Some people go to food blogs purely to drool over the luscious, dreamy food photos. Others do not care for the photos and go purely to devour the gorgeous food writing and recipes. Me? I'm greedy. I want both. The problem is that its not often the two coexist on the same blog. One of the rare blogs that does manage to provide the best of both worlds is Koek!, witten by the talented Robyn. Let's get to know her a little better:
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
I¹m here in the ol¹ RS of A, Cape Town, Newlands.
2. How long have you been blogging?
Only since May 2009. I always thought I was conceited now I have proof! It's been quite a learning experience, and has even led to a few professional food styling jobs for the magazine I work for (as a copy editor). I had no idea this was my passion until I started blogging.
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
Well, I suppose what most food-lovers love about food is sharing a great meal with others. I think blogging about food is an extension of that sharing your cooking with people who are more likely to appreciate it than, say, your friends or partner, who may not really be into food on the same level.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
Only that my images are not as good quality as I'd like, as I can't yet afford a decent digital camera. That and time… It's quite difficult when you work all day, all week, to find time to make a gorgeous meal worth blogging about during daylight hours. Food pics taken with a flash at night are 99.99 times out of 100 horrific. And I'm into food porn, so I imagine others are, too.
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
Hmm, I'm going through a bit of a transition at the moment. I used to really adore Jamie Oliver and the like, but I can feel my cooking is maturing as I'm increasingly drawn to more authentic, less showy recipes from the River Café, Julia Child, etc. AA Gill said Italy is everyone's second home I certainly can't get enough Italian! I have a battered old copy of Sophia Loren's Eat With ME, which is an inspiration. Of course, food blogs are also a huge source of inspiration. I really admire bloggers who can marry food with thoughts and feelings in a way that makes you feel inspired, nostalgic, touched, and hungry at the same time.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
Any chance I get! I do love planning a whole day around cooking (and a subsequent blog post) on weekends, but this isn't always easy.
7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?
Crikey! What a question… Favourite wine would have to be The Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof
it is a transcendental experience (bloody expensive, though). As for a dish, I would have to say Spaghetti Napolitana that might sound boring, but it's easy to make, the only thing I never get tired of eating, you can dress it up or down, and I have it down to a fine art!
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
Cook Sister, naturally. I lovethe tone – it's like chatting to a girlfriend. Great food images and recipes, too. My other favourites are Orangette, 101 Cookbooks, Dana Treat, Pioneer Woman Cooks, Lucillian Delights, Smitten Kitchen, Scrumptious (great local blog), Seven Spoons.
9. Favourite restaurant?
Marianas in the small town of Stanford, 10 minutes past Hermanus in the Western Cape. Mariana calls herself a cook, not a chef. Her husband, Peter, says to guests: 'You arrive when you like, and we'll feed you when we like.' Though the service is actually very good. Some tables and chairs are set about with a view to the vegetable garden, and mountains in the background. I've eaten some of the best food I've ever had there and keep going back.
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
Sigh, that is a ridiculously difficult question to answer! I would have a lot of little meals probably: First fresh oysters with lemon juice and Tabasco, then steamed artichokes with lemon butter for dipping, then smoked salmon with dill crème fresh, and crème caramel to finish. Ok, now I'm hungry! Alternatively, I'd like to eat at the River Café in London, just once, before I die.