Jamie’s Italian in Manchester

To be in any of the Jamie’s Italian spots was pretty exciting for me. I had an unplanned business trip to Manchester and decided to take an advantage of it. And to be honest, I couldn’t wait to go and visit the place.

The entrance of the restaurant was very welcoming and was promising a great dinner. And it didn’t let us down. The building was meant to be a bank for a long time, but recently became one of Jamie’s Italian restaurants. The bank vault was kept and nowadays is a room which could be rented for special events.

The enormous space wasn’t exactly how I was imagining Jamie’s Italian though. I was thinking of a more cozy place than a bank.

But the food was a great example of Jamie Oliver’s passion for the Italian cuisine and of his whole philosophy for food.

The starters we took were Creamy Burrata cheese with cherry tomatoes and basil and Spicy Meatballs with tomato and basil sauce. Both of them a good example of the simple and non-pretentious Italian food.

The main dishes we took were Slow cooked lamb in Tuscan style and Swardfish steak with smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes salad. The taste was fantastic. The lamb was so lean that it was melting in the mouth and was seasoned great – as you really are in Tuscany and are able to try a mixture of all its tastes. The fish was light and fresh. The food was combined with craft beers and refreshing Pinot Grigio.

Then it was time for dessert – Lemon Cheesecake and Strawberry Semifreddo. So tasty, but so sweet. No matter how much a love sweets, I couldn’t finish my dessert. But the taste of it was the great end of a great dinner.

Going to the UK and to one of the Jamie’s Italian restaurants made me read more about the crisis of this chain earlier this year. The Italian restaurants of Jamie were almost let to bankruptcy and Jamie Oliver had to invest a lot of his savings to save it. And I couldn’t stop wondering why… Jamie Oliver for me is a synonym of affordable (both economically and in terms of time) way of cooking. He encourages people to go back to the homemade food and shows them how easy and cozy it is to eat home. May be here is the biggest mismatch of the ideas and the philosophy – eating home or going to one of Jamie’s restaurants? Jamie Oliver is already a very strong brand in the modern culinary industry but in my mind it is always meant for cooking at home and making people spend time and share food together and enjoy the coziness of their own homes.

I would go again there, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the experience and the food and I would like to try more of what’s Jamie’s choice to include in his menu. But I would definitely prefer to watch his TV shows, to read his books, to try his recipes at home.

If you have your own experience in any of Jamie Oliver restaurants, I would be happy to hear about it 🙂

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Our food experience at Lago di Como

Hello my dear friends 🙂

I hope you enjoy as much as you can the summertime. My husband and I are just back from our honeymoon and I can’t wait to share our food experience and inspirations during it. In each city we visited, we notices the biggest chalange was where and what to eat. That’s why I decided to share with you what we liked and enjoyed the most.

I will start with Lago di Como, Italy. What an amazing place… we had a lovely day at the lake – had a walk, took a boat trip and went up to Brunate with funicular. We expected the food there to be extremely costy, but in fact you could eat well and not to spend a small fortune. We had lunch in a nice restaurant near the Cathedral of Como. There was a daily menu (in most of the restaurants there are daily menus) with 3 dishes for a dicent price (in our case – each manu was 25 EUR, drinks excluded). Our menu was compsed of:

Antipasto – Insalata di Lago tiepida in carpione (a warm fish salad),

Primo – Risotto alla Lariana (Risotto with fish – the tastiest Risotto I have ever had)

Secondo – Filetti di trota salmonata alle mandorle con papate saute (Trout salmon fillet with almonds and potatoes saute).

This amazing food we had with a glas of white wine from the region – Aldo Rainoldi – Zapel. The food was simply fantastic, the wine as well.

After a nice walk around the lake, we needed a rest and what is better in this case than another glas of wine with a view 🙂 We took the funicular to Brunate and found the most amazing views to the Lake – Il Balcone sul Lago cafe. The girls working there were very friendly, the views – stunning and it wasn’t costy at all. A glas of Pinot Grigio was served for only 3,50 EUR.

At the end, when you go back with the funicular to Como, you could enjoy Aperitivo (a drink with buffet included) for only 10 EUR (which is in fact even cheaper than in Milan). You could find Aperitivo in most of the cafes, even on the once around the lake.

I hope that these food tips will help you out if you are planning a trip to Como anytime soon. If you have your own experience on the lake, I will be happy to hear them 🙂

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La Boqueria Mercat

Hello, my dear friends 🙂

If you follow me for a while you will know how much I love food markets (you could read more here). Today I was in La Boqueria Mercat, Barcelona and I found out it was one of the places I liked the most in the city. The food markets are part of the daily life in Spain and are presented in each city. The food market in Barcelona has first started back in 1217 and the main purpose of it was selling meat. It has moved its position during the centuries, changed its name and finally in 1840 found its current place at La Rambla. Of you are in Barcelona, it is really a must visit.

Have a great start of the week 🙂

Ла Бокерия Меркат

Здравейте, скъпи приятели 🙂

Тези от вас, които ме следват от повече време, вече знаят колко много обичам пазарите (можете да прочетете повече тук). Днес бях на пазар Ла Бокерия в Барселона и трябва да ви кажа, че се превърна в вдно от любимите ми места в града. Пазарите са неизменна част от живота в Испания и можете да ги откриете във всеки град. Пазарът в Барселона действа от далечната 1217 година, като първото му предназначение е било продажбата на месо. След това е местил мястото си, сменял е името си, докато най-накрая през 1840г е намерил настоящето си местоположение на улица Ла Рамбла. Ако имате път към Барселона, заслужава си да го посетите.

Желая ви страхотно начало на седмицата 🙂

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In love with (in) Greece

Hello, my dear friends 😊

I guess many of you have been to Greece, but for us it is a very special place.

With my husband we spent our very first anniversary as a couple there (long time ago), then we lived in Greece for almost an year, we go there almost every summer for our holiday there, and finally we went there right after our wedding (two weeks ago) for couple of days. For us Greece is peace, holiday mood, almost a home and one of the best cuisines ever… But Greece for us is also friendly environment full of emotions and close relationships between the people, it is invitation for a barbecue in a back yard, it is an easygoing mood, a way of living.

But since we are here to talk mainly about food, I have to say – it is a great food too! One of my most favorite Greek recipes is Midia Saganaki (Saganaki Mussels). But I can’t miss to mention also my favorite Tiro Salad, Grilled Octopus, Mido Pilafo (Mussels with rice), Fish Soup, Lavraki (Sea Bass), Spanakopita (Spinach pie) and many others. One of my favorite things in Greece are the little charming restaurants, ran by a whole Greek family – cozy places where you could taste traditional Greek food, longtime kept family recipes and, of course, a glass of Ouzo 🙂

If you have a favorite place in Greece, I will be happy to hear about it!

Have a happy Sunday 🙂

Влюбени в Гърция

Здравейте, скъпи приятели 🙂

Предполагам много от вас са били в Гърция, но искам да ви разкажа защо тя е едно много специално място за нашето семейство. Със съпруга ми отпразнувахме първата си годишнина като двойка там (преди много много време), след това поживяхме в Гърция близо година, почти всяка година година прекарваме лятната си ваканция там, отидохме там за няколко дни и веднага след сватбата ни (преди две седмици). За нас Гърция е спокойствие, почивка, почти дом и една от най-вкусните кухни на света. Но Гърция е също пълна с емоции, темпераментни хора, много близки взаимоотношения между хората, покана за барбекю в задния двор, безгрижно настроение, просто начин на живот.

Но, тъй като сме тук, за да говорим за храна, трябва да кажа – Гърция е синоним и на страхотна храна! Една от най-любимите ми гръцки рецепти е Миди Саганаки. Но няма как да не спомена и Тиро Салата, Октопод на грил, Мидо Пилафо (миди с ориз), Рибена чорба, Лаврак на грил, Спанакопита (банички със спанак) и много други. Едно от най-любимите ми неща в Гърция са малките чаровни ресторантчета, които се работят пр цялото семейство на собственика – уютни местенца, на които да опитате традиционна гръцка кухня, дълго пазени семейни рецепти и, разбира се, чаша Узо 🙂

Ако имате любимо място в Гърция, много ще се радвам да чуя за него!

Хубава неделя, скъпи приятели 🙂

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Favorite time of the year in Germany

Hello from Germany, my dear friends 🙂

The Spring – my favorite season among all and definitely my favorite time of the year in Germany. And this is not only because of the nice weather (most of the time), but also because it is the Spargel season (the Asparagus season). You could try everything with Asparagus at that time – from Spargel with potatoes, Spargel with fish, Spargel with eggs (of course all of them with Sauce Hollandaise) to Spargel suppe with Strawberries. My personal favorite till now is Salmon with Spargel and Sauce Hollandaise. Which one is yours? 🙂

Здравейте от Германия, скъпи приятели 🙂

Пролетта – любимият ми сезон без никакво съмнение и определено любимото ми време от годината в Германия. И това не е само заради хубавото време (през по-голямата част от времето), но и защото е сезонът на Аспержите. Можете да опитате наистина всичко с аспержи – от Аспержи с картофи, Аспержи с риба, Аспержи с яйца (разбира се, задължително всички те със Сос Холандез), до Крем сума от Аспержи с ягоди. За момента моят фаворит е Сьомга с Аспержи и сос Холандез. А вашият кой е?

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Salon du Chocolat

Happy Sunday, my dear friends 🙂

I spent my Saturday afternoon yesterday in a great company – the Chocolate. Lyon was a host of the annual Salon du Chocolat – a flavorful spectacle of colors, forms and aromas. The event was meant to present the best Chocolate manufactures from France, but not only- also from Italy, Belgium, Switzerland ect. The cakes, macaroons and chocolate on all booths were impressive. There was a booth with culinary books. I got one for myself, but I will tell you another time about it 🙂 The culmination of the event was a fashion catwalk dedicated to the chocolate. It was really a good way to spend the afternoon 🙂

I wish you a peaceful and relaxed Sunday, my dear friends!

Честита неделя, мили приятели 🙂

Прекарах съботния следобед вчера в чудесна компания – Шоколадът. Лион беше домакин на годишния Салон на Шоколада – наситен на вкусове спектакъл на цветове, форми и аромати. Събитието представи най-добрите работилници за шоколад във Франция и не само – също и в Италия, Белгия, Швейцария и т.н. Тортите, макароните и шоколадът на всички щандове бяха впечатляващи. Имаше и щанд с кулинарни книги. Аз се сбодих с една, но за това ще ви разкажа друг път 🙂 Кулминацията на събитието беше модно ревю, посветено на шоколада. 

Наистина чудесен начин да си прекарал следобеда 🙂

Желая ви мирна и спокойна неделя, мили приятели!

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Lyon, Paul Bocuse and Nouvelle Cuisine

Hello from France, my dear friends 🙂

I have the luck to be in Lyon right now and to enjoy my stay in the French capital of gastronomy. Lyon is also the birth place and the residence of one of the most influential chefs of the French modern cuisine – Paul Bocuse. Nouvelle Cuisine is a new philosophy of cooking in contrary to the classic French cuisine – using fresh products, cooking lighter dishes, paying attention to the presentation of the food. The French chef has his own culinary institute- Institute Paul Bocuse and operates few restaurants in Lyon. One of them – L’Auberge du Pont de Collognes – is rated with three stars Michelin. In Lyon city center is situated Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse – a shopping center for high quality craftmade food products. Into the Halles you could find any product you could have in mind – from fresh fruits and vegetables, to varieties of cheese and meat, fresh fish and seafood, pastries, wines and also few smal cozy restaurants and bars. I was so impressed and inspired by this place and by Lyon. I wish I visit it again and I bring home my culinary inspiration.

I wish you a wonderful and full of flavors weekend!

Поздрави от Франция, мили приятели 🙂

Имам щастието в момента да съм в Лион и да се радвам на престоя си в гастрономическата столица на Франция. Лион е родното място и местожителство на един от най-влиятелните шеф готвачи на Френската модерна кухня – Пол Бокюз. Nouvelle Cuisine е нова философия в готвенето, която напълно контрастира с класическата Френска кухня – изпозлват се свежи продукти, ястията стават по-леки и се поставя акцент върху презентацията на храната.

Френският шеф готвач има свой собствен кулинарен институт – Институт Пол Бокюз, както и няколко ресторанта в Лион. Единият от ресторантите – L’Auberge du Pont de Collognes – е награден с три звезди Мишлен. В центъра на Лион се намират и Хали на Лион Пол Бокюз – търговски център за висококачествени занаятчийско изработени хранителни продукти. В Халите човек би могъл да открие всякакви продукти – от пресни плодове и зеленчуци, разнообразие от сирена, колбаси и меса, прясна риба и морски дарове, сладкиши, вина, както и няколко малки уютни ресторанрчета и барове. Бях толкова впечатлена и вдъхновена от това място и изобщо от Лион. Пожелавам си да го посетя отново, а вдъхновението ми да се запази и да си го отнеса с мен вкъщи.

Желая ви чудесен и пълен с вкусове уикенд!

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The tastes of Paris

Hello from Paris, my dear friends 🙂 

I have to say, I am inspired, impressed and full of emotions from this city. And I have to say, I didn’t expect that. I share with you my Paris tastes experience – Traditional onion soup, Salad de Chevre, Roasted salmon, Stewed Cock, Crepes and Apple Pie. We enjoyed them a lot and even the menu looked like a piece of art 🙂 If you have your own experience in Paris, I would be happy to hear it.

Поздрави от Париж, мили приятели 🙂 

Трябва да кажа, че съм много вдъхновена, впечатлена и пълна с емоции от този град. И трябва да кажа също, че не го очаквах. Споделям с вас моят опит с Парижките вкусове – Традиционна лучена супа, Салата с Козе сирене, Печена сьомга, Задушен петел, Палачнка и Ябълков пай. И се насладихме на всяко от тях. Дори и менюто беше своеобразно изкуство 🙂 Ако вие имате свой собствен опит в Париж, ще се радвам да чуя за него. 

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Happy Friday evening from France!

Hello France, it’s been a while. But it’s definitely nice to be back, spending time with good friends, wine and cheese. Cheers 🙂 

Здравей, Франция, не сме се виждали отдавна. Но определено се радвам, че съм отново тук, прекарвайки време с добри приятели, вино и сирене. Наздраве 🙂

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To eat Meatless in Germany

Hello, my dear friends 🙂

If you avoid to eat meat and go often to Germany may be you have the same question in front of you- how to eat meatless in Germany? I would tell you – not easy task… With all Bratwursts, Bierwursts, Currywursts it is kind of a challenge. But you could always rely on nutritional salads, warm soups and of course, the worldwide pasta 🙂 

Do you have your own experience to share?

Здравейте, мили приятели 🙂

Ако и вие избягвате да ядете месо, а ходите често в Германия, и пред вас често стои въпросът – как да се храним без месо в Германия? И трябва да ви кажа, не е никак лесно… С всички Братвурстове, Бирени вурстове, Къривурстове това наистина е предизвикателство. Но винаги можете да разчитате на хранителни салати, топли супи и разпространената по цял свят паста 🙂

Имате ли собствен опит, който да споделите?

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