This giveaway has been closed. A winner will be announced shortly!
You choose: Twitter or Paris? I can’t decide.
I’ve met the most supportive, inspiring people in both spots and, frankly, I’d have a hard time choosing which has introduced me to more folks: the coolest communication method since email or the most beautiful city in the world.
Either way, I’m grateful because both places have totally hooked me up.
Case in point: Yvette Van Boven. Yvette’s an illustrator, food stylist, restaurateur and recipe writer based in both Paris and Amsterdam. We somehow found each other, perhaps because we’re both tied to Paris, food, and more specifically, to the handmade/homemade food movement.
Yvette’s quite the champion of making anything from scratch, and is a total delight, especially when I can understand her Twitter feed (she tweets in Dutch and English). She cooks like I do, finding a way to make a recipe her own so it works in her life, in her kitchen. And, gosh, I’ve already made her Ginger Coffee (page 27) and the Oeuf Cocotte (page 36) for a brunch – both gathered rave reviews!
Thankfully, no jam, cordial, terrine or baked good is too impossible to tackle in her new cookbook “Home Made: The Ultimate DIY Cookbook, Featuring Over 200 From-Scratch Recipes”, which was just released in English this month. (Did I forget to mention that this book won Dutch Cookbook of the Year?!)
So after what feels like several years chatting on Twitter about Paris, food, cordials, wine and more, Yvette’s putting herself through one of my Eat Boutique interviews, all for a glorious payoff to one lucky winner at the end of the post. I wish she could attend our Local Market this Saturday – but, alas, Amsterdam is so far away. I hope this short interview and giveaway are the next best thing!
You grew up in Ireland. (I’m told I may love it more than Paris!) What about the country infused the desire to make food from scratch?
Yes, we grew up in Ireland in the 70’s. There wasn’t much to buy in the shops at that time so my mum (as well as the others in our neighborhood) made a lot from scratch. I remember quite well, me making notes of everything those grown-ups did and copying that with my sister. We used to cook and bake a lot, my sister and I. We made cheese from buttermilk; we made ice-pops from lemonade and things like that. I’ve never forgotten these ‘skills’ and we still use them, in a different, more grown up kind of way, in our kitchen.
What inspires your cooking and how many times do you make a recipe in order to perfect it?
I often get my inspiration from traditional recipes. I like the way things are made in the first place and once I’ve got the hang of it, I like to change things around, to make it more “my style.” So I cook or try things first in our restaurant, on a photo shoot or at home. It always depends on how it goes. I’ve always tried it several times before I definitely jot it down for good. By the way, after I’ve put a recipe into the book, it often changes again. Sometimes we use a recipe from the book for the restaurant and then change it completely because we get new ideas all the time. A recipe is never finished.
Your pantry is probably full. What do you always have in there, homemade or sourced?
Oh yes, although I try to give away a much as possible or bring it to the restaurant, because you can’t finish everything by yourself. We always have tons of mustard – home made and ready bought. It’s one of my favorite condiments. We try different flavors and textures. We have a lot of home made liqueurs, there’s always something macerating in the corner of the pantry, and chutney… mmmm… lots of chutney. That’s always good with anything, even on a baguette with ham or cheese. Brilliant.
I tend to preserve on vacation. Do you? What was the best thing you preserved while on vacation?
I have to admit it: I do the same. When we are in the south of France, I love to pick wild blackberries and make jam. I even made pictures of doing it and I put it in my book Home Made, have a look! (It’s on page 12 and 13.)
For those of us who want to style our food as pretty as yours for our family or our blogs, what’s your best food styling tip?
Well, always keep some of the ingredients you use for the dish behind. After you’ve plated it nicely, top the dish off with some loose ingredients, this way you instantly see what the dish is about and it almost always looks stunning.
It’s turned quite chilly in New England. What should we make from your book to make our home feel like Fall instantly?
I’m really fond of smoked beetroot, so the recipe for Mille-Feulle of Smoked and Raw Beet and Comté (my favorite cheese) with Watercress and Nut Dressing (page 243) would be a terrific thing to make. There’s also the Ham Pie (page 187) with a crust that always works out well, or the Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Fried Parsnip and Mushrooms (page 146) could be really delish too!
Have you been to New England or Boston? If so, did you have a favorite meal here?
Yes, we have been there a couple of years ago. I remember having the best lobster I ever had; man, even the lobsters are huge in the USA. We are also completely in love with the Blue Point oysters and we had the most wonderful dinner in Boston in an Italian restaurant in Boston’s North End. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but I do remember that you had to go through the kitchen to go to the bathroom. The kitchen was tiny, so the cooks staying so polite with the guests popping in and out all the time impressed me.
What’s your favorite place on the planet? Does it evoke any food memories?
That is a difficult one because every place has its charms. One of the nicest restaurants I’ve ever been to is Le Chateaubriand in Paris. I’ve been there many many times but they always surprise me. I love the way they serve simple ingredients in such surprising and awkward combinations. The food always looks elegant, it’s always well made and I really like the fact that it’s not a posh restaurant, where you have to sit straight up and whisper.
But I also really liked the food stalls at the Brooklyn Flea on Sunday too. (I missed the Smorgasburg on Saturday; I’ve heard that is even more impressive.) But I loved all the stalls selling well prepared home made food: smoked brisket (the best I ever had) on sourdough, home made sodas like the grapefruit & jalapeno one (wow!) and a stall selling only lobster & mayonnaise sandwiches. We couldn’t stop eating; we tried everything, I think. It was one of the nicest places I’ve ever been.
Thanks so much, Yvette! Thanks, as well, for sharing some of your illustrations (illustrations posted below), as well as a copy of your book for one lucky Eat Boutique reader!
Win Yvette’s New Cookbook:
This giveaway has been closed. A winner will be announced shortly!
One of you can win Yvette’s new cookbook “Home Made: The Ultimate DIY Cookbook, Featuring Over 200 From-Scratch Recipes” by simply leaving a comment below starting today with the answer to this question:
What homemade treat would you most like to see in an upcoming Eat Boutique gift box?
Entries open through Wednesday, September 28, 11:59pm EST. I’ll randomly select one (1) winner and I will personally ship the prize directly to you during the first week of October!
Want Extra Entries? Increase your odds of winning by leaving a separate comment for each bonus entry, in addition to the main entry comment.
- Follow @eatboutique on Twitter and tweet the following:
I just entered to win “Home Made” by @yvettevanboven from @eatboutique! Enter here: https://eatboutique.com/?p=5315
- Like Eat Boutique on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, just leave a comment here saying so!
Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get a hold of you within 48 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. Happy commenting and good luck!
- Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book, as well as one to giveaway. However, my opinions about Yvette and her cookbook are, indeed, my own.
- The lovely illustration of Yvette’s Bubbly Punch was originally developed for and published in GRAZIA.IT.
- The lead illustration of the Gooseberry and Orange Jam is from a recipe in Yvette’s book.
- All photos were taken by Maggie Battista.
Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send food that hugs you back today.
Did you know we’re hosting our first Local Market on September 24, 2011 in Boston?
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.