Rio de Janeiro

A Brand New Eat Rio


Feijoada. Because by the time you read this it will probably be Saturday Sunday.


Hello readers! Remember me? I’m not sure whether a 7 week break can really be called a hiatus, but that’s what I’m going with. I’ve probably gone on about this too much recently, but things have been really busy over the last few months! There have been all kinds of adventures – lots and lots of food tours, recruiting new staff, dabbling in a little catering, changing accountants and getting boring businessey stuff organised, working with a major US broadcaster, preparing for an upcoming trip to Mexico and also working on the brand new Eat Rio website. Oh yeah, and it looks like an actual physical book with my name on it could possibly be appearing next year!

The book thing has not been confirmed yet so we’ll have to see how that goes, but the new website is almost upon us. Now then, long-term readers will read the last part of that last sentence with a certain amount of (justified) scepticism. Over the last 18 months I’ve mentioned this ‘new website’ many times but until now it has been all talk. But the time has finally come! With the help of Tamara at Just Add Glitter, the new site is finally done!

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The way things are right now

Image source

Chilaquiles Image source


Well it’s Friday, and in days gone past that would have meant a guaranteed post here at Eat Rio. Then along came the World Cup and a deluge of food tours and my whole writing/posting routine got messed up.

So now that the World Cup is over, things should be getting back to normal, right?

Well, not quite yet. Mrs Eat Rio and I have been working 7 days/week for the last 3 months, so we are both completely exhausted. A few weeks ago we decided to book ourselves a holiday to Mexico so we can get away from everything and fully unwind.

I visited Mexico back in 2010 and absolutely loved it. For Mrs Eat Rio it will be her first time in the land of tequila, mole and chilaquiles (we plan to indulge in all 3 of those items, plus much, much more).

Of course I’ll be indulging in some serious relaxation, but I will also be taking my camera with a view to record my experiences and perhaps draw some parallels and contrasts between Mexico and Brazil. And when I get back, things will get back to normal (promise!).

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Pre-Copa Mayhem



Well, the deadline is looming, the tension is mounting and the financial backers are getting nervous. With just 35 days to go, everyone is asking themselves same question: Will it be ready on time? Well I’ll tell you – it had better be ready on time or I’ll be in big trouble.

Wait, what? What were you talking about? was talking about my first proper writing job which has to be delivered before the start of the World Cup. You were talking about the Copa itself? Well yeah, fingers crossed for that too I suppose.

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The Chowzter Awards in London



First I tell you that I’m quitting my day job so I can spend more time on the blog, and then I go and disappear without blogging for a whole week! Well I won’t apologise as that sounds rather self-important (“How did you cope without me?”), but I will say that I’ve been busy!

Yesterday I got back to Rio after a week in London for the Chowzter Tastiest Fast Feast Awards. Chowzter have recruited some of the best food bloggers from cities around the world in their quest to track down the best Fast Feasts on the planet. A ‘Fast Feast’ could be anything from street food to a generations-old family recipe served up in a modest neighbourhood restaurant – the emphasis is on independent, non-pretentious, freshly prepared and delicious dishes!

As well as the awards ceremony, the weekend was filled with a variety of food related events (sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to deserve this good fortune!). And before that started, I even had a chance to catch up with friends and family around London. Now this, is what a proper pub looks like:

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The reason I started Eat Rio



Next month Eat Rio will be 3 years old. During this period I’ve written over 400 posts and 48 static pages; you guys have left more than 4,500 comments, and I’ve filtered out almost 2,000 spam comments (if I ever do inherit 22.9 million dollars from a long lost uncle in Nigeria, I’m almost certainly going to miss out). The Eat Rio Facebook page has almost 1,000 likes (come on people!) and the Eat Rio Twitter account has almost 1,000 followers (are you trying to torture me?).

Now I don’t want to get too misty eyed here but, for me at least, Eat Rio has meant more than just the numbers. Writing this blog has pushed me to investigate and learn more about this great city. I’ve also made lots of friends through the blog, had several of those mythical ‘free lunches’ and just recently I was able to escape a less than satisfying job and switch career paths completely. Not bad for 3 years!

It feels like an age ago now, but I still remember why I started this blog in the first place.

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Tom drinking Toddynho

Waiting 60 years for a Toddy



-What’s the difference between a blogger and a journalist?

-Bloggers read and respond to their readers’ comments, journalists don’t! 

OK, please relax journalists, I understand that there are plenty of other differences such as a proper education and training in journalism, journalistic standards (properly citing sources, etc) and accountability. But there is a real point here – bloggers place far more importance on reader comments and interactions with their readers; journalists tend to adopt a more unidirectional approach.

I always like receiving comments on Eat Rio, but every so often something extra special comes in that stands out from the rest. And just such a comment appeared exactly a month ago.

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A Skype Ambassador with a ‘passion for food’!


Check it out – it’s me!


Hi everyone! I’ll warn you from the outset, today’s post is mostly about me – I don’t normally go in for  the whole ‘Dear Diary’ posts, but some big changes are afoot and I thought I should give you guys a quick update.

News Item number one: yesterday morning the nice people at Skype announced that they have made me their newest Skype Ambassador – tweeting the news to over 3 million followers!


How cool is that? Currently there are 8 of us Ambassadors and each of us has a particular speciality. No prizes for guessing my specialisation – food! In fact the Skype Moment Makers page where they made the announcement describes me as having a ‘passion for food’ and while that is 100% true, I also rather like the way it sounds like a very diplomatic way of saying ‘greedy’!

Anyway, leaving my gluttony aside for a moment, what will my collaboration with everyone’s favourite on-line communication tool actually mean?

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Your City, Your Passion!

A couple of weeks ago I made a rather cryptic comment about a secret mission involving Eat Rio, communication and Indonesia. Well today I can finally reveal all!

Some months back, I was approached by someone from the Skype company who asked if I’d be interested in getting involved in a project they were working on. The title of the project was “Your City, Your Passion” and you might not be surprised to hear that I was a little cynical at first. There is a lot of talk about ‘passion’ nowadays: just skim through Twitter and you will find countless people who are “passionate about getting you the best deal on home insurance” or they’ll shout joyfully that “Shower curtain rings are our passion!”.

However, Skype’s proposal was irresistible: spend a day wandering around Rio, showcasing the best and most interesting food the city has to offer. Hmmm, ‘Rio’ and ‘food’ – I am (reluctantly) forced to admit that I am passionate about both of these subjects.


This is Jie! As I showed him Rio, he showed me Surabaya. Check out his awesome blog:


My partner for the day was Jie, a food blogger from the city of Surabaya on the Indonesian island of East Java. Here’s where Skype came in – they arranged for Jie and me to ‘meet up’ for the day over Skype on our mobile phones. Using the wonders of modern mobile technology we chatted, swapped photos and videos and compared the culinary highlights of our cities.

So, how did it go?

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All about me!

There’s an implicit conceit in writing a blog isn’t there? It’s that you judge what you have to say to be worthy of people’s attention. It’s the equivalent of walking into a room and shouting “Listen up everyone! I’ve got something to say and I think you’re going to like it!”. I’m sure we bloggers also have some higher motives, but if we’re honest, I think there’s an element of ‘vanity project’ in every blog.

This makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but with a subject as interesting as Rio, I feel happy enough to simply describe what I see and speculate on why things are the way they are. Then I can sit back and read what everyone else thinks in the comments. For those that don’t enjoy what I have to say, at least there are some pretty pictures!


The Eat Rio Facebook page just passed 500 likes!


People have all kinds of different ideas about what should go into a blog. Some people use their blogs as a kind of journal through which they invite you into their personal lives, others go for a more cold, fact based approach.

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Happy Birthday to…

Today I would mostly like to say a big Happy Birthday to my Mum! It’s at times like this that I feel the downside of living in Brazil. The sun and adventure is all very well, but it’s tough to be away from so many loved ones for such long periods. I have also just recently missed my niece’s birthday and (unfortunately for her) I am one of those people who is useless at planning ahead, buying presents or using the postal system (AKA a man).

Happy Birthday Mum!


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