Jamie Oliver: from zero to hero

If someone had told 16-year old James Trevor Oliver that in 10 years’ time he would become not only a phenomenon in the world of food, but a world phenomenon himself, and one of Britain’s most famous exports, he probably wouldn’t have believed it.

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Port(ug)al

After the whole Viajante fiasco, I’d given up on the idea of finding a warm, cosy Portuguese restaurant that would make me feel better whenever I’m homesick. I can’t say I found anything of the sort yet, but a restaurant in Islington has recently given me a bit of hope.

Portal's logo, from the restaurant's website

Unlike Viajante, Portal is a restaurant looking to be considered Portuguese, and what’s great about it is that it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to look like a sloppy tavern and serve “ultra-traditional” dishes – by which I mean food that tastes good to people who are familiar with it but doesn’t exactly attract newcomers because they don’t know what it is and, frankly, have no interest in finding out about it. Continue reading

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Facebook: disconnecting people?

As part of an assignment, this blog was supposed to be about, broadly speaking, London, and anything that can be related to it. Since I’ve already been marked on that, I’ve decided to develop this blog a bit more.

Fear not, the main focus of it will still be London; however, I’ll be adding other types of posts from time to time, i.e. about current events, or themes that interest and/or are important to me. This one falls into that category.

Many articles have been written about Facebook, its creator Mark Zuckerberg, what’s good and what’s bad about it, and its consequences in our society. What fascinates me most about the social network par excellence is how it affects communication between us, human beings, that spend hours a day behind a computer talking and sharing things about our life on the internet.

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My internship at ARA City Radio

Becoming a successful journalist lies in a combination of factors, I’m told. Pushing boundaries, questioning the world around you, being curious about everything, all the time. It also helps if you’re good at writing. And if you enjoy reading.

The thing is, some people are born to be storytellers – others just have to work really hard at it. Continue reading

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Viajante: a trip to anywhere but Portugal

As the Londoner that I’m (slowly but surely) becoming, I started looking for new restaurants to try out and maybe review in my blog.

I found out about one that really caught my eye; one that has not only caused controversy in England, where it’s based; in Portugal, its chef’s home country; but also, I must admit, in my own head, after having gone there a couple of months ago.

Viajante – which means “traveller” – opened its doors last year and its chef, Nuno Mendes, says his goal is to push boundaries in the culinary world. That, it certainly did. Unless you think eating duck heart and tongue is common.

Nuno Mendes at his restaurant in London, Viajante

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“Le Quai de Ouistreham”, by Florence Aubenas

The first lines of Le quai de Ouistreham (which means “the Ouistreham quay”) immediately announce the general theme of the book. “The ‘credit crunch’. That’s what everyone is talking about, without really knowing what to say about it, or how to approach the subject.”

However, though the credit crunch is a subject that hovers in your mind throughout the whole book, what this piece of investigative journalism really is about is how people at the bottom of the social ladder, with no diplomas or valuable work experience, deal with unemployment while still desperately trying to get a job.

Photo: Courtesy of Les Carnets

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Student accommodation: what happens when you start university?

We’ve all been there. You get your UCAS confirmation e-mail, you celebrate the fact that you got accepted at a university, but after all the joy and excitement, you are compelled to face one simple question: “And now what?”

Well, this is when the annoying part of the process starts.  The decisions you have to take. The choices you have to make. And one crucial part of it all is, quite obviously, accommodation. Continue reading

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