This week we are featuring Lynda Balslev, the author of TasteFood. Lynda has lived, worked, and cooked throughout Europe, which has in turn influenced her culinary style and inspired her to start her food blog. Her gallery on foodgawker is full of beautiful, colorful images that will make your mouth water and inspire you to get to work in the kitchen!
Posted by: Angie Rizzo
Where are you located?
San Francisco bay area
What inspired you to start blogging and how long have been doing it?
Upon moving back to the US after living in Europe for 17 years. It was a creative outlet that allowed me to chronicle my food memories, our family food traditions, and favorite cuisines with recipes. TasteFood is 4 years old.
Where were you in Europe? Were you there for a particular reason (job, school, etc)?
I moved to Europe to study cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I planned to stay on in Paris and look for work after I finished, but along the way I met my Danish husband who was living and working in Geneva, Switzerland. So, after my cooking program finished I moved to Geneva. We were married there, our kids were born there, and we lived there for 9 years, while I worked as a caterer, cooking instructor and designer. We then moved to England, due to my husband’s job, where we lived for 2 years, and then to Denmark where we lived for 6 years before a corporate move brought us to San Francisco. With each move I continued to cook, cater and teach. It was portable, and allowed me to be at home with our kids as we set up a new life. Cooking was a great window into each new culture we moved to, embracing the customs, preparing dishes from homes we had left and missed, and a wonderful way to entertain while we met new friends. I also worked as a food editor of a Danish magazine while we lived in Copenhagen.
Do you have any specific or influential food memories from your time abroad?
Living and studying cooking in Paris was an eye opener. I moved there as a low-fat, caffeine-free, low alcohol, red meat-free American in the ’90s and quickly corrected my path, embracing the French bistro style of cuisine, including butter, espressos, red wine, runny cheese and all sorts of meat. I lost weight. The secret is Balance. It tastes better.
About how often do you post to your blog?
2-3 times per week
Do you have a unique style in terms of your blogging and/or cooking?
I prefer rustic Mediterranean food with bold and spicy flavors, influenced by the cuisines of France, Italy, North Africa and the Middle East.
What are you doing when you are not food blogging?
I freelance write, develop recipes, cater and teach cooking.
What kind of food did you grow up eating and how did it influence your taste preference today?
I grew up in New England where we had lots of fresh fish and seafood. My parents enjoyed international cuisines such as Japanese, Chinese and French, so at an early age I was eating food from around the world. We also ate out in restaurants at least once a week - it was a way to celebrate the weekend. As a result, I’ve always been interested in restaurant food.
Based purely on cuisine, which country do you most want to visit?
What are your least favorite foods?
I confess that I don’t love a lot of Mexican food. I find the combination of tortillas, cheese, beans and meat too dense.
How do you decide which dishes to blog about? Do you follow a theme or overarching concept in your blogging?
I blog as I go - in other words what you see is what we eat.
Gooey or crunchy?
If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
What part do you find the most challenging about blogging? e.g. Finding content, photography, writing?
Keeping the writing fresh. Blogging is done in a vacuum to some extent, at home alone at the computer. It’s important to connect with other bloggers, writers, cooks and readers, which requires an effort and doesn’t happen often enough.
What blogs do you follow?
Many: either friends and colleagues’ blogs or blogs I admire for their aesthetics, style & sensibilities, or regional blogs that remind me of places I’ve lived, including Danish, British, French or Swiss blogs.
All images via: Lynda Balslev