Nepo kitchen revisited 2019

Åre, Sweden

After months of planning it was time to move back to Åre for the 2019 alpine world ski championships.

We recruited 35 local and international chefs for the event, with a total of 7 kitchens spread over a 3 km area of winter terrain & serving 4000-5000 guests per day logistics became the major challenge. It’s all about logistics and the operational flow.

Part of the menu planning was to include as much local produce as possible and to support local industry, one dish that captured everyone’s interest and curiosity was the Bear “tjälknöl”. an adaption of a traditional cooking/curing/preservation process from the Laplanders we also featured Jamtland charcuterie such as smoked deer, elk, wild boar, reindeer heart and local pork produce combined with forest condiments featuring rowan berries, currants, cloud berries, lingon berries, seasonal apples and pickles as well as Icelands eye catching fresh wasabi which was also a big wow factor.

TUI Family Life & Best Family F&B congress, Side, Turkey & Rabac, Croatia

Directly after the snow in Åre I moved my focus back to the Mediterranean preparing for the annual TUI Family Life food and beverage conferences.

The first seasonal congress was in Side, Turkey at the start of April for the Best Family concept, following directly after Side were two back to back Family Life congresses in Rabac, Croatia.

It was great to catch up with some of the returning chefs and meet some new members in the TUI Family Life group helping them to get ready for the coming season.

Kitchen support chef at TUI’s Family Life resorts

Ephesus & Side, Turkey

At the end of April, I was back in Turkey at a new resort rebranding in Ephesus, a huge resort with its own waterpark, I was hoping to get a look at some of the local arkeological history, but as so often happens there’s no time to play the tourist. After Ephesus I was off to Side again for another new Family Life resort rebranding, hands and concept training during the intense visit, great to see the well-made local food at it best.

Mallorca & Menorca, Spain

After a few days back home, I was off again this time back to the Mallorca one of Spain’s tourism meccas. To the Alcudia region a favourite tourist destination for decades, from Alcudia a short hop over to Menorca a slower and less intense and in your face destination. We enjoyed a great local meal at Es Moli De Foc in a nearby village.

Crete & Kos, Greece

Caldera beach visiting two resorts in one, coaching in the team at the start of their season and some work with their Greek taverna concept, after Crete off again this time back to Kos for a week with some hands on a la carte work in Mamari beach’s Greek Taverna and their Green and Grill theme restaurants. Good to see the building progress in the restaurant and their new hot buffet stations, they will make it better and easier for the guests and all concerned.

As always Mamari beach resort is blessed with fantastic beach weather luckily, they’re blessed with one of Greece’s most picturesque iconic beaches.

Crete & Rhodes, Greece

Back to Crete this time to the eastern end of the island to Eloundra. A new opening a lot of hands on concept training that followed up from the earlier conference training in Croatia.

Aegean Blue Rhodes is a large resort at Kolymbia on Rhodes, coaching the team in their buffet presentation and hands on training with the menu and food presentation in their Asian restaurant.

Truffles

The long-awaited Truffles from Manjimup, Western Australia started to arrive, we had a couple of early deliveries of these world class products with some fresh produce arriving, excellent truffles 24 hours after sorting in Australia they’re for sale in Stockholm.

Inspiration trips, Porto, Portugal & Tuscany, Italy

I had a quick look at the new Boeira Garden Hotel and Porto, Portugal’s second city. Porto is now a re-emerging tourist destination served by a modern airport and with an easily accessible transport system. A great short break destination offering sunshine, culture, architecture, imposing churches, and a glimpse into the past all at humane prices.

Porto is full of traditional food, good pastry shops, cafés and street entertainment as well as grilled sardines or the classic is bacalao, dried cod or ling fish, available in every restaurant or even as a fast food alternative.

Tuscany

A trip to Bologna & Florence in October A chance to catch up on and get a little closer to some Italian food culture, the food may be great and tasty but it’s not inspirational it all seems so bogged down in tradition and poor presentation. Italy abounds with cafes and great coffee, pick me up sweets aren’t far away either, they look great and some taste as good as they look, others you regret ordering as you know you can get better quality in most cities around the world, almost makes you wonder how they can be so protective of their heritage and allow that quality and ambition to slip unnoticed.

Greve in Chianti is the real deal the town lies in the middle of Tuscany and is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, the Enoteca Falorni wine shop is well wort a visit here you can buy a tasting card and taste the best that Tuscany has to offer. Macelleria Falorni, the charcuterie boutique on the “prime side” of the main village square is well worth a long study perusal, a butcher charcuterie shop with a long history.

An interesting tip is a trip to a balsamic vinegar museum. Take the tour the tour full of background & cultural information. You’ll think twice before buying your next supermarket balsamic. The museum is situated in Spilamberto just outside Moderna.

For the best lunch in Florence try the Mercado Central de Florencia, its full of locals and tourists, here you can browse around and select exactly what local goodies you’d like to try. Relaxing and comfortable seating make it perfect for grazing between the food stalls and pop up restaurants.

Pisa & the Tower is a bit of a must for many people. The constant crush of meandering tourists reaches its pinnacle around these magnificent buildings. Religious tourism isn’t just for the believers but only for the believers with deep pockets, if you are planning a trip to see these architectural masterpieces take loads of cash. Walking around the area outside the church and tourism splendor you are greeted with a dirty, run down, outdated and congested city suburb, there’s no Italian glam and design here.

As many tourists say ABC “Another Bloody Church” Tuscany is great, but you won’t be alone.

Sätra brunn, Sweden

I got the opportunity to work at Sätra Brunn a kitchen makeover was on the cards for this

health spring/spa that has been in continuous use for more than 300 years. Sätra Brunn consists of 80 historic buildings set in a 60-hectare property, Tranquillity, beauty, rest, activity, care, gardens and the proximity to nature are all on the menu for yourself indulgence. Enjoy also a variety of seasonal local activities and traditions in the restaurant.

Tennis, Stockholm open

Nepo Kitchen Consulting was involved in all the catering aspects of the ATP tennis open at Stockholm’s Kungliga Tennis Hallen.

What a great venue, get up as close as you can to the players and the action you can really feel the tension and atmosphere. the stadium itself is in fantastic condition a little “stadium” time capsule, well maintained, comfortable, well-appointed and with unrestricted vision for all in comparison to the modern cement and plastic stadiums.

Our fast food kitchen, was also a temporary kitchen, built with the focus on speed of service, 5-6 hot dishes, so the spectators could get back to the tennis ASAP, it worked well, and we were catering for about 800 hot meals and 500 cold meals on our busiest days.

Nothing is possible without a great, flexible, ambitious and experienced team, Thanks team.

Appenzeller

I got a chance to work with Appenzeller cheese at a food exhibition in Stockholm,

Appenzeller is a cheese with its own loyal fan base, for many Appenzeller needed no introduction a very well-known and respected cheese with an established brand that has over the years built a regular customer stream to cheese counters throughout the land.

 

Kitchen support chef at TUI’s Family Life resorts

Gran Canaris, Orquedia resort:

Check in for the opening of the Grand Canary winter season, meet with and bounce of some new ideas with Nordotels executive chefs, it’s always easy to work with good people. Throw in a few days of cooking classes for good measure and the tie really flies.

Thailand:

Back in Khao Lak for a new look at The Family Life Resort, concept coaching and hands on cooking training for the new snack menu and grill restaurant was on the books. Thai taverna seafood menu. What a relaxing holiday destination, great facilities, beach and weather. Not as much fun if you’re working.

Tasmania:

Off to Tassie for a Christmas holiday keep your eye out for my new twist on mutton birds “short tailed shearwaters” the love / hate local sea bird and a few other titbits.