I’m a freelance food, wine and travel writer and the author of nine books. The most recent, Cheese: Slices of Swiss Culture, was published by Bergli Books (now owned by Schwabe) in November 2011. My work has appeared in FT Weekend and the FT’s How to Spend It magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, Decanter, France Magazine, Culture and Swiss News, and I’m a regular contributor to the online food and wine site, Zester Daily.
My interest in food borders on the obsessional and I seldom tire of cooking (or, for that matter, eating). Occasionally I offer hands-on workshops in my country kitchen – stylish, seasonal stuff, sometimes with a French focus, sometimes Mexican, Italian, Spanish or (increasingly) Catalan. It depends on my mood, and where my travels have taken me most recently. Restaurant reviews for the Alsace/Basel/Baden region appear here on my site. Other reviews crop up sporadically on the home page.
Wine is an important (essential?) adjunct to food and travel. I scribble copious tasting notes, but have yet to find a way to write them up that doesn’t read like a telephone directory. So I content myself with meeting wine growers, relishing their passionate commitment to what they do, tasting the fruits of their labours – and then telling a story about them, their terroir and their wines. My recent articles published in Decanter include pieces on the Valais (Switzerland), Empordà (Catalunya) and Mallorca, and a producer profile of the Trimbach family in Alsace. I compiled the three sections on Alsace for www.winetravelguides.com. I also lead bespoke vineyard tours in Alsace where, as one client wrote, “the scenery sings, the wines speak and the food fills the soul…re-affirms my belief in wine tourism as a means of providing lasting memories and loyalty to a region and its wines”.
As for travel – inextricably linked to food and wine – I like to seek out places and experiences that are new to me so I can write on them from a fresh perspective (the overnight bus from Oaxaca to Chiapas, the No. 62 ferry in Hamburg’s harbour, rock paintings in the Kimberley in WA…). My only self-imposed rule for travel writing is to avoid ever using the word ‘nestling’.
I’m involved with the local community on a number of fronts. Once a month I do a food & wine chat on something topical/seasonal for The English Show at Basel’s Radio X, which is run by a band of cheery volunteers and goes out live every Tuesday evening from 6.30 to 8 p.m. on 94.5 FM. In 2001 I helped to set up and run an English-speaking cancer support group for the Basel area.