Wether its the bikes, the excitement, the people, the challenge, the freedom or something else entirely, there are reasons for riding.


The key word for Europe is diversity. It consists of sometimes miniature countries, that each consist themselves of different regions, cultures and people. In Europe, the landscape in places just a couple of kilometres apart can be completely, different, and cultural history manifests itself everywhere.

There are many languages in Europe, almost every country has its own, and many countries even have several languages. Belgium for instance has Dutch, French, and German, the Netherlands has Dutch and Friesian, Spain has Spanish, Catalan and Basque, Switzerland has German, French, Italian and Rumantsch, etc.

On top of that, you cannot simply assume that everybody speaks English. Sure, in many countries at least young people will speak English, but you will meet many people who don’t speak or understand English at all!

Alps, when you are a motorbike rider, you should of course not miss the alps. They are steep and majestic, and will never fail to please you. They are vast as well; its impossible to see them all of them unless you ride for a year or so, could be tempting though!


There are six alps countries: Germany, Switzerland, France (sharing the highest peaks), Italy (with the beautiful Dolomites), Austria, Germany and Slovenia. A good introduction into the Alps is the Route des Grandes Alps, from the lake of Geneva to the Mediterranean, in the French Alps.



I have found this motorbike tour


Provence Self-Guided Tour (8 days)

Discover the Provence at your own pace on a BMW, Ducati or Harley Davidson.

If you prefer “riding your own ride”, then this motorbike tour gives you everything you need. They will take care of the organisation in France including accommodation, dinners, rental motorcycle, maps, road book, GPS and local support.

The scenic motorcycle roads of the Provence and French Riviera are on your doorstep.

This is what they will offer you
Friday – Pick-up from Nice Airport and transfer to your 4-star hotel. Tour briefing and overnight in Nice.

Saturday – Lower French Alpes

Get to know your bike riding along the Route des Alpes through the twisting roads of the magnificent Daluis Canyon and Cians Canyon. Overnight in Nice.

Sunday – Saint Tropez

Cruise along the coast to Saint Tropez. Continue along the French Riviera and enjoy the beautiful Massif des Maures. Overnight in Le Castellet, home to the famous racetrack Paul Ricard.

Monday – Route des Cretes & Free time

A well deserved day of rest. Enjoy lounging at the hotel pool or go for a short ride along the scenic Route des Cretes via La Ciotat. Overnight in Le Castellet.

Tuesday – Luberon National Park

Ride along colourful lavender fields and countless vineyards. One scenic turn after the other makes this an unforgettable motorcycle experience. Overnight in Carpentras.


Wednesday – Mont Ventoux and Wine-tasting

From the heart of the Provence you ride up the Mont Ventoux. After a good day’s ride, you enjoy a wine-tasting session in the evening. Overnight in Carpentras.

Thursday – Grand Canyon of France

Enjoy the beautiful Lake Sainte Croix and ride through the Grand Canyon of France (Gorge du Verdon). Then take the Route Napoleon for your descent into Nice. Overnight in Nice.

Friday – Goodbye and transfer to Nice Airport

Ciao for now. Pick-up from your hotel and transfer to Nice Airport.

They say that the tour Grading is Intermediate: 4h to 5h of daily riding time covering up to 300km/190mi of curvy roads per day


Rental motorcycle including side cases for 7 days
Road book, map and GPS with scenic roads of the Riviera and Provence
3 nights including breakfast and dinner at the 4-star Hotel Mercure in Nice
2 nights including breakfast and dinner at the 3-star Grand Prix Hotel in Le Castellet 2 nights including breakfast and dinner at the Auberge du Vin in Carpentras
Wine tasting session at the Auberge du Vin in Carpentras
Airport transfers between Nice and Nice Airport


Why Go?

Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur, is beautifully curved round the Bay of Angels, desirable and as lively as you like. Its reputation for glamour is enhanced by an equal reputation for top-end scandal. The clearest-possible light spangles the Mediterranean to create a setting for sybarites, and shadows for well-dressed decadence. The inauguration, in autumn 2013, of the brand new Promenade du Paillon – 30 acres of park running from the city centre to the sea – indicates that it has the imagination and drive to fulfill its ambitions. This is a glorious, and playful, slice of urban greensward. And it’s bewitching at pretty much any time of year.


Where to go

The key sight – is the glorious curve of the Bay of Angels, miles of the loveliest urban sea-front in Europe, fringed by the celebrated Promenade des Anglais. You could spend an entire trip just wandering along here. But you’ll also need to see Nice old town, where the real Niçois re-colonise their city, hosting the south’s finest flower market on the Cours Saleya.

It should really be in Italy

Nice has only been part of France since 1860, when Italy reluctantly gave her up to repay France for helping defend itself from the Austrians. The Mayor’s office likes to say that ‘Nice chose France’, but the truth is that the famous ‘vote’ was rigged: there were no ‘non’ ballots printed! This mixed heritage gives Nice its fabulous melange of French and Italian, as seen in its architecture, colours, cuisine and lifestyle.

So what ever you decide to do, just enjoy life! See you there.


You don’t need to reserve a table, book a taxi or venture out in the heat, or the cold depending which time of the year.Let Ramsay without the F, prepare, cook, serve and clean for you, eliminate the stress & pressure of planning and organising and delivering your special occasion whilst meeting your specific tailored requirements.


Ramsay without the F is offering to bring the restaurant experience to your own living room with this own home fine dining service.




Chef Rod Ramsay from Australia will cook in your kitchen, bring waiters to serve your meal and even wash your pans and dishes. An exclusive Private Chef there is no better way to spoil yourself and your guests. A combination of fine dining experience at the highest level and an unrivalled passion for cuisine has enabled Ramsay without the F to offer an exquisite, fine dining experience that is second to none.


Ramsay without the F, has degustation menus, from 4 to 9 courses, or elaborate small intimate dinners fro you. Our dishes are made with only the freshest of seasonal produce sourced from growers and suppliers who share our passion for excellence in food.





Although, Ramsay without the F, offers his private chef services mostly in the Whitsundays, travel throughout Australia and overseas can be considered.


Grilled Cuttlefish, Eggplant with Salsa Piccante

In Australia, cuttlefish have mostly been used as bait or for aquaculture feed. Sure, you’ll see them occasionally on restaurant menus and at the fish market, but this cephalopod is seen mostly as a poor cousin to it’s famous relative, the squid or calamari.
Cuttlefish flesh is thicker than calamari, and coarser grained so it can take a little more cooking and is ideal braised, in a soup or a curry. It seems to work well with robust flavours so there’s no need to worry about overpowering it.

But, think of this all you calamari lovers, they put chemicals with the calamari to soften the flesh, and what are you eating!

Cuttlefish contain an ink sac and the ink contained within was used in early photography to attain the distinctive sepia tone. This ink is also a delicacy used to colour and flavour all manner of dishes from risotto to pasta.

In Venice, cuttlefish are cleaned and sliced and fried gently in a pot with chopped onion and parsley, chopped ripe tomato is then added as well as a teaspoon of cuttlefish ink. It is then simmered slowly for an hour or so, seasoned with salt and pepper and served with polenta.

Cuttlefish goes with

Extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic, onions, chilli, soy and XO sauce, balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, shallots, spring onions, lime, lemon, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, beans, fennel, olives, capers, parsley, basil, coriander, most lettuces and leaves, especially roquette, watercress and radicchio, mayonnaise.


500gr ripe tomatoes

juice of half a lemon

1 chilli chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

good handful chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium sized eggplant

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for frying


250 gr cuttlefish, cleaned



Peel and seed tomatoes and chop them roughly into 1cm pieces. Place in a bow, and add the lemon juice, chopped chilli, minced garlic clove and chopped basil leaves. Season, add extra virgin olive oil, stir well and allow to sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile cut up the medium sized eggplant into 2cm cubes. Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a grill or pan and fry eggplant until they have browned and softened. Season with salt and allow to cool.

Cut cleaned cuttlefish into 4cm square tiles, heat 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a skillet and fry the cuttlefish tiles on high heat until they become golden. Serve on the salsa with the eggplant scattered over.


Serves four.



Kaikoura experienced a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on November 14, 2016. I am happy to let every one know that Hapuku Lodge have reopened for business.

This has to be one of the best that I have had the pleasure of working in and staying throughout the world. The attention to detail is fantastic, a credit to the Wilson family.

Kaikoura needs our support, if you are intending to travel to New Zealand and especially the South Island, this is one area that you need to visit, the history here is out of this world. You can do the Maori tours, Whale Watching, Quad bike tour, (not to be missed), Wine tour, Cave exploring. There is an abundance of activities to do while in Kaikoura. I have been informed that the Maori tours have all been cancelled, due to the earthquake, but I am sure that they should all be up and running around February 2017!




If you want to just chill then please stay at Hapuku Lodge, put your feet up, get pampered, enjoy cuisine in fact just be yourself, you will not want to leave.



The cuisine around Kaikoura is incomplete without enjoying tasteful seafood dishes!. Kaikoura is a mecca for seafood lovers dishesfrom grouper, cod, mussels, papa (abalone) and of course the towns namesake, Crayfish. Other delights such as oysters, scallops, and whitebait which are seasonal.






Christmas has come about so quick in the Ramsay’s household, where has this year gone!

In this household attention now turns to the highly anticipated Christmas season, and the foodie marvels it has to offer.

Christmas does not have to be all about turkey, baked ham, Dry Aged standing beef roast, BBQ, and all the trimmings, with the festive period providing the perfect excuse for a good old baking session!

Ideal to offer as gifts (arranged and wrapped in festive cellophane, tied with ribbon), or to fill up some space on your Christmas tree, now that the kids are off school, let them help as well. Christmas biscuits in particular are quick simple, and therapeutic to make, and taste absolutely delicious too!


So don the Christmas apron and let the smell of Christmas spices fill your house as you rustle up a number of indulgent and eye catching treats for family and friends to enjoy, the more sparkle the better!

Christmas Spice Biscuits


200 gr self raising flour

100 gr butter

100 gr caster sugar

1 tsp of  ground spice (use a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, or mixed spice, or try a combination)

1 egg


Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the sugar and spice and mix through. Beat the egg in a small jug, and gradually add to the mixture until it comes together to form a dough.

Knead the dough gently until it is smooth, and then turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough so that it is 3-4mm thick, and use Christmas shaped cutters to create festive shaped biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure that they are not too close together. If making tree decorations, make a small hole near the edge of each biscuit using a chopstick, or the end of a teaspoon. Ribbon can be threaded through the hole to hang the biscuits once they are cooked!

Place the biscuits in the oven, and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

When cooked, remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool for two minutes, before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. When cool, the biscuits are ready for decorating! I tend to use a thick icing (made from icing sugar and water), with edible sparkly bits sprinkled on top.






I have been telling everyone that I know that I am writing a cookbook, tell you something it is easy to say, and hard to put it on paper, but I am getting there. It will be ready for print next year. Here is little snippet…… Remember all proceeds will be going to Alzheimer’s cure.
Dinner service… the dining room is dimly lit, warm and inviting, guests are arriving, ready to celebrate by sharing a meal of fine cuisine and great wines, they are encouraged to take their time, relax and enjoy the moment. Upon serving his guests, the waiter leaves the table as unobtrusively as he arrived and glides back into the kitchen. He pushes through the large fire rated doors into another world.
Have you ever wondered what it is like in this white tiled, stainless steel clad room? This is the battlefield, the lights are bright, the noise incessant, the communication is succinct, brash and often just plain abusive, TAKE AWAY… table 12 beef cover one, lamb cover two.. NOW! … come on are you deaf.. move… what are you doing? I said I wanted two quail, one salmon, you idiot not two salmon, one quail! Listen to the orders more carefully! Here the serenity of the restaurant in unknown.

With temperatures rising in the high 40 the kitchen brigade of culinary professional fight like any well drilled military unit. The lethal armour of salamanders, deep fryers, scorching hot stoves and boiling pans is their territory. The cooks on each section are expert in attacking the area in which they work and they do so automatically, firing dishes continuously until the orders begin to retreat or their ammunition… mine en place … is exhausted.





Ramsay’s on the Run started a new business Ramsay without the f this year, and is now the caterer of choice for the greater area of the Whitsunday’s, we cater from Mackay through to Townsville. I never expected to start this business, it just kind of happened, through a need for something different for the wonderful area that I live in.


We are not the normal catering company, recipes are inspired by conversations with our producers and our field work, which includes interviews with clients with interesting memories of foods and childhood.


We pride ourselves on cultivating long term relationships with our farmers, hunters, fishermen and foragers, giving us access to rare ingredients we feel honoured to work with. All our purveyors keep sustainability high on the agenda, and we in turn constantly keep this complex topic at the fore of our development strategy.


We put the ingredients at the centre of our cuisine, aiming to show them in their most natural and delicious form. We keep messing around to a minimum, preserving fresh, delicious and traditional flavour. If you are looking for a wedding, event catering company with a difference, then we may be able to help you. We also do private cooking classes, from yourself to 16 clients. Children’s cooking classes are a must in this ever busy world, I am always amazed to hear that young adults can not cook, after being with us they walk out proud!


Coeliacs often cringe at the mere mention of the words “catered event”.

It usually means platters of sandwiches and sausage rolls, and tiers of cakes and slices chock full of gluten, dairy and sugar. And that means going hungry. Or at least sitting in the corner nibbling on a blackened emergency banana or squashed gluten free bar.


All that is going to change for the greater area of the Whitsundays, with one of the area’s hottest new caterers, offering gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian and even vegan sweet and savoury dishes.


So the next time you have an event coming up, sit down with us and we will work with you and not against you. It’s been a really enjoyable ride so far, and its become something I never knew was possible.





Roasted Beetroot & Lentil Salad


4 baby beetroot

100 gr swiss brown mushrooms, halved

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup (200gr) French style fine green lentils

1 cup (50gr) baby spinach leaves

half a cup loosely packed fresh flat parley leaves

Seeds from one Pomegranate

Chopped Hazelnuts for garnish

Balsamic & Herb Dressing

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp fresh chives, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 200C (400 F)

Trim beetroot, leaving 5cm of stems attached, reserving half the trimmed leaves for the salad. Wash and drain well. Wrap beetroot individually in foil, place in a small baking dish, Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Combine mushrooms and oil in a small bowl, add to baking dish for the last 5 minutes of beetroot cooking time.

Meanwhile, cook lentils in a medium saucepan of boiling water, about 25 minutes or until tender, Drain.

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, then cut into quarters or halves.

To make the balsamic and herb dressing, place ingredients in a screw top jar, season to taste and shake well.

Combine beetroot, mushrooms, lentils, pomegranate seeds, reserved beetroot leaves and parsley with the dressing in a large bowl, toss well to combine.

Serves two






Good cooking, be it healthy or not, is all about getting maximum flavour from the dishes we make. Because, let’s face it, the health benefits of certain foods alone are not always enough to keep us coming back for more. We want to enjoy our food, too.


When you develop great flavours at every step in the process, you can change tasteless, colourless, “healthy” food into dishes that showcase colour, texture, and aroma. Making a dish flavourful and interesting can be as simple as introducing a new ingredient or cooking technique. Ruby red pomegranate seeds, deep purple eggplant, brilliant orange scallopini and pumpkins, vibrant greens, and a rainbow of chillies are just a few of the exciting foods that can add intense flavour and flair to everyday meals.



Flavour is nothing if not subjective. What one person thinks is delicious another considers anything but, and what you perceive as much too salty or spicy may be “just right” to some one else.

Despite our tendency to keep flavour and nutrition separate, they are inextricably linked. Sweet foods like fruits and honey supply calories and energy. Savoury foods tend to be good sources of protein, vital for growth and development. Tart and sour foods are often rich in vitamins essential to good overall health.


Flavour is composed of many elements, which makes it distinct in some ways from the related term, taste. Taste has to do with specific sensory experiences of food that occur primarily in the moth, like sweet, sour, salty, bitter, unami ( a Japanese word that means “deliciousness”), and possibly others, whereas flavour includes our total sensory experience: taste, smell, texture, appearance, and touch.


While every cook is limited by a variety of factors, including the seasons, ingredients, and cost, it is in the act of cooking that you take control of flavour. With a few basic kitchen skills, you can turn ordinary or inexpensive ingredients into something fabulous.


Cooking Technique

One of the greatest opportunities you have for influencing flavour is through the cooking technique you select. Heat alters the chemical structure of food, breaking down cell walls, releasing flavour compounds and nutrients, and making the food more tender. Dry heat cooking techniques let you reach temperatures let you reach temperatures higher than you can with moist heat methods, and these higher temperature allow foods to brown and develop a crust. Moist heat cooking methods are typically gentler, and because the foods do not brown, their flavours tend to be simpler and more pure. For example, consider the difference between grilled or roasted (dry heat) salmon and poached (moist heat).


A food’s texture affects how its flavour is perceived as well. A silky smooth bisque and a chunky chowder may have many of the same ingredients, but the pureed soup’s flavour may be subtler than the shower’s, where each ingredient remains distinct.



Even temperature can be used to add an unexpected element to a dish. Very hot and very cold foods tend to have less discernible flavours. Foods like ice-cream, cheese, and fruit have more developed flavours if they have been allowed to sit at room temperature for awhile. At the other end of the spectrum, piping hot foods and beverages can deaden the palate. An interesting contrast can be created in a meal when hot and cold foods are served together.


The way you choose and use seasoning and flavouring ingredients determines the ultimate flavour of the dish. Some flavouring ingredients don’t require any special monitoring, toasted or freshly ground spices and chillies add rich smoky flavours without introducing sodium or fat, and fresh herbs and aromatics like garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and lime juice add flavour but not calories.. On the other hand, high sodium foods such as salt, capers, anchovies, and olives do call for strict measuring and proper handling. Sometimes you can rinse or soak salty foods to reduce their level of sodium. In addition, you can often find  low or reduced sodium versions of salty condiments like soy or tamarin sauce. salt itself should always be used properly and with care.



To prepare appetising and healthy meals at home, select high quality ingredients, consider your cooking method, and always put flavour first. Here’s to happy, healthy eating!





Some of you may know me and you might be asking yourself, Why would he be writing about vegetarian dishes? I’m not, really.

We all know the health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins; however, this isn’t about that either. Instead, I want to talk about the idea of truly celebrating seasonal foods and not missing what’s not on the plate.



In the not so distant past, walking the produce section of most grocery stores revealed the usual suspects with very few new or different choices. We consumed the same handful of vegetables and fruits day after day. Today, though, we have stores bursting with product: tropical fruits with names we can’t pronounce, Asian greens and herbs we’ve never imagined, local and seasonal heirloom varieties we haven’t seen since those summers at our grandparents houses and numerous farmers markets scattered around almost every city. We are fortunate to have the communities of farmers and growers providing us with these choices in the greater area of the Whitsundays, and I am sure in your area’s as well.


And the grains! Next time you’re at the supermarket, or at The Prickly Pineapple, walk through the grain section and buy a grain you’ve never tasted or haven’t thought of since that great dinner at a high end restaurant.


Grains are high in protein, a great source of finer and nutrients and have a nutty flavour and satisfying bite. Several popular grain combinations can provide a sensory satisfying and nutrient dense component to a meatless meal, quinoa and kasha, barley and brown rice, wheat berries and wild rice, to name a few.

And, OK…. meat is great. I love meat and seafood and all types of tasty animal parts, but sometimes the idea of buying, cooking and eating meat just seems a little overwhelming to me, yes I know, you probably think Rod, what are you saying! Besides, celebrating fresh, seasonal artichokes or asparagus or summer scallopini’s and tomatoes or pumpkin or fave beans is fun!


An easy way to have satisfying, meatless meal is to break it up into courses. Make a small portion of a light risotto or pasta with little sweet tomatoes, mint and grated local sheep’s milk cheese. For a second course, think quick braised okra and tomatoes with quinoa and kasha. And finish the meal with fresh figs, local honey, toasted pecans and some more of the local sheep’s milk cheese.


Use what’s available. too many times, meatless meals are an afterthought for the people eating or preparing them. Meatless meals shouldn’t be a plate of all the other vegetable dishes offered at a restaurant or an all too well known preparation replacing the chicken with tofu.

The idea is to shop with a few things in mind: what’s fresh, what looks good and what sounds good. Buy fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains; don’t be afraid to experiment and combine different textures and temperatures. Celebrate the foods you love when they’re in season, and avoid them out of season.With the abundance of product and the amount of information available to us, enjoying seasonal produce and grains is easier than ever.


I hope you’ll experiment with a few meatless meals a week, a month or even, baby steps, a few times a year.