Body Worlds

Sometimes we need someone, to push ourselves to do something, which we desire for long time, but we’re not entirely sure if it’s worth the effort. Having the company of a friend was the solution and Body Worlds, Amsterdam was the destination.

An elevator, accompanied by a sign with the exhibition names on all six floors, welcomes you as you enter. The journey goes from top to bottom, the first floor being Coordination. Composed of the nerve, blood and bone systems, represented by some of the most fascinating human, figuratively and literally speaking, exhibitional chef-d’œvres ever created.

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Midday in Paris

There is nothing better, than to visit a busy, tourist city during low season. Backpack with a few clothes, a book, my laptop, the feeling that now’s the right moment, a train ticket to Gare du Nord and the excitement: Finally Paris, bring me to the French capital!

We come on a Saturday, a day for the French to protest, resembling almost a military situation, you can feel the escalation of tension between the protesters and the police, as soon as you exit Gare du Nord. Now’s the best time to see the beauty of Paris, a Paris, without tourist deceptions, the real Paris! Walking aside the blockade starting from La place de la Concorde, stretching through the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées,  all the way to L’arc de Triomphe, in the Eye of the storm, I witnessed the struggle of the police to resolve the conflict, just a typical Parisian Saturday…

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It’s a kind of Magic

This blog is about cooking, culinary thoughts and at the same time, a traveling guide.

Because what is food, without a trip in search for it, meeting new people, cultures, and of course develop new recipes.

An old proverb says: “You are only human, when you’re on the road” and for chefs I would add “in never ending search for new ingredients, techniques and culinary habits”.

This time, I’m taking you to London

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Hurry up

Vienna is incredible. Although every person is different and have their own preferences, dreams and deeply hidden intimate desires, I don’t think, that there’s a more attractive and fairy place to be during Christmas. If until now, I couldn’t say that definitely, after my visit to Vienna and seeing its magnificence, spinned me up and swallowed me whole on its carousel of beauty.

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Vienna awaits

In the last days of the final month of the passing year, let me take you on a journey, to brighten the remaining days until Christmas, with festive spirit  After we have mixed the stollen dough, we head to Vienna, a fairy place to discover culinary delights and find presents at beautiful Viennese Christmas markets.

Infected with festive spirit and in a great mood, I’m traversing the magically peaceful streets of Vienna, which enchant me with their decorations, the smiling people and the brilliant preparations for upcoming winter holidays.

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Harvest time

Autumn, this beautiful season, when everything in the nature is meant to die…. only to be resurrected in the spring.

The season might be the best time to find a great variety of seasonal products and herbs. These are the days, when  we go around muddy forest and leaf covered paths, searching for wild mushrooms and the last forest fruits.

The time, when we collect oysters along the coast, at tide, or  just searching through the farmers markets, to sense the smell of baked apples, marinated pickles and dry charcuterie. My favourite time in Autumn  is to walk there with a pack of roasted chestnuts in my hand, choosing the best pumpkin for soup,  or just nourishing  my  senses through the eyes. I want to present you two of my favourite autumn recipes for something fast and sweet:  Pumpkin mousse and Stuffed apples with Marzipan.

 

Christmas Im/possible

This article is a bit different, because it’s dedicated to all my colleagues, who most probably, won’t be able to celebrate the holidays.

On one side, there’re the Christmas flavours, the shared moments and the food, the coziness and warmth of home, the spark in the eyes of family and friends. On the other, there are all these people, for whom Christmas means extra stress and endless working hours in the kitchen.

People, who make a Master Plan, they calculate, prepare orders and try to figure how to make this year’s holiday dinner more interesting and remembering than the previous.

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How we got here…

In the season of the cinnamon-orange memories, full of warm wine aroma, star anise and cardamom, Chef Iva was born.

It’s time to cook all the scents, tastes and delights, that remind us of winter, the snow,  the warmth of home and the Christmas stars, because it’s not just a holiday, when miracles happen, but it’s a magical moment, in which I become a kid again.

I close my eyes and imagine the smiling faces of the people around the fireplace, a Christmas tree, covered in countless colorful toys, reflecting the light, flickering playfully… and flavours, I imagine flavours. From the kitchen, a scent of freshly baked Stollen, mulled wine, Raclette, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, I can go on forever, because each Christmas memory inside of me has to it an emotion, shape, smell and taste.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, since the beginning of time, care and love come hand in hand with cooking, because “there’s no greater act of kindness and humanity, as to cook for someone”.

Meanwhile the restoration of Christmas tastes around the Globe, I would like to tell you the story of Klaus, the gander living on the canal passing by our Amsterdam home, who, because we’re buddies, will not be eaten for Christmas! I’m on a mission to take care and protect him.

There was this funny German joke, in which they asked the Dresden geese, what should people choose from Christmas dinner, to which all the geese replied in one voice “Carp, carp”… therefore a classic Christmas meal would have either goose, duck or carp.