So here is the thing –
I’ve been wanting to write down my thoughts on food and cooking since time began, always promising to share recipes and failing miserably to do so. I guess life, family and work seemed always to get in the way.
So here is the The Wild Epicurean.
My book was to be ‘Throw Away the Ketchup’, a book destined to inspire the day-to-day family cooking, challenging the belief children needed child-friendly food. Since then, I have run my own Gite, Hotel, Restaurant and Bar, children have flown the nest, and I have grown older and a little wiser.
I am not a qualified chef but a self-trained cook. Experience and the sharp learning curve of running your own business have, in part, educated me. Hopefully, there’s still time for that book.
Having lived in Southern France and the Alps and now happily settled on mainland Greece, my inspiration is undoubtedly the Mediterranean. I like herbs and spices in as many exotic permutations as possible …… forever learning, forever experimenting.
So the food is fresh, spicy, healthy, occasionally gourmand, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes vegan but always tasty. I endeavour to cook, and I don’t know another word to use as this one is thrown around a great deal at the moment but sustainably. Living in a remote part of Greece makes this easy; what’s available is only seasonal produce, lending itself to hearty filling meals in the winter and light delicate dishes in the summer.
I love sharing and cooking food but feel there should be no set rules. Everyone can cook, everyone can produce a delicious meal. Good food does take time but should never be a chore.
It is often a time and a place; hot sausage and mustard cooked on a windy beach; Sunday lunch with family and friends; grilled fish by the sea or simple garlic and sage pasta on a Monday night. I try to use ingredients accessible to all. Of course, we all strive to buy organic and the best quality we can, but sometimes in real life, that is not possible, budget, availability – whatever. I would say less is more and prefer to produce a simple meal from the best ingredients available than open a packet flown halfway around the world.
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Cooking is really about feel, dare I even say sensual; even when following a recipe you have cooked for years, you may have to adapt because the peppers are not that tasty, or you’ve forgotten to buy the green peppercorns. It’s challenging but fun to cook in season, and I look forward to different dishes at different times of the year. And, of course, the golden rule is always taste, taste and taste again.
I am not very good with accurate measurements, but I have tried to be as detailed as possible; please adapt to your likes and dislikes. Where I feel you need to keep to the measurements, I hope I do say so often; this tends to be pastry, bread or cake recipes where the science comes into play. If you are not a nutmeg fan – leave it out. I am not a nutritionist and don’t feel qualified to lecture on healthy. There’s always an alternative to cream, butter, white flour or sugar, and yes, it will impact the outcome. Add salt to your taste. So, a balance of fresh, sustainable and available.
Nothing is ever really original; we copy, alter and adapt recipes that we’ve tasted, read about or inherited from friends and family. I love reading recipe books and food-based blogs and could never claim worldwide culinary knowledge. But here in lies the fun, discovering and adapting recipes for you (the reader) to experiment and enjoy. Wherever possible (unless it is something I have read late at night and then really can’t find it again), I will always credit the inspiration for my recipes. Eric eloquently penned his thoughts in his excellent anisetozaatar.com food writing blog which has inspired The Wild Epicurean.
If possible, I will gradually compile a bibliography of articles, books and blogs here. I don’t think you can ever have too many cookery books!
The Wild Epicurean has no ‘niche’, but I hope to discover wild and seasonal, local and sustainable delicious food to share with family and friends interspersed by plenty of dancing.
I control the site; all recipes, text and photographs are written and taken by me. Please find me on Instagram @thewildepicurean.