Show/Hide Navigation

A is for Afghanistan: London’s World of Food

5254922263 89c5741027 A is for Afghanistan: Londons World of Food

London is an international city; one of the world’s vital hubs. So is it possible to travel round the world without even crossing the M25? There’s only one way to find out.
This is going to be a journey round the world foods of London. I’m going to eat in one restaurant from a nation representing each letter of the alphabet. An A to Z of world food.
We begin with A. A for Afghanistan. See what you think of this introductory video…

Please let me know what you think of all this: the project, the plan, the video… It’s going to take Tom and I a while to get through 26 of these. So I would really appreciate some feedback. Is it a good idea? Or should I stop right now?

Thank you to Dan, Spike et al for sharing the evening with us.

Read Comments
 

You might also like

The Toughest Part of Travel is Deciding to Go When asked how can I afford to travel so much, I feel like retorting with: how can you afford your rent? To keep a dog? To have children? To smoke? When I travel, I have no rent to pay, no dog to feed, no kids to look after or cigarette companies to support, so 100% of the money I have can go on travel. Keeping to a budget of $15 a day is fairly easy if you're CouchSurfing (free), eating street food ($2 a meal) and travelling on the chicken bus ($10 per 100 miles). That's just $5500 a year -- less than a typical British cigarette smoker will spend on ciggies over the same period and much, much less than the rent on a flat in London or the cost of bringing up children....
A Silent Cry Hope and Homes for Children is an international charity working to ensure that all children have the chance to grow up in the love of a family. Their vision is a world in which children no longer suffer institutional care. ...
Around the World in a Taxi Paul Archer decided it would be funny to drive round the world in a taxi. And so began a great adventure… Alastair: Hi Paul, can you start by giving us a quick outline of your adventure? Paul:¬†Myself and two buddies […]...
 

Comments

  1. This video is amazing Alastair – how did you get such colors? I never thought I would want to visit Afghanistan or eat their food but now I do. Incredible!
    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Great video, food looks amazing. I’m already looking forward to B. How often are you going to post the videos. Would maybe be nice to know what you think of each place or is that not the idea?

    Reply
    • Hi Greenie,
      We are definitely going to do restaurant reviews, recipes and so on.
      But I think they are not so relevant to this travel-oriented site. They will all be on the main site though: http://www.atozlondonfood.com/
      We aim to try to do a video every week or two, depending on time, appetite, and depth of wallet.
      Al

      Reply
  3. Andy Collins Posted

    Hi Al

    I think its a great idea, it shows a little bit of culture that people may miss on the day to day grind, it looks like it will give a little publicity to small independent family business, and hopefully allows people to see you don’t need to fly half away around the world to experience some warm friendly hospitality and fun new foods are on their doorstep. Plus it means you get to get a great meal :-)

    Reply
    • Andy,
      I think you’ve summarised the project perfectly:
      * give a little publicity to small independent family business
      * allow people to see you don’t need to fly half away around the world to experience some warm friendly hospitality
      * fun new foods are on your doorstep.
      Plus it means we get to get 26 great meals :-)
      Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Al

    Fantastic idea…screaming out ‘BOOK’ too. (something i’m sure you are onto).

    If i may be so bold ….one criticism is (and i get depth of field and having objects/people out of focus for effect which works here) but on some of the shots the camera is a little slow to focus on subject which as a viewer is a little off putting.

    A wonderful project and i’m sure it will have many spin offs…. i looked forward to viewing your progress.

    Reply
    • Hi Tony,
      Glad you like it.
      I am definitely aware that we have DoF problems in this vid – the restaurant was so dark that most of it was filmed at ISO 6400 and f1.8
      Cheers
      Al

      Reply
  5. Really Nice Concept, good looking too. I’m sure as you find you feet these will get very slick with high production value.

    I would love to know more about the people having the experience, to engage with the meal through the people eating it and enjoying each other’s company. The human interest side.

    I will definitely follow these this on Twitter.

    Well done.

    Melanie

    Reply
  6. Really great idea, shows that london is less a city more a mini-continent!

    How do you chose which country for which letter, most unorthodox??

    Keep them up!

    Reply
  7. Brilliant project, fantastic videography, wonderful stories. An adventure in your backyard. Don’t stop here. I look forward to every single one till the letter ‘z’.

    Reply
  8. Absolutely love the idea of being able to travel without leaving the city you live in. Anything with food, culture, and behind-the-scenes view is great. This first sample is filled with stories, character, and invites us into another world.

    The only suggestion that I would make is for you and Tom also to enter into the formula as well. I don’t know if you are going to always get such passionate and articulate chefs as you did in this one. My experience with chefs is that they might all be passionate about what they do, but some are rather crusty types. If you and Tom (occasionally) became personas in the videos, you would run less of a risk of the videos coming over as something sponsored by a third party. You mentioned above in a comment that the whole project is done on a shoestring, against time, and other considerations. Feel free to bring in these factors (e.g. “We wanted to run off to Bangladesh during our short lunch break and for under 20 GBP”). Then you and Tom would be the narrative thread that would join all the videos.

    Reply
  9. I think this is a great idea … we my have to try it out in Ottawa – although, we may need to expand a little to Toronto or Montreal if necessary. Ottawa has great variety, but is just isn’t as big as London! Good luck, the food looks wonderful – perhaps you could share a little bit more about what the typical foods actually are?

    Reply
  10. Another great project.

    Looking forward to your nation beginning with ‘X’…

    Reply
    • We’re thinking Xinjiang is the best solution…

      Reply
      • …at least until you apply for a China visa next time.

        Great idea though generally. Wonder if this would be remotely possible in any other city. In some ways we’re also lucky that our own cuisine is mostly so awful that food from pretty much everywhere else is in demand.

        Reply
  11. John Thompson Posted

    Really like the new idea, it shows what variety for dining out there is if you look hard enough. I thought you lucked out with the chef as he was so animated that he came across brillantly on camera. The out-of focus bits looked great in stiller shots but disorienting in others.

    I think the point above of a narrative thread is important. Yes the concept is good but what can you add to that concept? For me the stories of how they set it up and the points about what food and customs are like back home were fascinating. Can you use this stories as links from one to another? Possibly how customs vary in each country, or conversely the universal customs around food? This may then provide the link between exploring food and exploring a country.

    If you have been to the country can you talk about your experiences?

    Keep them coming as I would enjoy a few ideas for new places to eat out.

    Reply
  12. Awesome idea, eagerly anticipating B…Z now!

    Reply
  13. Cool Vid, very informative. Will definitely seek out the restaurant next time I’m local..

    Reply
  14. Terrific video Al! The videographer is very talented.

    Reply
  15. Sambhram Patel Posted

    This place seems extremely bright compared to the Afghan restaurants that i’ve tried in my city.Also,you guys didn’t try the giant naans? Great videography.Can you please tell me what music you’ve used in the beginning(the string instrument)?

    Reply
  16. Hi Alastair,

    If you need an ‘I’…I know a hilarious Iranian restaurant on the Harrow Road. Bit dodgy but REALLY authentic.
    Great site btw….pretty inspiring stuff

    Reply
  17. It’s a fantastic idea and the videos are damn impressive & v. professional. Definitely do it.

    Reply
  18. Hey Al

    A friend of mine did this in New York a few years back, dining through-out her city. I tried to emulate it here in London but my friends were too lazy to commit to the routine. Urgh. I should send them your note about saying ‘yes’ to everything; it’s how I ended up in New York in the first place and never regretted it. A philosophy I’ve keep ever since. Enjoy the food. :-))

    Reply
  19. Again a great idea, this time I may ask for permission to “copy” it in Tokyo?!
    I hope you choose Romania too.

    Reply

 
 

Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton