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Ibiza – the island that gifts you

Footprints, Uncategorized - Carola - 23. June 2017

After about 20 years I returned to Ibiza in September 2016 and in 3 days time the island surprised me, once again, with a gift. That gift would come in the form of a wonderful man, who to this day is my partner. The magic of the island brought our hearts together and it was love at first sight. Sascha, who lived in Ibiza prior for a couple years wanted to show me the island in all its diversity because it has so much to offer apart from all the main tourist attractions that it’s known for.

The anticipation of this trip had excited a feeling of being a kid once more in me, which was only enhanced by the great experiences I would come to gain at Ibiza.

It seems to me that the island attracts people that are just alike. And so it happened that we ended up in a little Italian restaurant called ‘La Mesa Escondida’ in the drowsy village San Rafael. This blog entry will be dedicated to this restaurant. This little anecdote shows once again just how much you should follow your heart.

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Amidst the little village San Rafael on the opposite side of a supermarket parking lot, Renzo from Roma opened one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to outside of Italy. The pasta, as well as everything else, is fantastic.

The cook – an older Sicilian man –stands in an 8 sqm kitchen with an older Argentinian woman, conjuring delicious meals in such a tight space.

The selection of wines were excellent but was also our undoing on one of the last nights. We spent a surprisingly amusing night ‘til 3am with Renzo in his restaurant after all the guests had already left and there was rain coming down as if it were a myriad of buckets filled with water.

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When Renzo told us his story of how he ended up in Ibiza I felt as if he was explaining my own life, the parallels were uncanny. At about my age Renzo worked with a corporation business for a long time, he was a consultant who had to travel very frequently from place to place, spending most of his time for a year at an airport.

After about 15 years he asked himself – as I do now – what’s the point of it all besides chasing money? There was something missing in Renzo’s heart, but he knew not what. He then decided to quit his job, leave everything behind and move to Ibiza where someone offered him to take over a small restaurant. It was in Ibiza where Renzo discovered his passion and got to live his dream as he wanted, and thus fulfil his hearts desire which was not satiated by his previous job. A dream come true! And after securing his personal success he will soon archive financial security as well, if the Neapolitan-Argentinian dream team keeps working the kitchen with their hearts and souls.

No matter where you are on the island: a drive to San Rafael and Renzos ‘La mesa escondida’ is always worth the journey. Make sure in advance you have a designated driver 😉

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Here is the link to his Facebook page.

If you want to share these and other experiences on Ibiza with us at the wonderful Hotel Calador with sea view join us on our sports and lifestyle journey to the island from 22nd – 29th of September. Besides a diverse and extensive sports program a great spirit and many unforgettable experiences await you.

Info & booking

 

Renzo also send me one if his famous recipes for you:

Caserecce with pesto of pistachio

Ingredients for 10 persons

  • 1 kg pasta “caserecce” or similar
  • 200 g shallot
  • 500 g pesto of pistachio
  • 700 g cherry tomatoes
  • Oil, salt, chilly
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 glass of white wine

 

Pesto of pistachio

  • 200 g minced pistachio
  • 50 g grana padano cheese
  • 100 g white almond
  • 100 cl water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100 g basil
  • 300 cl extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Peel of 1 lemon

 

Preparation

Chop finely the shallot and let fry lightly in a deep saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, adding the chilly pepper and let fry until they are golden brown. Add some white wine and let bubble up.

Add cherry tomatoes and let cook for 15/20  minutes, adding at the end the lemon peel.

To prepare the pesto: put in the blender all ingredients and mix everything together until you get a pesto not to much smooth (you still must see the pistachio, the almonds and the basil in very small pieces).

When it is ready, cover with climb to avoid that it turns black.

Cook the pasta until it is al dente.

The last 2 or 3 minutes let cook in the sauce.

When the stove is off, mix with the pesto until it is creamy. Serve in a plate, garnishing with some chopped pistachio and, if you like, some almonds.

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Bootcamp Vacation to Barcelona

Fitness, Footprints - Carola - 2. May 2017

While April is doing whatever it wants after bringing us only a short glimpse of spring followed by covering the landscape in snow, we’ve decided to rather spend these dull days with a sporty group in Barcelona.
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Paris – a culinary and cultural journey

Footprints - Carola - 24. September 2016

Ausblick Paris

This time my journey took me to Paris to celebrate my Mom’s birthday – right into the culinary diversity and fashion focus of this city.

I must admit, both clichés do Paris justice. We were delighted by 3 days of culinary experiences along with a lot of gorgeous, little boutiques and French fashion labels, which even put fashion capital Milan to shame.

3 days are way too short for this architectural wonder, where we discovered cute alleys, great brasseries, and many sights behind every corner we turned.

Luckily, I received a lot of foodie recommendations from Julian, who had taught Raw Food Workshops with me in the past and who had lived in Paris for some time, and so I discovered many new things, even though I had already travelled to Paris a couple of times before.

Meine Mum und ich

My Mum and me

One of my recommendations is to really let yourself go with the spirit of Paris.

I usually do that anyway, but I really have to stress this in Paris. Simply visit all those different arrondissements, leave any tour guides, maps, and various apps at home to discover spontaneously and let yourself drift.

This is also true for the abundance of restaurants. I have rediscovered a couple of great ones, which I’d love to mention in this blog as tips for you. But to be honest, I had rather just tried one or two restaurants or brasseries along the way as there are so many cute establishments which would have corresponded to my mood better than the ones I had reservations for.

Wunderschönes Paris

Beautiful Paris

Well, here are my Parisian highlights which I can wholeheartedly recommend

St. Germains

It is easy to get lost in the many, small alleys. But if you start at Saint Germain Des-Pres and stroll in a star-shaped pattern through the various, small alleys, you will find many beautiful unique stores, delis, brasseries, and coffee shops.

The afternoon seems a little desolate all around as many restaurants simply close their shutters and reopen only in the evening. But happy hour starts at 5pm and life restarts in the various bars before dinner.

A la tête du client

In the area around the Louvre towards Les Halles you will find my favorite stylist A la tête du client. It was not my first time to Paris, and I had received the best hairstyle of my life courtesy of Antoine and his little, trendy hair studio. So, one of my first trips back in Paris took me right to him. In a short amount of time, he worked his miracles again. Well, if you want a great haircut, which is really quite ok price-wise, you really have to go visit him. The atmosphere is cool and relaxed, and his team is great and very attentive. There is a sports club across the street or one of my favorite Cafés called Claus in Rue Jean Jacque Rousseau right around the corner for your waiting companion.

Friseur Antoine vom A la tête du client

Stylist Antoine – A la tête du client

Claus

Claus is a small breakfast Café which is named after its founder. Meanwhile, Claus has opened a Deli across the street as well. The little Café with its cute living room atmosphere on 2 floors offers a creative, fresh, and excellent breakfast or brunch until 2:30pm. The Deli is open throughout the day and if you don’t make it to breakfast, you can enjoy similar, delightful dishes and products “to go.” As the Café is really just as big as a living room, you have to make a reservation. Especially on the weekends it will be booked 2 weeks in advance.

A great tip for Aperos and many, cute little restaurants, delis, and so on are the small alleys around Etienne Marcel and the Gay District Les Mareis. In Les Mareis, there are many great boutiques, and it is awesome to have some drinks there at night as well.

Les Halles is actually not that great of an area and divides the great shopping streets of Les Mareis – well, a small, cultural cut between the two arrondissements – but just around the corner in Rue Gravilliers there is one good restaurant next to the other, the cuisines ranging from French, Asian, Spanish to Italian and Thai, offering cool ambiance and good quality.

Derrière

One of the well-known restaurants and bars is the Derrière. The interior is very cool, decorated just like a living room of the 70ies and there is a gorgeous courtyard for the summer. There is an old motorcycle right at the entrance and the waiters are super nice. Quite the pleasant place to be! The kitchen is well known and people love it. For me it was almost too down-to-earth French, and I had some difficulties, but the quality is excellent, and so I think I might have been the exception with being not totally impressed. Vegans will find a small, creative selection on their menu as well. It is really worth checking it out, even just for drinks to enjoy the awesome atmosphere.

The prices are quite high for good restaurants but even for average meals and coffee, and partly even beat Swiss levels.

Spring

No other city is such a gourmet mecca as Paris. If you would like to try one example but skip the stiff fanciness preferring a cool, relaxed, but elegant atmosphere with a very nice team, you definitely have to try Spring. I recommend a spot on the upper level as the crew cooks directly in front of you while you watch which dishes are created.

Their specialty is that they have only one menu. You may communicate in the beginning if there is something that you don’t eat, so vegans and other diet restrictions are well served there as well. Everything else is a surprise factor and up to the chief of cuisine. The appetizers were really amazingly delicious. The main dishes were somewhat too salty for me but this might be because I only season with herbs when I cook and use only little salt. Cost wise an evening there will set you back about EUR 200 plus for two people – so it might be more for special occasions, such as my Mom’s birthday of course :)

Raw Food restaurants or Juice Bars etc. are a rarity, and I had only seen 1-2 small organic shops. Well, the French don’t seem to be influenced by these trends and remain loyal to their roots. This is likable as well and certainly neither better nor worse.

Another recommendation – Galleries Lafayette – they are not the Kadewe in Berlin with its deli counter but shouldn’t be missed nonetheless.

And if you would like to enjoy a relaxed coffee or eat something in the morning or at lunch in the midst of the crazy hustle of a market while strolling through the rows of a small food market, make sure to visit the Marché des Enfants Rouges.

During these 3 days I had not even thought about working out, as distances are so big that it is recommended to rent a bike and discover the city pedaling.

Of course, there are some recommendations for the athletic BootCampers among you as well:

www.bootcampgirls.fr

http://parisfitnessbootcamp.ning.com

Indoor Bootcamp: http://www.midtown-studio.com

I was at the Crossfit Paris: http://www.reebokcrossfitlouvre.com

It had a pretty cool atmosphere, however I am more of a bootcamp and boxing fan, as you can train more targeted with your own bodyweight and less with small equipment – what else 😉

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Viva Italia – An All Italian Raw Food Menu

Footprints - Carola - 6. July 2016

In the spirit of the Italian team’s great results during the European Championship, Julian organized a Raw Food Evening last Sunday and took us on a culinary journey to Italy.

Julian is a well-known Raw Food Chef in Vienna, and he is also known by some of my readers, as I had held a Raw Food Workshop with him already.

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For some time now, Julian has regularly organized a Pop Up Raw Food Dinner in the Labstelle in Vienna on Sundays. These dinners always follow different themes, and you can enjoy the evening at a communal table with a great mix of guests. Julian spends a lot of time and love with the preparation and tells a small story about the cultural-culinary background for each of the courses

This time around, it was a 4-course meal that started off with a small amuse bouche: tomato mozzarella salad.  The mozzarella, however, wasn’t the classic version like you know, but prepared raw food style and vegan with cashew nuts. It was a true feast for the taste buds, and I simply couldn’t get enough of the plant-based cow’s cheese. Julian was kind enough to provide me with the recipe, so I can share it with you; see below for details.

Afterwards, the journey continued through all traditional courses of the Italian cuisine.

ANTIPASTI
Various dips, crackers, antipasti vegetables and raw food crackers instead of bread

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Primi – RAVIOLI AL LIMONE
Vegetable ravioli in lemon sauce

Secondi – POLPETTE AMATRICIANA
Macadamia dumplings in a ragout of beefsteak tomatoes

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Dessert – WHITE CHOCOLATE TIRAMISU
Almond-biscotti, rum, coffee, white chocolate

 

My absolute favorites were the mozzarella and the macadamia dumplings, but would I be more of a sweet tooth, I’d have dug more into the wonderful tiramisu, which everybody wanted seconds of.

I want to congratulate Julian on a successful evening and hope that we can plan another workshop together again soon.

Here is the mozzarella recipe, which you absolutely have to try!! I look forward to your feedback:

Caprese

CASHEW MOZZARELLA
AIRY AND LIGHT THROUGH BRINING

INGREDIENTS
250g cashews, soaked for 8 hours
150ml water
1 teaspoon probiotics
Salt
Pepper
2 tablespoons hulled Psyllium seed husks, soaked in 4 tablespoons water
2 to 3 times the amount of Agar Agar (according to packaging)

SALT BRINE
500ml water
25g salt

PREPARATION
Mix the soaked cashews with the water and probiotics to a homogeneous mass in a blender. Let the mixture ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.

Season the fermented cashew mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Combine with the soaked Psyllium seed husks in a blender.

Agar Agar: For the firm texture read the exact volume of mixture from blender cup. Follow instructions and use 3x the recommended amount (50ml in blender, as per instructions 5g Agar Agar per 500ml -> 15g).

Mix the Agar Agar in a pan with some water and bring to a boil. Let boil for at least half a minute. Be quick! Combine the boiled mixture with the other mixture in your blender and stir immediately.

Roll the mixed mixture into a shape or pour into a form. Let rest in the fridge for one hour. Put cheese mixture into salt brine (mix water and salt) for 2-3 days.

Cheese can be refrigerated for several weeks.

If desired, can be marinated in oil.

Mozzarella im Glas

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Burger the natural way

Footprints - Carola - 21. June 2016

It might seem a little unusual to read about burgers on my blog; especially since I am not really a big fan and, as you know, more about raw food and slow food, even if today’s burger trend has surpassed McDonalds & Co. The craze around the bun and patty has elevated quality and creativity of the formerly fast food empty calorie meal into something that is a must-have on the menu of every hip joint.

Well, there is really not that much to say against sinking your teeth into a burger from time to time, but certainly only if the quality is high. Plus, this is the main point: quality and natural preparation. By pure coincidence, I have found a little secret spot in the heart of Vienna that I would like to recommend to all of you.

A little while ago, I was able to spend a very enjoyable evening at Burgermacher located in the Burggasse in Vienna. I had such an elevated culinary evening that I decided to write about it.

Now you are probably wondering how I can even talk about this part of the culinary world, being a burger newbie. Well, the favorite food of one of my Wellville business partners are burgers in all shapes and sizes, and so I was able to have a taste a couple of times in the past year and to build an opinion.

Back to the Burgermacher now: I was completely blown away, and even vegetarians will be happy there! All ingredients – without meat or with a juicy paddy between the buns that are specially made for Burgermacher – are prepared on the spot by the small team. Along with the fries, mayonnaise, and ketchup… which was my absolute favorite, by the way :))

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Daniel Paur together with his young, dynamic team has achieved to raise the bar for burgers, as there are virtually no limits to their variety and creativity. We enjoyed their seasonal highlights with chorizo, chanterelles, and asparagus. The vegetarian options are a long way from your usual veggie burger. Their creations include chickpeas, various cheese varieties, nuts, vegetables, or tofu and offer a true feast for your taste buds.

The menu rotates continuously every couple of weeks with amazing recipes and high quality, natural ingredients, which are really a step up from the broad majority.

Now, I only have to pitch them a recipe for a Raw Food Burger, then maybe next time it will be included on the menu :)

burgermeister

During your next visit to Vienna, make sure to stop by Burgermacher in the Burggasse. A reservation is highly recommended, especially for the weekend, as this insider tip is already known throughout Vienna.

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Surf and Bootcamp Week under the sun of Portugal

Footprints - Carola - 31. May 2016

Finally, the time has come, and we are at the Surf and BootCamp Week in Portugal. It is so wonderful to see how a spontaneous idea, that I had last year during a stay in Lisbon, could motivate so many people. At that time, we got to know Carlos, a highly experienced surfing instructor from Carcavelos, and all details were ironed out quite swiftly.

Today, 15 participants enjoy athletic hours in the mornings, surfing, cross fit, sun, beach, music, culture, cocktails & beach parties as well as relaxing dinners, along with the Portuguese way of living.

surf und bootcamp

Each one of us was able to get up on the board for at least a little bit after the first waves, and thus experienced the feeling of surfing. The morning hours are spent with Bootcamps, CrossFit, running sessions, Core Training and Yoga – exactly the right warm-up for strength and stability on your board. But we also felt some tired muscles after the first couple of days, less based on excessive partying and more as even the most athletic among us were not used to these very different movements during surfing. Being part of it all is our motto and everyone can participate, not depending on any fitness level.

Above all, we are having a lot of fun with amazing participants and a wonderful surf crew who instructs us in the best way with lots of patience and sense of humor.

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Our excursion to Lisbon was blessed with a packed itinerary. First, we began with a CrossFit Training at Crossfit Rato and after some refreshments in Lisbon’s old town with a view above the city, we continued with a sightseeing tour and a tuk-tuk ride. We stopped for lunch at Chiado in one of my favorite restaurants, the Wiener Kaffeehaus which was created by two young Austrians a couple of years ago. It might be a little faux pas to order a Melange or a Wiener Schnitzel or an Apple Strudel in Portugal, but the coffee and food are absolutely fabulous and the ambience is so relaxing. I can highly recommend their breakfast, too.

For the evening, we had planned a relaxed end of day in one of my favorite places in Lisbon, the Largo du Carmo, at a small kiosk in the middle of the square, where tourists and locals alike meet for a cocktail. Then we continued for dinner around the corner, to one of my favorite restaurants, the Cafe Buones Aires. A perfect and fun evening that we concluded early enough to start our bike tour along the coast from Cascais to Guincho the next day. A wonderful tour with amazing views along the coastal road.

This is how our days pass and will continue this week, and we are already planning the next vacation going South for more joint trips and offers in the coming year.

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Wellness in the Mountains at Mohr Life Resort

Footprints - Carola - 26. April 2016

From time to time, I need a little break to refill my energy tanks, and even if a weekend is almost too short, such a 48hrs get-away from daily life works wonders and helps me to arrive at my center again.

I really enjoy staying at Wellness hotels and this time I travelled to Hotel Mohr in Lermoos, Austria. It is more of a premium quality hotel, and it really caters to every need.

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