I am 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 in Basel in November 2011. My work has appeared in FT Weekend and the FT’s How to Spend It magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, High Life, Decanter, France Magazine, Culture and Swiss News.
I’m a regular contributor to the online food and wine site, Zester Daily. For my work published in FT Weekend I was shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year as well as for the Guild of Food Writers Food Journalist Award, when my writing was commended as “well informed, serious and enjoyable, well researched, what good professional food journalism can be about”.
My interest in food lurches towards the obsessional and I seldom tire of cooking. 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.
Wine is an important (essential?) adjunct to food and travel. I’m always scribbling 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 wine travel pieces on Catalunya, Colmar, Dijon, Priorat, Croatia & Slovenia, Alsace and Beaujolais. I compiled the three sections on Alsace for www.winetravelguides.com and I lead bespoke vineyard tours in Alsace.
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’.
When not cooking, wine tasting/touring, travelling or writing, I’m involved with the local community on a number of fronts, including helping to set up and run an English-speaking cancer support group in the Basel area.