Spotlight on Leaine’s Kitchen

LeainesKitchen I have often heard people complain, from ski chalet hosts to friends to chefs, that they don't like cooking for people with dietary restrictions.  "It's so tedious – there is just nothing nice that you can cook for them!" is usually the general drift of the conversation.  I always just roll my eyes.  Clearly they have not met Leaine, the face behind Leaines' Kitchen.  Despite having allergies to garlic, yeast, milk, eggs, wheat and other glutens, she is determined to show us that restricted eating can still be delicious eating.  And with recipes like sweet 'n sour pork, red thai curry and nutty choc chip cookies, who am I to argue? 😉

1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world? 

I live in Joburg

2. How long have you been blogging? 

I am a newbie to the blogging world – I have only been blogging since February 2010 year, but I have to confess – I am already addicted 🙂

3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?  

I love the fact that I have a medium to express myself, creatively, with words, food and photos, all in one place and plus now I am able to keep a concise record of all my recipes, instead of jotting them down on scrap paper and never being able to find the one I'm looking for! I like the idea that one day my kids can look at my blog and be proud of what I have achieved (not that I have kids yet ;-)) I have also found food bloggers to be so welcoming and generous with their time and information – I feel like I have found a new family! My main goal is to get the word out about type 3 food allergies as so many people aren't even aware that they have them; I have been receiving great feedback, which reiterates the fact that my blogging has a purpose – to help people!

4. Any downsides or frustrations? 

The only frustration I have is that I have so many posts, but not enough time to write them all, as quickly as I'd like

5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?  

I think I am inspired by nature, the changing of the seasons and the freshest of ingredients. I am challenged and motivated to come up with inventive recipes, but eliminating the four main allergens: dairy, gluten, yeast and egg. Having limitations only makes me want to try harder and when I have created a recipe that I can be proud of – wow, the sense of achievement is indescribable!

6. Where and when do you like to blog?  

I blog at any opportunity, but my best is sitting down in front of the tv, after I have cooked dinner (and taken pics of it :)), with the laptop on my lap – I find it very relaxing

7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?

I think my signature dishes would be my Pea and Mint Risotto and my Fennel, Butter Bean and Bacon soup – yummy yummy and of course my good old Lasagne! 

8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?

I like to read as many food blogs as possible, but my best are KITCHEN DIARY, Sardines on Toast, Cooksister, Chef Caro, My Easy Cooking, Janice Tripepi and Chocolate and Zucchini, to name a few  

9. Favourite restaurant?  

I think one of the best meals I have ever eaten was when I went to Roots, In the Cradle of Humankind, a few weeks ago! Every course was a revelation, the decor a mind-blow, the attention to detail amazing and the service unsurpassable!

10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…

Everything that I have been restricted from eating: I'd have a giant pot of mussels cooked in a creamy white wine and garlic sauce to start, with thick chunks of homemade bread to lap up the sauce; I'd then have crayfish for main with garlic and lemon butter and I'd eat it slowly; piece by piece, licking my fingers and savouring every mouthful; I'd then have a slice or two of my favourite Greek dessert Galaktoboureko – mmmm… it has a wonderful lemony flavour, a creamy texture and is layered with soft phyllo pastry and drizzled with a delicious light syrup – sublime! And then if I had space I'd finish off with camembert and gorgonzola on biscuits with a fig preserve and of course the best bottle of method cap classique or champagne to wash it all down with – maybe some Veuve Clicquot 🙂 (I think if I'm not dying already – the meal in itself may kill me… hee hee – but boy would I die being the happiest person on the planet!)

About Cooksister

Food & travel writer, photographer, blogger, recipe writer and speaker. South African by birth, Londoner by choice.
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