What is your guilty food pleasure?
Custard. Especially warm custard. Don’t judge.
What is your favorite veggie? How do you prepare it?
You know what I do for a living, that’s like picking a favorite child! I love them all equally. But sometimes I love young English peas a little more than the others, freshly shelled, straight out of the garden. When I was two my mom took me to a wedding, and I went from guest to guest, eliciting peas from each of their plates – my mother was mortified, but it’s how I got my family nickname: ‘Sweet Pea’
If you could live anywhere in the world based on food culture, where would it be?
I was raised in South Africa, which has a very colorful (gold) and dramatic (diamonds) history with French, Dutch, German, Indian, Chinese, English, Portuguese, Greek and local native influences so I really do love all food. But I think I would pick the Mediterranean, what I love about their food culture is not what they eat, but HOW they eat. They take pleasure in preparing, consuming and sharing food, lunch takes a few hours, meals are laid back, everybody is welcome, and there is always wine on the table.
What are the top 3 herbs/spices that you currently use in your cooking?
Some people grow vegetables, savor their own tomatoes, or brag about their zucchini. I have never kept a vegetable garden, but have always grown herbs. I always have rosemary, thyme, oregano as my choice herbs, and basil, garlic, parsley, dill, lavender and cilantro as staples (as you can see I have a hard time limiting my choices. And following instructions.)
Favorite food you wish you could get locally?
That’s easy. Boerewors (a type of South African sausage we throw on a fire to cook) or Biltong (a dried, spiced meat). Also, more fruit. We had granadillas (passion fruit), lychees, kumquats, loquats, figs, and apricots growing in our garden, and papayas!
What has been your strangest or most memorable job?
I was on a hot air balloon crew for three years – that was the most fun I have ever had at work! Mornings were brutal – 3am wake up call, to the airfield by 5am – balloons in the air by 6 and then for the next four hours I was navigator in pickup truck with a driver, I had a map in one hand and radio in the other, talking to pilots, checking wind speed and direction, and chasing hot air balloons over fields, down dirt roads, through streams and around fences – every morning was an adventure and afterwards? A big champagne brunch. Everybody, at least once in their life, should be able to say: “I can’t believe I actually get paid to do this!”
Favorite piece of cookware?
Pottery. Anything baked in a dish of clay molded by hand and fired in a kiln truly makes the food taste better. It completes the slow food process, call me romantic.
What is you role with eSS&SC and why did you decide to become involved in the e-Team?
I am one of the copy editors. I love reading, I love writing, and I love the magazine. I wanted to learn and grow, and contribute, so when I heard Laurie was looking for a copy editor, I shot my hand in the air and begged ‘Pick me! Pick me! Oh pretty, pretty please pick me!’