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food / travel

The Argentine Amateur Chef Lighting It Up On FoodTube With Jamie Oliver

All smiles
All smiles
Maria Jose Loss

BUENOS AIRES – Felicitas Pizarro’s huge smile is more than just glowing, it's contagious. And now her life and her smile are about to enter radically new territory: Pizarro, a passionate amateur chef, is set to step up to the highest ranks of the foodie world, with the help of none other than British-born culinary superstar Jamie Oliver.

As she’s looking at her upcoming schedule for this fall -- full of live TV slots and plenty of radio -- she says, “I feel like this is happening to someone else, it hasn’t hit me that it’s me who is on TV and on the news.” And soon enough

Felicitas' smile has started to spread beyond her regular circles ever since she recorded her YouTube video from the barbecue in her parent’s house about a month ago when she came across the competition that Oliver was running on Twitter in search of his next rising star.

Pizarro decided to try her luck and was soon chosen as one of the five finalists, and quickly shot to the top of the competition's ranking based on how many “likes” each video got. Her victorious tally was announced at midnight on Sunday.

“Cooking, for me, brings happiness and today I’m in the middle of it all!," she said.

A fan of Jamie Oliver, Felicitas said “I like how he cooks, how he teaches, but more than anything his way of inspiring people. This is what I like most about him. I don’t know him personally and after I sent in the video I realized that at some point he might be sitting in front of a computer watching me cook just like I had done with him!”

The young chef and sommelier who lit up the social networks grew up in an artistic family. Granddaughter of the leader of Los Chalchaleros, an Argentine music ensemble, Juan Carlos Saravia, Felicitas is one chef with no stage fright as she had been recording videos with her sister, Malena, since she was a little girl.

But her calling has always been with the culinary. She speaks of food with passion, always looking for something different, the history of a dish, novel ingredients and the perfect wine to accompany it.

The most striking thing about Felicitas is how she brings what it is any why it matters to the dish. The most enjoyable thing for her is to delight her family and loved ones with her food, to generate sensations and transport the taste to a particular place, from a grandmother’s recipe to childhood, from friends to love and never fail to surprise.

This is the perfect recipe to conquer the public: passion for what you do mixed with perseverance, good humor, bravery, and a pinch of luck.

Felicitas will now be the new star of Food Tube, Jamie Oliver’s video channel. She’ll have her own program to be launched in the coming months, which she’ll record from the very same kitchen where she cooks for her friends and family.

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Geopolitics

Idlib Nightmare: How Syria's Lingering Civil War Is Blocking Earthquake Aid

Across the border from the epicenter in Turkey, the Syrian region of Idlib is home to millions of people displaced by the 12-year-long civil war. The victims there risk not getting assistance because of the interests of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, reminding the world of one of the great unresolved conflicts of our times.

Photo of Syrian civilians inspecting a destroyed residential building in Idlib after the earthquake

A destroyed residential building in Idlib after the earthquake

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

Faced with a disaster of the magnitude of the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria, one imagines a world mobilized to bring relief to the victims, where all barriers and borders disappear. Unfortunately, this is only an illusion in such a complex and scarred corner of the world.

Yes, there's been an instant international outpouring of countries offering assistance and rescue teams converging on the disaster zones affected by the earthquakes. It is a race against time to save lives.

But even in such dramatic circumstances, conflict, hatred and competing interests do not somehow vanish by magic.

Sometimes, victims of natural disasters face a double price. This is the case for the 4.5 million inhabitants of Idlib, a region located in northwestern Syria, which was directly hit by the earthquake. So far, the toll there has reached at least 900 people killed, thousands injured and countless others left homeless in the harsh winter.

The inhabitants of Idlib, two-thirds of whom are displaced from other regions of Syria, live in an area that is still beyond the control of Bashar al-Assad, and they've been 90% dependent on international aid... which has not been arriving.

To put maximum pressure on these millions of people, the Syrian government and its Russian ally have gradually restricted the ability to get humanitarian aid to them.

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