On Channel News Asia: BonAppetour with Annalisa Burgos

On Channel News Asia: BonAppetour with Annalisa Burgos

We’re chuffed to announce that we have been featured on Channel News Asia!

Recently, BonAppetour enjoyed a hearty dinner with Annalisa Burgos, TV anchor and food reporter for Channel News Asia’s morning show FirstLook Asia. Last Friday, Annalisa and her co-presenter, Timothy Go, explored the concept of food sharing on the show’s “What’s Cooking” segment. 

Discovering Food Sharing

Food sharing is a component of the sharing economy, defined as ‘a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources’. The sharing economy concept also goes by other names, such as peer-to-peer economy, mesh and collaborative consumption. It is rapidly gaining a surge in popularity, not just in travel-related industries (think Airbnb and Couchsurfing), but also in other sectors like transport, as seen from the likes of Uber’s rapid expansion.

Food sharing is proving to be a travel trend quickly rising in popularity among travellers, appealing particularly to those who are keen to meet locals in a new destination, and to discover about a new culture, insights and cuisines from a local’s point of view.

Food Sharing: Host and Traveller Concerns

Dining in people’s homes may not be for everyone, as travellers and hosts may have their concerns about this concept.

From the diner’s perspective, it may be more than a little unsettling to dine with hosts in a foreign land, feasting on cuisine that they may never have heard of. However, the benefits do outweigh the cons, as foodsharing connects travellers with locals who are passionate about food and travel, and who warmly welcome strangers into their homes for a heartwarming dining experience.

The hosts may have aspects that they are concerned about as well – what are their guests like? Will it be a risk to invite strangers into their homes?

Our host, Kirit, addressed this question based on his host experiences, indicating that he and his family were wary in the initial stages of signing on as a host. However, their concerns disappeared after hosting a series of dining experiences, as they realised that there was nothing to worry about.

Annalisa says of her BonAppetour dining experience: “What started out as a meal for strangers turned out to be a meal among friends”.

We cannot agree more, and hope to bring this experience to even more travellers seeking to forge new friendships with the locals in their sojourns abroad.

Many thanks to our hosts, Kirit and Gopi, for the amazing dinner – be sure to check out their splendid dining experience in Singapore!

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BonAppetour Potluck: Feasting in Stockholm!

BonAppetour Potluck: Feasting in Stockholm!

Midsummer was on its way and it called for a celebration of food, people and culture! This was when the BonAppetour team put together the idea of gathering Stockholm’s foodies for a night of food sharing and fun. 

The potluck was on the 19th of June over at the OpenRatio (our venue sponsors) Headquarters in Slussen. The event was very well received, and we had sixty guests attending it that night coming from different walks of life and different cultures.

The food itself was so diverse. We had a spread of Swedish meatballs with mash potatoes, Mexican chili and taco, BBQ pork ribs, Coca-cola chicken, Mac n Cheese, Bacon asparagus rolls, Chilean entrés, salads, an array of breads, a selection of desserts and a whole bunch of booze!

Over the course of the night we got to know many couchsurfers, Stockholm foodies, as well as people who were really enthusiastic about exploring culture through food – the idea behind BonAppetour.

Here are some pictures to show how the night went!

If you’d like to see more pictures, check out our album on Facebook!

Signing off.

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A Spicy Thai Affair

A Spicy Thai Affair

Thai food; a cuisine that has gained international recognition for the bursts of flavour it provides from simple and fresh ingredients. The combination and preparation of these ingredients are key for the perfect Thai dish!

Our South-East Asian Hosts had guests from Turkey and Italy over for a Thai-style inspired meal. Never had they before tasted this eminent cuisine and never had these hosts cooked for the mild palate before –  it was a spicy experience to remember!

The Menu:BBQ Thai-style inspired Chicken wings, lemongrass omelet and the spice filled Thai Red Curry with guests from Italy and Turkey!

Giovanni, giving a shot at stir frying vegetables!

Here’s Effe; the Turkish guest getting at it too!

This was what they came up with it – Thai Red Curry. Looks extremely spicy doesn’t it? Giovanni thought the same but put all his fears away and dug into this colourful dish and to his surprise, it tasted amazing and was extremely mild! Pheww! 😉

This was a fusion of all the cultures. Thai-inspired BBQ chicken wings – the regular chicken wings with a hint of lemongrass and a sweet Thai Chilli glaze. It caramelised perfectly and the flavours were a perfect balance.

Here’s a dish that is common to both East and West; the Omelette! The twist however was using spring onions, Thai soy sauce, and Kaffir Lime leaves that made this a taker and was gone within minutes!

Here is them enjoying a meal prepared by extremely fun people who were amazing at trying new things and meeting new people. It was a BonAppetour experience alright!

Signing off,
Hitakshi aka The Photographer 🙂

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BonAppetour: In the Making

BonAppetour: In the Making

This feels so surreal; sitting here and writing for this blog when just a week ago we embarked on this journey of BonAppetour.

Who would have imagined that this fast paced entrepreneurial culture that is the spirit of places such as Silicon Valley would find its way to the renowned fashion capital – Milan? StartUp Weekend Milan was a huge surprise for us! 180 exited people, 60 amazing ideas and participants from different parts of Italy and of the world!

How did it work? The mechanism was simple; for those who wanted to share their ideas, they had one minute to present an elevated pitch to explain the idea and would need three attendees to vote for support. Once the ideas were chosen, participants were free to decide and follow the idea that appealed to them most. 

It was not easy deciding which idea to follow, but it all came down to which idea was simple, had a strong concept and was addressing an explicit need. The idea pitched by Rinita had checked all these prerequisites.  It is 2013, and if people can sleep in someone’s house, or travel with a local, why can’t we do the same with food? 

Globalisation, the internet and a more community-centric society has brought about social trends that seemed impossible just a decade ago. If you had asked a stranger in the 90s if it was okay to rent a room at his place while you were travelling, he’d think you would have lost it. Yet today, services such as these are widespread across the World Wide Web. This is owed largely to the boom in social media platforms that have made communication so much easier. Society has experienced a paradigm change in many of the things we do.

We no longer want exquisite luxury hotels or the cut out touristic experience, but rather we want to engulf within the reality of the places we travel to. We long for more than just sightseeing – we desire to live an experience.  What better way to do that than taste traditional authentic local cuisines by eating with locals, mingling with them, that just costs a small amount of money? I would absolutely love to do that!

With a retrospect on my previous trips, this service would have saved me from a lot of bad experiences: fast food addiction, endless bills at pricey restaurants and bad tasting food. Also, what about the price? I recollect my vacation to Palma Di Mallorca while I was a student on a tight budget. Eating a jar of olives began to be a staple, trying to avoid spending an exhaustive amount of time cooking pasta in the hostel (which I did!).

Coming back to BonAppetour, everyone in our group caught onto this simple yet ingenious idea. Which is why just after a week, we are here continuing on this project, believing in what we ourselves would love to do when we are abroad.

The StartUp weekend was a mix of emotions for us all. It was exciting, nerve-wrecking and extremely fun! In just two days, with complete strangers on the team, we were able to not only connect but to realize the idea as well. A team consisting of people from all walks of lives bagged with their own sets of skills and expertise, we were a perfect mix!

We are a international team with members coming from Romania, Italy, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and even Russia! The amazing thing was we could all connect to this one idea although we come from such different social backgrounds and this only makes more evident why we should push ourselves to materialise it.

An example of how we bonded and were so excited is shown in the filming of a short movie over those two days at StartUp Weekend. It was a Saturday evening at about 11 P.M., and we had a crazy idea to shoot a movie. Was it madness or ingenious? We’ll leave it to you to decide once you’ve watched the video 😉 (We’d prefer to go with ingenious! Haha).

Thanks to our mate Adrian who has an extensive amount of tricks up his sleeves (no kidding, he literally can do almost everything!) and had experience in film-making, helped us create a rather funny short movie to showcase to the others in the StartUp Weekend when we pitch our idea.

Going back to the finals day, we were all nervous and adrenaline had kicked in from working overnight for the past forty-eight hours. We gave our very best, stepped front and presented our idea to the mass of people gathered. In just one minute we had to deliver an idea that we were passionate about and thought was worth pursuing.  Just like in any competition, when you see others presenting, you feel they did much better so much so that we were discussing continuing the project even if we lost!

To our surprise, when it came to announcing the winners, after the second runner up and first runner up were announced (just about when we thought we didn’t get it), BonAppetour was awarded the winner of StartUp Weekend Milan. I still remember that exhilarating moment with all of us jumping frantically hearing the announcement.

So here we are, beginning on the chapters that will lead towards the development of BonAppetour. We hope to continue creating the BonAppetour experience despite being in different countries – we still believe in this idea and are working hard to share it with the rest of the world. We are working towards a vision – to allow you to be guests at homes of others, to cook together whilst exchanging experiences and laughing together on the same dining table.

We hope you enjoy it, we most definitely do.

Signing off,


PS: Watch the video we created!

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