the best carrot cake ever. It has been my birthday cake since the age of 16.
I can’t say I have a favorite country but there are some cities I absolutely love: London, Stockholm, New York, Portland, Seattle, Melbourne. I also love the Pacific North West, calmer than cities.
Any advice for the young ambitious people of Lebanon?
Try to discover the world and leave the nest for a while. A company can easily be opened abroad as well and it can be managed better than here as you won’t have to worry about the basics. In Lebanon, if you want to survive, you have to create your own bubble but then again that’s not necessarily healthy.
Rania just recently gave birth to a baby boy. She’s discovering motherhood and the moms’ world. Kind of like re-discovering herself. Thanks for this lovely chat! 🙂
Anyone here a Papercup customer?
You can also follow them on Facebook (click here) and instagram (@papercupstore).
I’ve been told several times, be it on postcards, in conversations with adults or with strangers I hadn’t met before (the landlord of my old apartment in Exeter for example) that The World is My Oyster. I believe it, people around me believe it but the real question is whether we all really apply it. Are we all really throwing ourselves into what this world has to offer? I guess it truly depends on each of our aspirations in life.
Having said that, meet Max. He’s the author of the blog Drifter’s Guide to The Planet (www.driftersguide.wordpress.com) and I can tell you the world is definitely his oyster. He describes himself as an international Long Term Traveler, a global citizen, an entrepreneur, a life-long learner and a free thinker. He’s realistic and it is in his nature to question absolutely everything. Â To find out more about this Globe trotter, here are a few questions I had to ask him and his answers.
How did the adventure start?
Ever since I could remember, I felt like something major was missing in my life. Something I should be doing, something calling me. I always questioned things, told myself that life MUST mean more and I kept looking for answers. It was this chronic dissatisfaction and I didn’t know what it was until one day, I came to a professional crossroad and went to South East Asia. This opened my eyes. I got in contact with a foreign culture and it felt like we were all really just living in our own bubble with only glimpses of the world of possibilities before us. So that’s when I decided to do it, travel the world, explore cultures and possibilities. It was now possible and legitimate, other people were doing it too and this is what I wanted, to live off the grid and not be programmed to live a routine.
Which steps did you take to be able to start your adventure?
The first step I took was to start off with a lot of research on the subject of living unconventionally. This is when I had to come up with ways to sustain myself financially while on the go. SoÂ I got a double Certificate to teach English as well as Business English worldwide to be able to work while traveling. I also used my savings and tried to get projects that I could work on online. I then planned my first trip and became an “activist”, a pro-nonconformity living. It became a mission of mine to influence people, I needed to spread the information I was learning and sharing my experience became a responsibility. There are so many people out there looking for the same experience, wondering about the same things and missing out on the chance to flourish.
What would be your advice to these people?
My advice to them is first to know that it won’t happen with the push of a button. You have to do your own research, look into yourself and what you want, what you have to do. There are important steps that cannot be overlooked. You must save for it or use a money-making scheme like working online, teaching, or volunteering to cut down on costs. You have to find a way to control your own time, find a job where you are not stuck (it exists, just look for it!). Eliminate the mindset of right and wrong, you decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Then decide if this adventure is for you or not. Take a gap year, figure things out and make your own choices. The World is certainly your oyster because possibilities are endless. Be aware and independent in all senses and work on it. Trust your instincts, listen to them and go!
What are some of your goals in life?
I am a life long learner. I believe that goals are only temporary. For now, I am not working for one goal but for a set of of goals that will help me discover myself, life and help other people along the way. I am looking for purpose and enjoying myself along the way, because life is a treasure and travel is the greatest teacher.
How do you describe your experiences and the people you meet along the way?
Most of, if not all of the people I meet, I do in a positive way. I hear positive stories and tell mine. Unconsciously, when travelers meet somewhere distant at a certain time, they realize they’re all connected and looking for the same thing. Those are the ones who travel for purpose. It’s been nothing but positive because that’s how I see it. The people I meet become my closest friends. I interact with them almost on a daily basis.
How do you design your itinerary?Â
I start by looking inwards and I instinctively know what my next destination will be. It’s an interest that builds up with time and that’s how you suddenly know. I then make a list of places I want to visit, research (using internet resources, booking sites like kayak.com, expedia.com, booking.com and hostelworld.com), plan the first 2 steps and then improvise while I’m there. I used to be a planning freak but this has diminished with time once I realized I can be flexible.
How do you deal with judgement and criticism, especially in Lebanon?
I was not exactly criticized but misunderstood. Nobody argues on the principle, they argue on the ‘how’. But deep down, they would all do it if they could find a way. As for family, I can’t expect parents, who come from a completely different world and generation to understand. But they ended up making peace with it.
Can you tell us about a specific moment that has touched you?
I can’t of course think of only one wonderful experience but the first thing that comes to mind is a moment I had on my last trip to Argentina. I took a ferry to Isla Victoria and I remember now how amazed I was by nature, wild life and the scenery. I was so touched and felt like I was back in love with planet earth. We tend to forget the amazing things this planet has to show.
Which camera do you use?
My very basic, non professional phone camera. But this might change because I realize more and more the importance of capturing moments like these. It IS true that a picture is worth a 1000 words actually. People will connect to the picture and be influenced better.
Where did you already go?
I went to Thailand, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, Cyprus, USA and UAE.
Can you name one thing that brings all those countries together?
They are all worth exploring because they’re all different than what we know. They help you learn how to live with different cultures.
What is the strategy you use to learn more about the country you’re visiting?
Nothing is better than meeting locals and staying close to them. Networking is key. Of course I read all about the culture and history of the country as well and learn a bit their language. Once there, the food helps me understand the culture more as well.
Any food you dislike?
Seafood. Shrimp is my Kryptonite. (!)
Max will be leaving for a new adventure on the 3oth of April. This time, he will be exploring Europe, focusing on Eastern Europe, but also UK, Ireland and Scotland, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Bilbao.
Hoping to inspire you, always. Thank you so much for sharing Max!
In my opinion, food is what brings people together. It creates a rather special bond. Food lovers actually understand each other and know what it is to be passionate.
I have decided lately to have guest writers more often on Breadonbutter. People who inspire me with their cooking, lifestyle and interesting background.
Today, I am honored to introduce you to Mateus Esteves- Ribeiro.
I will let his article explain more about who he is and what he does, and I assure you you will just fall in love with his story and recipes.
Paio, Beef and Coffee Stew with Passion Fruit Mojito
By Mateus Esteves-Ribeiro
Hello Awesome Readers of Breadonbutter!
My name is Mateus Esteves-Ribeiro, Iâ€™m a brazilian multi-sensorial designer (which skills includes a lilâ€™ bit of cooking), and Lynn invited me to cook something for her blog. I started studying professional cuisine 10 months ago, and I can say for sure that I am addicted to french cuisine and its stews. Itâ€™s incredible how some herbs, wine, low quality beef and some stock can become something so rich and meaningful. This year I also started studying coffee and its rich culture in Brazil. These two subjects drove me to a new idea of cooking a stew based on coffee.
For this recipe, the coffee roasting process will be determinant to the final outcome. If you use a lighter roast, the coffee taste and aroma on the final stew is going to be more clear. If you use a darker roast, it will enrich the stock and give a beautiful body to the final glace. In my recipe, I used a medium-dark roast. The variety of Arabica Beans will also change your final stew. Iâ€™m using a coffee produced in SÃ£o JosÃ© do Vale do Rio Preto, Rio de Janeiro, that has a high acidity and will bring a nice citric tasting note.
I served the stew along with a Virgin PassionÂ Mojito (recipe below the stew). If you guys want to make it alcoholic, just add some Rum. Or if you want to turn it into a Caipirinha, take out the Soda and add 70ml of CachaÃ§a and fill the glass with ice.
Paio, Beef and Coffee Stew
600g Beef Cut for Stews
300g Paio (you can use Spanish Chorizo or Portuguese ChouriÃ§o)
03 Cloves of Garlic
01 Bouquet Garni with Thyme, Rosemary and a Bay Leaf
250g Baby Carrots
150g Fresh Mushrooms
20g Arabica Coffee Beans. Grind it and brew on Hario V60 (or similar) with 200ml of water
500ml Beef Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
First, cut the paio and beef into 4x3cm pieces.
Chop the onions, leeks and garlic.
In a saucepan, add some olive oil and fry the leeks and onions for 3 minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and let it brown for 1 minute.
Add the beef and paio and incorporate with the other ingredients.
Add the beef stock and coffee along with the bouquet garni.
Close the sauce pan and let cook until the meat is tender, about 1h45min.
Open the sauce pan and add the mushrooms and baby carrots. Let it cook for 25 minutes.
Adjust salt and pepper and discard the bouquet garni.
Serve along with white rice.
Virgin Passion Mojito
700ml of Club Soda
20 Mint Leaves
01 Passion Fruit
04 tsp of Superfine Sugar
10 Ice Cubes
In a long glass, add the passion fruit flesh and mint leaves.
Add 02 teaspoons of sugar and mix well.
Add the ice and then fill the glass with the club soda.
Mix carefully and serve.
Hope you guys liked it.
Thank you Lynn for this beautiful opportunity.
For any questions you might have, you can contact Mateus on this email:Â email@example.com