Food lovers and home chefs: Share your dishes in 2012 with #ShareDish

As 2011 is drawing to a close, Françoise Lin and I are working on a great new project for 2012: #ShareDish. Being passionate home chefs, foodies and travelers, we thought it a great idea to create a monthly forum, on which people can share their dishes.

Every first Wednesday of the month will be #ShareDish Wednesday. We will set a theme, and ask you, our fellow food lovers, home chefs and travelers, to make a dish that fits the theme, take a photo of it, and share that photo (plus the recipe, of course) through Twitter or Facebook. Obviously, you can use earlier work, especially if you have blogged about your creations before, and don’t hold back: you can share as many dishes as you like.

For those that feel less comfortable in the kitchen: you’re welcome to join in with dishes you have enjoyed, but which are made by others.

Oh, and before I forget: make sure the photos and recipes you share are your own, or give credit to the source.

The first #ShareDish Wednesday will be on 4 January 2012, with the theme ‘New Year’. We thought it fits nicely with the time of year, and a new project. Any types of dish photos are welcome, whether it is a traditionally French Galette des Rois, or a dish you made for the first time. Feel free to interpret the theme as it inspires you! Françoise and I will be hosting the first #ShareDish Wednesday, but if you want to join us next time, let us know. We can use your help.

To follow #ShareDish Wednesday, search for it on Twitter and like our Facebook Page.

What’s your New Year’s tradition?

At the stroke of midnight, when 31 December becomes 1 January, the skies in The Netherlands light up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Fireworks are everywhere, and people are out on the streets either to ignite them or to watch the displays of others. With an oliebol in one hand, and a glass of Champagne in the other, we wish our neighbours, friends, family all the best for the new year. For those courageous enough, the next day at noon the North Sea awaits us to dive in for a fresh start. Basically, this is the Dutch tradition of celebrating New Year.

The question “what’s your country’s New Year’s tradition” on Twitter yesterday, by the fabulous Françoise Lin, triggered some very interesting responses. Did you know that in Sweden they eat fish, especially dried cod and lobster? Or that in Spain and Portugal they eat a grape for every stroke of the clock at midnight, accompanying each with a wish for the New Year? You can see an example of that in the video above. In Paris they go to the Champs Élysées to celebrate, while in Melbourne they go to the river, in Sidney to the Harbour bridge and in Singapore it’s the beach. Champagne, or other sparkling wine, is also quite common around the globe.

So, what is your tradition for New Year?

With contributions via Twitter from: Francoise, Ruben, Aleksanders, Charles, Kenny, Katharine, Ana, Henrik and Nikos. Thanks!

How do you keep up your training routine when traveling?

Are you one of those people that run, or do some other activity, to keep fit? I am. Especially now, because I’m training to run a half marathon. However, when I travel, my training routine is always impacted. Mostly in a negative way; meaning that I either do not train, or train less. Change of environment, the travel itself, time-zone differences, there are many reasons – or excuses – that make me work out less. Another thing is that I’m not always familiar with the running routes at my destination. The location, length, surface, all factors that I want to know.

Tel Aviv beach, a perfect scene for a run

Tel Aviv beach, a perfect scene for a run

Fortunately, there are several hotels offering gym facilities. But I’m a peculiar one: I love to run outside, preferably in parks. Two recent hotel stays made me happy in this respect. In both cases I found a booklet in my room about… fitness. One was divided in three sections, with advise on healthy food, exercise and mental fitness. This is how the Clarion hotels take care of their guests. Although the information was good, it was very general. Fortunately, it also explained that every Clarion hotel can inform you about running routes at the reception. In all honesty, I didn’t test it, because this particular trip was perfectly squeezed between two routine training sessions at home. But still, I kept it in mind for next time.

The other booklet was offered by the Best Western. It contained a running route description from each of the Best Western hotels in Germany. All starting from the hotel front door. On top of that, they have mapped the routes on a German, what I assume to be a popular, jogging route website. By simply searching for the hotel, you can see the route displayed on a map.

A run through the Stuttgarter Schlossgarten

A run through the Stuttgarter Schloßgarten

On another occasion, it was not so much the hotel service, as the location: right next to the Tel Aviv beach and boulevard. This is not only a place to relax in the sun, but also a busy exercise spot. I did a run to Jaffa, with the Mediterranean Sea constantly in sight. It was an amazing experience, and I almost considered moving there. If you have this as your daily exercise track, you will keep running.

For me, these services are great. I don’t think I’m obsessed, but keeping up with a training routine is hard enough, and especially when you’re traveling. If your hotel supports you in keeping fit, it can be of great value. How do you keep fit when you’re traveling? And where do you like to run?

Two weeks of wonderful madness

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me. It started with a call, while I was in Tallinn, on November 16th. Whether I wanted to be the 8th Quality Hunter. The next Tuesday, 22 November, I was on my way to Helsinki for a briefing and a roundtrip on the 3B/3T tram. On Wednesday I flew to Stuttgart, where I spent 2 nights. A run in the Schlossgarten (see video), a visit to the Porsche museum, and of course walking around in the city and examining the airport. All in the name of quality hunting.

Then it was back to Helsinki to wait for a delayed flight to Hong Kong. A visit to Macau for the Top Marques exhibition, the Giant Buddha, a Design Festival, Victoria Peak, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, the Star Ferry, the Intercontinental hotel. And again: the airport.

A short visit home, via Helsinki again, before I went back to Finland for the wrap-up of the project. But not before visiting the air traffic control tower at Helsinki Airport and a drive around the airport grounds. If you want to see some of the photos I took, please have a look at my QH8 collection over on PicPlz, and for the posts I wrote for the project, you can check out the 8th Quality Hunter category on the website, but please also read the other posts.

It has been a blast. An enormous amount of experiences packed in a two-week period. I flew 8 legs, visited two countries I hadn’t been before (Finland and Macau) and three cities I never visited before: Helsinki, Stuttgart and Macau again), met new friends online, met new friends in real life and learned a lot.

Now, the Quality Hunters project is over, but it will stay with me forever. I’m looking forward to the ideas being implemented by Helsinki Airport and Finnair. And now it’s time to figure out what’s next.