Collaboration in Patagonia Helping the Trail Network

October 12, 2010

As an avid hiker and resident of Patagonia for the last three years, I thought it important and appropriate to share the following video. A great representation of the power of collaboration, the results of this teamwork revitalize an area that deserves respect…

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Free Bariloche Argentina Restaurant Guide

October 6, 2010

In spirit of sharing, I am happy to announce my San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina dining guide book, Bariloche Restaurant Guide, is now free to download.

Please go to Bariloche Vacation Rental main page, and page to the bottom, click on the link to download.

¡Buen Provecho!


Protect Our Winters Expanding into Argentina to Assist Earth Friendly Projects

July 6, 2010

For pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones, his mission of helping Mother Nature began on the slopes outside of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Returning to his favorite place to ride sweet powder, he found it void of snow. Rock and grass was all that was visible where it should of been feet of compacted frozen water crystals.

He took it upon himself to dive more into the sad state of affairs he was witnessing and found that this great riding spot was continuing on a trend of less and less snow.

So, in inspirational form that is a personality trait of Jones, he took this experience and formed Protect Our Winters, a non-profit created to unite those that love snowboarding and skiing, so that the collective genius can help promote a healthy, sustainable future for our environment.

With the initial goal of assisting the environmental actions of North America and Europe, POW  is now going global with expansion into Argentina, as well as Australia.

I am honored to be a part of the newly formed Southern Hemisphere POW satellite team, and will be assisting the non-profit in both the Bariloche and Las Leñas areas.

7,000 vertical feet of Argentine wind, Las Leñas Valley

What does that mean exactly?

Well, POW is ready to help fund interesting projects in Argentina that help the environment.

If you or someone you know is involved with an Argentine environmental-friendly project that is in the making and needs a little financial assistance, please let me know and I will pass the information on to POW. Maybe a neighborhood that is trying to create a recycling plan…or a group that is doing litter education. If the movement assists Pachamama, than POW would like to help out.

To give you a little background, in North America POW created various ways to invigorate discussion about environmental protection. From an easy-access platform inspiring interaction between large non-profit foundations and the masses to education programs like Solar 4R Schools, POW is truly creating a global path for change.

Awhile back, I was able to sit down and talk with Jones about how POW is participating in expanding environmental awareness, the non-profits’ hopes on affecting the future, and his personal feelings on the issue of global warming.

Continue on for thoughts from the pro himself…

Jeremy Jones enjoying life, photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

SM: Thanks so much for making the time.

JJ: No problem.

SM: When and why did you initially create POW?

JJ: It’s kind of a combination of things…I was expanding a product line called the Jones Experience, that has about a twenty different products in it and I wanted to give a percentage of sales back to the environment. I did some research and I talked to a friend at the surf rider’s foundation. I couldn’t really find what I felt was the right environmental foundation to give the money to and my friends and surfers were like you guys need something in the winter sports world to inspire and hopefully rally companies and other participants to help the environment.

That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I wanted to write a check and be done with it, but after a couple of months I decided that this was something that’s important and something that needs to be done.

And I think probably the birth of my daughter had something to do with that as well with the belief that it is a long term problem, it’s something were we won’t see the benifits of our actions but our kids and our kid’s kids will see the benefit of our actions.

SM: There is nothing out there for the winter community?

JJ: I wanted something where every dollar raised went straight to slowing down global warming. There was good carbon offset companies and 1 percent for the planet, who we partner with now, but it kept coming back to us needing something that was targeting people…something that made people and companies go “I want to be associated with that foundation.” Other foundations out there didn’t have the same connection as we hope to have with POW. We work closely with these foundations that are established and they do an awesome job, it’s just that we are coming from a, as crazy as it sounds, a different marketing level.

And also what we do is focus, and we hope to do more of this, on cleaning up our mountains and our mountain towns, first. That is what we want to put focus on first.

SM: For sure, like Squaw Valley…I used to work at High Camp and it was amazing seeing what they were doing negatively to the environment?

JJ: Exactly. And we feel like we can be more affective this way and still use the great resources that are out there. We partner with a lot of these existing groups and we see where they work the best.

SM: So you basically bring all of the parts of the puzzle together?

JJ: Exactly.

SM: You have said that you saw major changes in snow at areas you were photographed riding, where did you see the biggest changes?

JJ: The most dramatic I saw was in Prince Rupert and up in Northern BC. I got to know the locals there. One day I went for a hike up at their local resort, it was mid February and it was all grass. I was talking to a skier that was 30 at the time and he said that this is where we all grew up riding and our average winter was 70 days a year and now were lucky if every couple of years we get to ski down this thing. And I was like, “Wow!” That is a lot of change in twenty years and it got me to thinking what is the next twenty years going to be like. So that was the most in-your-face-dramatic thing that I’ve seen.

photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

SM: What are things that you have changed in your own life to help global warming?

JJ: I’ve looked closely at my own lifestyle and my life as a pro snowboarder.

One change, for instance, is I drive a forward Focus instead of a Dodge pick-up.

I don’t own a snowmobile anymore.

My house was built in the 1960’s, so I continue to change out into better windows and better appliances and better insulation, things like that, and that, actually, is an ongoing thing with my house. (laughter) It is still a summer cabin. It’s frustrating at times but I continue to try to get better with that.

And, fortunately, I live two miles from town so I’m riding my bike a ton in the summer because I’ve realized a lot of my trips are two mile trips so just trying to do those shorter trips on my bike.

And everything from house-hold products and that full gamut.

Those other changes were pretty easy. I continue now to make further changes…though these next changes will be harder steps, in the sense of we’re not on solar and or anything like that.

As a professional snowboarder…that’s been a harder deal. I am still doing a lot of flying, a lot of air travel. Using helicopters for access in Alaska…but I have eliminated my snowmobile use. I’m still traveling a lot, but like this year my shortest trip is two weeks long. Now that I know where I am going to be for the winter I have been able to cut down on my air travel.

One of the things that we are doing through POW is movies centered on hiking for turns. Our first film was called “My Own Two Feet”. It’s a movie based out of the Sierras. It’s a human powered snowboard movie and something that I put a lot of time and energy into because I feel that it is a great message, not only environmentally, but also as a great way to hopefully inspire people that great freeriding is only a short hike away. And if you want it, you can do it.

I have had movie parts in the past that are 70 or 80 percent hiking accessed but we never talked about that, so now people look at me and say, “…yeah right, if I had this huge heli budget I could do that too.”

In the past it is true that sometimes my three week time in Alaska wipes out the footy of us hiking around in the Sierras and Tetons. That’s something I want to change.

So doing stuff like that. I hope to do a lot more of that in the future.

I’m starting to find cameramen that are into going that extra mile and doing more foot-access stuff, but that’s not all happening over night.

But I’m starting to see change.

An example of that is this one film company that I am working with, Absence Films. I told them that I want to go and set up camp in Alaska and do, like, a three week trip where we hike in. I said that I feel that we could get some good stuff and in the fall they were saying “There is no way we can do that, that sounds gnarley.” And then I got a call from them and they said “Hey we want to do that and our riders are stoked to do something like that.”

photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

I’m not going to walk away from Alaska and heli-accessed stuff, but this is something where I want to continue doing more and more of foot accessed stuff in Alaska. I would like to start splitting the time. I would like to put a portion of the time in to a long hiking trip, ’cause what I actually really enjoy is hiking what I ride.

That, to be honest, is the inspiration behind all of that, enjoying it from a personal level, and then of course it’s more environmentally friendly, but it is not like I’m out there saying “God I wish I was out here in a heli.” It’s more like “This is so sick and I’ve only gotten one run in today and I don’t care. It was a sick run.”

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to start doing more hiking, that that would be the next phase of my snowboarding. And now I’m starting to activate that phase.

SM: What is the biggest way that we can help shift global warming, as a winter sport community?

JJ: I think that are a lot of simple steps that we have pushed, the ten simple steps, and they don’t seem like much. They’re everything from carpooling to changing the kind of light bulbs you are using. Basic stuff. It’s the idea that if everyone does that, then it makes a big difference.

If everyone curbs their carbon foot print by ten percent it is a big difference.

We’re not trying to get people to stop living their lives but just adapt. So there are the simple steps and then there are the other factors that I believe in: consumers have a lot of power, and when it is time to choose a new pair of skis or snowboard, it’s important to support those companies that are trying to do things differently. That can hopefully change the way that everything is made and manufactured.

SM: The Solar 4R Schools is a great program. How are the students reacting to this program?

JJ: Well, it’s a long process. We have three that are going in this summer. So unfortunately I have had little interaction. I got inspired because I went back to my high school, in Sugarloaf Maine, and did an environmental studies course with them so I have had some interaction with kids but specific set-ups we have put in, and I’m looking forward to, getting those up and visiting those classes.

SM: What would you like to say to the nay-sayers that believe that Global Warming is unsubstantiated?

JJ: Well, I don’t have the magic potion, if they don’t believe it, if all of the world-wide media attention hasn’t been able to cross them over, than I don’t think that I have the power to cross them over.

But I would say that it sure is a risky statement to say that it doesn’t matter, it’s not real, were not going to do anything about it. If they are wrong the results are pretty drastic where they should at least still be doing things environmentally friendly, whether you believe in Global Warming or not. It just makes sense.

I deal with the people that are nay-sayers and we have some great debates. But I always come back to, “How is getting sixty miles to the gallon bad?” How can you not embrace that? Or something like being off the grid with solar energy. They will always be out there. All of these environmental practices, a lot of them I should say, at least the technologies, are great whoever you are.

SM: Rossignol’s Evergreen Alliance program focuses on reducing their carbon footprint and conducting business in a more environmentally-friendly manner…their initiatives stretch across their company, retail partners and end-consumers and also influence their products is a great initiative. Do they plan on making any changes in the way boards and skis are made, being that there is a lot of plastic involved in making the snow tools?

JJ: Yeah. I’ve been working closely with Rossignol on that front and we have been able to make some quick, easy steps, like with recycled bases and were working on reclaim-sidewalls, trying to do bamboo topsheets. Those things have come pretty easy and this next step is going to take a lot more in the terms of investment to solve bigger issues with the product. So they are for sure and they are starting to and one thing I am trying to to do is…well, you see the ski world had kind of been in their own world and the snowboard in theirs…so I’m trying to get all the product managers together to pool our resources and, hopefully, bring out some real advances in environmentally friendly products.

The time tables for these are slow, it is easy to get frustrated but the fact that we are having these talks…if you look at it from a longer time line, then I do think we will have some great success.

SM: So snowboarder and ski companies are not necessarily working together for this cause, then?

JJ: No, they are separated. That is something that we hope to do with POW is create an environment where people can share environmental practices and that’s part of our phase two with POW.

SM: Is one being more receptive than the other?

JJ: No, well, we have had a little bit more success with the snowboard side but that, I think, is partly because I am in that world. But what communication we have had with the ski companies has been positive.

SM: That’s good because it doesn’t matter what the tool is.

JJ: Right.

SM: Snowmobiling is a definite addition to emissions. What are ways that snowmobilers can make a difference?

JJ: Primarily, it comes down to when you’re getting a new snowmobile, get a four stroke. There is a great difference between a four stroke and a two stroke emission. But other than that I would say that using the cleaner oils out there.

I’m not up on it now but there are oils and such out there that help keep emissions down, such as Blue Ribbon Oil or doing things like better air filters, things like that.

But for me, it wasn’t like I loved snowmobiling. When I was out there I just wanted to get to the boot pack as quickly as possible and get off the thing. It wasn’t like I gave up snowmobiling for the environment. Getting rid of my snowmobile, it was amazing how happy it made me. It was mainly because it was the last time I had to start the thing. (Laughter)

I wasn’t planning on it but I ended up having to start it up one last time and I like literally welled-up with tears thinking “Thank God its gone.” But that is totally from a personal level. I would always dread when I would get the call that we going out on the snowmobiles I would think “Uuuuh, I’ve got to go load my sled.”

SM: Where do you see POW going in the future?

JJ: Hopefully we will have a ton of manufacturers involved and a bunch of snowboarders and skiers as members. And hopefully, as we grow, we will become more powerful and be able to do greater things for the environment. Within the foundation, we continue to explore different options to better spend our finances and be a better help to the winter sports world on all levels.


Collaboration Warming Things Up

February 19, 2010

One of my passions in life is helping disadvantaged children.

Included in the reasons my husband, Jamie, and I decided to move to Argentina from the United States nearly 5 years ago was to assist  lower income families access the tools needed to improve their life.

Living in Bariloche we realized that an immense part of the local population does not have the proper gear or means to get into the beautiful surrounding Patagonian wilderness. So, to help other’s experience, and, hopefully, identify and appreciate the amazing natural environment, we started collaborating with our Lake Tahoe, California circle of snow-loving family. We began a program that connected the extra gear from our Tahoe tribe to people in Patagonia 7,000 miles away.

Bringing these two factions together has been such a wonderful experience. Not only has it helped shelter people from the cold, but all I have to do is think back to a coat recipient’s smile and my heart is warmed.

Well, recently our reach has broadened.

We have started working with Fundación Cruzada Patágonica, a non-profit organization with thirty years under their belt, two progressive schools that house over 150 children and the educational curriculum needed to offer those youngsters tools for a positive future.

Not long ago, we had the pleasure of lunching with the president of the organization, Diego Baudo. A friendly, welcoming persona with a big smile, it is obvious by the enthusiasm in his eyes that he loves his job.

During the meeting we mentioned our winter gear drive and that we had a large box of nice equipment waiting for him in our truck. With our offering a partnership was made; we will continue to help bring in warm clothing and the foundation will sell gear that exceeds what is needed by the children and use the money to help with the school. Excellent!

Our last sale brought in over 2,000 Argentine Pesos, which has gone to school supplies for the children. The gear that wasn’t sold was given to the kids. More smiles to keep the heart rosy, thanks to global collaboration.


Collaborative Wiki JASecon Facilitator, Bernard Marszalek, Talks Shop

February 15, 2010

From housing issues to cultural appreciation, JASecon is a collaborative movement inspiring a better tomorrow.

Originally born out of the need for good produce in a low-income housing neighborhood of Oakland, California, the San Fransisco bay Wiki is helping grassroots projects succeed. Specializing in bring people together, JASecon is, “an informal grouping of folks active in the social justice and worker co-op communities. Our goal is to facilitate communication amongst the activists developing economic alternatives in a variety of arenas.”

A member of the inspiring group, Bernard Marszalek, was kind enough to answer some questions focused on the importance of collaboration. Here’s what he had to say…

EC: What was the spark that set the people of West Oakland into activating a collaborative betterment of life and the creation of JASecon?

BM: The JASecon project developed from a discussion at a December (2007) NoBAWC meeting where the limitations of the Green Festival of 2007 was generally recognized as becoming too commercial and irrelevant for the Network to participate in. For several years some of the cooperatives (I always mean the worker co-ops in the SF area… most of which are members of the Network) tried to encourage more coop participation in the green festival for marketing and outreach (the political side) to the larger community. But participation peaked in 2005 and began to decline since then, partly because of the expense and partly because the coops where lost within the hugeness of the event and so had little impact.

The idea was thrown out at that meeting that Network should have its own festival. That idea was discussed through the beginning of 2008 and in the summer the idea of extending the invitation to the large community of non-profits and volunteer groups, etc., that contributed to the economy surfaced. The Network had discussed an outreach to folks working in other areas of the economy under other organizational forms for some time and this idea of pulling folks together to talk about collaboration on some level seemed right. A critical mass of projects was apparent but not much communication between projects was happening.

The Network already was a template for that kind of collaboration amongst the co-ops and it was a natural model for expanding the Network informally. The Network called a meeting for Oct 2008 to discuss this idea and you will find the “Call” on the JASecon wiki.

At that meeting 30 groups were represented from all areas of the emerging economy: non-profit advocacy groups, a dance collective, a local on-line journalist project, clothing designer, bakery with farm that grew the ingredients for their pies and employed kids from la raza to both work in the store and on the farm (one of my fav projects), an advocate of free-exchange, and many more, with seven co-ops represented. After four hours of getting acquainted and discussing what folks could get behind the idea of a “trade fair” got everybody excited.

The idea was to present to the public what was somewhat hidden from public view – people working on a rich diversity of projects that taken together demonstrated that “another world is possible” to use the phrase from the World Social Forums.

I think with this background you can better appreciate the content on the wiki.

EC: Where are you seeing the largest growth in collaborative movements?

BM: Latin America is way ahead of the world in terms of the Solidarity Economy. I know that the recuperated factories in Argentina have as an aim more collaboration to sustain them beyond organizational assistance to economic alliances. I mean this is the aim of all our work – to create synergies of economic relationships between alternative economic projects.

EC: What components are vital to a cooperative business idea succeeding?

BM: Besides the same components of any business succeeding: excellent plan and financing the level of agreement among the parties creating the co-op and the community support.

EC: In your opinion, what is the key factor of taking an alternative business dream, such as a cooperative, to reality?

BM: The commitment of those who have the dream. The reason I have a dim view of the whole idea of social entrepreneurship is that it is based on the illusion of one person with a great idea. Sometimes that works, but most often a sustainable project requires getting others on board… and of course one person might play an excellent role in sparking an idea, the project won’t succeed unless that person can find a crew to work with.

Charisma can charm others, but collaboration is so much more satisfying for all involved and prefigures what I like to think of as a “society of friends.” Mondragon adopts this approach. They encourage collaboration because they know that any project they support must use the talents of more than one person and will thrive if the origins are based on peer relationships, not hierarchical ones.

EC: Do you believe that collaborative business practices will eventually become the norm?

BM: What’s the alternative? Avatar? I think that the research I just wrote about that gives scientific verification to the old belief that people are naturally cooperative is one of the building blocks to a worldview that is developing. This empathetic worldview is evident in the amazing support for the people of Haiti.

EC: You wrote in response to the Conference of Parties at Copenhagen (COP-15) that, “Given the crisis we face, and the institutional inability of the oligarchy to respond in a meaningful way, as witnessed in Copenhagen, we have no choice but to create true cooperative and democratic communities to sustain us in our fight for “system change.” What can we as individuals do to help create cooperative and democratic communities?

BM: You know I think tons of people are working towards these ends but never conceptualize what they may be doing in their lives as related to the larger, global issues. I think the first step is for that realization to sink in. Specifically, and here I am speaking about the cooperative ski area business model you and your husband are activating, you are steps down the road to creating livable communities. It seems now that you are searching for both grounding in a clear way to conceive of what you want to do and for a venue… a community of peers to work with. My heartfelt appreciation of the worthiness of your intentions and my best wishes that they can be realized with others.

Thank you Bernard for sharing your knowledge and time for the good of collaboration…and your kind words in regards to the ski area cooperative movement.



Collaborative Appreciation

February 10, 2010

In my experience, the more you show appreciation to others involved in your project of collaboration, the more success you will see. This applies to business, sport or life in general.

So, with that in mind, my husband and I recently took our vacation rental business associates out to one of the classic gourmet “foodie” restaurants that thankfully exist in our Patagonian city of Bariloche.

The appreciation dinner started out with sunset viewing and a glass of wine at our house. We then took the party across the street to one of our favorite culinary delights, Yuco.

As we walked in, it was a memorable moment seeing the looks on all three ladies faces when they entered the dining room. It was apparent by their smiles, that they knew they were in for a treat.

But in all reality, what made it special for me was getting to hang out with these three amazing women. They all have their own vibrancy that helped us decide to work with them in the first place. Getting to spend relaxed time with them outside the workplace made that inner glow shine even more.

Our somewhat-serious house cleaner, Betty, we come to find out, is a real comedian. Her joyful, bubbly energy, contagious laugh and irresistible smile had the table in hysterics at times. Mariana, our incredibly kind business assistant, had shown more of a shy side to her personality before. Tonight she was a rosy glow, a magnetic energy pushing away any resemblance to a timid girl. And our oh-so-helpful resident massage therapist, Christina, was given some “me time” where the earnest bed-side manner of a healer could be shed and her hair allowed to fall.

Our Equipo Sueño

It means so much to us that these three amazing people are in our lives…not only because of their important roles in our business. But also, and more importantly, we are friends.

And it’s another affirmative experience that positive collaboration brightens life.


Global Collaboration Creating a Foodie Paradise in Argentina

January 25, 2010

While doing research for a  restaurant guide that I wrote for the city of Bariloche, Argentina, I was lucky enough to get to know some of the owners of the great dining experiences around town.

One of those eateries, Butterfly, impressed me in a collaborative sense…

You see, an Irishman, German and Argentine came together to create one of the best restaurants in the Lakes District of Patagonia. Chef Ed, a Michelin-trained culinary artist is a gifted creator of designer dishes with flair. The house sommelier is the happy-go-lucky German, Sebi, whose smile and knowledge about accommodating wines are worth the trip alone. And then there is the beautiful, enchanting and welcoming host, Coni, that offers the much-needed female touch.

Chef Ed sat down with me and let us in on what it is like to have a culinary masterpiece dining experience in the northern gateway city of Patagonia, and more importantly, what it is like to have an elegant example of global collaboration. Here is what he had to say…

SM: What do you feel is the premier aspect of Butterfly?

Chef Ed: The Concept. In Butterfly we serve a 7 course tasting menu every day, prepared daily with the best ingredients the market has to offer. The evening in Butterfly is a special occasion and we never do re-sits. The table is yours for the evening. It’s for people who love food and wine like we do and we want you to feel special. If you leave a top class restaurant and they didn’t make you feel special you may as well have stayed at home and cooked a steak with a good bottle of wine.

SM: With the three different cultures coming together for Butterfly, what do you feel is the major difference between Butterfly and other fine dining restaurants in Argentina?

Chef Ed: Everything in Butterfly is done with love, it actually has nothing to with different cultures. We are three people from different cultures who all happen to be very like-minded in how we want Butterfly to be. The three of us do just about everything and we do it all with love. I cook with love, Coni prepares the restaurant, greets our guests and serves with love, Sebi chooses our wine menu, and even waters the garden with love.

SM: What would you consider to be your signature dish?

Chef Ed: I’m always asked and I never know what to say. I always think I should just lie and say “Creme Brulee with lavender ice-cream” or “Bouillabaisse au Paupillotte”, but I just can’t lie about food. I have no Signature dish, I get bored too easily to cook the same thing over and over again. Also I love to be inspired by what the market has to offer or what my regular guests ask me for, as opposed to what I want to cook.

SM: Where do you find the majority of your ingredients?

Chef Ed: With meat I am blessed in Argentina (and with lamb even more so in the Patagonia). And believe it or not I have also been blessed with great fish, 1000km from the coast! My fish is shipped fresh twice a week from Buenos Aires, they only send me what is good and most of the time I get fresher fish here than when I cooked in Ireland. Other products have been a little more complicated. Fresh vanilla beans have been shipped from Madagascar to my house in Ireland and then been smuggled halfway across the world to Bariloche. Every time friends or family visit us we have a shopping list for them. Noilly Prat, Midleton Very Rare whiskey, Italian Saffron, Sebi’s wine collection, etc.

SM: How has the involvement of three cultures helped with creating Butterfly?

Chef Ed: I think we all balance each other out very well. Sebi is German and keeps everything well organized. Coni the Argentinian keeps everything more in context and keeps us all sane. As for me the Irishman, I try to get everyone drunk regularly.

SM: What is your favorite memory from creating the restaurant?

Chef Ed: We opened the restaurant a month before Sebi arrived, as he was finishing up his job in Switzerland. Coni and I did everything on our own and we were counting the minutes to his arrival. He arrived in a Taxi in the middle of lunch service with the terrace full. After a 12 second welcome and having traveled for 40 hours he was put straight to washing dishes and helping me in the kitchen. He was even pleased with the welcome he got, he expected nothing less!

SM: Do you have any suggestions for guests planning to visit Butterfly?

Chef Ed: Skip lunch and ring ahead!

SM: Is there a particular time of year that is better than others to visit Butterfly?

Chef Ed: May and November are without a doubt the worst time to visit Butterfly as we are closed. As for the best time, I would recommend a warm summer evening, arriving early to enjoy a drink on the terrace before dinner. I never get bored of the terrace or the view we have of the lake Nahuel Huapi.

SM: What are the advantages to creating a fine dining experience in Bariloche?

Chef Ed: Bariloche has the great advantage of being incredible the whole year round. It is one of the very few places in the world with a fantastic ski area for winter and everything you could possibly imagine for summer. Mountains, lakes, snow, sun, restaurants, nightlife, rafting, trekking, climbing, etc. The list is endless. For the restaurant it gives us the chance to have two strong seasons every year. In Bariloche we have the best of both worlds!

SM: What are your favorite flavors of food to play with?

Chef Ed: There is just too much good stuff. Garlic, lemon rind, vanilla, dried tomatoes, chilli, smoked trout, hazelnuts, saffron, basil, lemongrass, sage, nutmeg, lavender, potatoes, salt, coriander seeds, coriander plant, sole, onions, eggs, sweetbreads, prawn shells, ox-tail, brie, osso bucco, baby squid… I have no idea where to start on which are my favorite. I go through phases. I dried a load of tomatoes recently so I’m on a dried tomato buzz at the moment (Dried tomatoes with confied garlic, or olives, or basil, or candied lemon rind, or all of the above).  With cheese, smoked trout or in risotto with roasted almonds and fillet of sole. In a few weeks it will be something else, I’m particularly curious about the new Peruvian/Japanese fusion movement and have recently got my hands on the Nobu cookbook to see what it’s all about. So that will probably be my next buzz.

Thanks to Coni, Seb and Chef Ed for working together to create one of the best restaurants in Patagonia…if not Argentina.


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