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 in Basel, Switzerland (now owned by Schwabe). My work appears in in Decanter, FT Weekend France Magazine and Culture, and I’m a regular contributor to Zester Daily, a cooperative of professional journalists and authors sharing stories about food and wine from around the world.
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 – joined at the hip to food and wine – I like to seek out places and experiences that are new to me so I can write about 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.