Isn't it funny how you will sometimes read a blog and know within minutes that you like the writer behind the words and pictures? Sometimes it will be because you share a sense of humour or a hometown, or sometimes it will be because their generosity and gentleness shine out from every word they write. This was definitely the case for me with Ronell of My French Kitchen. Ronell hails from the Cape but blogs from the Loire valley in France. She is one multi-talented lady: apart from her food blog she also maintains an art blog and her artistic sensibilities are evident when she turns the simplest meal into a beautiful plate.
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
Although my soul and spirit will always be South African and can fortunately be replenished by a yearly visit back home, we are now living on the banks of the Loire, among the vineyards of Montlouis sur Loire, France, and we are very happy here. It is home and it reminds us so much of Stellenbosch.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I started my art blog last year in February and then wondered why not do a food blog too, which took off two months later.
3. What do you enjoy most about food or wine blogging?
I enjoy the challenge behind it the most. The searching for an idea, the playing around with it, the implementation and the final presentation of the idea.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
The downside to blogging is that it can be tiring. Life already hands us loaded plates. It is sometimes hard to find the time to juggle it all. And I definitely don’t want to be glued in front of the computer either.
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
My inspiration just comes from ordinary, every day living. From traveling. Gardening. Walking. Frozen moments in time. Seeing a field of bright red poppies can be inspiring to create something with strawberries, or tomatoes. Most of the time I’m not inspired by a recipe as such, but by the part it plays in the production. I am never interested in asking for a recipe. When a meal is presented to me, I see it as the result of a whole process that a person went through to present it to me. The recipe is only a small part of it.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
I don’t have a time or place. When the idea hits I’d like to put it to work or at first opportunity. I have no worries about starting off in the middle of the night.
7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?
I don’t have favourites. I can say though say that I prefer a red to a white wine, a rose wine to a white and I like experimenting and trying out new. I don’t have a signature dish either. Maybe I could say that I like simplicity. Ingredients shouldn’t fight for the palate.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
I can enjoy all. There is something to learn, to enjoy, finding inspiration in, from the smaller blogs just as much as from the big and grand blogs. Although, I struggle to read posts that are accompanied with stories which are far too long as I just don't have enough time to read – also those with hundreds of pictures of the same dish from every angle.
9. Favourite restaurant?
My most favourite restaurant is my husband’s outside summer kitchen, where he takes care of weekend evening meals on the barbecue. And for the rest, I don’t actually have a favourite resto either…there are many, each one having something special to offer. I have a lots to offer, but it’ll first need some thinking of it’s own…
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
…..a beautiful meal in an outdoor setting, among the bees and flowers and herbs, with bright and gay table ware and consisting of some wild salmon and accompanying vegetable medley, with maybe a starter of light soup or salad, followed by a cheese platter and a full bodied red wine and finishing off with a dessert made with fruit, like a strawberry tartlet or a cherry clafoutis , definitely an espresso and chocolate and laid back, lazy, funny company….OR, maybe magret de canard , foie gras with a confit d’oignon and a chocolate mousse, served on stark white, linen tables with a witty French waiter seeing to all my needs….OR…actually, I hope I will never have to know it is my last meal…