Brian of Kitsch 'n Zinc is the only South African food blogger that I'm aware of who started his food blog before I did, beating me by a whole two months! As he says on his profile page, he used to be a chef, but he's alright now and feeling much better. If it's not recipes you're after but wry commentary on the craziness of the local and global foodie scene, Brian's your man, and he posts every day!
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
I’m in South Africa, in the most beautiful part of the Cape on the South Peninsula. As I drive home at night over Ou Kaapse Weg I can see the Atlantic Ocean on my right hand side and the Indian Ocean on the left. Beat that if you can.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging as a discipline, to write and post something every single day of the year. I’ve recently reached blog no 1500 so that means I've been at it for just over 4 years.
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
There are a million recipe sites on the web so I try to avoid giving recipes or technical advice. I enjoy casting a jaundiced eye over the food scene, the personalities, the latest products and trends, the foibles of food obsessed groupies and food celebrities over-inflated like a magnificent soufflé that you just know isn’t going to last. I love the freedom of being able to muse on culinary matters with no-one looking over my shoulder.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
My only frustration is when someone leaves an anonymous comment on my blog. I really don’t expect everyone to agree with me on everything but my contact details are there for anyone to take issue with me so why don’t others have the courage of their convictions and afford myself the right of reply, positive or negative. People must also lighten up a bit, it’s only a bit of food for God’s sake.
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
It was only when someone took on the responsibility of tending to the fire, cooking the food and establishing some sort of order in the hunter gatherer’s daily routine that they stopped roaming and settled down in one place. That was the true beginning of civilization, of culture, of nation building, of tradition, of people breaking bread together and not in isolation – it was a cook that started it all, what further inspiration would you need?
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
Although I adhere to the discipline of blogging everyday, the ideas come from numerous sources, media, people’s comments, observations of daily life. Sometimes a few notes are all that are required to be expanded on later but increasingly I have to get it off my chest before the moment passes – thank God for laptops. I like to physically post every evening assisted by a glass of the Cape’s finest.
7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?
I don’t have a signature dish since I really like to cook for other people’s enjoyment and prepare what they like. I do like to pay particular attention to the preparation of fresh seasonal vegetables. As for wine, well of course we are spoilt for choice here in the Cape and often the most inexpensive wines are outstanding. As long as it’s red I’m usually happy.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
Too many! Cooksister, of course, and then Slashfood, Ideas in Food, Hungry in Hogtown, Word of Mouth, Chocolate and Zucchini, ColdMud, Tablespotting and a gazillion others .
9. Favourite restaurant?
What an odd question. I have a favourite restaurant to take my wife to, a favourite one when I’m with the family, another favourite when I have guests from overseas, yet another when it's a business meeting. When I want pizza , steak or sushi I have a favourite and also when I want to chill out with some buddies… I have lots of favourite restaurants.
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
This one is easy – Beanz on toast. Heinz baked beans, not too hot, served on white supermarket bread, toasted on one side only and gently smeared with unsalted butter. That's the chef in me coming out. Pure Heaven.