About Me + Contact

vendanges Hugel October 2013-001I’m the author of nine books and I write on food, wine and travel for anyone who’ll buy my stuff, viz (of late) Decanter, FT Weekend, How To Spend It online, France Magazine, Culture Cheese Magazine and Spanish Wine Lover. For over 4 years I was a regular contributor to Zester Daily, a California-based co-op of professional journalists and authors sharing stories about food and wine from around the world.

My interest in food veers towards the obsessive and I seldom tire of cooking (or, for that matter, eating). Occasionally this spills over into workshops in my country kitchen in Alsace, which dovetail neatly with the writing (testing recipes for books or articles, trying out dishes discovered on my travels etc.).

The food we prepare together is seasonal, sustainable, creative and eclectic and the cooking is hands-on. Each session culminates in a shared meal around the dining room table (or on the terrace, weather permitting), with wines to match. Sometimes there’s a French focus (reflecting where I live), sometimes it’s Mexican (lived there 7 years), Italian (go as often as possible), Spanish or Catalan (where my two kids have had the good taste to settle). It all depends on my mood, and where my travels have taken me most recently.

I write restaurant reviews for How To Spend It online and for Decanter. On my site there are pages devoted to Eating Out in Alsace, Basel and Baden (see here). Other reviews crop up sporadically on the home page.

Wine is an important (essential?) adjunct to food and travel. I scribble copious tasting notes to myself, but I find them tedious to write and therefore assume they must be boring to read. There’s a limit to how often you can witter on about violets, undergrowth, sweaty saddles or the overworked ‘M’ word, 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. Recent stuff of mine that’s appeared in Decanter includes a full-length piece on the wines of Switzerland, a food and winelover’s guide to Alsace, and wine travel pieces on the Valais (Switzerland), Empordà (Catalunya), Mallorca and the Jura. I’m currently working on a book in English about Swiss wines, to be published in 2019.

I compiled the three sections on Alsace for www.winetravelguides.com and I contributed the webinar on matching food with the wines of Alsace for the Alsace master-level course offered by the French Wine Society. I 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. I do an occasional 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.

To get in touch, send me an email here.

Looking forward to hearing from you!





15 thoughts on “About Me + Contact

  1. Hi Sue,
    I hope this message finds you well. I, like Irina, am trying to contact you!

    My mother and I attended several of the wonderful cooking classes held in your home while I was an expat living in Basel in 2001-2003. Those days were the highlight of my mother’s visits with me from the States. They were also very memorable times for me spent with my mother, who has since suffered a stroke and is in nursing care. I miss cooking with her.

    I am writing because I have returned to the US and have a special friend I would like to give a copy of your Alsace gastronomique book to as a house warming gift. She in restoring a beautiful old home and the French style kitchen will be one to cook your recipes in. Please let me know how I may purchase one in such a way that you might be able to sign it for me, as well.

    Hi to everyone in Basel who may read this. I hope Sue is still opening her kitchen up to you!

    Thank you, Sue, for the gift of sharing your experiences and recipes with all of us.

    Kind Regards,
    Susan Rose

    1. Hi Susan – so good to hear from you again, I sure remember you coming to my workshops here in Alsace. Re my book, your best bet is the internet – try Googling Sue Style + Alsace Gastronomique and a few should pop up. They’ll be used copies, of course, but hopefully in good condition. Good luck – and let me know. I have copies in French still if that’s any use to you 😉 Sue

  2. Liebe Sue und Monty

    Eben teilen Marlis und ich den Gewürztraminer VT Agapé 2007 und geniessen diesen wunderbaren, harmonischen, aromatischen Wein mit Gedanken an Euch. Vielen Dank für diesen ausgezeichneten Wein.

    Wie geht es Euch? Wir haben in Augenblick sehr viel Schnee bei uns in Brig. Für mich ein bisschen ungewohnt, bin ich doch erst seit ein paar Tagen wieder in der Schweiz. Ich kehrte von Bolivien zurück, wo ich einen Monat 35 – 40°C erlebte. Ich darf dort ein Entwicklungshilfeprojekt unterstützen. Rebberge werden neu angelegt und ein Weinkeller gebaut. Im Juli 2013 fliege ich wieder hin, um die Reben zu schneiden und dann im Januar 2014 wird die erste Ernte im neuen Keller vinifiziert. War schon im Mai einen Monat in Honduras, wo ich die Einheimischen in der Bereitung von Fruchtweinen unterrichten durfte. Ich fliege ja nicht so gerne, doch sind diese Länder ohne dieses Verkehrsmittel sehr schwer erreichbar. Also muss ich mich fügen.

    Marlis geht es auch gut. Wie immer ist sie sehr aktiv. Ich muss sie auch bremsen, damit sie sich auch noch Zeit zum entspannen in die Agenda schreibt.

    Wir wünschen Euch angenehme Festtage und ein baldiges Wiedersehen würde uns riesig freuen.

    Liebe Grüsse
    Chosy und Marlis

  3. Dear Sue,

    Greetings from Conde Nast India!
    I emailed you on the id provided by UK Conde Nast Traveller, but the email was undelivered.
    Could you kindly get in touch with me as we need an invoice for text reused in our issue for “In a class of its own” syndicated form UK CNT Sep’07 issue contributed by you.

    Awaiting your email.

    Thanks and regards,

    Giselle D’Mello
    Assistant Syndication Coordinator
    Conde Nast India

  4. Hi Sue,

    We loved your recent Mushroom article – coming from a wild mushroom farming background I think it’s fantastic that you’re foraging for these delicious shrooms!! This year the fields were blooming with wild mushrooms and your alternative recipes are something that I’ve never tried before!! I’d love to have a chat with you, if you have a contact email address?


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