All aboard! Chef Alan Woods serves as head chef of Belmond Grand Hibernian, a luxury rail experience through Ireland, a first of its kind for the country that debuted in August. Not only does the train traverse the scenic Irish countryside, but, thanks to Woods, it also serves up authentic cuisine showcasing the best of Ireland’s diverse ingredients.
Woods is known for his contemporary twist on traditional Irish fare, and passengers on the two-, four- or six-night itineraries from Dublin will enjoy dishes such as roast Killarney venison loin, scallops from the Beara Peninsula, Donegal turf-smoked salmon and traditional seafood chowder as they visit cities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“The Gulf Stream makes the waters a little warmer and the seafood a little sweeter,” said Woods, who previously worked at a host of restaurants including Michelin-starred Thornton’s in Dublin, The Ivory Restaurant Cork City, Restaurant Jean Luc Figures Barcelona and Longueville House Hotel in County Cork.
His creative vision and understanding of Irish ingredients strengthens Belmond’s commitment to offering an authentic experience on board. Belmond Grand Hibernian, with two dining cars and an observation car reminiscent of an Irish saloon, accommodates 40 travelers in en-suite cabins.
When not preparing exceptional Irish cuisine, Woods can be found continuing to combine his love of food and travel while cycling in West Cork, exploring the mountains and beaches back home in Kinsale and traveling to Germany and Spain with his German partner.
WHAT THREE GO-TO INGREDIENTS ARE ALWAYS IN YOUR HOME KITCHEN?
My three favorite and go-to ingredients are extra-virgin olive oil, cumin seeds and local artisan Cheddar cheese.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SEASON FOR COOKING, AND WHY?
It has to be autumn because of the start of game season and the ingredients available. The wild game on offer includes mallard, venison, woodcock and snipe, as well as mushrooms.
ASIDE FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION, WHAT’S THE BEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I left Ireland at age 20 to work at Vincent on Camelback in Phoenix, Ariz. There I was introduced to Mexican food and the Mexican people. The expert chefs took me under their wings, and I learned many skills from that team.
WHAT’S THE FIRST MEAL YOU EVER COOKED?
It was wild rabbit stew, which I cooked at Boy Scouts when I was about 12 years old.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.
The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.
Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.