Eat, eat, love

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A few weeks ago, I shared my personal review of the Gastro tour that I took with this incredible lady. During the tour, due to my naturally curious personality I asked her where the idea for such a business came from. Hearing of her adventurous path, I couldn’t resist and asked her to be on my blog. This was shortly after I tried some delicious pickled garlic at the Spanish supermarket, thank god it was odour free, I doubt one could get a positive response with that kinda breath.

C-E-L-I-A

At the age of 19 after dropping out of uni where she studied drama wanting to become a director, Celia leaves the picturesque state of Colorado and ventures to London to follow her dreams: directing on stage. That was pre internet times and mobile phones, the times of reaching each other by land line or letters or pigeon post ( just kidding, I still use the latter:) life was more exciting when people engaged with each other face to face.

In London Celia fulfils her dreams, working as a stage manager and director for few years, but gets disillusioned with all theatre business and embarks on the self search path. Becomes a life model for art schools, works in a bakery (serving pastries and making coffee’s), lives in squats without telephones. (Can you imagine your life without one now, I mean no telephone, NO TeLepHoNe! By now you are probably going through your pockets checking if your phone is there with you since the fear of not having it raises your blood pressure, take a deep breath, most likely it’s in your hand since you are reading this right now:).

Celia gets introduced to Christiane Kubrick, a painter that needed models for head and face and starts working for her. Once at their house, she is asked to go and make some potatoes for lunch, not knowing how to cook (apart from perhaps a pack of pot noodles), she meets the AGA cooker and Aga meets Celia (it’s a big stove with 4 ovens that is  continuously working/burning). Little did she know, these were the shores of her new passion and career path. It all started with making lunches, helping out with catering, playing with ingredients, using fresh vegetables from the garden. Those were the times when food wasn’t some gourmet obsession we are all used to now, it was just food. Nevertheless Celia was doing her personal educational journey and learning what goes with what and how it tastes. Keeps all the recordings of her recipes while she cooks at the house of Kubricks. The maestro himself once trying a dish that he liked and asked for it to be cooked for weeks, until one day he would say ‘never cook this again’.

Moving on, Celia starts working at Books For Cooks (store at Portobello), the golden age before the Internet. If anyone had any questions about the recipes or ingredients, they would telephone the shop for the answers. There was also a kitchen where Celia part time cooked to taste the dishes. Meanwhile she self publishes her 1st cook book. Makes 1000 copies, puts to sell in the store, loyal customers that knew Celia by then and later word of the mouth of its great content, sells all the copies within 3 months.

The Cook book had no pictures, it’s hard to imagine right now as we live in the era where we see food pictures of someone’s breakfast and brunch, lunch, tea time, dinner, supper on all the social medias that has been invented by the humanity, and mind the fact usually without the recipes.

In 2000’s Celia gets noticed by the publishers and goes international, 2nd book was a Best-seller.

Progress and development, creating and bringing your ideas to life are probably some of the greatest things one can achieve. Celia creates a new project that could bring her two passions together – cooking and teaching. The ‘Culinarium’ was born but it fell apart at the last moment. This made her realise she needs to use what’s already there.  She pioneers with her idea and creates the gastro tours – Portobello and then Borough Market. You can always have a look at the content of the tour at the ‘what if’ section on my Coffee_Me website.

Celia Brooks: http://www.celiabrooks.com

Likes: Thrills // Dislikes: Fakes

Life is paintful

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It was a sunny and a cold day, the universal day of love. The only time of the year when we as humans connect in unity of love and are not afraid to share it with others. I generally believe we should express it every day and as much as we can with people around us, with people we love and care for. A few of such believers sharing the same views gathered ‘on the violets are blue’ and ‘I love you’ day. He was among them, a visitor of the capital from the western side of the English speaking part of our planet, where they make the ‘R’ letter sound very 3D as if it had to be pronounced in writing. This extravagant persona with one right shoe and right side of his pants heavily painted over with just a few brushes on the left, upon noticing my gaze, said: ‘Everything has to be in balance, right side of the brain represents our creative side and the left is analytical”. I suddenly felt so plain with my perfectly black tights, my thoughts wondered if he paints tights too?:).

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He changed his travel plans, so that we could stroll around an ancient cemetery for Coffee_Me (well, in reality it was a business related delay but let me add some special credit to our beloved project besides 10% of me still thinks it was for the coffee picture and story time:).

John’s life reminds me more of a movie script, Terry Gilliam would be the perfect director in my opinion:) maybe because even the darkest moments John narrates with wisdom of the experiences and humour mixed in.

Born in Zahoya, ‘the Jewel of San Diego’ he says. His early childhood was spent in Hawaii and running fugitives, in Mexico for two years due to his stepfather’s problems with law back in the USA. Growing up as a teenager he was quite suicidal, experimental I’d say:). Later on he changed his places of higher education 7 times. He studied psychology, communication, computer science then went back to studying communication. The day he enrolled onto his psychology class and got his books, flipping through one of them, he found a photo of his sister and himself in a case study book when he is still a kid. The photo was taken by some American journalist whilst they were fugitives in Mexico. In between he worked as best ever valet, he says, I believe him, I can see him the best one ever:) later on he decided that he doesn’t want a piece of paper to define him and went back to work for a guy who built his empire by becoming the biggest seller of exotic cars. Some years later, John is a managing director of three companies working with artwork: one California based and other two are based in London. He says: “We sell everything you don’t need but you fucking want it!” I like that:) so true as well. He also patented his pant and shoe art and you can get your pairs done by the master at: lifeispaintful.com. John describes himself as: I’m everything everyone is but they don’t admit it.’ He was wearing sun glasses of course, I did ask him to remove those for the picture, once he did, he said: “Good that I have my eye liner on”. I was happy he did too.

You can imagine how many things I did not include in here about this character, because he is like an erupting volcano and sometimes its better to admire it from the side rather then try to describe its hot lava splashes.

This encounter was of a personal journey and experience as meeting a person from another side of the planet and starting talking as if we had known each other for ever and like we only saw each other just yesterday is a truly heart-warming feeling. The thought of us being all connected once our hearts are opened makes me love us humans more and more. Jonh is also a hugger:) those that know me will know that I prefer hugging to all that hand shaking business, so we gave each other a big long hug before we went in different directions.

Likes: Challenging beauty // Dislikes: Bullshit