There are three important things in life: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I discovered this while working office jobs. All I could think about was eating. Now please don’t think I am a shallow pig with the sole ambition of devouring food. I am actually interested in the story behind an ingredient, a manic chef, a Roman recipe. That’s how I became a food writer, chef and food stylist. Convinced of being the reincarnation of an Etruscan princess, I moved to Italy for a couple of years. This has increased my love of food, the country’s most important exponent (and men, but that’s obviously none of your business). Thanks to a linguistic education and several years spent in Rome, Florence and London, as well as writing in Dutch I also work in English and Italian. One moment I will be scraping lobster left overs from the kitchen floor, the next I’m having a medieval 59-course-dinner in the south of Italy with the local mafiosi. Below some highlights of my versatile career.
Vanja van der Leeden
Half of my eyelashes has been scorched opening the dome of the Big Green Egg, my hair pulverized on my forehead…But it was worth the reverse sear on my pork belly, it looks good enough to be eaten! And photographed, which was the whole point to start with.
# Recipe development and food styling Big Green Egg book
The one-armed molester was unstoppable when asked after his profession. Too bad I couldn’t make much of it, as his throat was attached by cancer, making his speech far from fluent. A tough, but inspiring interview with chef Jonnie Boers grain supplier.
# ghostwriting for Jonnie Boers book PUURST
Paying hommage to a Parmesan culinary tradition, Italian butchers stuffed me with piles of raw horse meat. The expression ‘I could eat a horse’ has been crossed out of my food lexicon forever.
# investigating for an article on raw horse meat in Parma