Spotlight on Cathy Marston

CathyMarston As you all know, I lived most of my life in South Africa before embarking on a European adventure that is still an ongoing project.  In today's feature, however, we meet somebody who did my journey in reverse, moving lock, stock and barrel from the Uk to South Africa – so I feel a special affinity with her!  Cathy Marston grew up and studied in the UK, but after travelling in Southeast Asia and Australasia and a stint at Adnam's Wines, she decided to pack her bags for warmer and greener pastures and ended up in Cape Town.  Previously the proprietor of The Nose restaurant and wine bar in Sea Point she now freelances in all things wine related and is the voice behind the Cathy Marston blog (and she is speaking on food and wine pairing at the Food & Wine Blogger Indaba this month!).  Pull up a chair – here is her story.

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

In South Africa but originally from Leeds in the UK.

2. How long have you been blogging? 

Almost a year and a half now

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

Rambling on about wonderful wines and delicious food. Oh – and eating and drinking a lot.

4. Any downsides or frustrations? 

All my clothes have suspiciously shrunk……

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

I enjoy reading about people who enjoy wine, not necessarily people who are up their own backside about it! So I like Simon Woods, Tim Atkin (sometimes), Jancis Robinson and here in SA, Neil Pendock and Emile Joubert (the Wine Goggle)

6. Where and when do you like to blog?   Normally at home and in the mornings

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

Don’t have one favourite wine – I change my preferences hourly! I tend to prefer unwooded white wines (except for Chenin which I prefer wooded) and I am definitely more of a Bordeaux girl than a Rhone-lover.

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

Loads – nearly all those mentioned above for starters!

9. Favourite restaurant?  

La Colombe in Cape Town

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

The perfect Tarte Tatin with Thorntons toffee ice cream.

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Spotlight on Koek!

Koek 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.

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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!)

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Spotlight on The Creative Pot

TheCreativePot

I always tell newbie bloggers that an "About" page on their blog is so, so important.  "But what if crazy stalkers use the info to come to my house and attack me?", some of them anxiously ask.  Well, I've had an About page for a good 6.5 years and I'm still here – so clearly this cannot be that common!  The great thing about those who do dare to have an "About" page, is that it provides a snapshot of the person behind the food and, more often than not, shows you in the space of 30 seconds whether you would hit it off in the real world or not.  And when I read Marisa of The Creative Pot's "About" page, I just knew that she was somebody at whose kitchen table I would love to sit and share a glass of something.  But seeing as we are separated by a continent or so, I have to settle for dropping by her lovely blog regularly instead.  Let's get to know her a little better:

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

I live in the most beautiful town in South Africa (no, I'm NOT biased) – Stellenbosch. I came here to study in 2001 and have been one of the lucky few who was able to continue living here. Oh, I also met TheHusband here, so that might have had something to do with it too!

2. How long have you been blogging?

I think the question should rather be how long have I been blogging regularly. 🙂 I started the blog in Aug 2006 because everyone else (it seemed) had a blog and it seemed like something interesting to do. But the blogging bug actually properly bit me in April 2009 when I started blogging more regularly. It rapidly became an addiction and now I try to plan a few meals a week around what would be good blog material.

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

In the beginning I just enjoyed having a forum to show the world what I made and ate, but I'm starting  to really enjoy getting to know fellow bloggers.  In all honesty, I think foodie bloggers are probably some of the nicest people around. It's great "meeting" likeminded people who understand the constant thinking about food, planning food, imagining food that is my life.

And of course I get to eat my "product" at the end. Which is a nice bonus!

4. Any downsides or frustrations?

I can't say I've encountered downsides. Oh, except for the one time when a commenter said my Palak Channa (with Paneer) looked like vomit! Needless to say I deleted that pretty swiftly! Mwuahahahahaha, the power of the almighty blog author! I was a bit upset, but you know what, everyone is entitled to
their own opinion. And of course, I'm entitled to choose not to display it. 🙂

Frustrations are mostly on the technical side – when I'm struggling with the layout of my blog, or blogger is refusing to co-operate I get pretty irritated. Patience is not one of my virtues and my poor husband has had to endure many whining sessions along the lines of "why doesn't it want to
woooooooooooooooooooooork????". It gets easier as I learn more, and luckily there are a lot of resources out there to help bloggers nowadays.

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

If I have to single out a specific person it would be Tessa Kiros, author of various magical (to me anyway) cookbooks. The way she makes you feel a part of her life and her food is simply extraordinary. Add to that her drool-inducing photos and I think it's easy to see why I'm hooked. To top it all off, she seems so down-to-earth. Not that I've met her (outside my fantasies at least…).

But besides Tessa, I'm inspired by all of the food blogs I read (and there are a LOT), and various other sources both on-line and off-line. I've always loved cooking and I've had an intense love of reading even before that, so suffice to say I cannot get enough of reading about food. Anywhere, anytime and what I read always inspires me. I won't always create the same exact recipe (in fact, I have trouble sticking to a recipe exactly), but I'll build on it, expanding it to my own tastes.

6. Where and when do you like to blog?

I usually blog at night, after we've eaten. Of course the photo needs to be taken immediately after I dish up, and TheHusband knows better than to try and take the plate before I've documented it for posterity. My blogging is mostly done lying on the couch (oh laptop, how I adore thee!). I don't have
a specific posting schedule, but I do try to post about 2 or 3 times a week. It will just depend on when I can find the time and when I have material to post.

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

If you ask my husband, he'll probably say my stuffed chicken breast fillets. As for myself, I don't think I have a specific signature dish – I don't make meals often enough to become signatures! I try and mix it up with what we eat on a daily basis, it keeps things interesting and I think it enables us to get a wide variety of nutrients in. Nutritious food is quite important to me – note, not neccessarily calorie conscious or low-fat foods, but wholesome foods, made from scratch with a wide variety of veggies in it.

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

Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many. My google reader list is overstuffed with foodblog subscriptions – I struggle to keep up with them! Luckily I'm a voracious (and fast) reader, so I still manage. But I fear my subscription lust will get out of hand one of these days… For a short list of my favourite favourites, check out the link page on my blog.

9. Favourite restaurant?

I'm going to limit my choices to Stellenbosch, and add my favourite dish from each. Just to narrow it down (otherwise I could go on and on…).

Breakfast – Basic Bistro, Melissa's (you have to try their fresh beetroot juice)

Lunch – Col'Cacchio for their superwide range of pizzas (my favourite is the butternut, brie, caramelized onion & sesame seed one). Or Brazenhead for their boxtys (potato pancakes with various fillings)

Supper – Bukhara (their curries are phenomenal and their rotis drip with buttery goodness) or Mama Roma's (outstanding Italian food)

Cocktails – Cubana or Buena Vista Social Cafe

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

I think I'd need an entire day….

Breakfast – A Fishy Norwegian (creamy scrambled eggs on a giant fluffy croissant with smoked salmon slices and aragula – sooooooooooooooo good) at Basic  in Stellenbosch. Oooooooh or the French toast (served with syrup, bacon, banana & cheese) at Cubana. Can I have seconds since it's my last day?

Lunch – a big (as in GIANT) platter of tuna sashimi. Ooooh and Cape Town Fish Market's crab salad.

In-between snacks – Lindt Fleur de Sel Dark Chocolate. And salted macadamias. And a big box of fresh strawberries.

Supper – Starter – I think I would be too full at this stage for a starter.

Main – Butter chicken. Or bobotie. Or roasted garlic-y veggies. Or my mom's split-pea soup.

Dessert – Creme brulee. Or something uber-chocolatey. Probably both if it's my last day.

Posted in SA food blogger profile | 1 Comment

Spotlight on What’s Cooking/Wat Eet Ons?

WhatsCooking It's always said that despite the fact that it's mostly women who do the cooking, all the greatest chefs are men.  Well, in blogging there appears to be some sort of role reversal.  Although male bloggers substantially outnumber female bloggers, the vast majority of food bloggers are female.  So I am always pleasantly surprised when a male food blogger gets in touch.  And Barry Gerber does not only have one food blog but two – What's Cooking?  is his English blog and Wat Eet Ons?  is his Afrikaans blog – so you could say he is doing more than his fair share to even the numbers out ;-)  Let's get to know him a little better.

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

Bellville (Cape Town) South Africa

2. How long have you been blogging? 

On my Afrikaans blog almost a year, and on the English one 4 months

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

The interaction with readers, and being read

4. Any downsides or frustrations? 

Not being read, or sometimes you think this is your best post ever, end you get no comments

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

I always enjoyed cooking, but my celebrity chef hero was Floyd

6. Where and when do you like to blog?  

Late nights at home, or early morning in the office

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

Braaied Lamb chops (crispy fat and medium inside)

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

Everything that I can find

9. Favourite restaurant?  

Don’t really have one, use to be Wijnhuis at Bloemhof before the changes

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

Sorry SASSI, but a braaied galjoen definitely

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Spotlight on Voer

Voer

It isn't often that I return over and over again to a blog that does not feature a photo with every post, but where the writing is as exceptional as it is on Voer, I am willing to make an exception.  Voer is a collaborative blog written by Arcadia in Pretoria and JvdH in Hampshire in the UK where they document their food, their travels and their observations on life, both in English and in Afrikaans.    It's seldom that a blog with two authors manages to maintain a uniform and consistent style, but Arcadia and JvdH are so attuned to each other that it works beautifully here and there is never a jarring note in their beautifully written posts.  Keen to find out more about the bloggers behond Voer?  Read on…

ARCADIA:

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

I grew up in the old homeland of Bophutatswana but have been living in an old art deco-style apartment with a 1950's kitchen in Arcadia, Pretoria, for almost six years now.

2. How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in 2006, and started Voer with Jvdh in 2008, which focuses specifically on our shared love of food.

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

I think blogging is quite an exhibitionist venture, and I revel in that – I love telling people about what I've been eating, and being awakened to the narratives of our lives which are always spun around our food.

4. Any downsides or frustrations?

I don't currently own a camera (which, for a filmmaker, is unheard of), so there are no photographs accompanying my posts.

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

I echo Nora Ephron's feeling of "I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times". I come from a family obsessed with food, and who are always eating. My mother is a baker above all other things, and I grew up with a new cake or pudding in the house every day, and to this day she keeps all her many children in stock of rusks and cookies and baked cheesecake. My father is a writer so I learnt to write haikus at age seven, and it's been all downhill from there – I now spend my time engaged in academic writing as well as the writing of screenplays, and food blogging is a welcome hiatus from it all. And whilst I love cooking for others – a table full of people to feed has always made me immensely happy – I also love cooking for myself. You have no one to please when cooking for one, and you get to make everything you feel like eating.

6. Where and when do you like to blog?

Whenever I have the time, and usually at home.

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

It would probably be something sweet – Nigella Lawson's chocolate espresso cake, Nigel Slater's amazing brownies, or bread. I made a decision at the beginning of last year to no longer buy any bread but solely subsist on what I've baked myself, and so far I've been remarkably successful at keeping the resolution. I also make a good bearnaise, sour cream chicken enchiladas, and borscht. As to wine – I'm quite a seasonal wine drinker, so currently there's always a cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonay around. There's also nothing like having wine at breakfast.

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

My favourites include Orangette, Smitten Kitchen and The Wednesday Chef, and a few lesser-known ones such as Caviar and Codfish, Lottie and Doof and Hannah's Country Kitchen. I'm also quite partial to the blog of Marie Viljoen, a fellow South African, now living in New York, 66 Square Feet

9. Favourite restaurant?

Olympia Café in Kalk Bay! I also recently fell in love with a little place in Stellenbosch called Nook, and although I've only been there once Stellenbosch's French bistro Café Dijon immediately stole my heart. Here at home I love Li-bel in Sunnyside, Moema's in Parktown for cake, Al-Amin in Laudium for Indian fare, Kung-fu Kitchen in Brooklyn for cheap but delicious sushi, and the Dutch Oven in Sunnyside for croissants and their chocolate ganache cake. And I have a soft spot for the gourmet pizzas of Toni's in Villeria, where jvdh and I met.

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

Peking duck with all the trimmings, rugelach, a very good cheeseburger with American-style fries, some garlicky and gingery prawns, a large plate of watermelon chunks, a rare piece of rump with some bearnaise sauce, Peter Veldsman's chocolate mousse, and the room brie from the Albert Cijp-market in Amsterdam. Or, failing all of that, lobster rolls with goose fat fries and champagne. I might as well go down in style.

 

JVdH

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

Mostly in the Hampshire, UK, but I manage to fit a week or two of SA-time in every year.

2. How long have you been blogging?

A bit more than two years now: it started as a collaborative effort motivated by a weekend of excessive cooking and has continued ever since.

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

Someone once said that they prefer cooking for an audience, which is something I experience too. It encourages me to learn new skills, try new things. The blog allows me to share this, making single meals effectively much more communal. Over time our blog has also become a collective memory of projects and places, experiences and experiments.

4. Any downsides or frustrations?

I'm always writing about things which happened "recently", i.e. months ago. I would like to blame a lack of time for this, but a lack of discipline is the more likely cause.

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

I experience the whole read-cook-eat-write cycle as a very creative and stimulating process. It allows me to relax, it is distracting and satisfying enough to slow down from the daily rush. And in the process you can experience something new, again and again. Drinking can be a creative process too, but that is usually more aligned with the writing phase.

6. Where and when do you like to blog?

While in transit is generally good: buses, trains and airports too. Also while I'm supposed to be working. A small notebook partly filled with an illegible scrawl helps a lot.

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

A crisp, grassy Sauvignon makes me very happy. Something from Marlborough or the cooler spots around Cape Town and Stellenbosch. People have come to associate me with bread, but I can do other things too. Bread has, however, been the dominant obsession the last year or so.

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

Most of what's on our blog roll, with a random sampling of pretty blogs and columns I come across in my daily life. I think I'm drawn towards people who cook with what's available: it is a lot easier to make spectacular food when you spectacular ingredients, but it takes skill to transform the mundane into something special. If have to single out a single blog, then 66squarefeet.blogspot.com has been inspirational, human and warm all along.

9. Favourite restaurant?

I don't think I'm a restaurant person. I can remember several stunning meals in good restaurants, meals I wouldn't mind having again, but does that make it a "favourite" restaurant? Olympia in Kalk Bay has good food, but too many people like it for me to relax completely. So I usually ignore Michelin stars, and look for authentic, personal places I can go to again and again.

Al-Amin in Laudium (outside Pretoria) is one, while the Salty Seadog in Simonstown has repeatedly fortified me against wet winter nights. I've also spent many a long afternoon at Café La Fayette in Stellenbosch, but that was some time ago. Good wine, good people.

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

Everything? Fresh, crusty bread with a rough crumb, a bowl of olives, some cheese and few slivers of good jamón. A glass of white on the side.

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Spotlight on Lavender & Lime

LavenderAndLime As I’ve said many times before, one of the best things about food blogging is the people you meet – people with a shared passion and a shared frame of reference, who won’t point and stare as you photograph your plate of food rather than your dining companions.  I met Tandy, the driving force behind Lavender and Lime, at last year’s South African Food Blogger Conference.  In fact, her face is one of the ones that caught my eye while I was doing my presentations – always nodding and smiling and looking super-enthusiastic!  And you will find that this enthusiasm and positive attitude carries through to her lovely food blog.  Come and have a look!

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

I live in Gordons Bay, a fishing village 55km’s outside of Cape Town.

2. How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in September 2009

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

The most enjoyable part of food blogging for me, is challenging myself every night to cook something new and interesting. I enjoy having an online food diary, and being able to share it with other people. To inspire them to cook new things, and to see what feedback I get from my recipes.

4. Any downsides or frustrations?

Not one. I love cooking and it is my artistic outlet. Cooking is only a positive in my life, and my blogging has become an extension of that.

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

My earliest memories are of my Grandmother and food. For the Jewish holydays all the aunts would gather at my Grandmother, and they would cook and bake in preparation for dinner. I loved joining in with them. My inspiration now comes from within myself to achieve something from my passion. I am inspired by my husband, and some great cooks and chefs. As far as drinking goes, I have been at that since 6 months old when my Grandfather put a lot of whisky into my bottle. On a serious note, my other Grandfather had a wine cellar at home and we were allowed a sip of wine with supper while growing up, until we were old enough to have a glass to ourselves.

6. Where and when do you like to blog?

As blogging has to fit in with my regular work, I try to blog weekday mornings before work. I get to work around about 7am and blog until work starts at 8am. I do not blog over the weekends and might sometimes sneak a blog in during the afternoon, if time allows, which is very often. If I blog in the afternoons it is not about food, but about something on my mind.

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

My signature dish is my award winning Oxtail recipe, which I have recently blogged about. It also features in my first recipe book. My favourite wine of all time is Meerlust Rubicon – I have had the pleasure of sharing a bottle of wine with Hannes Myburgh the owner of Meerlust and his wine’s top my list.

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

I read most of the food24 food blogs, and I am starting to read as often as possible the food blogs of people I met at the South African Food Bloggers Conference.

9. Favourite restaurant?   I have several – one is 96 Winery Road as I grew up eating at their Johannesburg restaurant, Gatrilles. I love Taste in Somerset West, and Alex Garden Restaurant in Strand. In London it would have to be Fifteen.

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

this is so difficult. I would want a starter of oysters – wild and preferably from Sedgefield. For my main course I would want a duo of tartare, fillet of beef, and good tuna. Dessert would have to be crème brûlée.

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