foto Jeff Titelius the travel wizzard
For some time now, I’ve been following Jeff Titelius, a travel wizard and freelance writer. He is the founder and writer of http://www.eurotravelogue.com
. Our conversation started on the social media, because Jeff never seizes to send out the most beautiful pictures and stories. I became an ardent follower of his posts. Whether it is about Alsatian villages, olive oil from Bramasole or even our own tiny country The Netherlands, Jeff tells you a story. He has stories on snowy Bavaria, golden Tuscany, city life in London and Paris on which he poses the question could these two cities be your gateway Europe? That is when I came in. I invited Jeff to join my series “gesprekken en gerechten” ( Talk and table) Let’s see if we can conceive a dish for this multitalented guy, from the answers he provides to my questions. Needless to say, this willl be an international dish travel and foreign exciting ingredients to be in it.
Who is Jeff Titelius? Tell me some more.
I am freelance travel writer inspired by all things European, from storybook villages nestled in majestic settings, to magnificent art and architecture, to intriguing cultures with centuries of history, and the pure visual romance of scenic landscapes throughout the European continent. Wanderlust courses through my veins and my passion for exploring new places runs deep. I daydream of European adventures 24/7 and look forward to this lifelong journey to undiscovered worlds. With journal and camera in tow, I am off!
How did your attraction for traveling start?
I fell in love with Europe upon first setting down in 2005 in the Eternal City of Rome. On this first journey, I traveled throughout Rome, hopped onboard a train to Florence and then embarked on an overnight train to the City of Light, Paris, France! I spent a few days or more in each of these three cities and experienced everything I could in the little time I had! And boy, was it worth it.
Currently you are very busy with eurotravelogue, when did you start these activities?EuroTravelogue was founded in March 2011, however, I began travel blogging in 2007 with my very first site, [chuckle] TheEuroTraveler.com. It’s very basic and contained articles from my first journey I desribed above. From that point on, I fell in love with writing and the rest is history.
What is your favorite country?
This is a tough question to answer because I have loved every country I have visited, but if I have to choose one, right now it would be Italy! I can’t get enough of the hilltop towns, ancient architecture, scenic wonders of Tuscany and of course, the food!
Which means of transport do you like the most and which one you dislike? I am very curious about that
Without a doubt, train travel is my favorite, especially the overnight train I took from Florence to Paris. It turned out to be such an unexpected adventure and throughout the journey, I couldn’t help my childlike enthusiam from beaming as we rocked and rolled along the rails past breathtaking landscapes, towering Alpine mountain peaks, emerging from tunnels to some of the most spectacular vistas I have ever seen.
You traveled around Europe like a man in love, what was your most striking moment?
You hit the nail on the head with that statement my friend, and I just may borrow it for my site! I am a man in love, in love with Europe–the people, the cities, the history, the landscapes–among all that there is to see and do!
Are there differences between American and European travelers?
I think the only difference between American and European travelers is the matter of preference for final destination. Regardless of where our travels take us, we all share the love of travel for travel itself–to explore new places, meet new people, make new memories; all the while we revel in each of the moments along the way and seize the day, every day of our journey.
You talk a lot on Renaissance art. What do like like the most about it?
My passion for Renaissance art began in college, with my art history studies. I had the good fortune of being taught by passionate professors whose love of art and experiencing art abroad, was brought to life in every lecture. It was during my very first class when we studied Michelangelo and Raphael and from that moment on, I knew a new love was born and a fire ignited within to see and experience all of the art we learned about. And, I have experienced a great deal of it. When I arrived at Florence for the very first time and Rome as well, my passion reawakened never to dim again. I seek out art discoveries on every journey and you can read more about those experiences in our ArtSmart Roundtable: a company of fellow bloggers whose passion for art and travel runs as deep as mine.
With whom would you like to travel one time and why?
I would love to travel with Rick Steves because he shares my passion and love for Europe. Plus, he’s traveled to just about every city and country throughout.
On food, which food do you like and which you would never eat?
Love, love, love Italian food, all of it! But I think the French bake the best bread in the world and I prefer their pastries as well. As far as food, I like to try everything once but being not much a meat eater, I don’t explore much of that. Give me pasta, fish, bread filled with tomatoes and mozzarella, and I am good to go.
Which wines do you like?
Love all whites, dry whites from Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Liebfraumilch, Pinot Gris and some Reislings from Alsace as long as they are not too sweet. For reds, I love a hardy cabernet sauvignon as well! Not much into Merlot but love a good Pinot Gris. As for champagne, extra-dry and brut tops my list.
Can you tell me something about your “travelprint.” Are you a conscious traveler?
In all of my travels, I endeavor to minimize my carbon footprint as much as possible–from recycling my towels and linens to reduce energy consumption and seeking out the most energy-efficient modes of transport such as train and hybrid cars when available. We all need to care for our mother Gaia!
What else do you want to tell us? Do not be shy
All I can say is that my passion for Europe is a flame that burns bright, an eternal flame of my love to explore this fascinating continent and experience all that I can before I depart this wonderful world in which we live!
foto Jeff visited North Holland
Every traveler knows, that part of the journey is smelling the scents of a country, eating local food, that is prepared with love. Drinking the wines. Jeff will have savoured a lot of different dishes around Europe. Herring from the Low Countries, Alsatian choucroute, Bavarian sausages and pretzels and the fully Mediterranean kitchen of his beloved Tuscany. Jeff longs for the Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Bramasole, full of sun. For Jeff I’d make a fish stew with a savoury tomato sauce, topped with gremolata, an Italian mix of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest.
To pair this dish, I suggest a white Rhône wine, e.g. a wine from Chusclan Laudun, a blend often made of grenache blanc, marsanne et rousanne. A white wine with a fruity and crisp character.Ingredients 4 persons:4 pieces of cod or another white meat fish (about 1/2 lb or 225 g each)
1 big carrot
3 celery sticks
4 cloves of garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1tbs of fineley chopped rosemary
2 tbs flour
1 red chilipepper
a bunch of parsley
pepper and salt
olive oil to fry
1 glass of dry white wine
Mix two tablespoons of flour with pepper and salt. Gently get the fish through the flour. In a big pan you preheat some oil and fry the fish until lightly brown. Get the pieces of cod out and put aside for a while. (under some aluminium foil to keep it warm) Cut the carrot, onions, celery, chili and 2 garlic cloves in very fine dices. Put some oil in the pan and start to fry these so called odori till light brown. Add the glass of white wine, the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of lemon zest and the rosemary. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with some extra salt and pepper. Meanwhile chop the other two cloves of garlic, the parsley very finely. Put in a bowl and add the rest of the lemon’s zest. That will be the gremolata on top. Put the cod back in the pan and let the fish warm for another 10 minutes. Serve each piece of cod on a big plate, with some sauce and on top the gremolata. As a side dish I suggest a bowl of spaghetti with a good splash of olive oil.