Freshly Inspired Ideas Edition
I’m writing this from 30,000+ feet, flying back to New York City from Dublin where I’ve just spent four mind-blowing days at Inspirefest. It’s one of those conferences that other conferences should aspire to be: a vibrant exchange of ideas delivered on stage by a diverse group of presenters. It was magic. It was also business, but not in a hand-your-business-card-over-and-dash-to-meet-someone-else disengaged way. An example: filmmaker Elena Rossini was back on the Bord Gais Energy Theatre stage again this year — telling the story of how after last year’s conference (and a tweet), she was approached by the Lottie Doll company to work on what would be one of her most meaningful projects (to date). And similar stories will be told again next year — as presenters and attendees shared stories, connected over storytelling and were inspired to lend a hand in crafting future stories.
Yes, the event was recorded and as soon as the Inspirefest team posts them, I’ll be sharing the links. You can check out Lucy Fuggle’s 40 takeaways from Inspirefest, Elle Loughran’s highlights, and “The Opportunity Costs of Exclusion, musings from InspireFest Day 1” plus search the hashtag #Inspirefest to read what attendees were sharing online.
And oh, to be back in Dublin: fresh, non-GMO, real. If the Inspirefest presentations didn’t have my heart racing enough, the food in Ireland did. Yes, my foodie theme of last week (nurturing real connections over real nourishing food) continued at Inspirefest, from the regulars who gathered post-Inspirefest at The Marker Hotel to the wonderfully guided food tour on Saturday morning (from food halls to outdoor markets, ending up at Michelin star restaurant L’Ecrivain for lunch).
Fresh perspectives, combined with fresh ingredients — is there anything better?
You asked, and NZ celebrity cook Annabel Langbein has delivered her Duck and Mango Finger Rolls recipe. Annabel makes these rolls with roast duck from an Asian grocer/restaurant. And yes, she tells me you can absolutely substitute roast chicken instead.
Set aside 30 minutes to create these delicious rolls (recipe makes 12)
12 small round rice paper sheets
2 tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp five spice powder
flesh of ½ roasted duck, shredded into bite-size pieces
flesh of 2 mangos, cut into finger-size strips
4 spring onions, cut into long, thin slices
baby spinach leaves, tough stems removed
Fill a large, shallow bowl with very hot water. Wet a clean tea towel, squeeze out excess water and spread on a clean bench. Dunk a sheet of rice paper into the water for a couple of seconds, remove at once, shake off excess water and place on the damp tea towel. It will soften to a pliable texture.
Fold down the top third of the rice paper. Mix oyster sauce with five spice powder and spread a little in a vertical band down the centre of the rice paper. Lay a little duck on top, allowing it to extend a little above the folded top edge and leaving a third of the rice paper clear at the bottom. Top with slices of mango, spring onions and spinach. Fold the bottom of the rice paper up to enclose filling at the base, then roll up as tightly as you can from left to right.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the rest of the rolls. If not serving at once, arrange on a tray with a little space in between them and baking paper between layers, cover with plastic wrap and chill. They will keep for up to 6 hours (but good luck on that).
One More Fresh Idea: Learn The Nod
I loved this nugget from the Corner Office interview with Lisa Gersh, Chief Executive of Goop:
“…the nod is when you lean in and you nod your head and you keep nodding your head when someone is pitching an idea. That way, they get more and more excited about the pitch and they give you their best work. So you have to learn the nod.”
The “nod” is essential in creative, idea sharing, soul baring moments — when you need to get the best from someone. Drop your armed crossed, slightly skeptical prove-it blank stare, start nodding and ignite the excitement of someone else’s story.