Sunday, 9 September 2012

Olympic Food Challenge - The home straight

As the torch is extinguished for the last time in the Olympic Stadium in London, so we see the end of the Olympic Food Challenge.  I set this challenge back in April, thinking that it would add an other dimension to the summer of sport.  I didn't know then that our Olympic and Paralympic athletes would steal the hearts of the nation and truly be an inspiration to us all.

The Olympic Food Challenge has also been an inspiration to me.  In April I had an idea, it was quite far fetched and, looking back on it, it was also a bit over ambitious.  Cooking food from all 204 National Olympic Committees was always going to be hard.  I realised early on that I would need help to complete the challenge and he fact that 14 complete strangers from 11 food blogs decided to help me carry out this momentous task is an inspiration in its self.

Sadly we failed in our original goal of completing the challenge by the end of the Olympic Games*.  We moved the goal posts* and, with the remaining countries distributed, we started to cook our way towards the closing ceremony of the Paralympics.

Since 12th August we have cooked recipes from: Armenia, Belarus, Bermuda, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, Gambia, Haiti, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.  There are still one or two blog posts to be written up by the team, they will be posted on the National Olympic Committees page as soon as possible.

So that's it, between us we have researched and eaten recipes from around the world.  We have picked up some wonderful cooking techniques (boiling chicken, braising, making noodles and dumplings to name a few), tried new ingredients (breadfruit, ducks tongues, goat) and found out the odd fact that will be useful in future pub quizzes (Gambia gained independence from Great Britain in 1965).

Thank you to Catherine, Clare, Dan, Dave, a couple of Garys, Jo(e), Rachel, three Rebeccas, Sam and Steph.  With out your hard work none of this would have been possible.  You are my inspiration to continue to come up with daft and far fetched ideas.  I doubt I will try anything on this scale again, but I will keep pushing my boundaries and each time I do I'll remember the 2012 Olympics and the Olympic Food Challenge.


*Real life has a habit of getting in the way of daft ideas. 
*something that would be frowned upon by most in the world of sport.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge - The final push

As I mentioned in the last post, we unfortunately fell short of eating food from all 204 nations that were competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.  We really tried, 160 meals were cooked and consumed in only 19 days.  In my book that's great going.  But my book needs a final chapter and a happy ending.

The Olympic cauldron may have been extinguished, but the Olympic spirit lives on in the hearts of the Paralympians who are days away from swelling their nations pride.  Between now and the end of the Paralympic Games we will cook and blog about the remaining 44 nations from our list.

"But what are the remaining countries and who are the adventurous bloggers who will be joining you in the task?" I hear you cry.  Below is the list of the countries and a link to each of the participants blogs.

Armenia - Tonight's Menu
Belarus - Tonight's Menu
Bermuda - 366 Recipe Challenge
Botswana - 366 Recipe Challenge
Cambodia - 750 Miles
Cayman Islands - Tonight's Menu
Comoros - 750 Miles
Djibouti - Soup Tuesday
Dominica - Tonight's Menu
Egypt - 750 Miles
Equitorial Guinea - 366 Recipe Challenge
Finland - Exploits of a Food Nut
Gambia - The Food I Eat
Georgia - 750 Miles
Hungry - Geek Leeds
Iraq - Tonight's Menu
Israel - Exploits of a Food Nut
Jordan - Really Nice Food
Kazakhstan - 366 Recipe Challenge
Kyrgyzstan - Tonight's Menu
Laos - Feast and Glory
Latvia - Exploits of a Food Nut
Liberia - Exploits of a Food Nut
Libia - Tonight's Menu
Mauritania - Exploits of a Food Nut
Mexico - 750 Miles
Monaco - Soup Tuesday
Montenegro - Feast and Glory
Pakistan - Tonight's Menu
Palestine - Tonight's Menu
Papua New Guinea - Tonight's Menu
Peru - Geek Leeds
Poland - 750 Miles
Qatar - Tonight's Menu
Seychelles - 750 Miles
Sierra Leone - 366 Recipe Challenge
Somalia - The Food I Eat
Spain - Geek Leeds
Switzerland - 750 Miles
Tajikistan - 366 Recipe Challenge
Timor-Leste - Really Nice Food
Trinidad and Tobago - Exploits of a Food Nut
United States of America - 750 Miles
Vanuatu - Tonight's Menu

With a dash of luck and a favourable wind we will have cooked, photographed and blogged about a dish from each of these countries by Sunday 9th September.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

An update

Phew, what a couple of weeks that was!  We only have a brief break before the Paralympics start and the country once again goes mad for the achievements of Team GB.  The one downside to all of this success is that the Olympic Food Challenge has not been completed.

Since the closing ceremony we have seen food from Cote D'Ivoire, DR Congo, Italy, Micronesia, Myanmar, North Korea, Singapore and Uruguay, cooked and written about*.  There are still some blog posts to come in, but even then we will be short of the finishing line.

The good news is that this is not an officially sanctioned Olympic Sport and therefore has no rules and regulations.  Between now and the end of the Paralympics I, along with help from some of the Olympic Food Challenge team, will be cooking our way through to the finish.  If you are interested in helping please drop me a line.

*I'll let you into a little secret, one of my favourites is in amongst that lot.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Day 19

Well that's all folks.  Over the last 19 days our team have battled illness, injury, work, family life, and pregnancy to bring you the food of the 204 nations competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Sadly we have not managed the full 204 in the time but that is mainly due to getting the blogs written.

Team GB didn't didn't let us down.  We ended the games with a staggering 29 gold medals with Anthony Joshua adding the final gold with the final punch of the final round in the Super-Heavyweight boxing.

Our blogging heavyweights have also been stepping up to the occasion.  Today we have seen food from Bolivia, Denmark, Ghana, Great Britain, Guinea, Norway, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Swaziland, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

Like Charles van Commenee, I feel that I have set a target that has not been achieved, however I will not be standing down as the Head Coach of the Olympic Food Challenge.  I am not going to rest until all 204 golds have been won.  Keep an eye out for future blog posts from the team and for a fitting montage of the best bits from the Olympic Food Challenge.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Day 18

After another golden day I don't think I want London 2012 to end.  Team GB had the best possible start when Ed McKeever picked up gold in the 200m kayak sprint.  Tom Daley realised his Olympic dream by winning bronze in the 10m dive off, and Mo Farah out olympiced every one by adding the 5,000m gold to the 10,000m gold he won last week.

London 2012 comes to an end tomorrow and, along with it, so does the Olympic Food Challenge.  There are plenty more countries to be eaten but today we have seen recipes from Czech RepublicGabon, Hong KongLebanon and Nepal. We're on the home straight now!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Day 17

Today has seen Team GB continue to add to their impressive medal total for London 2012.  No golds today but a pair of silvers from Weymouth and a couple of bronzes in Taekwondo and Boxing.  I don't know about you, but I'm loving all of this sport coverage.  It makes such a great change from wall to wall football.  Hopefully a greater appreciation of sport will be the legacy of London 2012.

If the Olympic Food Challenge has a legacy, hopefully it will be that we are less blinkered about world cuisine.  Perhaps today's recipes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, JapanMongolia, Nauru, OmanSan Marino and Yeman will provide the impetus to get into the kitchen.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Day 16

Team GB have returned to their golden ways today.  We are now best at team and individual prancing horses and I for one wouldn't mess with a British woman*.  The other big Olympic news was Usain Bolt proclaiming himself a legend following his 4th Olympic gold medal.

Legends come and go and food tastes change year in and year out.  Some dishes do stand the test of time and become family favourites.  With recipes from; Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Estonia, Guam, Indonesia, Moldova, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Togo, Tunisia and Ukraine there might be a new food legend waiting for you to discover it.

*not that I would have anyway.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Day 15

After the euphoria of the last few golden days of the Olympic Games, we have been brought down to earth with a bump.  No gold medals!  This must be what it feels like to be Australian*.  The truth is this years Olympic Games has been outstanding.  I certainly didn't expect Team GB to do this well and it isn't over yet.

The Olympic Food Challenge isn't over yet either.  We still countries to cook from and stories to tell.  Tonight we have seen food from Albania, Bahamas, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda and Uzbekistan.  I'm getting hungry again just reading the links.

*Hello to all of our Australian chums, I'm sure you'll be beating us again very soon.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Day 14

After today's medal haul this year's group of Team GB Olympians is the best we have ever seen!  We have surpassed the medal total that was achieved in Beijing and there are still 5 days to go.  My personal highlight of the day was Nick Dempsey, presenting his son with the silver medal that he had promised him.

Back on the food front, we had some catching up to do to achieve our goal.  Today food from Aruba, Bangladesh, Belize, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Netherlands, Samoa, Sudan and Turkmenistan has been cooked and blogged about.  There are some tasty looking deserts in there too including chocolate custard.  If chocolate after a triathlon is ok for Alistair Brownlee, it has to be ok for the rest of us.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Day 13

It has been another cracking day of Olympic action.  Team GB have won an other gold medal in the velodrome and their first showjumping Gold medal for 60, cementing our position as the best nation at sitting down.

Luckily, no horses were eaten as part of tonight's Olympic food Challenge.  We did have dishes from; Germany, Ireland, Morocco, Philippines, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand and Tonga.

So far I have received nothing but words of support and encouragement for what we are doing.  People are now dusting off their pots and pans and deciding to be more adventurous in the kitchen because of our exploits.  If you have been moved to cook let us know. 

Thank you for your support and for reading!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Day 12

It has been an other fantastic day in the world of the 2012 Olympic Games.  Andy Murray finally beat Roger Federer in a final to win gold for Team GB and then managed to win Silver with Laura Robson.  Ben Ainsley became the Greatest Olympic sailor ever and Usain Bolt tore the field apart with a lightening fast 100m sprint.

We also had a new Olympic Challenge record of 10 countries being eaten from in the same night! British Virgin Islands, Chile, Cook Islands, Ecuador, Guatamala, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Lithuania, Nicaragua and Syria have now all been added to the list of new and interesting world foods.  We now only have 7 days to eat the rest of the participating nations.  Will we do it? Keep checking back to find out.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Day 11

I don't know about you but I'm exhausted.  Just watching the Team GB Olympians as they run, cycle, row, skull, shoot, throw and paddle their way to gold medals has worn me out.  I know that they can't hear me as I yell my support in to the television but it's the thought that counts.

To show our support to the boys and girls of Team GB, we are still forging our way towards the finish line of the Olympic Food Challenge. Today recipes from; Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), France, Honduras, India, Puerto Rico, and United Arab Emirates have been cooked and consumed as we head into the final week.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Day 10

We are now over the hump of the Olympic Food Challenge, there are less days ahead of us than have passed.  To celebrate Team GB have decided to take up third place in the medal table.  Sadly some of the football has come to an end but we can now look forward to a replay of this years Wimbledon final.  Let's just hope that the result is different.

Tonight we have been blessed with dishes from Benin, Chad, Portugal and Slovenia.  Hopefully the medal rush will continue into the weekend and spur on a cooking rush too.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Day 9

There has been so much Olympic action today that I really don't know where to start.  A flurry of gold and silver medals and a hand full of world records thrown in for good measure.  Team GB even managed to crash, shoot defenceless clay pigeons and get disqualified for being too fast.

None of these feats managed to stop us from cooking and eating from the following countries: Congo, Cyprus, Grenada, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia and Zambia.  Tomorrow the nuts and bolts of the Olympics, the athletics, start.  Lets hope for more continued success in our kitchens.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Day 8

Day 8 in the Olympic Food Challenge and day 5 of the big sporting event in London* and finally Team GB have their first Gold medal(s).  It was only a matter of time before we won some events while sitting down and today we managed it both going forwards and facing the wrong way.  Massive congratulations to Glover, Stanning and Wiggins on their wins.

Back in our kitchens we have been stood up, not sitting down, at our stoves cooking more delicious dishes from the following countries; Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Kiribati, South Korea and Tuvalu.  There was also an attempt at some rhubarb jam from Iceland but, as with Wiggins' Spanish cycling opponent, the chain fell off before the recipe was even started.

*and various other places pretending to be London.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Day 7

A full week of cooking food from the nations that make up the Olympic family has now passed and for some reason* Team GB** still don't have a nice shiny gold medal.  We have picked up a silver in the team equestrian three day eventing and seeing Zara Philips get her medal from her mum*** has been one of my Olympic highlights so far.

Although the medal haul has been scant, todayhas seen the biggest blog haul of this Olympic Food Challenge.  Recipes from Algeria, Australia, Bhutan, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malta, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Suriname and Tanzania have all been cooked. There have also been some backdated blogs so remember to check the NOC tab to make sure that you haven't missed out on any of the action.

*I blame the curse of Cameron
**I'm not comfortable with that name in the slightest.
***Princess Anne

Monday, 30 July 2012

Day 6

What a day of Olympic action we have had.  Blog updates have been coming in thick and fast as the second week of the Olympic Food Challenge looms ever nearer.  It has also been a hectic day of sport and one of mixed results for Team GB.  The men's gymnastic team walked away with a bronze medal after being robbed of silver.  This was still a great result having never won a medal in their Olympic history.  Sadly Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield couldn't manage the same after a poor dive* in round 3 of the synchronised 10m diving ultimatly cost them a podium finish.

Back at the Olympic food challenge, we have had recurring recipes for chimmichurri sauce and falafel, which just goes to show how small the world is after all.  Today's recipes are from American Samoa, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Kenya and Russia.  We are one third through the Olympic Food Challenge and there is a long way still to go.  Let's hope all of the long distance training pays off.

*like I could do any better.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Day 5

The second full day of the Olympic Games gave Team GB its first medals of the games.  Lizzie Armitstead won silver in a thrilling sprint for the line in the Women's cycling road race and Rebecca Addlington won bronze against the odds in the 400m freestyle swimming.

The Olympic Food Challengers have also been performing at their peak.  Today has seen dishes from Afghanistan, Guyana, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Vietnam, none of which have as many medals as Team GB.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Day 4

After the highs of last night's opening ceremony, we have now suffered the lows of Mark Cavendish's defeat at the road race this morning.  We're not going to mope or start pointing fingers of blame.  Instead we are going to cook.

Recipes from Cape Verde, Cuba, Greece, Marshall Islands, Senegal and Venezuela have all been researched and cooked, while Great Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning set a new Olympic record with a dominant victory in the first heat of the women's pair rowing at Dorney.  So there are still reasons to be cheerful.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Day 3

We are already two days into the Olympic Food Challenge and finally the Olympics have decided to join us.  This morning saw some Robin Hood action as the archers* set us all a-quiver in the individual and team ranking rounds with two World Records being smashed.

This evening we have the grand and much anticipated Opening Ceremony.  As well as seeing the teams waving their flags and taking photo's on their i-phones we have also had food from; Argentina, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, Mauritius, Niger, Slovakia and the United States of America.

*dum de dum de dum de dum, dum de dum de da da!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Day 2

We're still a day away from the extravaganza that will be Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for the Olympic Games.  The sporting action has continued with yet more football.  The English team (featuring a Welshman or two) managed to hang on for a 1-1 draw with Senegal.

Whilst all of the action has been taking place on the pitch, we have been cooking up several storms in our respective kitchens.  Tonight's countries include; Antigua and Barbuda, BurkinaFaso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Lesotho and Sweden.  There are sweet and savoury recipes, fish and vegetarian dishes.  Something for everyone and with no bitter taste left in the mouth, unlike the football.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Day 1

Welcome to the first day of the Olympic Food Challenge.  The various food bloggers have been in training for months for this herculean feat, 19 days and 204 countries to eat from.  There may be some false starts as people get into their stride, but this is a marathon not a sprint and we will all get there in the end.

The sport action kicked off with Women's football and a win for Team GB, the food action has kicked off with: Andorra, Palau, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands and Virgin Islands.  Many other nations were cooked tonight and the relative blogs will be updated on here as soon as they are published.

Friday, 20 July 2012

On Your Marks, Get Set...

This time next week the nation will be settling down to watch Danny Boyle’s imaginings of Britain.  Sheep, fake clouds and a village green cricket match are all to star in the biggest show on Earth, the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympic Games.  By this time we will already be two days into the Olympic Food Challenge* and will hopefully have plenty of exiting new recipes to share. 

I don't know about the rest of the team but I'm starting to get a bit nervous.  I have now spent quite a lot of time researching my allotted 19 countries and there are still large gaps in my meal planner.  There are only a couple of Nations that I defiantly know what I'm going to cook for, the rest are still up for grabs.

Having kept a daily food blog for the best part of a year I am well aware of the potential for things to get a bit hectic.  I know that by the time a meal is cooked and eaten and all of the washing up is done, there can be little time left for writing.  I also know that we all live busy lives.  There will be days, I'm sure, when rather than 12 new blog posts to link to there will only be 1 or 2.  Likewise, there will be days where people have been catching up with their writing and publish 2 or 3 recipes.

I'll be trying to stay on top of all of this and publishing a list of the day’s blogs. But just in case you have missed a country that you were looking forward to, or don't want to trawl through a jumble of posts to find it, I have set a full list of the National Olympic Committees as a separate page.  I will update this every time a new country's food is cooked so it will be easier for everybody.  I'm now off to do some gentle warm up exercises in the hope that I'm at my best come the big day.  This is going to be fun.

*The Olympic Food Challenge starts early because the sport starts two days before the ceremony.  By the time the Olympic flame is lit the football and archery will both already be under way.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Blogger No.12 The Food Nut

Gary, the blogger behind Exploits of a Food Nut is the final final challenger to accept the Olympic Food Challenge.  To be fair to Gary he was one of the first to agree to be involved, but he was the last name out of the hat when the draw took place.  Gary's exploits in food have seen him bake cakes and make his own bacon, but as a graduate in Food Science and Nutrition I'd expect nothing more.

You can follow Gary on twitter at @TheFoodNut

For the Olympic Food Challenge Gary has drawn:

Cape Verde
Cote D'Ivoire
Trinidad and Tobago

*Seeded Countries

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Blogger No.11 Feast and Glory

Feast and Glory is the food blog of Sheffield foodie Clare.  Clare writes about the food she has cooked at home and meals in restaurants in Sheffield and beyond.  Along with a fellow Sheffield foodie, Ros, Clare has also created Appetite in an attempt to bring the people of Sheffield together through food.

Clare is the second of the two bloggers who could only agree to help out with a limited number of nations during the challenge.  I'm still very grateful that she's on board.

You can follow Clare on twitter at @FeastAndGlory

For the Olympic Food Challenge Clare has drawn:

South Africa

*Seeded Countries

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Blogger No.10 Food and Biscuits

Joe and Jo are the couple behind Food and Biscuits.  Until very recently it was a daily food blog charting the meals cooked by Jo(e) and included reviews of restaurants around Leeds.  After hitting their 365 post they have decided to take a deserved break from daily blogging but they are still writing about the food that excites them.  I hope the Olympic Food Challenge is exciting enough.

You can follow Joe and Jo on twitter at @foodandbiscuits

For the Olympic Food Challenge Joe and Jo have drawn:

British Virgin Islands
Dominican Republic
New Zealand*
Sierra Leone
St Kitts and Nevis

*Seeded Countries

Monday, 14 May 2012

Blogger No.9 Come Dine With Rach

As you may expect, Come Dine With Rach is the food blog of Rachel.  Over the past year it has charted reviews of restaurants in Leeds, meals cooked at home, meal planning for the week ahead, and includes a wine of the week section.  Rachel was the first blogger to get behind The Olympic Food Challenge so I have a lot to thank her for.

You can follow Rachel on twitter at @comedinewitrach

For the Olympic Food Challenge Rachel has drawn:

Democratic Republic of Congo
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Virgin Islands

*Seeded Countries

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Blogger No.8 366 Recipe Challenge

366 Recipe Challenge  is the food blog of Rebecca and charts her attempt at eating a new recipe every day for a year. Rebecca was one of the earliest to sign up for the Olympic food challenge as it fits in with her own blog so well.  Rebecca is already well over 200 new recipes into her own challenge in a valiant attempt to widen her families food horizons.

You can follow Rebecca on twitter at @lilmssquirrel

For the Olympic Food Challenge Rebecca has drawn:

El Salvador
Puerto Rico
Soloman Islands

*Seeded Countries

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Blogger No.7 Really Nice Food

Really Nice Food (When "nice" food isn't enough) is the food blog of Rebecca.  Like me Rebecca shuns the term 'Foodie' in favour of a less prescriptive lover of food.  In case you were wondering, really nice food, is the food that excites you and tantalises your taste buds.  I hope there is plenty of excitement to come from the Olympic Food Challenge.

You can follow Rebecca on twitter at @reallynicefood

For the Olympic Food Challenge Rebecca has drawn:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic*
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
United Arab Emirates

*Seeded Countries

Friday, 27 April 2012

Blogger No.6 Tonight's Menu

Hello, I'm Ewan Mitchell, creator and curator of this here Olympic Food Challenge.  Whilst not setting a group of strangers ridiculous food related tasks I blog at Tonight's Menu, a daily food blog about our evening meals at home and occasionally, out and about in Leeds.  I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into my allotted 19 countries and can't wait to see what dishes the other 11 bloggers come up with.

You can follow me twitter at @EwanMitchell

For the Olympic Food Challenge I have drawn:

Central African Republic
Great Britain*
Marshal Islands

*Seeded Countries

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Blogger No.5 The Food I Eat

When setting up the Olympic Food Challenge, I quickly realised that the number of nations taking part wasn't divisable by the length of the games.  I would have found it very difficult to find 10.736842 bloggers, each of whom would have taken 19 nations.  Fortunatly a couple of bloggers wanted to take part but couldn't commit to a recipe a day.

Steph and Dave, from The Food I Eat, are the first of two bloggers with a short list of nations.  The Food I eat is a blog of the experience of eating in restaurants and occasionally at home.  It was born out of Steph's love of food and photography.  Whilst Steph is incharge of the blog and the photographs, it is Dave that is incharge of the cooking.  Steph also runs The Food Place, a UK wide, independant restaurant and take-away guide.

You can follow Steph and Dave on twitter at @missstephwalker and @davepullig respectively.
For the Olympic Food Challenge Steph and Dave have drawn:

St Lucia

*Seeded Countries

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Blogger No.4 Geek Leeds

Geek Leeds is a blog about life in Leeds, taking in beer, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  Geek Leeds is also the second, non-food specific, blog that has taken up the Olympic Food Challenge.  When Gary, the author of Geek Leeds, started writing back in August last year, he threw away the blogging rule book, deciding not to restrict himself to a specific topic.  This way he could write about what was exiting him at any point in time.  Hopefully the Olympic Food Challenge will keep him excited.

You can follow Gary on twitter at @GeekLeeds

For the Olympic Food Challenge Gary has drawn:

Bukina Faso
Caymen Islands
Sri Lanka

*Seeded Countries

Friday, 20 April 2012

Blogger No.3 Soup Tuesday

Soup Tuesday is the food blog of Dan and Catherine and you won't be surprised to find out that it started as a weekly blog, focusing on soup, eaten on Tuesdays.  As with most blogs, mine included, it didn't take long before non-soup related recipes posted on other days of the week started to creep in.  It was in fact an other challenge that got Catherine on-board the Soup Tuesday blog-bandwaggon, a weekly bake off.

With a combined love of food, blogs and challenges these two should have no problem with The Olympic Food Challenge.  You can follow Dan and Catherine on Twitter at @souptuesday and @KasariW respectively.

For the Olympic Food Challenge Dan and Catherine have drawn:

American Samoa
Antigua and Barbuda
Chinese Taipei
Cook Islands
Hong Kong*
South Korea

*Seeded Countries

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Blogger No.2 750 Miles

Sam is the author of one of two non-food related blogs who are taking part in the Olympic Food Challenge.  750 Miles is a blog dedicated to Sam's own personal athletic challenge, taking part in "a bit of an assault course".  It's a 12 mile course, featuring 27 obstacles devised by British Special Forces.  Sounds less than fun to me, but then the last strenuous exercise I took was running for a bus and that nearly killed me.

Sam is also about to start guest blogging for The Globe Trotters, so she's not worried about food writing and clearly she loves a challenge!  You can follow Sam on Twitter at @vogue_ismybible.

For the Olympic Food Challenge Rebecca has drawn:

United States of America*

*Seeded Country

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Blogger No.1 Big Spoon, Little Spoon

Big Spoon, Little Spoon is the food blog of Rebecca from Leeds.  According to her bio she's only 23, but lets not hold that against her.  She started her blog at the start of 2012 with a post outlining her New Years resolutions. These included the standards, loose weight and save money.  She also resolved to eat something new or use an ingredient that she was scared of at least once a week.  Hopefully the Olympic Food Challenge will help her with the latter part of her resolutions if not the former.  You can follow Rebecca on twitter at @eatlittlespoon.

 For the Olympic Food Challenge Rebecca has drawn:

Costa Rica
Equatorial Guinea
North Korea
Papua New Guinea
Saudi Arabia

*Seeded Country.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Challenge Accepted

When I dreamt up this challenge I had no idea how well it would be received.  I had no idea if enough people would like the idea to make it plausible.  I also didn't know that many other food enthusiasts, who had blogs, that I could coerce into taking part.  When I posted the original idea on Tonight's Menu I really didn't expect the response that it received.

Before I knew where I was my initial tweet, asking for interested parties, had been re-tweeted across the country by people that I'd never even had any contact with.  I was awash with comments and well wishes.  Then the first of the volunteers stepped forward.  I will be introducing you to my merry band of men and women in the build up to the challenge starting on the 25th July.  I hope that along the way we'll discover new recipes and make new friends, which is definitely in the Olympic spirit.

"But what about the draw?" I hear you ask.  Well that took place today.  All 204 recognised National Olympic Committees (NOC's) have now been drawn out of a hat and allocated to a blogger.  To ensure all fairness I first drew the blogger's names so that the 12 of us were randomised.  I then drew from a small pot of nations that I considered to be quite easy to cook from.  The remaining 174 were then drawn and allocated.

L-R: Bloggers, Easier countries, The Rest of the World

Over the next few months, as we close in on the Olympics, I will introduce you to all of the bloggers who have agreed to take part in the Olympic Food Challenge.  I'll also publish the nations that they have drawn so that we can all look forward to the culinary treats in store.

If the countdown to the Olympics hadn't begun, for 12 of us, it has now!

The Challenge

During the last football World Cup, I decided that it would be fun to cook meals from the teams that were involved in the evening matches.  This was a rewarding challenge, I had never considered the food of the Ivory Coast before, never mind cooked it.

With the Olympics being held in London this summer, I decided to do the same again, but it isn't that simple.  To start with, there are 204 nations taking part in the 2012 London Olympics.  Now I like my food, but I also know my limitations.  204 meals in 19 days just isn't happening.  I started to think about drawing names out of an Olympic hat but then what if I only drew out European countries? I could seed the countries to ensure that I only cooked from two western nations over the duration of the event.  None of these ideas filled me with joy because I knew I'd miss out on something somewhere along the line.

Then, during a conversation on Twitter, I realised what the answer to my prayers was.  I needed to enlist other food bloggers to the cause and share out the countries so that food from every nation would be eaten and nothing would be missed.  Sure I'll only eat 19 meals during the event, but with the combined writing, we'll all be able to see the examples of national cookery and choose dishes that we'd like to try ourselves.

So, over the last month I have been busy recruiting bloggers to the cause.  There is now a crack team of dedicated food lovers, who are eager to discover the National dishes of nations that they have never considered before.  These wonderful people, who are essentially helping me to taste the Olympics, will be posting recipes, descriptions or photographs on their own food blogs during the duration of the Olympic games. 

I will use this blog to collate and link to all of the wonderful food stuffs that are cooked between 25th July and 12th August 2012.  I hope you all enjoy the Olympic as much as I'm going to.