As a main host city for this summer’s World Cup and the site of the next Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is one the most celebrated places on the planet. That said, most people don’t actually know much about Rio beyond the clichés of beaches, bikinis, and Carnaval.
Fortunately, intrepid bloggers like Tom Le Mesurier at EatRio are digging deeper and showing the world the variety of rich experiences that Rio has to offer.
Raised in Britain, Tom relocated to Rio in 2010 and set about building his blog from scratch. “Since then I’ve been using Skype to create a network of culinary contacts, both here in Brazil and further afield,” he says. “Whether I’m trying to source the right kind of Korean chili flakes or looking for a supplier of fresh oysters, someone out there has the answer.”
During the last four years, Tom has relentlessly studied the foods of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. He’s spoken with scores of experts in market, restaurants, on the street, and on Skype. He’s come to understand the multiplicity of influences from “indigenous dishes from the Amazon, African-influenced dishes of Northeast Brazil, and the recipes that came across the Atlantic with the European settlers.”
While EatRio was started as a food blog, Tom soon realized that there were also many other stories to tell about “The Marvelous City.” He laughs, “I decided that to ‘Eat’ Rio was a pretty good metaphor for embracing and consuming all that is good about this diverse and fascinating city.”
Tom is now out to answer broader questions like, “What is it like to live in Rio? What are the best things to do when you’re in town? How is Brazil changing?”He is always researching and finding more insights about those subjects.
Regarding his culinary and cultural investigations, Tom explains, “They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I see a similar comparison between Skype and email: a five minute Skype video call is worth countless emails exchanged over days or even weeks. When I need to build a meaningful relationship, I use a Skype video call in order to really connect.”
Due to Tom’s entrepreneurial zeal with EatRio and his innovative use of Skype, he was selected from among thousands of applicants to be the new Skype Food Ambassador. In the coming months, he will be our personal tour guide to some of Brazil’s top culinary adventures and more.
Moving forward, Tom wants to help people add new recipes to their repertoires, improve their existing cooking skills and get inspired to make each meal a moment of pleasure.
“Expect to learn plenty about the exciting flavors of Brazil, along with my ongoing projects in pickling and fermentation through 1:1 Skype video calls,” he says. “And, in the future, I’m looking forward to giving full-blown cooking lessons to the Skype community using group video calling.”
Stay tuned for more of Tom’s stories.