Isn't it funny how you can exactly pinpoint the moment when you first decided that somebody had crossed the line from acquaintance to friend? With some people it's such a gradual process that you can't say when the tipping point was; and with others you remember the precise moment – maybe a conversation, or an emotional crisis or a weekend away together. I had only "met" Ishay of Food and the Fabulous on Twitter when she joined a group of my other online friends to watch a DVD and chat live on Skype about it. I had a feeling we had a lot in common but did not really know her and then during the course of conversation she said it: "I'm also a reformed lawyer." And that was it – the bond of friendship between us was sealed! I have subsequently met her a couple of times in person and I can assure you that fabulous is only the half of it 🙂 So let's get to know her a little better:
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
Sunny Cape Town, South Africa
2. How long have you been blogging?
Since September 2010
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
I enjoy sharing the simple food I make in my kitchen- it's an incredible compliment when someone tries a recipe and likes it and it's also useful when someone offers a tip/alternative way of preparing something. I feel this cooking, eating and blogging journey is a new aspect of my education and I'm very eager to sharpen and hone the knife and the cooking skills. I find myself evolving as a writer and this is an important aspect to me. I've also enjoyed the interaction with food bloggers and food eaters immensely; engaging in events and projects also make one feel part of a living, breathing community.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
There are some at this stage: it is time consuming, and a blog needs to be 'fed' regularly, I've heard someone say. I do have a large backlog of interesting blogs- I try to keep it fun for myself though. Who needs a hobby that's stressful?
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
I think cooks, like my Mother who try to offer variety within means, but never compromise on flavour are worthy of praise. I'm also besotted with Julia Child (her 1950's glory was the inspiration behind my blog design), Nigella Lawson with her 'if there's a simpler way, why strain yourself" attitude, Chef Nobu san- whom I was very privileged to talk to last year, for his humility and love of simple, clean flavours. I also take my hat off to all the food bloggers who churn out creations worthy of their own restaurants, in my opinion, and who are gracious enough to share these recipes, family secrets, images, and the know-how with us, every day. More and more I realise how travel and exploring different cultures inspires my love for food, drink and words. Hunger is also a good motivation.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
Inspiration is a funny creature, it strikes at any hour and I either make a mental note or reach for some paper to make a few scribbles- this could be at any time of the day. Most times, I'm a night owl, which the rest of the house (read: my husband), is well familiar with.
7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?
It's incredibly hard to chose one signature dish, it also depends on the season. Chances are if it has a bit of garlic, ginger, coriander and chilli in it, it's my style. My Sri Lankan Crab Curry has gotten rave reviews.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
I keep stumbling on new, quirky and creative blogs. I regularly enjoy Scrumptious SA, Cooksister, What's for lunch Honey, LifesaFeast, and Tiny Urban Kitchen
9. Favourite restaurant?
Ohh, it's not possible to pick one. For good homestyle meals any day of the week: Societi Bistro, Orange Street, Cape Town hits the spot. For a dim sum fix (variety is staggering here) but respectably fancy too: Haiku, Church Street, Cape Town, for Moroccan (also fancy dining out): Pasha in Kensington, London and for a romantic and very special night out: Gramercy Tavern, New York or de Librije in Holland. Barcelona can't be beat for sea food and Molecular Gastronomy genius: Tickets and Commerc 24 right up there.
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
Mother's lamb breyani, with all the trimmings: raita, pickles, tomato sambals.