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.