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Episode 109: Guy Grossi & La Cucina Italian

Episode 109: Guy Grossi & La Cucina Italian

Guy Grossi has carved out a distinguished career and made a significant contribution to the hospitality scene over the last forty years, both as a restaurateur and chef. In fact, in 1996, Guy was awarded the L'insegna Del Ristorante Italiano by no less than the president of Italy, for his dedication to presenting and promoting "La Cucina Italiana" and the Italian lifestyle. He’s written four cookbooks and has been on a slew of television programs, from "Food Safari" and Iron Chef, to "My Kitchen Rules." He also runs a small empire of highly regarded restaurants countrywide, including his flagship, Grossi Florentino. In this episode of ExtraVirgin, Natascha Mirosch and Guy chat all things food and hospitality, as well as Italian travel. They discuss why Italians don’t like penne lisce and the difference between fast and slow dried pasta, what’s wrong with the hospitality scene and how the financial crisis is affecting it, his favourite dishes from his Pugliese father and Venetian mother; who he'd invite and what he'd serve at a fantasy dinner party and more. Guy also gives us some great Italy travel and food tips - from the Amalfi Coast to Florence and Puglia. I hope you enjoy this episode as much I did chatting with Guy.

How to Buy Property in Italy & Those One Euro Houses

How to Buy Property in Italy & Those One Euro Houses

We've talked about  those one Euro houses in Italy in a previous podcast (episode 81) but in this episode we’re about to revisit the subject (and the topic of buying property in Italy as a foreigner in general) with Michele Capecchi, a lawyer based in Florence, who has extensive experience in guiding foreigners through the red tape that is buying a property in Italy. Michele is managing partner of Studio Legale Capecchi ,  teaches  International Business Law at at the European School of Economics and has been a a legal columnist with The Florentine , the international magazine of the expat community in Florence for over 10 years. Michele discusses with Natascha :   The positives and pitfalls of the one Euro homes scheme The legalities of foreigner home ownership in Italy Where are good places to buy? How much are you likely to need to realistically spend, plus more.   If you're keen to find out how you can be enjoying la vita bella in Italy in your own home, you'll enjoy this episode. Below is Michele Capecchi's website, should you be inspired by the epsiode and want some legal advice about buying and living in Italy. www.capecchilegal.com And don't forget to sign up for the ExtraVirgin newsletter "The Olive," on the website.

What's an Antarctic Cruise Really Like?

What's an Antarctic Cruise Really Like?

Have you been thinking of (or dreaming about) taking an Antarctic cruise? Cruising is huge and estimates have the cruise industry growing by another 9% in 2024. For some regular cruisers, particularly those with large disposable incomes, the great white continent, represents just another an as-yet unexplored cruise destination to conquer.  For others, Antarctica is a long-cherished dream. But what’s it really like? What can you expect on a cruise to Antarctica? Natascha Mirosch  puts that question to travel journalist Catherine Marshall, who has been to Antarctica not once, but twice. They discuss the dreaded Drake Crossing, life on board an expedition ship, Antarctica’s wildlife and shore excursions. Catherine tells us about the fascinating post office at the end of the world, and the British post mistresses who come to this remote spot to man it as well as the time she had a polar swim. They also talk about the environmental impacts and whether a visit can have a positive impact. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to cruise to Antarctica, have a listen. You can follow Catherine on instagram @zizzyballord and read some of her stories on her blog, Time to Wander You'll also find many of her stories in Traveller in the Sydney Morning Herald, Luxury Travel in the Australian and many other publications https://www.womensweekly.com.au/travel/antarctica-cruise/   https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/the-world-s-southernmost-town-becomes-expedition-cruise-hub-20230612-p5dfuv.html   https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/experiences/300838402/polar-plunge-what-its-like-to-take-a-dip-in-antarcticas-freezing-waters   https://www.timetowander.com.au/youve-got-mail/

How to Hike, with Caro Ryan

How to Hike, with Caro Ryan

We all know that getting out and communing with nature is good for both our body and our mental health, but where to start if you've never done any hiking but are keen to give it a go? Trekking, hiking, tramping, rambling or just plain walking - whatever you call if and whatyou aspire to, whether it's a kilometre on a flat countryside track to conquering rugged terrain over multiple days, or even taking it easy with a  Great Walk of Australia , it's an activity that most of us can achieve.  If, like ExtraVirgin host, Natascha, however, you have lots of questions: (Am I too old? Am I too unfit? is hiking hazardous? What gear do I need? What happens if I get lost?) then listen up, because our guest on this podcast will answer all those questions and more.  Among her many other talents., Caro Ryan is an expert bushwalker and search and rescue volunteer. She started her blog,   LotsaFreshAir.com  to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely. It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit. She  teaches  wilderness navigation, authored the book,  ‘How to Navigate - the art of traditional map & compass navigation in an Australian context ’ and hosts,  ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers . In addition to imparting some incredibly useful  (and potentially life-saving) tips, Caro shares her genuine passion for getting out in nature. We guarantee that she will inspire you to want to do the same.

A Food Tour to the Land of "White Lotus" - Sicily

A Food Tour to the Land of "White Lotus" - Sicily

If you listened to Epsiode 81, 'The Truth About Those 1-Euro Houses in Italy , ' in which our guest Rubia Daniels talked about buying not 1 but 3 of the houses in the town of Mussomeli in Sicily, or perhaps you're a fan of in the series White Lotus - then your interest in the region will certainly have been piqued. This episode will answer your questions about this very unique part of Ital. Natascha's guest (and dear friend) Carmel Ruggeri, an Australian-Sicilian and former restaurateur- turned-tour-guide will answer all your questions about this very unique part of Italy - from the places you shouldn't miss, to the hand signs you should, never ever use, to the regional food specialities you just have to try.
Carmel tells it how it is, with humour and refreshing honesty, her love of Sicily shining through in this (very entertaining) episode. If, after listening, you're inspired to book one of Carmel's small, immersive tours, then we're sorry to break your heart - Sicily has proven so popular that September has already sold out. BUT ALL IS NOT LOST! Carm also offers private tours throughout the years, to gather together a group of enthusiasts and hit her up at Sicilian Food Tours

Playing with Fire. Chef Ben Williamson

Playing with Fire. Chef Ben Williamson

Agnes Restaurant is one of Australia's hottest restaurants, recently awarded Gourmet Traveller's "Australia's Best Restaurant." In this episode, Natascha talks to co-owner and chef Ben Williamson, a partner in the Anyday Group, who also own seminal Brisbane restaurants, Same Same , Bianca, Honto and Agnes Bakery . Western Australian-born Ben spent time travelling the Middle East, where he sharpenened his kitchen skills and learned about cooking from the heart - something that would become the cornerstone of his culinary philosophy.  On his return to Australia, he settled in Brisbane, working in some of the city's most highly regarded restaurants, including a lengthy tenture at Gerard's Bistro , where introduced the city to his modern re-imagining of the cuisine of The Levant, gaining the venue many accolades, including two hats.  He then went on to establish Agnes, a wood-fired restaurant in a characterful, historic building; a restaurant generally regarded as the best in Brisbane.  In their chat, Natascha and Ben not only delve into his background, but discuss his food philosophy and influences, what he might have done differently in his career, food trends, where he likes to eat out, his future plans and more.

From Gauchos to Glaciers - Adventures in South America

From Gauchos to Glaciers - Adventures in South America

LISTEN HERE Is South America on your wish list but you worry it might be too challenging or unsafe? In this episode, ExtraVirgin host, Natascha Mirosch who has just returned from 3 weeks in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, shares her experiences. Her trip, travelling by plane, car and boat, starts in Santiago in Chile, where she visits an extraordinary museum and wanders the vibrant Yungay and Lastarria barrios. From there, she explores the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, with its unique architecture and excellent restaurants, as well another fascinating museum dedicated to a famous and tragic incident in Uruguayan history. Then it’s onto a ferry across the widest river in the world, the Rio de la Plata to Buenos Aires. Here Natascha discovers the origins of the tango, visits Eva Peron at Recoleta cemetery and the balcony of ‘the pink palace’ where she gave her final speech to the Argentinian people. She does a walking tour of the colourful La Boca district, takes in a beautiful bookshop in a theatre and more. In Patagonia, Natascha visits a glacier, attempts to hike up another one, gets up close with the iconic Fitz Roy, eats the world’s best lamb and drinks a liqueur made from a local berry in a bar at -15c. From there, it’s onto the province of Mendoza, where she stays in a ‘dome with a view’ overlooking the Andes, visits a couple of wineries and has an unforgettable horse ride with a gaucho. If you’ve thought of visiting South America, you’ll want to have a listen as Natascha shares the details of her new favourite destination. LISTEN HERE

Episode 103: Uncharted Paths: The Joy of Small Group Adventures

Episode 103: Uncharted Paths: The Joy of Small Group Adventures

LISTEN HERE Group travel needn't involve being shuttled around on 50-seater coaches, taken to the major sights to snap your instagram pics, then...back on the bus to do it all again. In this podcast, host Natascha Mirosch talks with Lisa Pagotto, founder of Crooked Compass who offer small group trips to some destinations that are definitely off the well-trod tourist path. But, if you're usually an independent traveller, why would you consider group travel? It's one of the questions that Natascha poses to Lisa. They also discuss how the pandemic has shifted the way many people want to travel, who are the people who take small group tours, the cultural, economic and environmental advantages of travelling this way, as well as the destinations her company covers and more. Lisa's just returned from Georgia, a country that's high on Natascha's bucket list, so they chat about it, including the top sights (turns out Georgia's mountains outdo the Swiss and French alps for hiking and wildflower spotting.) And wait until you hear what intrepid traveller Lisa's favourite travel experience ever is - we can guarantee it's somewhere you don't expect! LISTEN HERE If you'd like to known more about Crooked Compass trips, you can check out their website . Pics: Mike Swigunski, Dimitry Liminov, Lisa Pagotto

The World's Greatest Sex Show

The World's Greatest Sex Show

Step right up everybody. Come to Cairns, Australia and the Great Barrier Reef for the world's greatest sex show, on selected evenings into December. The first of 2023 took place on the full moon a few days ago. It's coral spawning time on The Great Barrier Reef. So what does this "Spawn Show" involve exactly?
Billions of tiny pink balls explode into the water as different species of soft corals and a handful of hard corals began the regeneration process, spawning for a few hours during the night. The sex cell bundles break open releasing sperm and eggs to bump into each other as they float on the Coral Sea currents and then settle on coral rubble to form baby corals.
“Right now, the Great Barrier Reef is teeming with new life," says ”Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.
“The annual coral spawning is not only one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena on the planet, it provides us with an opportunity to fast-track world-leading research to safeguard its future from the impacts of climate change,” she said.
What is coral spawning?
Coral spawning is the reef having sex. Coral polyps simultaneously release egg and sperm bundles into the ocean for external fertilisation. This happens in an annual mass event earning it the cheeky reputation of being the world’s largest orgasm on the world’s largest organism.
During this time the Great Barrier Reef is transformed into an underwater spectacle resembling the inside of a snow globe. The spawn creates a pink-brown slick on the surface where the sperm will meet a compatible egg and produce a larvae that takes about ten days to fully mature into a coral polyp.
Stories passed down by coastal Indigenous communities acknowledge coral spawning, but western science did not become aware of it until 1982 so researchers are still learning about the phenomenon. Inshore reefs tend to spawn a month ahead of the outer reef where the spawning is more spectacular. It generally occurs on the outer reefs off Cairns and Port Douglas two to six nights after the November full moon when water temperatures are 27-28C.
This year the full moon is at the end of the month in both October and November and may result in a split spawn after both moons. There is little movement of the water between high and low tides in the week following the full moon and these calm conditions help to maximise the fertilisation process. Spawning predominantly occurs at night when the plankton-eating reef fish are sleeping which reduces the risk of the eggs being eaten.
How to see the coral spawning If you're keen to get among it - literally, some tour operators offer coral spawning night trips in November and December 2023.
Diver’s Den , Pro Dive Cairns and Tusa) Liveaboards are also out on the Great Barrier Reef during coral spawning. It’s a natural event so seeing the coral spawning is not guaranteed, but you will still spend your evening discovering the sea creatures that emerge after dark. Pic: Calypso Productions

Episode 102: How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World

Episode 102: How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when we travel, but what if you could travel almost anywhere in the world and stay for free? Our guest on this episode of ExtraVirgin Food and Travel tells us how. Fiona Ryan has done more than a dozen exchanges, temporarily swapping her home in Brisbane, Australia for one in cities such as Helsinki or Barcelona. Fiona, who's a volunteer regional coordinator with the world's oldest home exchange program, the not-for-profit " Intervac ," chats with host Natascha Mirosch about how it's done; the multiple benefits of changing homes with someone and gives us her tips, gained from fifteen years’ experience. So if you've got itchy feet, but not necessarily the budget for that holiday you’re dreaming of, this episode is for you. ***And if you're an Australian listener, While you can get a free month membership to Intervac to have a look around, if you decide to sign up after that, you can use this special code EXTRAV10 for 10% discount, using the code EXTRAV10 . ***

The 50 Best Bars in the World

The 50 Best Bars in the World

The annual list of The World’s 50 Best Bars was announced on Tuesday, 17 October 2023. Held in Asia for the first time in its history, the ceremony celebrates the excellence of the international drinks sector, paying tribute to the visionary bartenders, enterprising bar owners and trailblazing brands that lead the charge in shaping cocktail culture around the world.
The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023 features establishments from 28 cities, with Barcelona’s Sips crowned The Best Bar in Europe and The World’s Best Bar , sponsored by Perrier. This is the second time a bar from Barcelona has taken the top spot in as many years, following Paradiso’s triumph in 2022. London leads Europe and the world, but Barcelona remains on top
London retains its place as one of the world’s cocktail capitals with five bars on the list, more than any other city, including two in the top 10: Connaught Bar , rising three places to No.5, and Tayēr + Elementary at No.8. They are joined by East London neighbours Satan’s Whiskers at No.28 and A Bar with Shapes for a Name at No.35, with Scarfes Bar coming in at No.41. Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons also returns to the list at No.39.
Barcelona has two entries in the top five, with No.1 Sips alongside Paradiso at No.4, with Madrid’s Salmon Guru at No.16. In Italy, Rome’s Drink Kong at No.21 is joined by new entry Freni e Frizioni (No.33), alongside 1930 (No.42) in Milan, L’Antiquario (No.44) in Naples and Locale Firenze (No.46) in Florence.
Athens continues its ascendency with Line, winner of London Essence Best New Opening Award, at No.12, alongside Baba Au Rum (No.25) and The Clumsies (No.47), which was also named Rémy Martin Legend of The List. Elsewhere in Europe, Paris features Little Red Door at No.6 and newcomer The Cambridge Public House at No.38, while Oslo’s Himkok (No.10) bags the Nikka Highest Climber Award . Berlin sees a strong return to the list with new entry Wax On at No.29. Last year’s Campari One To Watch, Röda Huset from Stockholm, ranks No.31 and is also the recipient of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award .
New York and Mexico City continue to battle it out
New York’s Double Chicken Please (No.2) is crowned The Best Bar in North America , with fellow Manhattan bars Overstory coming in at No.17 and Katana Kitten at No.27. Miami’s Café La Trova is at No.24 along with new entry Jewel of the South (No.49) bringing New Orleans back into the list for the first time since 2014.
In Mexico City, Handshake Speakeasy has risen 8 places to No.3, with Licorería Limantour at No.7, Hanky Panky at No.22 and Baltra Bar at No.45.
The Best Bar in South America is once again Cartagena’s Alquímico, which has risen to No.9, alongside Buenos Aires’ three entries: Tres Monos (No.11), also winner of the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award), CoChinChina (No.26) and Florería Atlántico (No.30). Carnaval in Lima is at No.43.
New entries shine in Asia
In the host city of Singapore, Jigger & Pony is at No.14 alongside Sago House (No.32) and re-entry Atlas at No.48. They are joined by Seoul newcomer Zest , winner of this year’s Disaronno Highest New Entry Award, at No.18.
Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo each feature two bars in the list, with Bangkok’s BKK Social Club taking the top spot as The Best Bar in Asia at No.13 and welcoming neighbour Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, entering at No.19. Tokyo stalwart Bar Benfiddich (No.37) is joined by The SG Club , which re-enters the list at No.36. Hong Kong is represented by Coa at No.20 and Argo at No.34.
Middle East & Australia
Sydney’s Maybe Sammy (No.15) is crowned The Best Bar in Australasia for an incredible fifth time, having won the title every year since its launch in 2019, whilst Melbourne’s Caretaker’s Cottage joins the list for the first time at No.23.
In Dubai, newcomer Mimi Kakushi storms into the list at No.40 as The Best Bar in The Middle East and Africa , joined by Galaxy Bar at No.50. Special Awards The ceremony kicked off the celebrations by naming Lady Bee in Lima as Campari One To Watch , an honour bestowed on a bar outside of the 1-50 ranking that the 50 Best team believes has what it takes to make future editions of the list.
1-50 List Position 1 Sips, Barcelona 2 Double Chicken Please, New York 3 Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City 4 Paradiso, Barcelona 5 Connaught Bar, London 6 Little Red Door, Paris 7 Licorería Limantour, Mexico City 8 Tayēr + Elementary, London 9 Alquímico, Cartagena 10 Himkok, Oslo 11 Tres Mono,s Buenos Aires 12 Line, Athens 13 BKK Social Club, Bangkok 14 Jigger & Pony, Singapore 15 Maybe Sammy Sydney 16 Salmon Guru, Madrid 17 Overstory, New York 18 Zest, Seoul 19 Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok 20 Coa, Hong Kong 21 Drink Kong, Rome 22 Hanky Panky, Mexico City 23 Caretaker's Cottage, Melbourne 24 Café La Trova, Miami 25 Baba au Rum, Athens 26 CoChinChina, Buenos Aires 27 Katana Kitten, New York 28 Satan's Whiskers, London 29 Wax On, Berlin 30 Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires 31 Röda Huset, Stockholm 32 Sago House, Singapore 33 Freni e Frizioni ,Rome 34 Argo, Hong Kong 35 A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London 36 The SG Club, Tokyo 37 Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo 38 The Cambridge Public House, Paris 39 Panda & Sons, Edinburgh 40 Mimi Kakushi, Dubai 41 Scarfes Bar, London 42 1930, Milan 43 Carnaval, Lima 44 L'Antiquario, Naples 45 Baltra Bar, Mexico City 46 Locale Firenze,Florence 47 The Clumsies,Athens 48 Atlas, Singapore 49 Jewel of the South,New Orleans 50 Galaxy Bar, Dubai

Postcard from Dublin, Ireland

Postcard from Dublin, Ireland

This episode of Extra Virgin Food and Travel's "Postcards,"comes to you from the Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin. Our guide is Louise Slyth, who's originally from Scotland but has made this enchanting city her home. Louise shows us around 'her' Dublin, her favourite galleries and museums, parks and pubs. She tells us the best places to shop and shares with us her recommendations of where to eat and drink - from simple fish and chips to sophisticated modern Irish; a pint of guiness to a classic cocktail. So, whether you're planning a trip to Dublin or simply daydreaming of a future visit, have a listen, as our guide Louise shows us where to find the craic in Dublin. You can also follow Louise on instgram at @louiseslyth_writer. And if you've enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe and rate us on your favorite podcast platform. pic: Anna Church/Supplied

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