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Bobby CHINN : Around the world in taste buds


Today, we are going to talk about cooking, flavors, mixtures… In short, we are going to talk about cooking and not just anyone! But what’s Bobby Chinn doing on the Roadsign blog? It is simple: he came to share his greed for discovery, sharing, authenticity, travel. Come on board! ... [ Biography of an All-rounder without borders ] ... For those who have not yet read the many articles about Bobby all over the world, let’s try a quick presentation of this atypical and endearing Chef. Born in New Zealand from a Chinese-American father and an Egyptian mother, this kid was born a globe-trotter. Going to school in Auckland, Cairo, London and San Francisco, it shapes your eyes on the world, its smells and flavours. His DNA and curiosity also led him to enrol in the French Cooking Institute of New York, to learn improvisation and to stay for a time at the Holy City Zoo, influential Comedy Club of San Francisco. Looking for his way, he will also make a detour to the New York Stock Exchange before opting definitively for cooking. He says “I accidentally became a Chef but I was born as a traveller”. Bobby has no borders, does not belongs to any group and find a way to fit everywhere. Raised apart from all prejudices, he says he has always lived at the crossroads. “I prefer to look for our commonality versus our differences as clearly in those days, I was very different to the rest of the kids”. And if there is one thing that is common to all countries, a way to share daily life and to immerse oneself in a local culture, it is cooking. ... ... [ The plate, the screen, the sharing ] ... First waiter, kitchen-help or assistant, Bobby did not plan to become a famous Chef. His ambition is first to make his guests happy with simple things and a touch of madness. It’s not so easy to go out of the beaten path of gastronomy, especially in the West. A wise advice from his father and the desire for a real creative culinary space led him in the 90s to Vietnam and he soon became a star of cuisine throughout Asia and the Middle East. Since then, Bobby has also returned to open a famous restaurant in London, reselling since then and is working on new projects. Passionate, Bobby constantly creates new and personal dishes, inspired by classical French cuisine and his unusual culinary experiences made all over the world. “I borrow from many, in small ways, I mix it up and often come up with some interesting dishes that appeal to the cultures that I have borrowed from. It is not complicated” Bobby follows his mantra: KISS for Keep It Simple Stupid. Funny, upbeat and sometimes cheeky, Bobby Chinn almost naturally found himself at the head of a culinary TV show in Asia but also helming a series of reports broadcasted in France under the title of “Traditions et saveurs” who have travelled around the world via Travel channel, Voyage and Discovery Channel. In these culinary epics in Turkey, Zanzibar, Peru or Sicily, Bobby takes us to the local market, cooks with the inhabitants in the street or in their house and engages in a most informal shopping. “It really depends on the country as each culture is very different, I never have a true game plan for any of it. I go with the flow”. It is true that looking at him learning how to cook “Pasta con le sarde” on the dock of a Sicilian port, you feel like you have family on the island… His way of sharing, the sincerity he conveys also gives rise to requests of another nature, becoming ambassador of Vietnamese tourism in Europe, appointed as WWF’s Sustainable Seafood Ambassador for the Coral Triangle, obtaining many awards for his TV shows in Asia and entering the jury of Top Chef Middle East. Bobby can say that travel abolishes borders and leads anywhere you want. ... ... [ Cuisine is a voyage ] ... When asked his definition of the ideal trip, he answers “Semi planned with a lot of space to improvise”. He adds that he wants to see the local market, fast track to the community, discover the street-food. “I’m often invited to eat at a swank restaurant but I am more inclined to eating where the people eat. I can eat sushi anywhere but I can’t eat a good Ban Xeo outside streets of Ho Chi Minh or a great taco outside Mexico. I want to taste the food at the source. It’s like cooking out of a cookbook and never really knowing what it’s supposed to taste like”. His exploration of Vietnamese cuisine has been going on for many years. It’s impossible to overlook what makes it so different from other cuisines in Asia. He reminds us that the spice trade have heavily influenced the region and allowed China to export its tastes all over the world. In Asia, many cultures have been able to get away from Chinese flavours but the most unique still is Vietnamese cuisine. “As a starter, they are the only ones that cook with caramel. There are dishes that vary slightly to their neighbours but on the whole, Vietnam cooks a modern cuisine perfected thousands of years ago. It’s a regional, sustainable and light cuisine, generally gluten-free, with contrasting flavours, colours, textures with varying temperatures that can be experienced in a single bite. Vietnamese food is still mysterious because it wasn’t fully documented like the country and its neighbours lived a 1000 years fighting for independence”. That is why we are talking with Bobby Chinn today. His watch on the world, his curiosity and voyage are inscribed in his genes and he chose cuisine for exploring the world better. ... More information about Bobby Chinn in his website: ...
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Slow travel: to run is nothing, we must take the time…


Jean de La Fontaine was nothing of an adventurer but stated, in the hare and tortoise, that the way one travels mainly matters, whatever the destination. In a way, the fabulist boasted the art of travelling slowly but surely. Here is a first praise of the slow journey, except for one detail: the slow travel of today would better suit to the strolling hare than to the turtle! . [ Tourism or travel ] . For the common tourist, only the final destination counts. He often plans every second of his vacation, seeing “everything you need to see” at destination, jumping from the plane to the bus, and cannot stand any disappointment during transfers. He even considers a bad weather as a switch error! Bending to the schedules of visits, meals, take off … as he does each day. In other words, he runs and follows a timetable. The slow traveler cultivates certain nonchalance. He is no less anticipating but does not venture to see and show that he has seen. What attracts him is the pleasure of discovery. Of course, he also uses modern means of transport and will go to see certain high places that really deserve a detour. Giving way to the unforeseen, not being afraid to live a few unplanned hours, he also takes the chance to discover in a new light the places crossed and his destination. . . [ Praise of the “slowness” ] . Better than slowness, we could talk about sweetness. Taking time is a luxury accessible to all. At a time when patience is no longer (really) perceived as a quality, everything takes an urgent look. Yet, how many of us would like to change our pace of life? Taking a vacation is the perfect time to slow down. Choosing slow travel means opening up to the world, maybe seeing or doing fewer things, but living them deeply. Sitting on the terrace of a little cafe in an unknown city without a schedule means listening, learning, breathing another air. Set foot in a village for a simple step and decide to stay one more day, just because you like the place and are welcomed there… Slow travel promotes meetings, gives way to impromptu discussions. Are you a little lost? By asking for help and accepting invitations, you are already different. By simply taking the train or the bus, the traveler is exposed to friendliness surprising moments and even to new friendships! . . [ A new art of travelling ] . Some people think you have to be young, sporty, and to afford the luxury of traveling outside the box. In fact, you only need two things: envy and adaptability. No need to go to the world’s end to practice slow travel and no need to take a sabbatical year either! The safest way to a successful escape is to avoid the most touristic places during peak hours… Some will leave their backpack and only rely on meetings during their journey, but slow travel does not exclude comfort. Others prefer service exchanges, which is common today and everywhere. A One Night Couchsurfing can easily turn into a very nice holiday week with your hosting for local personal guide. Never would you have discovered the city this way between scheduled visits and changing towns every two days. Switching houses, sleepover at the inhabitant, all this can be considered before leaving. Just like the Woofing that offers you bed and board in exchange of small volunteer work or home babysitting in magical places. Which tour operator will allow you to share a few days the life of a rural family near Phnom Penh or to voluntarily help the teams of an animal shelter in the Australian bush? Who, except you, can seize the opportunity to explore Pompeï perfectly alone with a guide (a little bit venal but) fascinating, just when closing the site to the public? There are many ways to discover a country, a region whether they are tourist or not, and in your own time. . . [ Both positive and useful ] . The pleasures of discovery, the encounters and the unique experiences that offer us a fresh look at the world. These are the first benefits of slow travel. But it can also be very economical. By taking time, accommodation and transport costs are easily reduced; sometimes, we even succeed to delete them. Finally, the slow Traveler prefers train, boat, walking or cycling to the plane or car rental. Ceasing to make flea jumps across a continent in a very short time, he reduces his climate footprint. Without forgetting that consuming locally, he supports the people who give it back. If you think that traveling is not just about discovering new sceneries, that meeting makes the salt of the journey and mutual respect gathers, why not try to travel differently? . . Photos: ©Gabriel.Pielke / ©David.Lemanski / ©Vincent.Kronental / ©Romain.Pujols.Benoit
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In The Eyes Of: Seeing the world with children’s eyes


Do you know the adage “travel broadens the young mind”? Young or less young, all those who seek to discover somewhere else know we always come back richer if we knew how to look and listen. In the project In The Eyes Of, two young people offer us the journey as a means of education and pedagogical support. Let’s try a quick diving into the crazy world of Julie and Vincent…     The genesis   Julie and Vincent are not 30 years old but have already wandered around the world. Just entering graduate business and tourism studies, they took advantage of all the opportunities to explore the planet. For Julie, study, work or get involved in humanitarian work in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Madagascar and Cambodia. For Vincent (who had never travelled before his 20th birthday), studies, internships or work in Canada, New Zealand, Bolivia and Costa Rica.Are they just globe-trotters? The common thread that emerges from their individual experiences is education. A universal subject for the documentary In The Eyes Of, shot in 5 countries quite unknown by the French public. Since the school does not exist everywhere, they wanted to address both family and school education.       The “crazy” side of the project is that it is based on the total sharing of a family’s life with children for 10 weeks.   10 weeks in Papua New Guinea, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran and Namibia. From August 2018 to June 2019, Vincent’s camera will capture the eyes and daily lives of children living in very different latitudes and environments.   Finding the welcoming families is done with the help of personal relationships or expats networks. The sole basis: they must have children between the ages of 7 and 13.No film crew, no infrastructure at their disposal, a sincere and absolute immersion in the environment and the life of their host families, and the strong wind blowing over the Indonesian Sulawesi archipelago where they stayed when we joined them!     The film   “In the Eyes of” is constructed around 5 themes that can affect all children: cooking, vision of the future, school learning, music, recreation and sports. Julie and Vincent highlight the words of the children, their feelings and those of their parents, such a great way to consider education around the world. This is not a fiction and not just a report. Vincent admits that anticipating all reactions and events is quite impossible. “We’ve been to school with them three times and the teacher’s not here three times.” Similarly, the doc should not have a voice-over but the reality is sometimes confusing, no door is closed… The primary purpose of this positive and humanistic film is to show cultural differences through the eyes of children. Most of all, it has to be shared wisely.   Children talk to children     The originality of the project lies in the interaction between children desired by its authors. Julie and Vincent presented it to some institutional partners in the school sector and to the France.tveducation site. The idea: to federate in France some classes and teachers whose pupils could interact with the children encountered during their journey. Before the departure, the French children were able to ask questions and get answers from their counterparts around the world. Since the beginning of the trip, the blog and member space of the website allowed them to exchange live.     A pedagogical file available on the site complements the images of the documentary.   The film will be broadcast in schools, from primary to high school. Not to mention some festivals and television channels for a wider audience. The partnership with France.tveducation, very prized by teachers, allows the broadcast of short videos centered on environment, leisure, educational course and food.   The deep objective is to encourage openness, to change attitudes through the younger ones. “The French reality is rather sad now seen from abroad. Our will is for children to realize what they have, to have points of comparison».   Julie and Vincent’s message is crystal clear:   There are no standard, each person is beautiful for what he or she is.   In The Eyes Of aims to raise awareness of the world with its human, climatic issues, but also to teach the younger ones to look into each other’s eyes, without prejudice, with harmless curiosity.   If You want to know more about the project:   The Website  And Facebook Page
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