A taste of Brazil in London

The exciting and talented young Brazilian chef, Bel Coelho, has made a quick visit to London, along with one of Brazil’s leading sommeliers, Arthur Azevedo.

Bel and Arthur were in the UK to showcase the onboard catering of TAM Airlines. Bel is responsible for having developed over 800 different options and combinations of dishes to be served across the airline’s international services during 2012. To Arthur falls the responsibility of selecting the wines to compliment the new menus.

Bel Coelho, Sue Faithfull (TAM Airlines UK), Arthur Azevedo.

Bel is considered one the most exciting chefs of her generation in Brazil. Since cooking at home as a little girl, and then later working with major names from the global gastronomic scene, she has developed a special care for the ingredients she uses and for the visual presentation of the dishes. All of which has helped make her restaurant, Dui, one of São Paulo and South America’s very best and most sought after.

Bel says her menus offer passengers meals that are a well-balanced combination of functional, whole and organic ingredients, which are prepared to give nutrient-rich dishes with a feeling of lightness, well-being and satisfaction.

To match some of Bel’s more sophisticated dishes, Arthur has looked to source top-quality wines from different countries, focusing mainly on the most important wine making regions of Europe. The highlights include in First Class the white, Dr. Bürklin-Wolff Pechstein Grand Cru from Pfalz in Germany, and amongst the reds, La Croix Figeac (St. Émilion/Bordeaux/ France). For Business Class the selection includes the white wine Dr. Bürklin-Wolff Wachennheimer Altenburg Premier Cru and the red, Jean-Luc Thunevin Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ (St. Émilion/Bordeaux/France). Economy Class passengers have not been overlooked and the selection for long-haul flights includes two modern and affordable South American wines. The Callia Alta Malbec and the Callia Alta Chardonnay from San Juan in Argentina.

Executive Class selection

Arthur’s selection of wines has been picking up international awards for both him and TAM. Most recently Arthur and TAM won two of the top categories in Business Traveller’s prestigious “Cellars in the Sky” awards. The Brazilian airline received the award for best red wine served in First Class (Clos Canon 2008), and as the airline with the most improved First Class wine cellar.

“Brazil the Guide” launched by Critical Divide

Critical Divide has launched Brazil the Guide, a website that does exactly what it says on the tin.

The site is written and edited by Christopher Pickard and the Critical Divide team responsible for Insider’s Guides and RioLife. It can be viewed at www.braziltheguide.com.

Brazil the Guide can trace its origins back to The Insider’s Guide to Rio de Janeiro, the now legendary guide book that was first launched in Rio in January 1984. In one form or another, it was the largest selling guide book to Rio de Janeiro in the English language for over a decade. The only such guide to be written, edited and published in the English language from Rio de Janeiro itself. In pre-internet days, the guide was supported by a monthly magazine, Rio Life.

The site promises to help its users to quickly and easily discover where they need to travel to in Brazil (and how), and what they need to see and do once they are in the country. No fuss, no puff, just what the visitor actually needs to know to plan a visit to Brazil, be it on business or leisure.

In the run up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games, both of which will  take place in Brazil, Critical Divide will be expanding Brazil the Guide as well as launching a Rio the Guide site (www.riotheguide.com).

The Autobiography of Ronnie Biggs – The Ultimate Collectors’ Editions

The ultimate, leather bound, collectors’ editions of Ronnie Biggs’ best selling autobiography, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw, are now available from Biggs’  web site, http://www.ronniebiggs.com.


The ultimate collectors’ editions come in two versions. The top of the line, costing £500 (including p&p in the UK), is limited to just 15 very exclusive copies. Each comes in a hand made leather covered wooden trunk that has Biggs’ signature embossed in gold on the lid. Inside the trunk is a numbered, leather bound edition of Odd Man Out: The Last Straw; a specially numbered leather bookmark; a certificate of authenticity signed by Ronnie Biggs, Chris Pickard (who helped Ron write the book), and publisher Cliff Moulder of MPress; plus a standard hardback copy of Odd Man Out: The Last Straw. Each of the 15 ultimate collectors’ edition also come with a matching leather travel tag and a numbered DVD that includes footage of Biggs signing the certificates; being shown the leather bound sets for the first time by his son Michael; video footage from the press conference at Shoreditch House to mark the release of the book; plus a library of rare photos and other special extras.

Biggs is also offering collectors a limited number of 50 red leather bound editions of his autobiography. Costing £210 (including p&p in the UK), these consist of a leather bound copy of Odd Man Out: The Last Straw in a leather slip sleeve that contain a certificate of authenticity signed by Ronnie Biggs, Chris Pickard (who helped Ron write the book), and publisher Cliff Moulder of MPress.

“There are an awful lot of people who have wanted to see me in a box, so here is their chance,”Ronnie Biggs joked with Critical Divide. “Although possibly not the box they were thinking of! I know a lot of writers who are going to be very jealous of these special editions. The boys and girls at MPress have raised the bar and done me proud. These are the dog’s bollocks, no question.”

Also available is the standard hardback edition of Odd Man Out: The Last Straw, at a RRP of £19.99, and the Kindle edition, which is available on Amazon for just £6.71.

Odd Man Out: The Last Straw is Ronnie Biggs’ official and definitive autobiography, which he only completed in November 2011. In the book Ronnie covers his entire life including the Great Train Robbery, his conviction and subsequent escape from HMP Wandsworth. He tells of his family life with Charmian (Mrs Biggs), and how he managed to outrun and out think the posse of law enforcement officers, and the media, that chased him around the world as its most wanted men. From his time in Australia, to his discovery and arrest in Brazil in 1974, it is all included in his book.

The autobiography covers the two attempts to kidnap Ron, and his son Mike’s rise to stardom. For the first time Ron explains what has happened to him since the early 1990s to today, including his strokes, illness, his attempted suicide, the death of his partner and friends, the extradition attempts, the Rio carnival tribute, his decision to come back to the UK, and his much publicised return in 2001 after 13,068 days on the run.

Ron also covers prison life in Belmarsh and Norwich since returning to Britain, including his meetings with infamous and famous inmates. Ron describes what went on at the time of his release, from the blocking of his parole, to his ‘compassionate’ release a month later when at death’s door. He also explains why he is still alive and kicking two years on from his release, and despite being at the top of the ‘Death List’ for nearly a decade.

If you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the life and times of Ronald Biggs and the Great Train Robbery, this is the full story from the man himself.

The book also has 32 pages of exclusive photos from Ronnie Biggs’ private archives, many of which have never been published or seen before. They cover from his first mug shots to the current day.

Odd Man Out: The Last Straw is not only Biggs’ autobiography; it is also the most complete biography of one of the most famous names in British life over the past 50 years. A brand new 10,000-word timeline covers not only the life and times of Ronnie Biggs, but includes the most detailed timeline and facts ever published about the events surrounding the Great Train Robbery itself, including information never published before. On 8 August 2013, Ron’s birthday, the Great Train Robbery will mark its 50th anniversary and Ronnie Biggs is its most famous participant and survivor.

Rio selects the design for the 2016 Olympic Golf Course

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has selected US based Hanse Golf Course Design to develop the golf course for the games in 2016, when golf returns to the Olympic programme after an absence of 112 years.

Hanse Golf Course Design was selected from eight finalists as the candidate that most aptly met the selection criteria. The proposal was cited by the games organisers for its design characteristics, including the use of the natural dune formations and for keeping the natural contours of the land.

The course will be built at Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca, the district that will contain the largest number of Rio Olympic Games venues. It will be located approximately five kilometres from the Athletes’ Village and seven kilometres from the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), south of Avenida das Americas and north of Lagoa de Marapendi. After the 2016 Olympic Games, the course will be used as a public facility with the aim of promoting golf in Brazil.

“As it marks the return of golf to the Olympic Games after over a century of absence, this course represents the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sport. It will enable Rio to host important events in the international calendar and it will be an example of sustainability and preservation of an environmentally protected area,” said the President of Rio 2016, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

Gilbert S. Hanse, 48, the founder and President of Hanse Golf Course Design, boasts a portfolio of internationally renowned golf courses. In 2009, Golf Magazine elected Hanse “Architect of the Year”, and in the same year his Castle Stuart course in Scotland was considered to be “the Best New International Course.” In 2011 it was voted 56 on Golf Magazine’s list of the top 100 courses in the world. It is home to the Scottish Open.

Hanse has teamed up with LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member, Amy Alcott, for the Rio project. Alcott amassed 29 professional victories on the LPGA Tour including five majors.

The other design finalists for Rio included: Gary Player Design, Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Hawtree Ltd., Nicklaus Design, Renaissance Golf Design, Robert Trent Jones II and Thomson Perrett.

Première Brasil 2011: Best of Brazil

Festival do Rio – Première Brasil 2011: Best of Brazil

This year Première Brasil includes nine feature films, eight feature length documentaries and a number of shorts. A further five features and three documentary features will screen hors concours, while a number of other Brazilian films will screen in other special Première Brasil sidebars.

The Première Brasil class of 2011 consists in part of:

Première Brasil: Fiction

A novela das oito – Odilon Rocha

Amanhã nunca mais – Tadeu Jungle

Eu receberia as piores notícias de seus lindos lábios – Beto Brant and Renato Ciasca

Girimunho – Helvécio Marins Jr. and Clarissa Campolina

Histórias que só existem quando lembradas – Julia Murat

Mãe e filha – Petrus Cariry

A hora e a vez de Augusto Matraga – Vinícius Coimbra

O abismo prateado – Karim Aïnouz

Sudoeste – Eduardo Nunes

Première Brasil: Fiction / Hors concours

Capitães de areia – Cecília Amado

Corações sujos – Vicente Amorim

O palhaço – Selton Mello

Os 3 – Nando Olival

Reis e ratos – Mauro Lima

Première Brasil: Documentaries

A era dos campeões – Cesario de Mello Franco and Marcos Bernestein

Canções – Eduardo Coutinho

Laiá, laiá – Alexandre Iglesias

Luz, câmera, pichação – Marcelo Guerra, Gustavo Coelho and Bruno Caetano

Marighella – Isa Grinspum Ferraz

Mentiras sinceras – Pedro Asbeg

Olhe pra mim de novo – Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla

Os últimos cangaceiros – Wolney Oliveira

Première Brasil: Documentaries – Hors concours

Casa 9 – Luiz Carlos Lacerda

Uma longa viagem – Lúcia Murat

Vida de artista – José Joffily

Première Brasil, which has as its festival home the historic Odeon Petrobras in downtown Rio de Janeiro, is the heart of Festival do Rio and the best annual global showcase of contemporary Brazilian cinema.

Première Brasil is the only competitive section of Festival do Rio with jury prizes to be presented at the end of the festival. Three highly prized audience awards will also be bestowed on the best Brazilian feature film, best documentary and best short film.

In 2010 the festival’s official jury chose Toniko Melo’s VIPs as the best film in Première Brasil while Flavia Castro’s Diário de uma busca (Diary, Letters, Revolutions…) won the best documentary prize. The public voted for Geraldo Motta and Gisella de Mello’s O Senhor do Labirinto (Lord of the Labyrinth) as the best film and Susanna Lira’s Positivas (Positive) as the best documentary.