About this project
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"CYCLING THE LENGTH OF THE WORLD ON A HUNGRY STOMACH".
Spices & Spandex is a unique travel cookbook, inspired by an epic culinary journey. It documents the recipes, cultures, characters and challenges encountered along the road as two mates successfully, albeit eventfully, journey unassisted through 26 different countries, for 501 days, covering over 20,000km from the UK back to Cape Town, South Africa.
"EXPLORING THE JOYS OF LOCAL COOKING".
Spices & Spandex is a cookbook about a gastronomic cycling adventure. It is an adventure that takes the reader through six distinctive, vibrant, and historic culinary regions of the world (Western Europe, Central Europe and the Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, The Horn and Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa). It is a cookbook that provides the reader with over 65 exciting, easy to replicate and diverse recipes drawn from and inspired by the dishes we experienced and the characters that taught the dishes to us in the 26 different countries that we travelled through on our long way home to Cape Town, South Africa.
Part travelogue, part recipe book; Spices & Spandex tells the story of that journey and the extraordinary culinary worlds in which we became immersed. Surviving on our limited wits, our friendship, a healthy amount of good-fortune and the unrelenting generosity of countless strangers, this book provides a very human and engaging travel narrative to supplement and enhance the traditional cookbook formula. For anyone interested in diverse global recipes, cultural studies, engaging travel writing and inspiring photography (click here to see more), or those drawn by the allure of unique unconventional adventure; this book has something for them.
Throughout this book we will travel at street level, focusing on the local: the backstreets, the vendors, the artisans. The strangers that welcomed, housed, and fed us as we travelled south. The menus we read and longed to be able to stop and afford to indulge in. The flavours and ingredients we bought so often in many of the different markets and bazars we came across.
It is about the incredible array of characters that taught us how to craft these beautiful dishes. Badry the Bedouin and his unbeatable breakfast Ful Medames; Silvan the Juggler and his campfire saffron curry; Rabi the performing Botanist and her childhood favourite chapatis; Hassan the long-distance Truck Driver and his beautiful one-pot chicken kabsa – to name but a few. All these characters took us in, in their own inimitable ways, and gave such colour and enrichment to our experiences.
It is a book about the physical and mental challenges of cycling across three continents and about embracing the unknown. It is about relishing the opportunities and inevitable complications that arise through total exposure to and immersion in foreign and exotic environments. It is about being forced out of our comfort zone and learning to be creative with limited resources.
However, you don’t have to be sitting around a couple of old pots over an open fire, be alone in the middle of the desert, or be slogging your way over a mountain range to enjoy what this book contains. Spices & Spandex bring all this to you in the familiarity of your own kitchen; I have simply put my own little spin on some of the recipes to best suit easy replication. This book provides you with the opportunity to discover and cook something that might previously be completely foreign to you; the opportunity to begin your own culinary journey.
STATE OF DEVELOPMENT & HOW YOU CAN HELP.
From recipe development, food styling and photography, writing, video editing, page layout, design and illustration –this whole project is very much a labour of personal love and creative experimentation (all handled by the author). Development is moving along very nicely, however the project is now at the stage where additional funds need to be raised in order to reach out and utilize the skills of some incredibly talented individuals. In order to fine tune the large body of work that has already been developed, and also to create some extra special hand-illustrated maps, some capital needs to be raised. However, the majority of the money pledged will be invested directly into printing the publication – so that I can give back an incredible and altogether unique publication to you.
It has always been a passionate goal to self-publish, and there’s no better platform with which to realise this dream then with crowd funding. The success of our adventure was so ingrained and determined by the unreserved generosity of complete strangers. Exceptional individuals that welcomed us into their lives and gave us the strength and motivation to carry on. I hope I can call on this amazing sentiment one last time. Please pledge and be part of the next stage of this journey.
A thousand thank yous!
Learn more about THE JOURNEY, THE COOKBOOK, & THE AUTHOR here:
Risks and challenges
Much of the hard work has already been completed - THE LENGTH OF THE WORLD HAS BEEN CYCLED - now it is all about product delivery. On a budget so small it has almost been non-existent, I have managed to develop all of this to date. In order to complete, I need that all important injection of capital to take me over the finishing line and bring a product to market that I can be truly proud of.
Creating Spices & Spandex has been a complete labour of love. From its initial conception to where the project now stands, it has taken three years to develop, which includes the whole long bicycle adventure part. This has my full commitment, passion, and energy. The aim is to have all of the content completed by September this year, and to print as soon as possible (with a lead time of about 6 weeks - printing in South Africa). This will be dependent on the ability to raise enough funds to fulfil the dream of self-publishing, and with your support we can achieve this together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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