The name on the label
Last year, as some of you may remember, my husband and I had a rocky but ultimately quite a perfect Valentine’s day. So this year I wanted another serving, more of the same, roses, perfume, oysters & wine. Inspired by “amour” I decided that the theme of my next post would be an amazing Valentine’s day menu paired with the most suitable wine of all, one with a heart on the bottle – Calon Ségur. I’ve told this story before but let me repeat it. Once upon a time a marquis, dubbed “prince of the vines” due to his extensive and numerous vineyards, declared that while he owned the most prestigious properties in France, his heart would always remain in Calon (St. Estèphe). So they put a heart on the bottle and it has remained so ever since. Now anyone who appreciates good wine will enjoy a bottle of Calon Ségur on any day of the year but it is never more appropriate than on special occasions or, in this case, on lover’s day. You can of course get a bottle in many wine stores but when you live 10 minutes away, going straight to the Château is just a little more fun. St Estèphe is my favorite wine-making village in Médoc, a tiny place with a huge reputation. A wine lover making a pilgrimage to St Estèphe might at first be slightly disappointed, thoughts of “Is this it?” might enter his head. A beautiful church, a wine store that is often closed, a great butcher hidden in a corner and a café that is sometimes open. But that’s what I love about it, the smallness, the quiet, it’s got that spaghetti Western feel and sometimes I half-expect Clint Eastwood to come blazing out of the church … to get some steak at the butchers. St Estèphe also has a curious local that used to be a bistrot and, in my opinion, should be again. I happen to have my hands full these days, in another equally charming but less famous village, but I hereby dare any of you to pack your bags and bring the place to life.
When we first moved to Médoc over 4 years ago we had no idea what to expect and I, still clinging to my city roots, kept stating that this was only an experiment. We used to say that whatever would come of it at least we’d be familiar with a part of France where some of the most amazing wines in the world are made. After the move when our friends and family asked us (often doubtingly) about our reasons my husband answered like this:
“One day we’ll be sitting in a restaurant in New York looking at the wine list and a smug sommelier will home in on us and recommend a wine from France. Then he will proceed to educate us on Bordeaux wines and, if he’s knowledgeable, talk about the particular village he’s suggesting. We will listen attentively, even smiling and at the end of the speech we’ll say “We’ll take that one”. And while we drink it we will know what it feels like to stand on a sunny day in front of the little church, we will know that down the hill from the village is the Gironde estuary where, mostly old men have fishing cabins and where, late in summer, there are endless stretches of colorful flowers. We will know what it feels like to walk amongst the vines at Calon Ségur, or cycle a bit further north where one of Châteaux has the most amazing old greenhouse in ruins.”
Nobody ever thought that was a very good answer but I guess it’s all about new experiences and simply knowing things. Knowing where things come from, where they are made and what the people making them are like.
In any case it’s a romantic idea and romance was on my mind in the days before Valentine’s day. Until I realized that we had other plans. Accidentally, without thinking of dates, we had scheduled a week-end with a lovely Norwegian/English couple, Anne & Tim who will be helping out with the workshops and the seasonal restaurant. Valentine’s day is not really made for 4 people who don’t know each other. (On this note I would like to say to all of you who have sent me letters regarding help for the seasonal restaurant that I continue to read them all as they come and no decisions have been made at all. I’m sorry it’s taking so long and I would have loved to answer you all quickly, but the sheer volume is staggering and our plans for the summer are still a bit unclear. But I promise I will answer you all and, if you are still interested, there will be an adventure in it for some of you).
Even if there was no romantic dinner, my husband still brought me red roses, he got the oysters and eventually there was candlelight for the whole family. But the best part of the day and the most unexpected came in the early afternoon when we were getting ready for a snack-lunch. In the beginning of the year two good fellows from Latresne brought us a piece of furniture that a friend had spotted at their antiques store. It’s an old counter from a textile store that I am sure will prove useful somewhere, I just don’t know where yet. When we were unloading the counter we spotted a huge closet in the lorry, something they had just picked up from it’s previous owner who wanted to sell it. It’s a gigantic piece of furniture, over 3 meters long. We simply fell for it and bought it on the spot. Some pieces needed fixing so we couldn’t have it immediately (difficult for the impatient me) but they promised to bring it soon. And they did – on Valentine’s day just as we were sitting down to lunch. My husband had two choices. Help them carry in the object and have cold lunch or invite them to join us and leave the carrying for later. It was an easy choice. So this unorthodox Valentine’s day was made even more so with the whole family, Anne and Tim plus the antiques dealers sitting together for a first meal at a table in one of the rooms we are preparing for my cooking workshops. And then my husband started photographing it all (this is now officially the longest photo caption in the world – but at least you get the picture).
My romantic Valentine’s day dinner was supposed to be very special and one of the things I wanted to make were cocoa crunch meringue sandwiches from Dorie Greenspan’s new book, ‘Baking Chez Moi’. My editor, Rica, sent me a copy of her book before Christmas and I have loved everything I have made from it. The idea of these little bijoux seemed so inviting and though I missed my chance to serve them on Valentine’s day the stubborn me still wanted to finish the menu. So on Sunday the 15th of February I started whipping up meringues in my kitchen, making a delicious chocolate filling and assembling them with the meticulousness of a master jeweller. My main thought, “I can’t let Dorie down – they have to be beautiful.” And they were, and oh so yummie delicious. Merci mille fois Dorie.
But my menu wasn’t finished yet, I had served the starter, a cauliflower salad, to the whole gang on the 14th, I had made the dessert but what about my main? Well I took care of it the next day, on Monday the 16th, the finest beef, rolled in pancakes and topped with a little rose made out of paprikas.
Sometimes you just have to finish the meal you started, even if it takes three days.
Me and Mr. Roberts.
Some weeks ago I got the news from my publishers at Random House/Clarkson Potter that the popular website, food52.com, had selected my cookbook, A Kitchen in France, as one of the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year. And as such it would be competing for the “Piglet” award, an entertaining tournament of cookbooks where books are pitted against each other in several rounds of play-offs until there is only one book left, the winner. There are several judges, one for each “fight” so the judges only gets one chance to “shine”. Should the book go on to the next round it is judged by another person. I was happy about this news but busy as we are I completely forgot about this upcoming tournament until my husband reminded me early last week. “I don’t think you’ll make it to the next round” he said. Then he explained what he was talking about. Apparently my book had been pitted against a book called Fancy desserts, written by the award-winning pastry chef of Del Posto restaurant in New York (I’ve been there twice – it’s great). My husband had done some research and said it seemed that the other book was very much a rock’n roll kind of book with clever, even funny writing and some very impressive recipes. So why wouldn’t my book stand a chance against that, I’m pretty happy about it, the recipes are good, tried and tested, I might not be an award-winning chef but surely I had a chance? My husband didn’t seem to think so, this book was in his opinion tailor-made for the judge in question, a certain Adam Roberts who has a food blog of his own, where clever & funny writing (if not quite rock’n roll) takes center stage and trumps aesthetics every time. Still, even if all was lost (which was fine with me – I’m not that competitive when it comes to cookbook tournaments) I was looking forward to a well written review, criticism or praise of one’s work can be helpful or at least interesting.
Well, I didn’t quite get my review, and Oddur was right, I did lose, badly. Instead of a well written, thoughtful review Mr. Roberts chose to have a bit of fun (as he has every right to) and do a little comic strip with images from the books, complete with blurbs of his “writing”. Not a bad idea although a slightly cheap&easy way to be funny. Anyone can be made to look foolish in a comic strip like that, imagine a photograph with Dalai Lama and Barack Obama. Above Dalai Lama is a blurb saying “I want to talk about world peace and human rights”. Above Obama’s head is a blurb saying “I want a burger”. I think you get the picture – simple little tricks often work best … and anyone can do it. My book apparently “rubs” Mr. Roberts the wrong way and he obsesses about what he conceives to be the main theme of the book, namely to illustrate that my life is better than anyone else’s. He does add, as an afterthought that “the food did look pretty fabulous”. In my mind food is the most important aspect of a cookbook, the recipes the very purpose of it (which is why a very large majority of the photographs in the book are food pictures). If the recipes work, if the food is fabulous the book is good. And I stand wholeheartedly behind my recipes, they are tried, tested and I love them all. Since the publication of A Kitchen in France we’ve had amazing reviews and incredible press and I couldn’t be more proud or thankful for each and every kind word that anyone has said or written about my book. I am even thankful for Mr. Roberts saying that the food looks fabulous. And I did find his “review” a little funny. A little. But there is another part of me that can’t help feeling that his approach is a bit shallow (which is fine since this is all in good fun and it’s good not to take things seriously, especially not cookbooks) but also a tad, dare I say it … sexist. Women don’t want to be judged on their looks, and neither do cookbooks. I said in my latest post that I was old-fashioned – just not that old-fashioned. If I was writing a review of Mr. Robert’s blog I don’t think he would take kindly to me mostly ignoring his writing, his recipes and focusing on his looks, his way of dressing, his photography or the design of his blog. Do we judge a theater performance by the décor of the room or the comfort of the seats? They can be important factors but never more so than the play itself. Mr. Roberts does go on to test two recipes from my book, one he likes the other less so. It’s worth mentioning that he makes a real mess of the second one, a classic couscous that’s truly good, not least if you actually follow the instructions in the book.
All this said, the review neither spoilt my mood or my morning, I simply shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself, in American style, “Whatever”. I may even have laughed a little. I’m still interested in the tournament and am hoping to see a few books that I like do well. I’m rooting for Dorie and Buvette (two spectacular cookbooks) and not offended at all, being a part of this selection has been an enjoyable if bizarre experience. Food52 – I’m still flattered.
I am a big believer in the “don’t explain, don’t complain philosophy” so I had absolutely no intention of writing about this. I want this blog to be light and airy, like a well made soufflé, yet with enough substance to brighten my readers’ day and “make them better, happier cooks”. But serious and cynical has never really been on the menu. Then add the fact that I’m married to an Icelandic man and it seems to me that a 1000 years later the old Viking philosophy of “if they chop off one of my legs I’ll stand on the other” is still very much alive in Iceland – I’ve never met a nation less prone to complaining. That sort of thinking has rubbed off on me.
Then Monday morning happened. Thanks to modern technology I can see where the traffic to my blog is coming from. On Monday a small number of people seemed to be streaming from a blog called www.thetipsybaker.com From time to time, and when I have time I like to see why they are coming, what or who has sent readers my way. This time, the blogger seemed to be defending me from Adam Roberts’s review, but only half-defending me.
“Maybe she’s oblivious” was the title”. And the answer is I’m not. I am proud to promote France, family life, thoughtful seasonal cooking, living life at a slower pace, spending time with our children. I am happy to promote the idea of carefully prepared meals, shared with friends and family as opposed to rushed meals in front of a computer screen. And my husband takes nice pictures, god bless him. But none of that means that I believe my life is better than anyone else’s, in fact I am certain it’s not. Who says a family in the countryside is happier than two married guys, living together in a city, perhaps with children or pets, sharing their lives and maybe even cooking fabulous meals. I don’t think there is a rule that you need children to be happy, although having had them I couldn’t imagine life without them. I don’t think you need to live in France, drink wine, eat meat to be happy. An old man living with his cat, eating sardines every day, looking out his window could be happy … or miserable, depending on the man and the circumstances. Happiness, quality of life cannot be the packaging of someone’s life – I think none of us really have the recipe for happiness but we know many of the ingredients and I’m trying to use them as well as I can.
And glamour isn’t happiness either. Talking again about Mr. Roberts (now it’s me who’s being obsessive) he has a partner who is also the director of a very good, critically acclaimed movie. And nothing is more glamorous than the movies. So are Mr. Roberts and his partner happier, is their life better than that of some other couple whose only brush with Hollywood is watching movies together in bed?
I mentioned earlier that I’m not big on complaining, I like to accentuate the positive, just being alive is something to be thankful for, and being alive with great food … But I’m happy to dispel the rumours that I’m wealthy. I’m not, money has never been my target. If it was I would have become a banker or even quicker, married one. We do have a beautiful old house but for anyone who thinks that is prove of wealth I urge them to check out real estate prices in Médoc as opposed to say, Brooklyn? And while I’m in confessional mood, and considering I’m breaking my cardinal rule of speaking out against criticism on the internet (which is usually a terrible idea) I might as well address another lingering issue. It’s the “curious infatuation with the low table”. I’ve been lucky enough since starting this blog and the other activities it has spurned to have mostly intelligent, thoughtful, engaging comments and questions. But every now and then someone, somewhere, questions my choice of working tables. It seems they are just too low. But here’s the thing. They are my tables, that I actually use. And I’m tall. We filmed two seasons for Canal+ and a number of people commented on the tables. My tables. So they brought in a new table for the third season. It was higher, more comfortable perhaps. But it wasn’t real. When I cook at home, when we make blog posts, we use the things that are already there. Strange as it is sometimes reality looks weird or fake and sometimes when things are faked to look real, they feel all wrong. So I say, let’s keep it real – always, even when reality looks strange.
Too cut it short I am not oblivious to the fact that certain aspects of my life and work might encourage irritation in some people, and with increased exposure comes increased responsibility to be … less irritating. That is absolutely fine with me, I have no problem with that, by putting myself out there, with my blog, my book I’m not expecting unquestioned approval but rather a healthy debate on cooking and life choices. But I am who I am, we live how we live, for better or for worse and I harbor no illusions that my life is extra special or better than that of most other people. I have lived in a city, in a small apartment which gradually got filled with kids and dogs and I was happy there too, most of the time anyway. Mr. Roberts, life is not a competition and I have no way of knowing if mine is better than yours but I’m pretty sure my food is 🙂
p.s. I haven’t really had the time to properly check out Mr. Roberts’s blog but I intend to … with an open mind. And while I’m still on the subject of Mr. Roberts I want to add that his “panel” looks simply adorable, what a collection of handsome men – guys I want YOUR life. We are opening a little seasonal restaurant here in Médoc this summer and I’d love to invite you for a feast. You might not come, but if you guys do, I promise to dazzle you – like they say in the movies, I’ll show you how it’s done!
Cauliflower and egg salad
1 head of cauliflower, separated into florets
3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 tablespoon plain flour
Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
A few sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and chopped finely
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & black pepper
8 slices of smoked duck magret (you can replace this by slices of fried pancetta or bacon)
For the lemon vinaigrette:
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard or whole-grain mustard
A pinch of salt & black pepper
Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until blended. Set aside.
Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with at least an inch or two of cold water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt (a little trick to make eggs easier to peel). Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full boil. Turn off the heat, cover and leave the eggs in the water for 12 minutes (add 5 to 7 minutes longer for larger eggs). Drain the saucepan and run cold water over the eggs. Peel the eggs and chop them finely. Set aside.
Put the butter in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter starts foaming. At this point cook the cauliflower and sprinkle the flour on top. When the cauliflower starts to be slightly golden, about a minute, set aside.
Place the cauliflower on a serving dish. Scatter the chopped eggs on top, sprinkle the parsley leaves. Place the duck magret on top, and season with the vinaigrette and a dash of salt & pepper. Grate the lemon zest all over.
Tournedos à la Russe (Tournedos Russian style)
4 tournedos/tenderloin beef fillets
3 red peppers/ poivrons rouges, deseeded and cut into thin slices
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 & 1/2 glass of red wine
80ml/ 1/3 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the crêpes/pancakes: (serves 4, about 20 crêpes)
125g/1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
60g/1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pinch of fine sea salt
350 ml/1 & 1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
Mix the crêpe batter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and make a well in the center. Add the eggs one by one to the well, whisking them into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the milk, followed by the melted butter. The batter should be smooth, without any lumps. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or, preferably, overnight in the refrigerator (remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking).
Cook the crêpes. Heat a lightly buttered crêpe pan or small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan, rotating the pan so it spreads evenly, and cook until just set and lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook on the other side until lightly golden, about 5 seconds. Transfer the crêpe to a plate and cook the remaining batter, stacking the crêpes as you make them.
Deseed the red peppers and slice them into thin strips. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the red peppers strips until cooked and soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the tournedos/tenderloin and fry for about a minute or 2 on each side, or a few minutes more if you refer medium or until cooked to your liking. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside & keep warm.
Keep the juices in the pan, add the red wine and the beef stock. Reduce to half and season with salt & pepper, add the nutmeg. Add a tablespoon of butter, stir until melted and when the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes, set aside.
Wrap a pancake around each tournedos fillet. Place the red pepper strips on top, creating a small rose figure. Drizzle with red wine sauce.
Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches, recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s ‘Baking Chez Moi’
For the meringues
1/4 cup/ 30 g confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup/ 30 grams almonds or walnuts, lightly toasted, cooled and very finely chopped
For the filling
2 ounces /57 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup/ 60 ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
These fall somewhere between traditional meringues and dacquoise, the French meringue made with nut flour. Instead of nut flour, I opt for chopped toasted nuts and end up with a cocoa meringue that’s airy (as it should be) and crunchy (as I always want it to be). While you can certainly make these in the classic kiss shape so popular for meringues, I prefer to pipe the batter into dainty disks and then sandwich them together with a thick layer of creamy dark chocolate ganache. Done this way, the sandwiches might remind you of another member of the meringue family: macarons. If you’re having a party, you can double (or even triple) this recipe.
To make the meringues: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Trace sixteen 2-inch circles on a piece of parchment paper, flip the paper over and use it to line a baking sheet. It will be your template for piping meringues. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whis attachment, or into a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer. Add the salt and beat the whites on medium speed until they start to turn opaque. Still beating, gradually add the sugar, then turn up the mixer speed to medium high and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the cocoa mixture to the meringue and, with a flexible spatula, start to fold the cocoa mixture into the meringue. When you’ve got half of the mixture in, add the nuts and continue to fold until everything is well incorporated. Take a peek at what’s happening at the bottom of the bowl; if something’s lurking there, fold it in.
Spoon half of the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ – inch tip (or use a zipper-lock bag ; seal it and then cut a ½ inch-wide opening from one of the corners) and pipe out circles onto the template. Start in the middle of a circle and work your way out in a spiral. Alternatively, you can spoon out mounds of meringue.
Bake for 90 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stay for another hour with the door closed.
Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, peel the paper away from the meringues.
To make the filling:
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream and butter to a boil in a microwave oven or on the stovetop. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and wait for 30 seconds, then, using a whisk, begin stirring the ingredients together, starting at the center of the bowl. Stir in gradually widening concentric circles until you have a dark, smooth, glossy ganache. Set the ganache aside to firm at room temperature – a process that could take 1 hour or more – or quick-chill it: Put the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water and stir the ganache until it firms enough to spread or pipe, 5 to 10 minutes. (You can also refrigerate the ganache for about 15 minutes ; just make sure you check on it so it doesn’t get too firm.)
To assemble the sandwiches: Fit a small pastry bag with an open or closed star tip (or use a snipped zipper-lock bag) and fill it with the ganache. Turn half of the meringues bottom side up and pipe a rosette or spiral of ganache on each. Top each with another meringue, bottom side down, and twist until the ganache spread and glues the sandwich together. (You can also spoon the ganache onto the meringues.) Refrigerate until firm.
341 thoughts on “My funny valentine & the meaning of life”
Tout est beau.. en effet superbe..
I am over the moon to ahve your book and Dorie’s..and I always feel like I want to make the author proud..
But ..your real..richesses..tous ces beaux enfants♥
C’est tellement beau chez vous.
Thank you Monique, I share your sentiments exactly. When I cook from other people’s cookbooks, and I do that quite frequently, I always think what the author would have thought of my execution. I imagine Dorie taking a bite out of “her” meringues and saying “Mimi, this is great but maybe you should have …” Mimi x
Exactly correct, the true riches are beaux enfants! Do not permit sour souls to taint your wonderful choices about life. What you do and how you share it with family, friends, antique delivery men, villagers and all your followers, is a beautiful way to live.
Mimi you ROCK!!!!!!
Your blog and book are both beautiful (as the reviews clearly indicate) and you should be proud of them. My life couldn’t be any different than yours as I live in the heart of downtown Chicago, married with no children, and have career that requires me to travel and stay in a hotel 3 nights/wk. However, I love the deliciousness of your food, the fantasy Odur’s photos bring to me, and the openness with which you share your life. Thank you for your honesty, and I think your approach in handling this uncomfortable situation has been with tremendous grace. I hope to make it over to Medoc to meet you in person some day.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for your kind words. Throughout my life people I’ve read about have inspired me to dream and, occasionally, to act. If I can inspire people to come visit Médoc that’s just perfect. I happen to know a small bistrot in St Yzans that will be open in the summer. I know the owner and I’ll save you a seat … and perhaps a meringue 🙂 Mimi x
The people who like “Fancy Desserts” can have their overwrought food. For me, your beautiful, simple, inspiring cookbook is perfect.
Hi Hans, I agree with you that simple food is very often the best and what people enjoy the most. But I have been to Del Posto and the food is pretty darn good there. So while I haven’t seen the book myself I wouldn’t be surprised if the fancy desserts turn out to be delicious too. Thanks for commenting and I’m so happy you enjoy my cookbook. Mimi x
Dear sweet Mimi. It warms my heart that you have such a positive attitude about all the judgment that gets thrown at people like you who put their thoughts/images/recipes/life out there.
Your beautiful snapshots/blog posts are so nice to look at. As many of us are all here in the trenches of motherhood, slogging away at meal after meal whilst wiping this and that, and trying to connect with others, I find your posts something to remind me that this life can be and is beautiful. Thank you for being yourself and sharing it honestly with me. Your fan, Angela
Thank you Angela! You capture perfectly the message I try to send out through this blog, which is that despite the challenges of everyday life (and the far bigger challenges that some people have to face), life is still beautiful and we must never loose sight of that. Mimi x
Should I apologize due to the fact that I very much enjoy your writing, and those recipes in your cookbook I’ve tried have worked for me. Perhaps, Mr. Robert’s misread the recipe or perhaps he is not really a cook. And then again, perhaps he suffers with the Green Eye monster on his shoulder, wishing he too was as photogenic as you, your children, your home, your family and friends (including the dogs). I think it best to follow the Icelandic saying you quoted. I still am hoping one day to join you in Medoc for a cooking lesson or two.
Dear Tomi, please join us for the workshops and yes I accept your apology 🙂 I don’t think that Adam Roberts suffers from life envy towards me, in fact I think he’s probably very happy with his own life. But I find he acted a bit clumsily in his efforts to be funny. That’s all. Mimi x
Adam’s comments were mean spirited, in my opinion. It is perfectly fine that he did not like the book, photos, food, whatever. The tone of his post was not funny and very critical. His judgement should have focused more on the food. Your blog is beautiful and your lifestyle does make some people jealous because they cannot imagine living the way you do. Some people think that you must be rich in order to do so. I’ve traveled a good bit and I know that the way you live is normal for rural France. Keep being yourself, Mimi.
Good grief…I’m so glad you have a comment section. As someone who has followed your blog and bought your cookbook (and loved every bit of it) I have never, ever felt that you were trying to portray your life as better than anyone else’s. What you do portray is someone with a passion for beauty in the world…whether that beauty be found in food, family or your surroundings. xx
I agree. I think you have a wonderful site and all your happy observations about life,
food & wine are a joy to read and share. Your audience matters more than any critic
because they appreciate and understand your value. Thank you for writing a lovely
cookbook. It has inspired me to make the effort to present a beautiful table with
delicious meals for my family to enjoy instead of rushing through them.
I was going to say the same thing! I love your blog because you’re so happy in your life. I’ll never be the cook you are, but I do aspire to be as happy as you are.
Hi Rebecca, I have nothing to add to that 🙂 Mimi x
One of the glorious points of having a blog like yours in my life is that I get to, for a moment, dream about what it might be like living on the other side of the world in an old French house. Your blog is meaningful to me. I find your openness and kindness, your creativity and storytelling to be such a favorite moment, that I open your post the second I get it. You’re loved for who you are and how you encourage my life in the simplest of ways… never change~
I echo this-beautifully said…
Thank you Kelly and Claire, Mimi x
Dearest Mimi. I read all that you write – your website, your cookbook, your instagram. I first fell in love with your food because I liked the way you talked about life. For me a dish can be presented nicely, photographed beautifully, even taste incredible. And all of yours do. But what separates you is the way you tell a story. As much as I love each and every recipe in your cookbook and on your website, I completely devour the stories about Medoc, how you came there, the challenges, the highs and lows, when you lost your dogs (and initially felt despair followed by elation to have them returned), the birth of your daughter, to the cold mornings, to shelling fava beans with your kids. I want to cook your food because of the emotion you make me feel when I’m making it. I’ve never felt that you have tried to make your life better than mine, I feel inspired reading your website. Inspired to have a large family. Reminded that at every important large and small milestone, there is food. You are so wonderful and provide the most amazing place for escape. I think your work can be judged on both the performance (the food) but also the stage (your family and life), because both, are simply wonderful.
We done Anne, my thoughts exactly!
Hi Anna, I am so glad to hear this. In some ways I think I am writing this blog for the other, more hectic me who would be living in a city but might be on the lookout for a recipe, a little story. Reading your comment it reminds me exactly why I started this blog. Thank you, Mimi x
Exactly. So well said. Somebody asked me a couple of weeks ago why I like this blog so much and it was exactly this – it reminds me how wonderful life can be. It values life, and family, and friendship and nurturing and it is the opposite of my life is better than yours. It is in no way a competetive blog (as some most definitely are) and it is incredibly inspirational, from the tiniest observations to the whole living the dream. Anyway..you said it better!
I received your book, A Kitchen in France, as a Christmas present from my daughter. As a collector of cooking books and amateur cook, this book has become my favorite of French cuisine, rooting out Anne Willan’s LaVarenne’s Paris Kitchen. I particularly enjoy the stories and beautiful pictures in the book and on your blog.
Continuez votre beau travail
Hi Denis, hearing from people like you who have my book and like using it, makes my day every time, thank you 🙂 Mimi x
Thank goodness we have people following their dreams and sharing with others. Live your blog, recipes and life! You go girl!!!
Thank you Maureen, I will 🙂 Mimi x
Ohh, this was fun to read! Merci! Merci!
Friends come to dinner the day after tomorrow. I’d planned the endive and jambon and now will add the cauliflower and egg salad. We have a misting rain here on the island today so your book is out to the sweets pages wondering about market fruits. I love today’s blog!!!
That’s a relief Bill, I was worried I was getting too serious 🙂 You can’t imagine how often I’ve cooked the endive and jambon this winter, it’s almost embarrassing. Go for the desserts and good luck with your dinner party, Mimi x
Oh brother! What an irritation. You certainly don’t deserve that or need it, but I’m incredibly proud of how you’ve written about it. Very well done Mimi. My grandfather used to advise us by saying, “If something bad happens in your life then hold your head high and act as decently as possible.” Good advice and you’ve achieved that marvellously. I get a little of that myself, you know, I’m a photographer and I know how to style most photos and I blog about lovely things and so it seems like my life is charmed and, while mine nowhere near as popular as your blog is, some people still feel envious and sometimes act badly. Never mind. I’m a big fan your the book and love the way its written, I love Odur’s photos, love remembering the last time I was in France thru your eyes, love remembering my days back at Cordon Bleu. I always look forward to your posts and Odur’s photos, and anticipating the next book. Big hugs.
i totally agree with Veronicas words!
Psst: Because of your beautiful blog we are planing a trip to Medoc this summer- I hope to be a guest in your restaurant, too. My sicilian husband has still the doubt that any other wine in the world could be better than an italian but i think he will get a big surprise:)
Enjoy spring, i´m remembering that many birthdays are coming soon.
All the best, Aileen
And I always look forward to your comments 🙂 Will hold my head high, Mimi x
I did read the review on Food52 and was surprised by the “dig”, it was mean-spirited and as you said, superficial. While I have always thought you are blessed to be beautiful, I knew that your inside is also beautiful and kind. I enjoy being transported by the photography and hearing about a slice of your life. The way you write is like getting a letter from a good friend.
Thank you Lyn, when you say it I guess I am writing to a friend – except he’s many people. Mimi x
I’m not quite sure what those ‘reviewers’ were on about. Your cooking is what is most salient in both this blog and your cookbook.
I lead a very different life to you with perhaps only a love of cooking in common. But I don’t just read your blog or cookbook for the recipes. I read them also for inspiration.
Seeing you work hard at a career you seem to love with a family you also love makes me believe I can do the same and so to can my other female friends (and of course, we can).
Best wishes from Australia,
Hi Kate, As I’ve said before there is no one objective to me writing this blog, I suppose I do it for a number of reasons. But one of the most satisfying results is if it can inspire people to … do whatever they like. Of course you can! Mimi x
and you nailed it! nice job Miss Mimi !
Merci, Mimi x
Oh dear Mimi, you are just so beautiful and graceful in this situation. I think you are wonderful the way you share your world with the rest of us, so open and giving to everyone who reads your blog. Somehow you manage to welcome us all into your little place in France. I for one plan to visit you this Summer all the way from Australia. Oh, and I just received your print. It is divine.
Hi Judy, I think it’s important to always remain dignified in any situation. You are more than welcome and I’m glad you finally received your print (wow that was long) 🙂 Mimi x
I love all that you do. I had a lovely friend visit recently and I made her your carrot ginger soup. We loved it…She went home and made it for her family. You are such an inspiration, incredibly so. I am so elated each time I see a new post from you, not only to see the lovely images your blessed husband takes of your life, but to savor in the beautiful food you make with such love.
Sending best wishes from New England.
Thank you Catherine, I love that soup and I’m happy that the blog brightens your day. Mimi x
I too love the carrot and ginger soup! Very delicious. And I have just received your book in the mail and can’t wait to get cracking on your artichoke tartlets. Yes, I’m only up to page 26!
All the best from Adelaide,
Mimi, you don’t need to justify anything to anyone. Revel in what you are doing!
Particular thanks – I’d been waiting for this post – had been watching on facebook the, let’s say, the ‘amuse bouchée’. I’d not heard of Dorrie Greenspan and will bake vicariously now I have the recipe. Hope to make them soon.
Hi Jude, I just felt it was a good moment to speak out, so I did – hope it wasn’t too boring 🙂 And those crunchy meringues, just decadent in the best possible way. Dorie is such a thorough recipe writer that you can’t go wrong with her wonderful book. Mimi x
Quel plaisir de voir vos émissions et de vous lire ici à Montréal.
Ça me relaxe de vous voir et de vous lire.J’ai hâte d’essayer vos recettes.
Il semble y avoir de la jalousie venant de certaines personnes et comme vous dites ” whatever!”
Bien à vous xx
Jo-Ann, Je suis tout à fait d’accord – whatever 🙂
OH, Mimi: what an ass that reviewer was. My darling father taught me at a very young age that “jealousy takes many forms.” This form is blatantly clear. I AM, however, going to send a comment to food52, More on that later.
I love your book so much and have had sensational results with every single recipe I’ve tried. In fact I have a group of friends who all have copies but don’t cook quite as much as I do and they constantly ask for reports on my latest “Mimi Thorisson success.”
We have just booked our tickets for a trip to France in September–a week in Paris, a week biking along the Atlantic coast and then a few days in your area. I know your plans are still a-birthing, but I’m hoping, hoping, hoping your restaurant will be open one of the evenings we’re there.
Gorgeous post. As usual. Glad you are becoming cyber friends with Dorie Greenspan–one of the blessings of my life is that she is a dear friend of mine. And you know how sweet, fun and talented she is in print? Well, quadruple that for her in person. Just like, I strongly suspect, you. xxx
Hi Casey, I am as ever so happy to hear from people who enjoy cooking from my book. In the end, when you strip away all the other stuff – that is all that matters. Our plans with the restaurant are still evolving but I’ll certainly keep you posted and even if we’re closed you could always pop in for an “apéro”. Any friend of Dorie’s is a friend of mine, even if we’re just cyber friends. What you say about Dorie just confirms what I have heard of her from others, not least my editor, Rica (another wonderful person) who has worked with her in the past. Long live Dorie and her sweet creations 🙂 Mimi x
When I read your blog I do allow myself to fantasize about living in a big old house out in the country with many dogs and children as if it is all wonderful. (In reality I know you have problems like all of us do from time to time.) Your life and you are beautiful, so there will be people who wish you well, and those who sadly will be envious. I would avoid reading their pettiness.
Hi Diane, I certainly don’t search the internet looking for negative things about me, and if I found them I would just ignore them – water off a duck’s back. But this “review” was done in somewhat official capacity and after some deliberation I just felt like talking about it, simple as that. I lived in Paris some years ago and (sometimes) had a rather reluctant fantasy of living in the countryside. 4 years later I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Fantasies come true if you want them to. Thanks for your comment, Mimi x
Here’s the issue, Americans in general have a huge problem understanding the cultural and “la vie quotidienne” differences between France and the US (country or city). But especially life in the country. I’ve been coming to France for 30 years and have spent much of my time in the countryside. An amazing change comes over your existence when you are able to experience French country life. Everything slows down, you have a grasp of a completely different type of reality. Your beautiful photographs convey a life that’s really quite normal but the canvas on which it’s portrayed is unlike most country life one might find in the US. That’s the beauty of France.
It’s interesting, some women friends that viewed the cookbook immediately get defensive… or jealous. It’s interesting to observe. But you’ve been able to create a family life and a business from your home and that is a stretch for most people. When I first discovered your blog, my first thought was, there’s a cookbook coming. Et voila…
My girlfriend and I are always looking for ways to incorporate more French cooking into our lives. We have a ton of French cookbooks (30+), but there’s some that are more accessible than others, and yours is easily one that will get used more than probably all of the others.
I am a huge defender of all things French to people I know and encounter. One French friend says I deserve the Légion d’honneur for my work on behalf of France 😉 One day my girlfriend said to me, stop trying to convince everyone how great France is, the people that don’t understand, you don’t want them in France anyway. I think a bit of that’s true for your cookbook as well. The critique is difficult to take, but it’s not for everyone to understand or appreciate.
All I can say is that France makes everyone look good, including me 🙂 Mimi x
#regsf. First interesting comment here. I am a French person living in the US and I know what you mean. (The other comments that got published here come nowhere close to a debate: they’re just a.. kissing.)
Oooo…what a stupid and totally biased review. Quite unpleasant, really. And I don’t think that I think that just because I adore your book and your blog…it’s just, crap really. He goes into more detail about the making of the puddings and I mean, for goodness sake…honeycomb, seriously!? That’s barely a recipe and, definitely can’t be taken as an indicator of whether a recipe book has good recipes that work in it.
The sad thing is, your recipe book is bloody brilliant – as is your blog. Scratch beyond the rich and beautiful ‘packaging’ (which I absolutely love) and what you have are good, honest recipes that always always work. And another thing…you write beautifully!?
And another another thing…whatever the reference.., how in the hello is writing THIEF in ketchup not just, well, a little bit pretentious? I dunno. Each to his own. But it’s a sad representation of your book.
And also…there are a couple of bookstores that have commented saying that they didn’t stock the book because the cover irked them (I guess they have to make a choice somehow) but….THE RECIPES ARE EXCELLENT.
Hi Susie, Bloody brilliant – the recipes are excellent! Keep it coming Susie, but all kidding aside, can’t wait to have you over, here’s to spring in Médoc, good wine, better food and good times 🙂 Mimi x
I love your recipes, book, blog and the photos.
Shake it off… I think.
Love to meet you in Medoc someday.
Hi Tammy, I didn’t need to shake it off, as I said somewhere above – like water off a duck’s back. To future encounters … in the Médoc. Mimi x
Mimi, your blog is the only one I really, really read and I love the story of your life and your wonderful recipes (and your excellent writing). Life’s too short to worry about negative people and I wish you well in all your endeavours.
Thank you Veronica, Mimi x
You handle criticism with elegance and grace. Your heart is big and it shows. When some people see what they wish they had they tend to lash out. Thus, is the idiotic human condition of all time.
(As for me, I live by the motto “Don’y hate! Appreciate!! ^_^)
I know very keenly the lashing tongues of critics. Being an artist myself, I have been dissected by them constantly throughout my life. Heck, I’m dealing with it now at work and it had been affecting my very performance. I begin to self doubt. But, reading your reaction to the article made me pause. “I am who I am” is poignant. Yes, you are you, and for the millions of people who love and appreciate you and your work there will always be “those” people. The people who question and judge which they do not understand. They don’t understand your heart and the hard work you put into your craft; your life. They know nothing of you and simply use you as an excuse to plume their feathers. It makes them feel powerful and worthy. It makes them feel bigger and prouder in a russe to mend their crippling insecurity. Today in digital media it has become a popular pastime to bring people down. Respect is of the past because now there is a “protective” barrier between human interaction. You no longer have to look someone in the eye to say something in their face. You have a soulless screen and anonymity so you can be as scathing as you want and you can flavor it with humor as justification.
Well I’m sorry but it isn’t funny. It is tasteless. I may not be as eloquent as a cookbook critic but as a consumer, as a reader, and as a person, I find it lacking sophistication.
Therefore, as we all (especially as women- sorry I had to put it out there) are judged in our various ways, we know that our hearts are strong even when we put it out there for criticism. Be strong as you always are. One should never ever have to apologize for being awesome. You and your family have touched countless lives with your warmth. All others who deem themselves worthy to challenge that take on the importance of a passing breeze most foul.
Stick to your path and your brilliance. It was God given and shall never be dimmed.
Thank you for these darling recipes! I just LOVE you Valentines posts each year! Also, your approach to food and life has touched and changed my life and has helped me through the darkest of my days.
Also, I apologize for the long comment. But, I could not help but respond as food and art are passionate to my heart and your blog contains more than food but a passion for life.
Hi Tiffany, your comment could not be more touching, thank you ever so much for sharing. It’s one of the privileges of writing this blog to receive honest, heartfelt, emotional opinions like yours. Thank you! Mimi x
On the day food52 posted your “competition” with the desserts book, I commented on food52’s post “A Kitchen In France Is Amazing!” I wanted you to win so badly but desserts are very trendy right now. Gourmet desserts, fancy versions of old/simple desserts…it’s just what’s trendy. And, not to say the other book isn’t worthy because it’s a lovely book, but a lot of people in the food world praise what’s trendy, not what’s necessarily good. Your book is hands down one of my all time favorites. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks that! I made your garlic soup actually just last night and it was amazing. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about your book or about your blog. Your book represents everything all of your fans love about you. Maybe he’s just jealous.
Thank you Natalie, I’m so happy that my book pleases you. Keep cooking – oh that garlic soup, must make it again soon 🙂 Mimi x
I am certainly envious of your life, but your blog/book just inspire me to make my own life more beautiful and enjoyable in the circumstances and place I’m in. Merci mille fois!
Ashley, as they say “that’s the spirit” (and I don’t mean the envious of my life part but the “inspire me to make my own life more beautiful” part). Thank YOU a thousand times, Mimi x
Dearest Mimi, you are a class if your own and even if the review was strangely untrue and annoying in my opinion, you are a special someone who sees things in positive light with a creative purpose and that critique person LOL is just envious and unpleasant … Opposite of you… So we can’t let people like this take themselves seriously and that is that! Love Z
Here’s to positive thinking! Mimi x
Mimi- I just love your blog and get overly excited when you have a new post! I don’t find your writing judgy or self-important in the slightest. I live in Washington, D.C. and grew up in L.A. I enjoy seeing the luxurious photographs your husband takes as it transports me to a different part of the world. I happily bought your cookbook and have made several recipes, dishes I once would have thought too cumbersome or technically challenging. But since I feel like I almost know you, I knew that if you included it in your book, it must be do-able for the average person! Please keep writing and sharing with us. xoxo
Hi Erin, this is so much fun that I’ll keep this up until all of you are completely fed up with me … and then I’ll still keep going, thanks for commenting, Mimi x
Your blog is stunning. The photos evoke a yearning in me- for the country, for the family you’ve created, the time and love you put into your food, the friendships, the adventures, the love of husband. But that’s not a bad thing. I don’t resent you for it. I love that you feel called to share it with us. Don’t stop. And thank you!
Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your kind words and as I said earlier, nobody can make me stop 🙂 Mimi x
Thank you for your honesty. You do have a life I for one envy- but in the good way – no green eyed monsters here! I like hearing your voice- it makes you much more real – hate all lollipops and rainbows. Remember people anything worth having is worth working for. I imagine you have enough work with kids, dogs and husband – let alone cookbook, chef, author, remodel…… and on and on.
So don’t quiet the complaining – let her out every now and then – she makes the rest of it all the more meaningful.
Hi Christa, despite appearances this is a truly honest blog and that’s why I decided to share my thoughts on the Piglet affair with all of you – I know it’s a bit out of the ordinary but I feel I did the right thing. Thanks for commenting, Mimi x
I completely commend you for responding in such a confident, gracious way. Instead of being envious of your life, you inspire me to find beauty in my own.
You are lovely, inspiring and a role model for doing what you love and sharing it with the world. Opening yourself up (especially as a blogger) makes you vulnerable, but I thank you for taking that chance and opening up your kitchen, your life to us in such a beautiful way.
Amber, we should never stop looking for beauty in our lives, I truly believe that and if I can inspire others, even in a very small way, that’s all I wish for. Mimi x
Oh dear. I did see that review on another food blog. I think bless him he had a bee in his bonnet and it had everything to do with him and nothing with you. There’s a saying from someone I now can’t remember but love. I think you will too. it goes something like; you could be the ripest juiciest peach in the orchard and someone somewhere just doesn’t like peaches. It was certainly a mean spirited review but dust yourself down and continue shining anyway. Easier said than done I know! Some people hate to see others happy and lead lives they themselves wish they had the courage to. A whole lot more are inspired and wish you well. At the end of the day it’s good to be a ripe, juicy peach. he’s the one missing out! x
Oh yes, it’s true! Dita von Teese said it! 🙂
Great quote/saying. I shall remember that one. Ta.
Hi Mary, that’s a lovely quote – you have now contributed to my favorite sayings database. And I love peaches, even when they are apples. Mimi x
Pay NO ATTENTION to people like that. They are just jealous of your beautiful life. You.can’t.do.everything. How someone could attack a person who brings such joy sharing things as you do, I do not know. But take the cream and kick over the milk… let the suckers have the dirty milk. I admire you thoroughly.
Well Kevin, I’d rather share the cream and let the dogs have the dirty milk, they don’t mind. But I do appreciate your support and I’m very happy that you like my blog. I guess I have more women readers so a man’s perspective is very welcome. Thank you, Mimi x
Dear Mimi, I am sorry for the time and effort it took for you to respond to what’s-his-name’s assessment of your lovely book. Even though you made every effort to lessen the importance of his opinion in the grand scheme of things and even though you were very careful to be as kind as possible in questioning his objectivity, I still felt, between the lines, that you were wounded by this stranger who chose to draw the attention to his cleverness at your expense. It is sad that there seems to be an assumption out there that being happy, or beautiful, or successful in any way makes you fair game for negative attacks. I don’t know if it is envy or something else but to my mind it only shows off the smallness of the attacker. I wish you and your loved ones joy and health and I look forward to savoring those delicious morsels you share with the world. The message, I think, is to draw beauty, love and mindful appreciation into our own lives as best we can. We make our own story. It is not about diminishing the stories others have created for their lives.
Hi Donna, I’m not sure I was wounded but once in a while you have to show your teeth. I’ve learned that from my dogs, especially the females 🙂 Mimi x
I have just read Mr Roberts review which I thought was so unpleasant and unnecessary. To criticise your cookery book on the grounds that you are beautiful & happy with your life is just appalling. In his blog he blatantly brags about his partners film ad nauseam. What a very silly superficial man. I agree with all the comments so far and like your other readers I really love your blog. Keep on doing what you are doing because it is wonderful.
Hi Jill, thank you for your comment and your support. I’m not sure that Mr. Roberts is a silly man but even the best of men can have silly moments. Mimi x
Dear Mimi, I’m sorry that you have to put up with such sophomoric behavior on the part of Mr Roberts. Thank you for having the courage to put yourself in the public limelight, as we all of course benefit from your beautiful work. I live in Venice, CA and I have three small boys and I am at times overwhelmed, Your work and cookbook have inspired me in countless ways. My middle son who is 10 paged through it and begged me to make meringues, which are now a staple in our household. You bring beauty and the values of community and healthy food to us and I am grateful. Cheap shots and superficiality don’t add to the conversation. Your lovely kind personality shines through your work, and if he had bothered to do his homework, he would have seen that. X
Hi Allison, I am so glad that I have been able to contribute to your life, even in a small way. And here’s to homework, which leads to enlightenment. Mimi x
I just want to say how much I appreciate your blog posts and photos. They bring me a tremendous amount of pleasure during a very difficult winter. Thank you. I also admire your very well written response today. I am a writer recently stung by a review that I also found mean spirited and more reflective of its writer than of my work, so I sympathize. Let me also say that while I love food, I am not a cook who could take on the recipes you make at this point in my life; that doesn’t make me any less appreciative, just realistic. Thank you again for sharing your life and your love of food, you have lifted me up and transported me more than once and for this I am grateful! I hope one day to come to your school in Médoc.
Amy, you should absolutely visit us in the Médoc, like they said in one of my favorite films, Ratatouille, anyone can cook! Here’s to honest reviews! Mimi x
Mimi, I receive newsletters from Food52 but never really paid attention to their cookbook tournament until I read your post today. I took a look at the whole Piglet thing, I read the reviews this Roberts fellow wrote, I got more smug attitude out of it than straightforward review, I thought I’d better have a look at his blog to understand where he’s coming from. Okay, I’m educated now – he’s what we call a “pipsqueak”, Mimi. I looked at some of the comments from the press, one referred to him as a “nebbish” – pretty much the same thing. Sometimes people like Roberts use an invitation like this as a format to promote themselves. The review was really for and about Roberts. I took a little time and wrote a comment for him suggesting he have a read of “Travels in Time”, your post from April last year. It might give him a touch of insight into what you’re about, and the writer you are, but it probably doesn’t matter to him. At least, not at this stage in his life. You’ve receive outstanding reviews from some really accomplished names – Alice Waters for one !! Goodness, she’s culinary royalty in America. These days Jodi Williams’ “Buvette” and your book are the 2 constants by my side in my kitchen – a dedicated professional chef next to an inspired home cook. How lucky am I to have such brilliant kitchen companions ?
My husband, Matt, is going to love the cauliflower & egg salad recipe ! You know, one of the things I adore about your recipes is that they lend themselves to interpretation, they’re not written in stone. Lots of love to you, Mimi.
I have been reading your blog for years now and I would have never said that you are the kind of person who portrays her life to make other people jealous, better than other people. I understand that you were touched by the comic…in the end there is always a little bit of truth in every joke…I think Mr. Roberts never read your blog and didn’t read your book either….at least carefully :-). I only read two food blogs and yours is one of them. I love your story and your recipies….almost everything I tried worked beautifully! And don’t even eat meat. LOL. Good luck!
Dearest Mimi, I am reading this while having breakfast in Siem Reap, Cambodia (holiday) and I feel you so much.
Since I started reading your blog, I never found you to be pretentious or portraying a life better than anyone else’s. Your life inspires envy but portraying a better life is not your raison d’être and I think it comes through in your writing, the photos, and the meticulous recipes you painstakingly write. Anyone can tell (can’t they??) that your photos really do reflect your life.
Negativity on the internet always makes me feel a little down. I feel that everyone is entitled to their opinions but words carry weight and if carelessly used, can hurt.
I am in Cambodia where there is poverty everywhere, children are dusty and dirty while the people slog under the hot sun everyday. And then I think how this internet negativity is such a privilege of the lucky half of the world, and we don’t realise it !
Anyway I hope you won’t let these articles get you down and continue cooking & writing and delighting us visually!
Bisous, Jasmine qui aime les Tartines hehe 😉
Your blog brings me such happiness and a glimpse of lovely that sends me off with a spring in my step to give my daughter an extra kiss, my cat a loving scratch, and to truly relish the food I’m preparing for my family. It makes me look at my tiny back yard and sigh that I am so lucky I get to grow a little garden. I take away a “joie de vivre” that translates into my own circumstances. Though if my life were a “pick your own adventure” it would probably look a little more like yours. But my lack of misery in my own life allows me to take happiness in all things lovely and try to intensify the loveliness around me. Thank you for your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for loving your family and your life and trying to maintain an air of “life is glorious” on an oftentimes miserable platform: the internet. I am savoring your cookbook. I will only cook these recipes seasonally! (for now 🙂 ) Thank you for helping others (myself included) become better cooks by trying new things, and for helping many (myself definitely included) walk away from the internet beaming with a “life is glorious” feeling.
We have not met, but will in March, cooking class… I adore you and your life.
It brings me peace, and hope and something to work toward….
We all know happiness is an inside job….I do not think Mr. Roberts knows this…. your inner happiness radiates from within you to all those fortunate enough to spend time with you. You show it through your passion for food, cooking and sharing it, with whomever happens to be within knocking distance of your generous front door….
I say carry on with wine and roses, you do have a beautiful life, you are blessed, and have earned through tireless work, every beautiful moment that comes your way. See you soon! Be well Linda
I feel saddened that Mr. Roberts doesn’t get it…that life is for dreaming and Living the Ultimately Life in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. There is great beauty and substance in your life, work and environment. I would give anything to pack up my bags and move to Paris or the South of France, but that is not my destiny. In the meantime, I have your blog to take me there through your great writing, every day experiences, great photography and especially The Food. It’s all about the Great French Food. Stay true to yourself, you’re a great Artist. Blessings to you and your family.
So sorry you had to experience such a mean and petty review of your lovely book. When someone feels the need to criticize beauty, in and of itself, ignoring everything else; it only serves to reflect the ugliness of the critic. You should not be deterred. xoxo
Oh, Mimi, I am so sorry about that review. You are such a warm, open person that really inspires us and for me, gives me that opportunity to “escape” every once in awhile. I love your blog and your recipes (none of which has ever failed to be delicious!)
Mimi, I can only add to what everyone has already said. It’s sad that Mr Roberts didn’t get it but hey, there are so many of us who do! I love your writing style, it’s what really pulls me in and makes me dream. Plus your husband’s photos are yes, quite dreamy too. But I certainly have never felt you did anything smugly. If anything, the message I have always received is to enjoy and explore what is around you (oh yes, and of course make good food). I hope his review, which had so little thought behind it, doesn’t edit your approach or the photos you share with us. xo,Rebecca
Dearest Mimi…Don’t give the naysayers another thought! We love everything you share with us and we SO look forward to each new blog entry. The dogs, the kids, the food, the Icelandic husband, the countryside, the locals, and, finally, YOU! Most of us love our own lives, menus, and families, but we don’t have the courage and generosity to do what you do, and share what we love with the world. Embrace your fortune in life, and let no one steal that beauty from you!
So strange but I’m pretty sure I tweeted Adam about your blog a couple of years ago! He was asking for our faves and I mentioned yours. I could be wrong but I think he replied “I’ll have to check it out”. That just makes me proud that found you before he did! I’ve read both his books and found them entertaining but I think you are very different bloggers. Yours is aimed definitely toward beauty as well as food and it’s one of the reasons I still read it. I don’t read his anymore. Also, I found you to be very genuine with your replies to comments! Most people with your traffic don’t do that. It’s makes your readers feel good to be acknowledged. I’m blathering on but the only other food blogs that I gave continued to read including yours also focus on beauty-Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker and you. Keep up the excellent work (I got your book for Christmas and once my new puppy calms down, I’m actually going to cook from it!)
mimi you are blessed + good looks, great recipes, lovely children and a beautiful husband that takes great photos + blessing to you and your family. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com
Please forget, quickly, the terrible comments by the dreaded Mr.Roberts. Instead, please remember that I, and many others, light up when your posts ping into our inboxes. I simply love your posts! The ability to be transported into your little corner in France is like a monthly vacation. Not the stressful, must see everything, type of vacation. Rather, the staying with friends and being served all of your favorite dishes-vacation. Thank you for your hard work and dedication-I truly appreciate all you share with us!
Yes, yes indeed! I agree…
Living well is the best revenge, as they say. I’ve been reading your blog for years and making lots of your recipes. I, for one, hope you file that silly review exactly where it belong. In the trash receptacle. Keep living well and don’t apologize for beauty, physical or otherwise. XX
The snarky comments of Mr. Roberts remind me of your earlier post about the criticism by someone who felt you were glorifying domesticity at the expense of feminism. (You said, brilliantly, that even if you were the CEO you would still buy your own pastries.) I don’t know why it can’t all happily coexist for some people, but, sadly, there you have it. Those of us who eagerly await each new blog post, who devour your instagrams and facebook postings, who can’t wait for your youtube channel, who dream of spending a couple of days cooking with you in your new home, know that you don’t consider yourself any better than anyone else. Everything you write is suffused with your gratitude for the gifts of your life. The hateful people have a big gaping hole in their own lives they can’t get past, and make their envy a weapon. Ignore them, keep living your life and doing what you do so well. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us.
I wanted to tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog. During a busy day, when nothing seems to be going right, I read your blog and start to look at my life in a new and grateful light. Honestly, I have yet to make one of your recipes (I promise I will!), but it’s your writing, the photography and the heart that is in the writing that inspires me to live life with gusto. Thanks for giving us all inspiration and beauty in an increasing turbulent world.
Dear Mimi –
I have always admired you for your grace and warmth. I have been following your blog for quite some time and I never found you to come across as pretentious or acting superior… on the contrary.
All I can say about the unfortunate review is that I find it motivated by jealousy. He probably wishes he was you! He’s a petty and juvenile idiot to take such cheep shots. If I hadn’t seen a photo of him on his blog, I would have guessed he was still in high school…
I couldn’t be happier for your success and hope to make it to your restaurant in the near future.
sending you much love from New York,
Perhaps Mr. Roberts doesn’t understand the beauty of losing oneself in another place and culture; getting to peer inside of another way of life for just a few minutes. It’s not better or worse. Just different. I’m so happy that you share your delicious recipes and gorgeous photos with us. I love the short occasional visits to the French countryside that they allow me.
Mimi, when I cook from your lovely book, I have the pleasure of preparing beautiful meals for those I love, then whisked away to a lovely countryside where the lighting is always perfect. Well done.
Sent you an email but who knows if that will work. Loved your Valentine’s blog. “You go girl” as my wife would say. Anyway, she saw your “Wellies” (rubber boots) in one of your pics and wants same. What is the brand, please ? Good “Wellies” are important in a Vancouver winter. “Wellies” that LAST. TIA, David
Dear Mimi, I enjoy your blog and love your book. I am sorry that others feel the need to tear down others with ugly and thoughtless words. Life is too short to be mean and cutting.
I do hope to be at your school in the fall and if I can’t c’est la vie.
Dear Mimi –
I generally enjoy the Piglet’s cookbook reviews but I was saddened by the tone that this review took.
Your blog is like a fairytale to me. Posts like the mushroom gathering and the Bastille Day picnic are both beautiful and inspirational
I very much agree that he took umbrage with what you ‘seem’ like. Your blog and book show beauty everywhere, but I find them celebratory, not taunting (as he seems to feel).
Please, carry on with your recipes, stories, and pictures! -Kristina
Dearest Mimi, it saddens me that some people think they are being smart when in fact they are classless and smug. I look forward to your posts and when one arrives I sit and slowly enjoy it from start to finish. Your writing and thoughtfulness reminds me to take the time to truly take in and enjoy everything around me, I use your recipes to inspire me to try new things. None have failed me. Like so many others I love your book, your blog and the photos are gorgeous. Remain true to yourself and your vision. xoxo
You go, girl! Jealous people can drive us mad sometimes. I’d blame it on your husbands photos – he is a Vermeer with his camera. I am going to Paris with my husband and daughter and plan on visiting your favorite places. Thanks for the inspiration! Xo
I enjoy reading your blog and I love cooking from your book. It so happens my husband and I moved from the city to the country, into an old house and I do like to cook. I always find inspiration and encouragement in your posts. Please do not ever stop. Different strokes for different folks, comes to mind, putting it politely. That was some nasty mean comic strip, holy jumpin.
Bonjour Mimi! This post makes me adore you even more! You are such an inspiration and I am so HAPPY to have found your blog & purchased your beautiful cookbook…the recipes I’ve made were absolutely DELICIOUS! xoxoxoxo, Dana
What a ridiculous review. I read your blog for your beautiful storytelling. You generously share moments from your life that remind us all that simple things can be elevated and that there is so much beauty in creating special moments (and meals) for our friends and families. Part of the fun that your photos bring out is a bit of escape for those of us that live in totally different surroundings (myself a beach town in southern California). Your book is beautiful as is your writing.
I have to say, as a follower of both you and Amateur Gourmet, I am sorry to see this. He should have been more careful: both of you are members of a small, inclusive community, and more care should be taken to be kind. I follow your blog in large part for the stunning, intensely alive aesthetic that you and your family seem to radiate. The thing is, I think, you are blessed with great beauty, and you have made choices that encourage the inclusion of beauty in your life: You are a fashionable woman, you happen to be stunning, your children are absolutely beautiful, your amazing Médoc seems truly idyllic, and you and your husband both clearly attend to beauty through your art–you through crafting elegant food, and Oddur the graceful eye of his camera lens. I think Adam’s mistake is one that is easy to make these days: When you see someone who is purposefully cultivating elegance in their lives–which is a thing that takes work, and seems to be getting rarer–it is easy to fabricate a social hierarchy into it, to assume that those who respect aesthetics are doing it out of superiority. Thank you for reminding all of us that it’s not true. You’re just being yourself. May we all cultivate beauty in our lives, and be able to attain whatever aesthetic and elegance that most helps us to be ourselves. You seem to have done that, and we love you for it, and if others criticize you just let it roll off your feathers.
Megan, I agree wholeheartedly! You said it perfectly.
Mimi, I believe that your readers understand that the beautiful life you are cultivating takes hard work, vision, and talent. Thank you for inspiring us.
Oh, and I have to wonder whether Mr. Roberts would have preferred that you roll out of bed and be photographed for your cookbook and blog with messy hair, wrinkled pajamas, and no makeup.
Your cookbook is wonderful and so are you. I love your frankness in this post
Mr. Roberts Schmoberts….who cares! You cookbook is simply exquisite! The photographs, recipes and the spirit behind the book swept me away. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life and food with the world.
Mimi, you’re an eloquent writer, you have a beautiful family and blog and your recipes inspire. These are the reasons I started following your blog and will continue to do so. I am eagerly anticipating your next post and book!
Bonsoir! Congratulations and big hugs for your decision to make a great life for yourself in this fantastic country… No-one has the right to judge your personal life over the fact that you are clearly a passionate foodie who just wants to share your experiences, knowledge and joie de vivre. From a fellow cook who has moved here and has been told that people are ‘jealous’ among many other comments, it is a lifestyle choice with many bumps along the way (which have turned out to be well worth it).
Oh, also…can’t wait for the next book!
Your delightful blogs take me away from my very good life to a dream replete with lovely children, charming dogs, a treasure of a home, and food, food, food. Best of all, you share the secrets of re-creating that food, and oh, my, just for a moment I, too am in France, in Medoc. Thank you and please continue on your generous, loving, beautiful path.
Bravo! Well, I certainly am glad you spoke up, and don’t even try to regret any of it. I personally love the cook book, and the beautiful photos. And we would all like to imagine escaping to a different life once in a while. What will you cook for Mr. Roberts and company if they accept your invitation?
Oh goodness, Mimi. It’s exactly your honesty, authenticity, grace and positivity that draw people to you. You obviously have what Mr. Roberts lacks. Oddur’s beautiful photography and your captivating writing are a breath of fresh air in the stale world of food blogging. Each post inspires me to slow down, focus on what’s important and look for beauty in the everyday. Oh, and never once have I ever noticed the height of your tables! (Too busy looking at the gorgeous food on top!) Funny what people will choose to complain about! Best wishes to you and your family & looking forward to your YouTube videos! ~Rebecca
Dear Mimi! You are such an inspiration!
I love the way you share your everyday life in beautifully written stories, making a small incident to sth special. I always enjoy to read your blog, seeing the wonderful pictures that seem to invite directly to your kitchen table. It is sad to see that some people want to spoil this -probably out of jeallousy, lacking your elegance and style. Best. Christiane Ps: I recently saw a wine from medoc here in Mexico and had to try it 🙂
I love your blog and lifestyle, and I appreciate you sharing it with us.
You are such an inspiration to thousands of people! Thank you! Whether it’s a recipe or a photo of the French countryside or Paris; it does not matter. You see beauty and share it with us. Thank you! There will always be envious people in life but it is important to continue spreading joy & beauty anyhow. All I can say is thanks- you make others know they are not alone in living life slower and enjoying family dinner around a table. You are wonderful!
Please read my comment posted on Mr. Roberts website tonight. May your lovely talent continue to develop and be one that you and yours enjoy!
I started reading your blog because I live part time “up the road” near La Rochelle and I love to visit Bordeaux. I find your blog beautiful and your recipes delicious. In America we have a saying, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down”. I hope you won’t. Sometimes I think Adam is trying too hard to be funny and that leads to thoughtlessness-an American male trait I guess. Anyway, I like your attitude! Keep sending us the beauty in your world!
Merci pour tout ce que tu partages si généreusement depuis plusieurs années et pour ces moments dans votre vie de famille. Et bravo pour ta réussite fantastique en combinant vie de famille épanouie et travail passionnant. Tu as trouvé ta voie avec succès mais il y aura toujours des personnes que ça agace. La jalousie est malheureusemement humaine et très blessante. Mais pense à tous ceux qui aiment ce que tu fais et te font confiance. Bravo à toi et ton mari et merci pour ces posts. PS: j’ai le bon Elle… Et donc les recettes! Bisous depuis les Alpes chère Mimi et à bientôt à Paris ou dans le Médoc! <3 Cécile
Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec Monique; tout est beau… et ne vous inquiétez pas de M. Roberts… quel espèce de twerp! Your book, blog, recettes, photos and je ne sais quoi are impeccable, as evidenced by all the comments to his review and to your entry aujourd’hui. The world is full enough of negativity and smugness. This reader love your positive energy!
Is it really so mortifying that people are jealous of you? Not the worst thing in the world to be offended by.
Mimi, Keep going. Mr. Roberts needs loads of attention. Let him have it -and you simply must stay on course. My family loves your recipes, you cookbook and your husband’s images. All inspiring and fun to read. I hope to bring my daughters to your cooking school, one day. Warmest regards, Lori
In the words of Taylor Swift, “shake it off.”
Dear Mimi, your blog is beautiful, your book is lovely and your family life is inspiring. Don’t lose your heart on negative publicity, unfortunately there are people who obtains their small portion of happiness from creating negativity. Don’t let them get under your skin, that will make them even happier!
Mimi, love your style, blog and recipes! And the pictures !!!!
I just want to let you know that as a woman in her early 20s, yours is the voice that speaks most powerfully to me, more than any of the other blogs you mentioned in your post. There is compassion and warmth and real love in your food and writing. These are the things that I think my generation appreciates most!
Basically…that warm, honest feeling I get when I read Proust’s passage about Madeleines is the same one I get when I come here.
I think that these unkind words are just clouds that pass over the sun; in the end kindness persists.
Maybe that reviewer didn’t quite understand your book. It’s not just a cookbook to us, it’s also an art book, a lifestyle book etc. It has its place on my coffee table whereas “normal” cookbooks are in my kitchen. No wonder you didn’t win, you’re “hors concours” Mimi ! 😉
Don’t be upset by bad reviews / comments. People are jealous. And when you think about it, jealousy is the price of fame.
Please don’t justify yourself. Whether you are wealthy or not is none of our business !!! (You can tell I’m French with the sentence I guess)
Keep it your amazing work Mimi ! I love reading your posts. They are so inspirationnal 🙂
I’ll try the cauliflower salad next week-end 🙂
Je ne désespère pas de te croiser un jour 🙂
And what’s that nonsense about the “low” tables ?? What’s the matter with these people ??
There is a phrase that I have always over the years used when referring to my darling niece. And today, after reading your recent post, I feel that I must share this with you. Even though we have never met, and maybe never will (but if our paths ever cross, I would like to invite you home and make you a cup of tea – white tea with elderflower – and offer you first dibs on the biccies)
“She is beautiful inside and out” would be my opinion and comment about You.
Even thou all I know about you is via your blog, someone who opens up her life and shares her family, her hopes and her dreams, her amazing foodie adventures, you somehow just know ,not just by her words but the stories shown in each photo, that her love for her family and a love for food is genuine and this is reflected in your stories.
For centuries many cultures have used food as an expression of their love, and to me, your blog is a digital loveletter to your family. The sweet little notes/ story that accompany your family favourite dish, is conveyed in a tone that makes me feel like we are the dearest of friends and you are sharing your special recipes with me, (just me) as that is what friends do. Thank you for sharing your broccoli pasta recipe, its now one of my favourite dishes.
Never after reading any of your blog posts have I ever felt that you were showing off your lifestyle or felt you were conveying a smug I am better than you attitude.
After reading your latest blog, I was fuming at this person’s nasty pathetic attempt to belittle you/ your lifestyle. His sad attempt to be ” funny/ witty” was actually mean and petty and it was blatantly obvious that he is jealous of you. Its sad that he feels that he needs to put you down to make himself feel better. I was adamant that I was not going to click on the link back to “his” blog.But I am nosey and I like to have a face to a name especially when I am annoyed with someone.
After reading his pathetic review and then his “blog” I burst out laughing! Not just because of his terrible food photos or his extremely un photogenic photos – (yes I am being catty, but as your yet to meet friend/ long lost family I can be. )
In terms of food bloggers he is a Left Swipe.
Yes, You and your family live a life many of us can only dream of. For me its not just the idyllic lifestyle but the strong family values, love and affection you have for each other and how you show it, by the dishes you cook.
Am a jealous of you/ your life? No not at all. I am just happy that there is a family that love and support each other, and that you are able to do what makes you happiest.
Do I wish I was your long lost sister/ be adopted by your family? Oui, oui with bells on!
Wow! Although I appreciate a lot of what you are saying, I’m truly sorry you chose to end your comment on such a rude note. The Amateur Gourmet is an amazing blog, as is Manger – each one for different reasons! Playing one down is not a good way to play the other one up! Isnt that exactly what you criticised him about in your comment? And then you went along and did the exact same thing! As a reader and fan of both blogs, I just had to come and point that out to you.
Bravo Mimi – if people can’t see your hard work, the effort and positive attitude you have with everything you do then their eyes are clouded. You are inspirational xx ps the duck parmentier from the book was superb. Duck confit is so easy!! Who knew! THANK YOU
And your TALENT ( you and oddur! ) your blog and book are a dream to read. The low tables thing!!! Hilarious
Ok I just read the other comments and I really want to echo what other people are saying. Reading your words and seeing Oddur’s wonderful photography does not make me envious, to the contrary, it is so uplifting. Manger is one of the few blogs I read and reread for the storytelling and the beautiful photography as much as for the recipes (all the recipes I try are wonderful by the way) and I do feel a little spring in my step after visiting with you. It is a reminder that with a bit of effort so much pleasure can be taken from our families and friends and the meals we share! There is an art to living well and you really embody that. Also it is so beyond evident how cultured and well educated you both are (on a lot of levels not just academically) and how that is being transmitted to your kids. I think Gaia is a similar age to my daughter and I love seeing how your family have settled and is thriving in le Medoc. I wouldn’t usually gush so but I had a look at the criticism and found it bitchy and crass so as much as I know you don’t need to hear this, I wanted to say it. And I love the icelandic saying and outlook on how you want your blog to be! (and also your recent Auden quote which has provided some needed solace of late). To go back to my first comment – BRAVO Mimi and Oddur et la fabuleuse famille Thorisson! (and don’t get me started on how adorable the new puppies are!!)
I have mostly enjoyed your posts and your recipes, and of course I envy some elements of your apparent lifestyle, as all your readers probably do. However it’s your husband’s wonderful photography that makes your blog different. It looks like he’s so in love with you he can’t help making you and your food look beautiful.
I was disappointed in this post however. I enjoyed the bits about Valentine’s Day (get used to it – if you open a restaurant, Valentine’s Day will be the busiest and least romantic day of your year.) I am afraid that you protest too much however, and do yourself little good in the process. Your loyal supporters have consequently rushed to Mr Robert’s blog with a stream of defensive and inarticulate invective, which I fear will earn you even more ridicule from Mr Robert’s and others. Why not let your book and its sales speak for itself and take down the long attack on Mr Roberts (which is a complaint about a bad review, whether you intended to write it or not.) You can remove this comment too, I don’t mind.
If you stick your neck out and open a restaurant in the summer, you will get good reviews and bad ones, and you will have to learn to live with both. It takes years, I can tell you.
Bravo! My feeling exactly.
Mimi, je vous adore, j’ adore votre blog et les photos de votre mari me transportent immediatement vers la France de mon enfance. Mais ce post, aujourd’ hui? Non, vraiment. On a le sentiment que vous ne supportez pas la moindre critique. Dans ce cas, vous prenez de gros risques en vous montrant comme vous le faites aux yeux du monde entier.
Vous etes plus belle et talentueuse que la moyenne, et votre vie ressemble a un conte de fees (du moins en apparence). Ne savez-vous pas encore que tout ce qui sort de la moyenne isole et engendre des inimities?
I don’t think the comments on Mr Robert’s blog are inarticulate, I just have to say this. I’m not having a go, both of you have worded your opinion politely, but I didn’t find those comments inarticulate!
Merci Burgermeister Meisterburger, vous m’avais compris précisément. C’était l’exposition au monde entier des sentiments d’irritation qui m’inquiétait. J’espère bien que Mimi a compris aussi.
Chers lecteurs du blog,
il y a trois ans j’ai contacté Mimi pour un projet de magazine et je lui ai demandé une interview. Non seulement Mimi s’est montré disponible et généreuse en temps, mais elle a également accepté de fournir gracieusement les magnifiques photos de son très beau blog parce que nous étions un magazine débutant.
Ce fait est suffisamment rare pour être souligné. Pour diverses raisons, le projet n’a pas abouti, mais je garde un souvenir exquis de cette jeune femme charmante, professionnelle et accessible.
ne vous justifiez jamais pour votre beauté et votre grâce innée. Continuez votre chemin de gourmandise et de partage tel que vous l’avez entrepris, à égale distance de la convoitise et de la jalousie, sous l’oeil esthète de votre amoureux et de vos amis. Surtout ne changez rien et continuez à enchanter par votre naturel, votre sens du beau et votre belle éducation ceux qui vous entourent.
Et please, demeurez toujours aussi élégante, même avec un escargot sur l’épaule.:)
J’espère venir un jour vous saluer dans votre belle demeure.
Belles pensées de Suisse où la campagne regorge aussi de splendeurs
No, I am just SO disappointed. Please don’t change a thing. People who feel the need to make others overly aware of themselves and cut them down are simply at thieves of joy. Thieves. Why must we all consider our every move/thought with respect to how someone else might interpret it….or how it might make them feel less significant. We are responsible for our own happiness. But I personally take such joy and inspiration from your book Mimi and your blog. You share beautiful things and I just love the way it makes me feel, clearly I am not alone in this ^
I think your blog is an inspiration. To dream, to make an effort, to work hard for something you would like to achieve. To prepare a meal with love, such as you do, make people feel grateful. To be a dinner guest at your table, and many many many more like you who share your passion, is a great treat and people will always appreciate the care and effort that went into the preparation of a great meal. And for making things look beautiful, food; nature; a well laid table; it’s just pleasant to have something beautiful to lay our eyes on. Isn’t it? We can’t all achieve that, always, but I think it’s something we should try to, once in a while. For the soul. As it’s ok to have a takeout watching House of Cards, laying flat out on the coach. For the body.
Keep living the dream Mimi, well written and beautifully photographed – come d’habitude.Inspirational. Looking forward to receiving your book for my birthday on Tuesday. With love from the beautiful French Alps.
Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts and super food…i love your blog,please keep up…love from Istanbul
Re: My life is better than yours I am quoting from Mr. Roberts blog:
“I’ll never forget the night, a few years ago, when the film was fully financed and Craig and I went out to celebrate at Balthazar. We ordered champagne. Totally randomly, we ran into Bill Hader on the street that night (I had a whole conversation with Anna Kendrick about the pastries at Peels and didn’t realize I was talking to Anna Kendrick).”
“Seats were reserved for the cast and crew (sadly, Kristen Wiig got really sick at the last minute and couldn’t make it; she sent her fervent apologies via text)”
And so on.
Wow Marie-France! Just remember there will always be the HATERS. And they are Haters for a good reason – we should pity them. But yes it hurts when you are a good person and then the next minute you get attacked publicly. Also know that you are a constant inspiration to many of us. Absolutely all aspects of your life – we just can’t get enough. Your well written blog took that troll Mr. Robertson to task very well. In fact I am saving that and might quote from that should some nasty individual tries to attack me again in future. Sisters in arms! Stay the lovely person you are and live your good life and keep on pissing of the Haters haha. Unable to get your book in South Africa, but will definitely be on the lookout for that next time I am travelling. There are a HUGE group of Huguenot descendants based here; perhaps you should bring that to the attention of your Publishers. Keep up the good work! Bisous!
Ce pauvre type est sans aucun doute beaucoup trop jaloux de vous, de votre cuisine et de votre vie.
Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec tout ce que vous dites avec tant de grâce sauf pour une chose: “But I’m happy to dispel the rumours that I’m wealthy. I’m not”.
Peut-être que nous n’avons pas la même perception de l’argent mais juste pour donner un exemple: à chaque fois que vous conseillez un resto – comme vous l’avez fait il y a quelques jours sur Condé Nast Traveler – ce sont tous des restos hors de prix – tout comme vos cours de cuisine que j’aurais bien aimé suivre cet été – et je trouve cela dommage.
Bien à vous
I just read through the tipsy baker and piglet posts, and a few thoughts have come up:
– being a woman, I feel very sad that a beautiful woman is reduced to and judged harshly on her looks: appearances are not everything! beauty should be praised, or just not acknowledged! how different it would probably be if you were just plain and slightly fat from all this good food you’re eating 🙂
– it also makes me very uneasy that just because you pay attention to aesthetics on your blog and book, it is assumed that you are contrived and pretentious, as opposed to all these earnest, transparent other bloggers and writers (whom obviously must not put any thought at all into looks or image, because nobody does that in 2015)? Why not just praise the effort you put into things?
– finally, haters gonna hate, aka il vaut mieux faire envie que pitié!
I have been reading your blog for a long time, reading through all the archives because I am so enthralled with the mix of aesthetic research and personal, authentic-sounding writing you put out there. Let’s not deny ourselves the pleasure of reading and looking at something beautiful just for the sake of pseudo-authenticity
And looking forward to the next post 🙂
Well answered, don’t listen to jeolous people, your like and your book is a joy to read. Thank you
Yes Mimi, shame on you for looking good and that your husband can take absolutely beautiful pictures. You should definitely keep that all hidden from us. Mais non, please don’t! That’s the beauty of your book (which I proudly keep out in my kitchen) and your blog – THE BEAUTY of it all. Merci!
Oh boy. I haven’t read all the comments, but I can guess what I’ll say is nothing new… Universal popularity doesn’t exist, fullstop. That said, a lot of people are just unable to grasp the idea that a/there are people who are different than they are and b/they are happy about that. In Polish we’ve got these two sayings, one is “not my monkeys, not my circus” and also “not my brooch” (yes, brooch, really). Both mean roughly the same. Loads of people should have this motto taped across their keyboards.
I hope your circus, monkeys and brooch stay the same as when I discovered your blog (through Pinterest, I think). I did think immediately that it’s about lifestyle, not only food – and I love catching a glimpse of it, even though (or maybe because?) it’s not one I’d choose for myself.
Keep up the good work. x
Can I please stand up and applaud you, Mimi? As I read the critique my first thought was “sexist”. And it is a sexist view he has on your book, your life, your choices. But of course he has a right to his view and his opinions, and you have taken it so well in stride, and been so amazing in your response. It seems that lately, a life that is built around family, immediate family for that, hsband, wife, children, is something to be criticized, highly. Women who chose to live like that are akin to criminals… always being accused of acting as if their lives are better, when in reality it is the people judging them thus that are convinced these women’s lives are miserable and should not be living like that… oh well. Beautiful recipes, beautiful images, beautiful writing and ineresting stories is what I find here, and let me say, had I the money to invest I would immediately board a plane with my husband and child and revive that little bistro you mentioned…
I just wanted to say how much i enjoy your blog,photography and recipes. I love reading about your lifestyle. Dont change a thing. Its superb.
Hi, I’ve read your blog for a long time- and I really admire your honesty in this post and for addressing a difficult issue. Your life and vision are inspiring to me and many others, keep up the good work Mimi xx Becka
OMG! I am so happy seeing how many comments are posted in no time. You have a strong army of followers and defenders (if needed), obviously 🙂
I have to say that such a cynical approach of Mr Roberts is not professional, but ridiculous. And this sentence “My life is better that yours”is so over used and payed out, that sounds pretty stale, even miserable.
That’s why people tried to found out a fresh, light, optimistic places to spend time on, like your blog.
Of course, everyone is free to share their thoughts and believes, but, unfortunately, I think that Mr Roberts only tried to be very funny, modern and cool, that’s why he wrote this. However he did not get this effect.
At the end I have to say that your life is way better then his 🙂
Happy Valentine day, Mimi and thank you for such a interesting recipes
J’ai découvert votre blog il y a peu de temps, et j’en suis devenue addict ! Peu importe ceux à qui vous ne plaisez pas, que vous soyez riche ou pauvre… Vous faites du bien à ceux, qui comme moi, découvre toujours avec plaisir vos posts et vos recettes. N’est-ce pas là l’essentiel ?Continuez à nous inspirer et nous réjouir de ce talent tout particulier que vous avez, celui de rendre la vie encore plus belle.
Mr. Rogers was funny. I said so in my comment on the Food52 website. But being funny, while deriding others, is a cheap trick. Your gracious response speaks volumes about integrity. Thank you for your blog, your recipes, your book and the example you set.
A very wise gentleman once calmed my nerves before I had to give a speech by saying that this applies not only to public speaking but life itself and he was absolutely right: half the room is proud of the you and the other half wishes they could be you so just continue to be yourself.
I love your blog. Your cookbook is on my shelf with extra copies being purchased for my friends’ birthdays. You brighten my day!
chère Mimi, vu le nombre de commentaires positifs et reconnaissants,il est inutile d’attacher de l’importance aux remarques condescendantes et aigries d’un macho bougon,certainement jaloux de votre réussite ! Nous on vous aime et on ADORE votre blog. So, keep going !
I didn’t mean too, as I already have plenty of cookbooks on French cuisine, but this now makes me buy your new book! And next time some jealous person (to put it politely) dishes on you, don’t spill as much ink as you did for this one – gives him far too much publicity.
Bravo, Mimi!!! I have been following your blog for ages and it is one of my favorites. A good friend of mine from Germany just gifted me a copy of your cookbook last week and I cannot wait carve out time to read it cover to cover. And then cook my way through it. You are an inspiration and I hope you don’t take any of Mr. Roberts criticism to hear. Keep doing what you do! No complaints from this NYC girl who relocated to the countryside 🙂
I found your garlic soup recipe and absolutely knew I needed this. It’s been a cold winter here and I loved the note you mentioned this soup helping keep French framers from illness during Winter.
I have made the soup, many times already and I love it. It makes me warm and happy and comforted. My husband loves it and I hope someday my boys will eat it.
Another piece of your stunning cookbook that has made my day better.
Stay positive and keep enjoying life everyday as you do.
i love your blog. the photos are amazing, the food is too–and the recipes are so do-able and well explained (for both americans and french!). perhaps I’m a bit biased being an american who also lives in a wine region (burgundy), but I think your photos show how life goes in these old traditional areas of france.
I think people (particularly in the us) love to see your life….it seems like a dream…but maybe that is what causes the jealousy and bitterness of some. its too easy to just make fun or criticise a work someone’s put out there…instead of putting yourself out there for criticism–it’s what is so hard about the electronic media world. not sure if this makes sense….and absolutely I do think there’s some sexism involved. you’re an attractive woman who’s had phenomenal success….you’re going to get that jealousy- perhaps it goes w the territory. Look at Martha, if she was a man she’d get half the negative criticism she gets.
I love what you are doing and how you’re doing it!! I can’t wait to one day make it to Bordeaux and visit…. xoxo
I so enjoy your blog and instagram!! Your journey has taken me to view a new place that I probably won’t see and try delicious foods. i love your town photos and all that you do. It is a moment to pause and see something different/beautiful in Medoc. Now to Mr. Rogers: There will always be people out there that cannot handle a good collaboration as you and your husband have and that is sad. Stay strong and stay your course you have many fans all over. Happy Valentines Day and thank you for the recipes.
I am afraid I will be a bit trite, echoing the abundance of love and admiration on this comment page, but I must say that your blog and cookbook are perfection. They become the highlight of my day with each visit; a real and true inspiration. Because, to me, they are a hope for something greater. More beauty. More love. More passion. More quiet. More simplicity. More gratitude. They are most certainly not about showing off and creating envy, but always, always about showing life and the beauty that can be found if one only takes the time to look. I very much appreciate you and your family and enjoy spending time with you all from afar! Thanks! xoxo
– Lindsay (New Orleans, LA)
sigh. isn’t it just like someone with what must be an awful life and a poser, to criticize the beautiful photos and life you share with readers who love to see the wonderful photos of food and family. so many people living in nyc forget how life is meant to be lived, and when they see what could be their life too, become frightened and angry of the wrong choices they have made.
i live in a suburb, and the highlight of my day is a new post from you, or at least reading through your beautiful book. thank-you for your generous heart, and your husbands wonderful photos.
ps. love your retort
I recently questioned your use of low tables on Instagram, merely out of curiosity and concern for your back
Dear Whitney, if you did you were just one of many, no harm done whatsoever. I just happen to like old tables and I guess people were shorter in the old days. Add to the equation that I’m tall (they used to call me giraffe :)). I have absolutely no problem with comments or suggestions like that and though I don’t remember your comment I assure you I wasn’t referring to that specifically. Some people have been a lot meaner 🙂 P.s. my back is fine
I can’t tell you how flabbergasted I was at the review on Food52. What a tremendously awkward read.
As a loyal reader, but first time commenter on your blog, I just feel like you deserve to know how authentic, inspiring, and charming I find your writing, recipes, and photos. I think that people (especially Americans, and I am one) tend to sometimes get caught up in thinking that living abroad is perfectly magical all the time because in photos it appears that way. I spent last year living in Venice, Italy, and everyone seemed to think that life was one big holiday without any trials or tribulations. The harsh reality is that life is real. It’s hard, and it’s different for everyone. Pictures don’t accurately portray the behind the scenes struggles that some people go through. Especially people like you who have such a pleasant demeanor and don’t jump to negative or degrading comments or complaints. All this to say, I love your work, and I appreciate all that goes into it. The days that aren’t so blog-worthy, and the moments that are picture-perfect combine to make you a well-rounded and thoughtful person. Thank you for sharing. I am deeply grateful.
There are so many people who run to negativity, so easily done in internet culture…I am so grateful for the work that you and your husband do to provide Manger- and the book as well. And grateful too that so many others find inspiration and the space to dream from it. It was lovely to get to meet you and have my copy signed. Thank you for all that you do.
Oops “gelfing” here, at least you can recognize me from incessant typos…
Hi Mimi, well done and said! What a terrific source of inspiration your blog, your puppies, the amazing story telling, photography and beautiful kids. Am an American mom living with my Dutch husband, three kids and a dog in Amsterdam. Your blog has inspired my lifestyle and cooking so much and yet we live in very different cities! Continue doing what you are doing! We love it! Greetings from Amsterdam!
Adore your blog posts, I savor each one. Your family & friends look so happy and I find I’m happy after spending a bit of online time with them. And so, I love your cookbook, but I’m also a reader of my many cookbooks. It’s not just about the recipes, it’s the life experiences the recipes help to create. That’s what your book conveys. I checked out Mr. Roberts blog, he’s not a match for me, good luck to him. But I prefer a shorter work table.
Just to say, I got your cookbook for Christmas, and I’ve so enjoyed the beauty of the photography and the world/aura it creates. It’s also an unexpected joy for the recipes to be so reliable–every one I’ve made is perfect, and it’s a rare thing to take for granted in a cookbook. Thank you.
I made your cocoa meringues the other night for dessert after I made your onion soup. It was a nice date night! I look forward to hearing from you regarding the summer help:)
I feel like Mr Roberts is miserable! He makes so many assumptions and you know what they say about assuming something. Keep inspiring and creating beautiful work, you are one of my favorite spaces on the web!xx
I love your newsletters, your food and your love of dogs. Many of your recipes have become “repeats” at my house especially ( Caramelized Beetroot tarte).
I made it in a heart shaped cake pan for Valentine’s Day meal side dish.
For Mr. Robert’s , forget him, just another disagreeable person to ignore.
“No offense who wants, but who can”. I think you’re way above all this. I hope that what happened does not influence your style of doing things and that you continue as before. Happiness is inside you and that is transmitted in the form of tenderness and care for those around you (and to those who read your stories and enjoy your wonderful cooking recipes) and on your way to enjoy life. I have learned many things with you (not just cooking) and partly because you do things with great delicacy and unpretentious. So I think that mr. Robert has been unfortunate in their reviews, hopefully be a gentleman and apologize. Anyway you are very lucky to have a husband like Oddur, which advises you so fantastically well and that your camera captures your essence.
(I love the menu and the rose of red peppers … it’s a gorgeous !!). Many hugs and much love to you and your family.
Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring blog. I have followed you for sometime but never left a comment. We have 4 children and love creating a home and beauty where we can. We traveled to Montpellier a few years ago to visit our French friends and your blog brings such fond memories of our time with them. It would be so wonderful to attend or intern at one of your cooking classes. Merci for sharing both your family and the people(neighbors) who are part of the life you live in France.
The gentleman both protest too much, methinks. Evidently, he only looks at photos and doesn’t read your blog which is honestly and humbly written. Your recipes are simply delicious and your Duck Confit Parmentier is a testament to that! Bravo.
No need to apologize for who you are!
tu es comme tu es et je suis comme je suis…
Make no excuses, just live your life and let us all enjoy our dear beautiful Medoc and your delicious food so we can all daydream a bit everyday!!
c´est toujours un plaisir voir et lire cet blogue! Merci
Dear Mimi, I write Dear even though I don’t know you, except from your blog. Your latest post was very long, and I could feel your pain between the lines. I can also feel your passion and love for real food through your lines, and in your husband’s wonderful photos. First I felt you were very sensitive, but now, I clicked on the links, and read Mr. Roberts blog and comic strip. I don’t know what to say, I am shocked! How vulgar, how intolerant, how stupid. But Mimi, you are French. I am Norwegian. We are Europeans. We have to shrug our shoulders. My husband once went to a wonderful restaurant in Paris, with an American. They ordered the main course, and my husband chose a good wine to go with it. His American colleague ordered a coke. The waiter looked at him and said with a wonderful French attitude 😉 Monsieur, we do NOT serve American Beaujolais in this place. Mr. Roberts will never understand that joke, because he will never understand your food either. Cheers Mimi!
So beautifully said! xxx
Aaack!! I absolutely needed to read your post toda! Just enjoying the landscape, pictures of food and wine, and the occasional child on the floor… absolutely necessary for this rainy Thursday. Thank you for sharing. I’m going over to check out that guys blog right now, with fully judgement 🙂 ~cheers
It has been about a year now since I first discovered your beautiful blog. I am an eighteen year old American girl who–unlike so many others I meet that are my age–wants nothing more than to be a feminine lady with her big family cooking meals and entertaining people. This is a dream that many peers have teased me about because of the pressure to be independent and have a career etc. I remember distinctly upon discovering your blog telling my mum about it with such exuberant excitement as we cut vegetables together for dinner. “It’s incredible! This lady wears black dresses, lives in France, has a big family, and cooks the most heavenly meals! It’s what I’ve always pictured myself doing!” Your blog Mimi, encourages me that my dreams are not “weird” or “impossible” and you truly inspire me! Thank you for being you and living your life the way you choose to live it!!
I haven’t read the two blog posts referenced in this entry, Mimi, but I think the criticism you are currently experiencing brings up a point that’s been discussed online a lot, the guise of perfection that is created artificially by the pervasiveness of showing our best sides, the most beautiful, interesting, sides of ourselves online, only. I don’t read blogs to see my life reflected back to me. For me, I read and love blogs for the little break they give me throughout my day at my full time job that requires that I sit at a desk on a computer in spite of working in one of the creative economies. I’m conscious that what I get to see is a snippet of any one person’s life and not a holist view. But if a reader’s intentions are follow in the footsteps of what they see and admire online, then achieving a life where beauty, slow food, and slow living are prized and seemingly effortlessly accomplished can seem impossible when the reality of working outside of the home, full time, while also caring for familial commitments doesn’t seem to allow for such luxuries. In your book, which I own and have LOVED reading and enjoying slowly, you explain the beginning of Manger by writing, “I had been encouraged by friends, houseguests, and family to start one–because of my cooking, because they wanted my recipes, because of the way we live, because my husband is a photographer, because we have so many kids and dogs, because I had the time.” You don’t talk about a day job you had before your blog took off (or not, and if not, what allowed you to “live the way we live”…). In telling the what, without the how, it allows those with a negative persuasion to assume that you don’t live within their financial realm and are unaware of how we all live, that you have circumstances that allow you to focus on living a slower pace, on spending so much time with your husband and children that we do not. Having privilege is one thing, we all live and work within our means and no one should have to apologize for their circumstances, I think what upsets people is when they feel like their reality, or the rarity of your life, is ignored. As a women, I think you are completely correct in your assumption that you are criticized for showing the beautiful (that’s one of the reason so many of your reader, or at least why I love and read your blog and bought your book), but I still think it’s important that this topic of what we show, and what we don’t online, and how that creates a false sense of reality can be pervasive in how we all view and feel about our own, everyday, lives. It’s not a challenge I look to you, or any one blogger to fix, but I commented because I feel like it’s an important topic for discussion and our collective awareness.
Absolutely agree, Sara, this is THE topic. How much do we expose ourselves online? How much of what we describe is considered, selected, touched up and how much is real? To model, inspire and even idealise is perfectly acceptable. When the guard slips, however, as I believe it has in this post, the fantasy can be exposed. Let’s hope it is not irredeemable, because so many of us have enjoyed this blog.
Well written and expressed, Sara. I really like the way this topic is explained in your comment. As we food bloggers show and expose our lives as well as share our kitchen skills and recipes, there is point to be made on how that (and how much) is shared. Do we tell about the countless nights awake with sick children? Possibly. Do we share the truth of the many fallen souffles and quiches gone awry, or do we not? This is real life cooking. How we want to show our best most beautiful parts of our lives but hesitate to show what work and struggle it took to get to where we are is a very good topic. What motivates us or what is deep within our hearts when we cook for our family and friends, or what is chosen for a cookbook? I can see that Mimi has a depth of spirit and grace behind everything in her life. I’m sure if she showed us her failures in the kitchen we would all still love and admire her for being so authentic.
You are inundated with comments! It shows how many people love you and your blog. The fact that you are so beautiful and your husband obviously loves photographing you just brings out the nastiness in some people. This guy criticized your book because he is jealous of you and your life. He would feel superior if he were in your place, so he assumes that’s how you feel. And he probably didn’t follow your directions because he wanted to find fault with your recipes as well as with you.
I noticed that you left out pictures of yourself this time. Please don’t over-react, since a lot of us love looking at you!
My mum would say, ‘it’s not worth wasting the worry.’ big hug xx
I hope Mimi will feel better after reading his reply.
Just you watch: they’ll become best friends and even end up working together, like in the movie “Chef”.
I have only recently been introduced to your blog because I am a follower of Adam Roberts’ Amateur Gourmet blog. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity! Your blog is beautiful, the pictures are inspiring, and the recipes look tantalizing. I am thankful for this dialogue because had it not happened, I’d have never stumbled upon your site. We all have our personal voice in writing. Adams is full of candor, spiced with humor and a dash of wit. Since I have no previous experience with your cooking, your books or your blog, all I can do is learn and decide for myself… from first glance, it looks lovely and I’m happy to now have it bookmarked.
Love and support from Sweden. I use your book practically every day, wonderful real food! Mille fois merci pour nous inviter chez votre famille, ça fait tellement plaisir de lire le blog et d’en être inspiré. Courage!! J’attends le prochain blog poste avec impatience et un bel jour je viendrai manger dans votre restaurant !! Vive “Manger”!
I love your blog! I simply love your writing, the photography is beautiful, the menu is inspiring!
Hello Ms. Thorisson,
Your beautiful site is among my favorites and in spite of the review in question, your cookbook is on my wishlist. I enjoy many food blogs, including Mr. Roberts’, across a wide spectrum, each for what they are, a glimpse into other lives and thoughtful food made by home cooks for the people they care about. While you are understandably irked by the review, this exchange saddens me for both your sakes. What bothers me most, I think, are the disparaging remarks against Mr. Roberts by commenters here, inspired by your post. Please consider removing them. They are a blot on this lovely (and therefore, quite unique) corner of the internet.
Trust me, I designed for Souleiado for years and the lure of “la belle France”
will never be undone by anyone.
Carry on Mimi!
Well said Mimi !
I love your book and your blog and felt much the same as you when reading the snarky review or your book by Mr. Roberts. I think he missed the point of the exercise.
Your response was thoughtful and well written. Bravo !
Now please, tell me something about the sweet and lovely dog under the table in the photo on this post.
While I really want to visit your new endevour and cook and eat with you, it will be bringing home one of those scrumptious pups that is my goal.
Women want to connect to other women. Women want to have a community whether it’s next door or thousands of miles away, across oceans and seas. We like to know how other women live, how they eat, how they raise their children. Your blog provides us with another look into a different life, a beautiful one.
There are some places in the world where you just have to point the camera to find something interesting and beautiful. Your recipes are delicious – I know, I’ve made some and plan to make many more. Your husband’s photographs are sublime. I love seeing the array of gorgeous children, dogs, wonderful neighbours and friends.
Some people are generous enough to cheer for another’s success.
I know whose blog I’d rather read.
Thank you always.
Even before the Food52 review, I read both yours and Adam Roberts’s blogs. Both contribute a little something extra (if very different) to my day, and I hope the readers of this blog who don’t regularly read the Amateur Gourmet recognize that there is room for everyone here who loves food and enjoying life. Just because the two of you cook and enjoy life in different ways doesn’t mean that people need to be nasty in defending either of you, by assuming the other is “jealous” or “shallow” or “pretentious” or any other number of unfortunate adjectives.
The Piglet tournament has been criticized for being too narrow-minded, such that cookbooks are not judged fairly. Such is life, no? All of our cookbook shelves are filled and marked with different books and recipes, because of the way they fit OUR lives and OUR way of cooking. I think there is room for opinion – on all sides – without making judgmental snarky remarks. Who among us puts everything online for the world to judge? Of course there is always some level, no matter how small, of curating and presenting our better selves. It is as it should be, if we remember that it is never the whole picture. As I have heard said, “if you knew what my problems were, you would not complain about your own.” I hope everyone can move on from this with grace and humor, as I believe both of you have done.
Beautifully said and fully agree! 🙂
Hello Mimi, Just wanted to add my support. I’ve never commented before although I’m an avid reader of your blog and I love it. It’s interesting, informative, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautiful. You do a brilliant job and you allow us all to suspend our own realities for a few minutes now and again and get lost in your delicious world. Thank you and keep up the good work!
Well Mimi, you’ve received a response from Mr Roberts http://www.amateurgourmet.com/ and fair as it is I still feel miffed by the fact that the original comments were based around a bunch of blokes getting together to try out some recipes. I agree with earlier comments, the comic strip was very sexist and also highlighted a very large green eyed monster. If I looked as awesome as you wearing gumboots holding a bunch of artichokes I’d pose for that infamous shot too. We love you just the way you are and don’t you dare change. Greetings from Australia…we get you here! Sylvia
It is a pity that so often when we are criticised we feel the need to just take it on the chin and move on. It is a great thing to have the capability to stand up for ourselves and our choices, so I am very glad to see you have stood behind your work. People enjoy reading about what you’re doing because they are transported elsewhere. We simply like to see how things are done elsewhere and by other people. You happen to be beautiful and unfortunately some folks don’t like it when people have beauty and talent!!! Your recipes stand on their own two feet! And as for your husband’s photos – well who wouldn’t want to look at them! You’d be crazy not to have them on blog. Keep it coming!
Manger, is simply wonderful. It brightens my day when I read your posts and see your amazing photos. I live in Venezuela and life here is now so full of despair and hardship, it is wonderful to look out and dream. Thank you and disregard Mr. Robert´s comments.
This post was so inspirational. I love that you are able to be completely yourself, even in the face of criticism. Something I like to keep in mind is that your blog, anyone’s blog, is only a small portion of your life. You share the best pictures, the funny stories, the most delicious recipes, because that’s what people come for. They don’t see your financial troubles, your bad hair days, or the days you stay in bed all day eating chocolate in your pajamas. If they did they would be your close friends and family and then they wouldn’t be judging you! I love your blog and I’m glad you aren’t going to let this stop you from posting what you love!
This is embarrassing… why do you react – with such a long ‘composition’ – to a critique.. really embarrassing, sorry.
Quick HUNTER boots question- are yours shiny or matte? My wellies finally gave out, I live in the Pacific North West and decided on Hunters, and adore yours, but can’t tell online whether shiny or matte. You’re a country fashion icon. xo
Please never read critics again. I would hate it if your blog changed because you had their voices in your head. All at once, I appreciate the fantasy of Manger and that you and Oddur are real people with real children living in a real place. If more people embraced the fantasy and let themselves be moved by it in the kitchen and around the dining table, perhaps we would have less a less trendy, competitive, macho, reductive, and boring food culture in America.
Mimi – don’t let the haters get you down. People who feel the need to critique others in mean, snarky ways are just deeply envious, unhappy and desperate for attention. Your food looks amazing, your photographs are beautiful, and your writing is wonderful. Just keep doing what you do best!
You Blog Mimi is one of my favourite ever since I discovered it on-line. Your photos, cooking, family the places and stories that you share are just marvellous. You made us aware about Medoc there in Bordeaux. I am a Blogger too. We share so much of ourselves on- line which will make us vulnerable and susceptible to criticism from other people. But come on, there is so much hate, ugliness in our World right now ie terrorism etc. We don’t need more of those evil and ugliness, we need more of beauty, sharing, appreciating and loving in this World. If your critics cannot see that, then that’s their problem. Too bad for them. Before they criticize,they should visit you in Medoc first.
By the way, my favourite story of yours was about how you discovered your new house/chateau and about the former resident there. I love stories like that. I hope you will write more stories about her.
I would like to write about you, your blog and cookbook on my Blog next week. You are an inspiration. Keep on doing what you do best!
Your life is inspiring to many of your fans/readers like myself, whether you know it or not. Keep on being fabulous, and ignore those ‘noisy geese’ honking all over the internet!
I feel that Mr Robert’s “review” was really rather mean spirited. I have your cookbook and have enjoyed it. I have made a few recipes with lovely results, and that really is the true test of the quality cookbook. Both reading and cooking (and eating) your recipes remind me of my time in France!! I am glad that you have remained true to who you are. Those of us who are like minded really enjoy hearing your voice ring through in all you write.
Dearest Mimi, whose blog has given me so much joy – this spiteful review seems designed to hurt. It demeans the author and shows up the contrast in your world views. Your generosity of spirit speaks for itself: may it continue to delight your legions of fans as well as your fortunate family. We are all here for you! With love and support from Cape Town – Elizabeth
It’s true that there is no bad publicity, for as a result of this controversy I have discovered Manger and it is lovely. I have been a long-time reader of the Amateur Gourmet and also of Tipsy Baker, and now I can add your blog to my roster.
I do think a sense of humor is not such a bad thing to have in this situation. The Piglet is a light-hearted competition and reviews come in all flavors. Reviews by definition should not be all-out praise and I do think the review of Mimi’s book makes a fair point, as much as I like this blog. That’s fine! We can make fair points, have differing opinions, and all co-exist in the world. Mimi can rightfully defend herself, and that’s fine too! Mimi clearly has loads of adoring fans and if some people don’t like her/Manger/the book, so what? When you put yourself in a public space you will not solely attract adoration — and this applies to all of us — bloggers, book writers, reviews, commenters. Again I say: a sense of humor is the spoonful of sugar needed to take the medicine of a review one finds disagreeable.
Bonjour Dear Mimi,
I hope this little note finds you and your sweet family all well. There was a St. Valentine dinner here at the local restaurant in Jindivick. It was a cracker!! We shared our evening with friends which is ok after 30 years of marriage!!! Mimi, I’m sorry that you’ve been disappointed by Mr Roberts comments but you know, I know and all the Manger community here know just how good your book is and just how fantastic this blog is. Many of your readers have been on this wonderful journey with you for some years now…… We know what’s truly important to you. I’ve got a suggestion Mimi, go celebrate St. Valentine again. Take the 10 minute drive to St Estephé and buy another bottle of heart filled wine and drink it smiling whilst you bake another batch of Doris’s biscuits……. They look so fab!! Don’t muck around with just one bottle of wine….. get two. Have a wonderful weekend. Sending you sunshine xx Anita
With all of these opinions I am inclined to give mine. I putchased your cookbook, for myself and for a friend. A friend who I’ve had for years who has it all and often goes to France and LOVES to cook! I finally found her something she didn’t know about or have ( it had just come out) and she loves it! I do too! I also adore your blog and thank you for the window into your beautiful life. You are a phenomenal writer! With every sentence you carry readers on a charming and delicious journey. How fun to hear about a place that the media isn’t inundated with! It’s a dream in this busy, overexposed world we live in-the beautiful, charming, undiscovered place. I’m so excited to hear about your next adventure as well as to read about your lovely daily life. You are beautiful and clever and have a lovely life. Cheers to you! I share a wealth in life too with many beautiful gifts. And as I always tell my daughter, the most important thing is to be gracious. Wish them well, be a good sport, say thank you. That doesn’t sell, but I’m so grateful it’s my life in my beautiful corner of the world. So Thank you for sharing, Merci!
Good for you for speaking your truth. I love your honest and heartfelt response. You shouldn’t have to apologize for your work, your life, your passions, and your world. I love your recipes, your pictures, and the life you have created for yourself. However, I would never presume to think your life was better than mine or anyone else. In my mind, the thing that stands out clearly is the happiness and joy you take in your family, your surroundings, and in your cooking. You are inspiring.. Thank you for sharing your life with us, and making our world richer for knowing you a little bit better.
Je suis votre blog depuis un paquet de temps maintenant et n’en déplaise à ce ballot de Mr Roberts, bien que vivant dans un hlm Parisien avec ma délicieuse famille, je n’ai JAMAIS eu l’impression que vous tentiez de nous prouver que votre vie était mieux de celle de n’importe qui. Vous aimez votre vie et vous avez totalement raison. Oubliez cette critique stupide et continuez à publier ces jolies photos et surtout ces recettes qui font le bonheur de ma petite famille XX
Hear, hear Mimi!
Quelles jolies photos!
J’aime la convivialité et la spontanéité qui se dégage!
“Opinions are like….everyone has one”
maybe he is a bit sad that his life is not as fulfilled and surrounded by beauty as yours. I love to see your blog not because I am jealous but because you have shared it with me so I too can be blessed by it. Thanks for sharing with us!!
A note from me on the “Roberts Affair”!
This week my blog, Manger, has seen some controversy for the first time since I started it almost three years ago. I find that regrettable, but I do not regret my decision to devote a few paragraphs to the “review” I got from Mr. Roberts in the Piglet tournament. In some ways it has been interesting to watch events unfold and one can always learn from criticism, when it’s constructive.
I would like to say that I am sure Adam Roberts is an intelligent man and he’s a good writer. But I felt he crossed the line so I responded as I have every right to, this is my blog after all. And a blog is a place where a person shares her life, her thoughts and in my case, recipes. If women had never spoken out against injustice they would still be stuck in the … kitchen (ooops). It’s nothing new that I share my thoughts, it’s just that they usually revolve around trips to the market, looking for mushrooms etc. This time the tone was more serious and that is why I left my thought on the subject as a long footnote to an otherwise typical post where I shared a few recipes as usual. Sadly the footnote has overshadowed the “main course” so very few of the comments this time revolve around the recipes.
Talking about constructive criticism the one aspect that I find worth answering and which was a recurring theme, both in the Piglet “review” and in some of the comments is that there are too many lifestyle photos versus photos of food. You can always debate what is the proper balance but my book has a large color photograph of every single recipe in the book. The other photos are simply a bonus. Food for me is much more than just flavors on a plate in a laboratory kitchen. When I have crème caramel I think of my grandmother. When I make ratatouille I think of my friends, the Auberts, who grew the vegetables and how lovely it is to stand in the vegetable garden on the banks of the Gironde estuary. When I walk through the vast rooms of our new house I hear the echoes of a restaurant long gone, I imagine the blanquette de veau cooking on the stove waiting to be served in the big dining room. And Cherry clafoutis will never be the same to me after I made it just on the eve of my daughters birth last May. Food memories, context, heritage, those are important themes. We are a family, Manger is the story of the food I make and the people I share it with. People can call it lifestyle if they want, I just call it LIFE.
I greatly appreciate all the support I have gotten but I dont think I’ll have time to respond to every comment this time and I also think it’s a good idea to put this matter behind us. I am immensely proud of my cookbook, I know the recipes are good and I don’t feel I need to defend it, the book speaks for itself aided by all the positive reviews it has gotten.
I noticed Mr. Roberts posted his side of the story on his blog last night and I did try to leave a comment but it has not appeared yet. I don’t blame him, maybe it was just the gods of the internet telling me to drop this matter entirely.
The short version of my message to him is that while I see his point and I’m sure he sees mine, we simply disagree on this matter and I’m afraid it will remain so, which is fine. So I encouraged him to take me upon my offer of a feast and I promised not to poison his food 🙂
Let’s leave it at that,
Mimi, unfortunately you have opened Pandora’s box, much as you wish it weren’t so. But it is a really good practice for when you open your restaurant. The transition from cook to blogger is small compared to the transition from blogger to published writer. The transition from this to restaurateur is of a quite different nature. You haven’t asked for advice, and I am sure you have many restaurateur friends, so I won’t presume. I am an old woman who made this transition and survived. I wish you all the very best with it. Put this behind you. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the film “Chef” (referred to by Meisterburger Burgermeister in a comment) do watch it. You (and your family especially) will enjoy it immensely, and it’s very relevant to your current situation.
“Food memories, context, heritage, those are important themes. We are a family, Manger is the story of the food I make and the people I share it with.”
Hear, hear! Not all people understand that. Food is life in France, and it is no surprise that there is no word for ‘foodie’ in French because everybody is one!
I read this post and was immediately drawn by the open way that you talk about your feelings in response to criticism. It’s nice to see that you have the same feelings as me sometimes!
And as for your blog/book of course people will be jealous! People are always envious of things that they don’t have. To me, going to France is a vacation, so your life seems like one big vacation, which I know it’s not.
The whole point of photos on a blog is to make people feel something, to make them think “I want that”. Did he expect you to put photos in your book that would make the reader say “I’m glad I live in the US!” That would be odd.
I enjoy following your French country life. Keep doing what you’re doing!
PS I think he is really just jealous because you actually DO look like that all the time 😉
Bonjour Mimi and Oddur! Just a few words from Iceland. I heard about your blog a few months ago, and I absolutely love it! Thank you very much for sharing with us! France has always been my favorite country, and your house, and the surroundings are very beautiful, and the food looks delicious. I have made a promise to myself to be in your restaurant one day, sooner than later.<3 Pay no attention to thoughtless critics and keep on being yourself, so creative and vivid. I also agree with someone who said that Oddur's photos are Vermeer" ish" I really like them. Hlakka til að sjá og lesa næsta blogg, alltaf gleðiefni, gangi ykkur sem best!
Interesting — on another blog I read, there was a post this week about some recent struggles the blog writers have had and have overcome. In some of the comments, readers said that they had trouble “feeling sorry” for the bloggers, because their life seems “better” and “privileged.” How sad that rather than rejoicing in the success of others or finding inspiration in other ways of life, people become jealous and judgmental. Indeed, it is only a reflection of their own insecurity.
Your book was my favorite Christmas gift, and I so enjoy the beauty of your blog and your writing. When I read a new post, I always make it a special moment, with a cup of tea and a tasty treat! 🙂
Mimi – I love how you handled this so authentically. Your presentation of your life and food is inspiring. I don’t have your book – yet – but I’ve prepared many of your blog recipes. Wonderful!
I follow your blog and have read and re-read your cookbook several times. The recipes and the photographs are both first-class in my opinion. I have over 500 cookbooks in my collection and so I feel comfortable in my opinion of yours. You seem to be a very classy lady and I applaud your willingness to speak to Mr. Roberts’ inappropriate comments. Please keep up the good work and my best wishes for your new endeavors.
You have delighted us all with your writing, your life, your recipes and your husband’s beautiful photography which I am happy to say I have a piece now of you and the children in around the apple tree. The joy of being a critic isn’t always appealing at times and Mr. Robert has the right to say what he likes but it’s my right to ignore such things and am glad you are too. Just be yourself and you’re magnifique! x
Hi Mimi. Firstly, let me say that your Valentine’s day menu looks fabulous! As it happens, we were child free and in Paris for once on Valentine’s day this year, and indulged in champagne and a huge plateau de fruits de mer, as well as revisiting some old haunts, lol! It saddens me that you have had to ‘justify’ yourself against envious, spiteful and thoughtless comments. As someone who cooks from scratch for my family every day, I know that it is not effortless. Of course, if people only read a description of our meals, or see photos of the finished dishes, they might not appreciate that a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes, and that it often feels relentless, planning, shopping, prepping, cleaning up, only to start anew when the next meal comes around. I am a critical reader of blogs, so many are style over substance. I cook every day, we love our food, and your blog is one of our favourites. X
Mimi, I have been enthralled with your blog for a year or two now…
I love that you share your life with us & I always feel so inspired by a visit to your blog! Your life reminds me of a by-gone era brought to life again, in your home and family,visible through your husband’s photos.
Then, there are the recipes you choose; they seem SO authentic ‘old-world’ which I cling to, plus the presentation which is always stunning; I am again reminded of another time in history ‘revived’ in your meals.
I experience a sense of joy when I have a chance to read a ‘story’ from your life in France. I see authenticity, a graciousness in you not often seen in this day and age, and I particularly appreciate the quality in your choices, (I am obsessed with the quality of goods available in the previous generations) and such genuine living and I love your values; family, food, quality and a pace that breathes…
I must be narrow-minded; I have no desire to peruse Mr. Roberts’ blog; that man has missed the point entirely.
I am thoroughly happy to read and reread the pages you share &
I find myself inspired on so many levels and that is enough for me!
I enjoy your cookbook immensely, but must admit I have yet to prepare a recipe from the book; I have prepared a recipe from the blog and gathered authentic French ingredients for the next recipe, the CHOCOLATE CAKE À LA CRÈ DE MARRON (CHESTNUT CREAM) and I look forward to that lovely cake!
I look forward to more, although I know the emphasis will be the workshops now and there may be fewer blog posts, which does make me a little sad. I know it is wonderful for you and your family though…I’ll be glad for what you have time to share with us…
with fond regard,
Goodness, anyone who has kids and a farm knows what a crazy & messy & imperfect existence it is. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring, but I’m intelligent enough to know it’s just a glimpse of your life. I found his review obnoxiously sexist. I’m all for a good laugh and not taking oneself too seriously, but shallow, mean-spirited so-called reviews are a waste of everyone’s time.
Your recipes look like mouthwatering inspirations again.
And your photos have the wonderful glamour of real life, maybe prettied a bit, but why not? It’s the small things in life that really matter, no matter where we live. So many of those things are the same across continents and ages.
I am inspired by the beauty in everyday life and simply cooking a lovely delicious meal. Thank you for writing your blog and inspiring me to try new recipes!
Last weekend I hosted several friends for dinner in my home in Les Yvelines. Of the 8 of us, we were 3 American and one English woman, all married to French men. As Chinese New Year’s had just passed, I chose to serve a Chinese meal. I have NO chinese ancestry whatever, other than regular visits to Chinatown when I lived near San Francisco. I had received your book for Christmas, and made the tea eggs, radish cake and mango pudding from your book, and some chinese barbecued ribs and stir fried noodles of my own invention. My guests lasked where I had found the recipes and we all had a good laugh when I showed them the book “A Kitchen in France”. We then admired your book and your beautiful life. Then we all concluded that we, too, have beautiful lives! I quite enjoy your blog and wish you continued success.
Compared to others on here, I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while. Yet, in that short space of time, I’ve come to really love this wonderful “space” you create. I live in a bustling city (London), I’m not yet married, no kids (as of this moment in time) so my life couldn’t be more different to yours. Getting an insight into someone else’s life – a life that in many ways is so different to mine – is marvellous. In no way does it come across that you think your life is somehow better than anyone else’s – you simply choose to share glimpses into that life and I for one am grateful for the opportunity to take a break from mine and enter your world. Success always brings the naysayers up to ground. I say ignore them and keep on doing exactly what you’re doing!
Querida Mimi, tu blog es una auténtica fuente de inspiración,me emociona cada nueva historia, cada nueva receta. Piénso que tanto tú, como tu marido sois dos grandes artistas, y que gracias a tu blog podemos disfrutar de ese arte tan maravilloso. He cocinado muchas de tus recetas y sinceramente son muy buenas. No dejes de publicar, por favor, siempre me alegras el día y me haces soñar .Tu blog es una inmensa fuente de inspiración para todos los que te seguimos..La próxima semana pienso hacer el menú de San Valentín por completo. Con cariño.Rosa.
Dear Mimi, I haven’t read all the other comments, so please forgive me if I repeat what others have said. I don’t think you should have to defend or justify yourself in any way. You are who you are, and it seems to me you are rather wonderful. You have chosen your life, which i imagine is a lot of hard work at times, but you clearly love it, and that is both a blessing and an inspiration. Everyone has positives and negatives in their life, but the wonderful thing about a blog and any other published material is that you can use them to focus on the highlights, which in turn helps you to focus more on the positive. You won’t please everyone, so the most important thing must be to be true to yourself. Right, I’ll get off my soapbox now…! Xx
I must confess that I am a regular reader of Adam’s food blog and would have not come across your fantastic food blog unless Adam penned his response on his blog : )
All said, yours is a fantastic blog and the stories are served up with fantastic style and panache.
Keep up the great work and I will explore your blog in depth over my weekend.
For what it’s worth I don’t think that Adam’s review was mean but can see how you took it personally as it’s clear you put your heart and soul into your work. The stunning photography and lifestyle element are your usp and make the excellent recipes seem all the more desirable.
Aargh, its no it’s. Autocorrect to blame!
Btw I would also like to praise your prose regarding lack of mistakes due to good proofreading. This is often not the case online and a particular bugbear.
There is a saying, if they are talking about you….you are winning. I love your blog, recipes, and beautiful pictures. It makes me want to go to France one day for a vacation. It wets my appetite for many things. Your life looks beautiful and authentic and rich and full. As far as the comments from the guy…they are an indication of his own prejudice, I suspect driven by jealousy. Pat yourself on the back, criticism is easy, you put yourself out there every time you post, and this reader loves it and your blog. Carry on!!!!
You are a great blogger and author, a beautiful and elegant lady an amazing mom, wife and cook. I am very proud to know you here. I am sure many people are envy of you, just ignore them.
I love the Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches, recipe.
Wishing you always happiness and great success.
Chère Mimi, j’ai lu attentivement votre article qui ma beaucoup plu ! Ton “funny Valentine” ma donné des idées pour mon anniversaire de mariage (10 ans) et j’ai beaucoup aimé l’histoire du restaurant à New York. J’ai lu tous les liens, les critiques..
Je ne suis pas de tout d’accord avec Mr. Roberts qui a jugé par les apparences. Depuis quand il faut s’excuser pour être belle et avoir de bon goût? De tout façon, il aura toujours quelqu’un qui critique, on ne peut pas plaire à tout le monde 😉
Tes recettes sont toujours justes et pour dire, cette semaine on sa régalé avec deux : les cakes poire-gingembre (Elle) et ton gâteau italien aux poires !
En tout cas, je suis admiratif de votre blog que je ne vois pas de tout snob!
I’m not sure if it’s silly to write you a note, but I made similar decisions when my first (and only so far;) baby came. We moved to wine country, where my husband grows wine grapes (hood River, Oregon. Look it up and come visit) and I traded the politics of teaching other people’s children to teach my own. I baked bread everyday, make pasta from scratch, keep chickens, ducks, and geese as well as Grow a large majority of my food.
I’m so happy, but it can be difficult to navigate a community that doesn’t respect what I do. Perhaps they even expect me to be dull or less intelligent. It has allowed me to look inside of myself to uncover what gives me confidence and brings me joy. I love this sort of anti capitalist life, it allows us all to love one another well.
Bravo to you for your introspection and bravery. While I have had my own difficulties in my small town, you yourself have uncovering your life for the world to see.
Perhaps if these critics slowed down they could see you for who you really are. Don’t worry though Mimi, we do.
At the risk of over simplifying this (or repeating another’s comment)- haters gonna hate. Your life is very different from mine and that is one of the reasons why I LOVE reading your blog. How wonderful is it that through the internet we get the chance to have a glimpse into the life of someone who lives differently from oneself?! I’m sure you have meals that don’t turn out as expected, and that sometimes one of your children irritates the shit out of you, or that one of your dogs does a poo somewhere it shouldn’t. What we see on blogs/instagram etc is just a glimpse of someone’s life, it’s not their whole life. Anyone who doesn’t realize that is terribly naïve. Your blog is wonderful and inspiring and beautiful, your book just the same. Why envy someone else’s life when it’s far more fun to appreciate that it exists and then move on with one’s day- carrying a phrase, or a photo, but most frequently a recipe, with you? Nolite te bastardes carborundorum x
My Dear Madame Mimi – I am a devoted reader of your blog. It became known to me when I received your cook book for New Years. I wonder if you know The Food of France by Waverly Root. Written in the 1950’s know one to date has written so eloquently and as deliciously as he on food and France. Your writing reminds me of him. Next year I will recreate his journey on film as a salute to his book and the only wish on my bucket list. Do read it Mimi. Very Respectfully,glv
I own and love your cookbook, my boyfriend and I just finished cooking your chicken with vinegar and braised endives from the blog (which by the way was wonderful). I did read both columns, and I personally felt that both writers completely misunderstood your blog and your cookbook and why it is so loved. It is wonderful to see your perspective, I think you have a real gift in expressing appreciation of both the small and great joys in life, friends, family, good food and a good glass of wine! As a reader, it is crystal clear that you live what you love. We don’t advertise when we’ve had a rough day or when we stepped in dog poop on a walk, which seems to be what these critics want.
Really what I’m trying to say is I appreciate your cookbook and blog and I hope this hasn’t caused you even a bit of doubt. And when it is 12 degrees in St. Louis and I’m working 80 hours a week in the hospital, it has more than once reminded me of the joys of stopping and cooking a beautiful meal and to really appreciate the people I share it with.
Je suis heureuse de lire ici les réactions de vos lecteurs, dont je suis, suite à cette attaque mesquine dont vous avez été la cible.
Merci à eux.
Depuis quelques temps déjà, je prends grand plaisir à vagabonder dans votre blog, et à me nourrir des belles et bonnes choses que vous concoctez dans ces pages.
Avec vous le Médoc semble prendre des airs de campagne anglaise, au charme suranné d’un Sommerset Maughan ou d’une Jane Austen.
Ayant passé mon enfance sur la côte Atlantique, je retrouve via vos récits et les photos de votre mari des émotions très tendres et authentiques.
Merci pour cet enchantement.
Merci également pour votre post du 18 janvier, si juste, si poignant.
Toute mon affection,
I am very happy just purchased Conde Nast Traveler Spain in March with your story “Family by the Médoc”. I love him!!
(I’ve made your cauliflower salad: delicious)
Mimi, BRAVA! I admire you even more and have seen that you and Your Husband are magnificently creative and super hard working. I am glad you (graciously) put M. Roberts in his place.
Best wishes in all your endeavors!
i love your blog .the particular blogger has been quite harsh and judgemental about your life while he should have concerned himself with the food you cook. and if you have cracked how to live a happy life, he does not need to get jealous and find how he can achieve the same if he craves it so more rather than critiquing your lifestyle
I recently discovered your blog and even more recently bought your book. Even though I will make very little in it as I am a mostly vegan. I bought it for it’s beauty and the feeling I get when someone can point out to me that there is great joy to be had in simple things, like a delicious dinner with family in your back yard. We all have moments of beauty and perfection in our lives that should be discovered and appreciated. Your passion for food, nature, & family presented through your husband’s lens is an inspiration to me.
Querida Mimi, me siento feliz, acabo de comprar la revista Conde Nast Traveler en España , y realmente viajar en familia por el Medoc es un plan perfecto, hermoso reportaje. ¿Será posible ver tu programa de televión en España? .sería tan maravilloso. Rosa
I met you while you were in NY on your book tour and I am still glowing with happiness that I came out on that cold night and saw with my own eyes the amount of love and effort you put into all things you do. Your husband was so clearly proud, your son was adorable asking for more chocolates and your snoozing baby couldn’t have looked more peaceful. I love your book and I love reading your blog and imagining about what my life might be like if I decided to move from Brooklyn to the countryside. You do not make me jealous or green with envy, i don’t think you are oblivious to your beautiful life filled with health, happiness and babies… i am grateful for you. You’re an inspiration to follow your dreams… or more to follow your gut. Because you had no idea that moving to Medoc would bring you happiness. Bisous and amour to you and your family Mimi! I hope to someday come to Medoc and see you again.
Cookbook competitions — like the cooking competitions they’re trying to mimic — are ridiculous. The point of cooking is to bring people to a table to share a meal together, and your book makes that work beautifully. After cooking 10 or so meals from it for my husband and three young sons, my very picky 13-year-old (who usually only asks for mac and cheese) sat down to flip through the pages himself: now he wants me to make him a Lyonnaise sausage roll. Yes, he said “Lyonnaise” asking for food, and, by the way, also “garbure” and “flognarde.” By any measure, that’s a win for your book.
Ah! Yes! I so agree with this… cooking should bring people together, not separete them into competition. Excellent thought!
I have followed your blog for a long time, and have made several of the recipes you’ve posted (and that are in your book), and have had great success! My artichoke soufflés turned out so beautifully (light and airy too!), that I almost didn’t want to share them!
It’s unfortunate that Mr Roberts has to cast a dark cloud over your pretty farmhouse in Medoc! The writing, pictures, and recipes are so interesting and delectable, it’s too bad he can’t take a moment to actually enjoy them. Ignore the haters!
I have a question. In your recipe for the pancakes/crepes that wrap around the beef tournedos you mentioned orange blossom water in your narrative but it is not listed in the ingredient list. How much orange blossom water? I love your blog and your book is delightful. I cannot wait to visit Medoc because of you and your writing. Thank you in advance.
All the best,
Hi Susan, Ooops, my fault – it was the recipe from my cookbook, so I forgot to take out the orange blossom water (since this is used for a savory recipe). I just made the correction – thanks! xx
I admire your courage to speak up candidly.
The beauty, passion, and energy radiating from your food and your writing have been an daily inspiration for my family.
Thank you for sharing so much joys to your readers!
As my teenage son said, the world would be more peaceful if more people live, love, cook like Mimi.
I was taken by surprise when I read your blog today! your blog is like a little present of beauty I can’t wait to open and read a new post!! but this post brought a cling of sadness and a dose of “reality” with it. I too suffer from this type of “reality” because my chosen religion is not on the same page as most others. my Earth-centered religion follows the seasons of our mother earth – and it is that very reason that I love your blog! for you are showing me how to celebrate the foods of the seasons, and your sweet husbands photos help to capture the beauty of both your foods and the scenery which surrounds you! I thank you for that and hope that you’ll remember that I always feel a bit more connected to you because you are honoring the seasons of old!
Mimi, je tiens à vous dire que votre blog et votre livre sont parfaits. Ils sont une belle vitrine pour la France. Vous avez le sens de l’esthétique, du bon goût et vous mettez en valeur la cuisine avec finesse et raffinement. Surtout ne changez rien à ce que vous êtes, ce que vous faites et à votre amour de la vie.
Being a loyal reader, I felt compelled to comment as well. Mr. Roberts is clearly missing everything that is fabulous about your blog/your food! (judging by his horrible apartment, he has no style as well). There aren’t enough people who take the care and attention to seek out old antique china, heirloom foods and recipes! Your husband’s beautiful photography adds to us – the reader’s experience. I have many friends in France and Bordeaux, and life is truly fabulous there. Bravo for sharing your’s through your love of food and antiques. xx
To put it simply – You go girl!
Mimi I’ve loved since the first time I get here all the aesthetic of your blog, the pictures and your recipes. I even write a post about you and your family’s lifestyle, which for me is dreamy: children, dogs, great food, contact with locals… and in France! I can not speak about cookbooks competitions, no idea of that Mr Roberts at all, but really think the way he approaches the two books was quite basic (I’ve read the complete “comic” thing)… In any case, I would love to have your book, both for cooking and also to feel a bit that lovely french atmosphere with international touch that I always find here. Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina
It never feels good to be judged on lifestyle, appearance or talent (which you obviously have a lot of!).
Shrug off this nonsense of Food52 Piglet, I attended last year, and it was a big bore when April Bloomfield’s book won. Your book is a best seller and you are happy and secure in your life…….
Someone wrote a comment on my blog while I was in Paris “Stacey, you should change your hairstyle, it is so boring”. Though I pretended it did not bother me, who was this anonymous troll who commented? But deep down I felt awful. We work hard to put ourselves out there and it seems your feelings were hurt. You have so many devoted friends and fans, as you can see! And Adam’s blog has his own fans. It sounds like jealousy to me!
Hope to see you (with the same hairstyle) in Sept in Medoc. I am trying to arrange it.
PS and as I read Adam’s creative comic strip commentary about the Piglet tournament, he does compliment you in a few comments……………I think the whole thing is now getting out of hand and it is causing a lot of arguments on Food52 website.
You know who you are and I think he just pushed it a little too far with his snarky tone. 🙂
Chaque fois que je viens sur votre blog, et je ne rate pas un post, je suis émerveillée non seulement par les recettes, simples et savoureuses, mais également par la beauté des photos, des mises en scène. Vos enfants sont beaux, les lieux où vous vivez enchanteurs, l’univers, les ambiances que vous créez vous et votre mari sont le signe de votre talent artistique. Bien évidemment tant de goût et de dons provoquent jalousie et commentaires désagréables.
Je vous en prie n’écoutez pas les fâcheux et continuez à nous réjouir tous les sens en créant ces ambiances pleine de beauté.
Pourriez vous me prévenir quand vous ouvrirez vos chambres d’hôte. Si ce pouvait être cet été j’en réserve une!!!
Merci pour tout
What a lovely post, and a brilliant attitude! I throughly enjoy what you choose to share here on the blog, and I love the book! The photography makes the recipes, just as the recipes make the photos! Together, it is a beautiful collection of work! Keep it up Mimi, you have tons of admiring fans, and I always appreciate your honest and down to earth writing. I always feel that you are speaking to your readers with thoughtfulness and care.
Well, I have no idea who Mr. Roberts is but I want you to know that I voted for you, Mimi! I posted a photo of your cookbook and a note about how you have inspired me, making me feel like a goddess in the kitchen. You are my inspiration, along with my dear Mama, who lived to be 91 and whose hand-written recipes I cherish. To heck with Mr. Roberts.
Hi Mimi. These people need to relax! I am happy with my life, not having to make everything in your cookbook. But I am also very happy reading your cookbook, and learning about what you have written. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it incorporates food, art, life, fantasy, romance, everything I love.
Il ne faut rien changer… En regardant les images merveilleuses de votre mari, on ressent quelquefois un pincement au coeur. Tout est si beau et semble si parfait. Mais il faut savoir que votre recherche du beau et du bien fait est une passion en soi. Certains ne vivent pas bien avec la passion des autres. Ils cherchent à diminuer, à ramener à leur niveau. Quand cela se produit, il faut faire abstraction des critiques (en prendre connaissance, faire son auto-critique, modifier s’il y a lieu, mais ne jamais se justifier). Les gens qui suivent votre blogue, qui achètent votre livre sont attirés par ce que vous êtes et ce que vou crééz. Continuez, la tête bien haute en étant toujours honnête avec vous-même.
Mimi, I have been a devoted reader of your blog for a long time, though I’ve been shy about commenting, and the thing I love most about Manger is your enthusiasm for life and sharing the beauty of it. I’m not even decent at cooking, but when I read your blog and your book I feel myself basking in the glow of life’s beauty with you–invited right into the heart of your joy, not looking in from the outside nor envying you. You have a wonderful generosity of spirit and I’m inspired by every blog post you write to slow down and enjoy the beauties and pleasures that every season of life brings. Please don’t let the ones who don’t get it hurt you or change you! I’m outraged by their shallow take on your beautiful book.
I love your cookbook, and the pictures are wonderfull. I read mr Robers cookbook and IT was a waste of mony.
I am just coming to the table here having seen the Eater piece going round today. I’ve been deep into my edits and haven’t had any spare time for blog reading so I am sorry I missed this when you originally posted.
I agree with you on Adam’s judgmental, sexist remarks. I was offended, frankly, and surprised that Food52, run by women would allow such commentary to be honest. But, I guess business is business and that type of language draws in the masses….
But, enough of the negative stuff. Your book is the most beautiful and inspiring cookbook I have ever owned. Every recipe I have prepared is well written and bursting with flavour and history. You are absolutely aspirational, which is why you have had so much success and will continue to succeed. Unfortunately, this type of criticism will come with success, it seems part and parcel. But, you’ve handled this unfortunate situation with grace, honesty, and a bit of cheek which clearly shows your strength of character. If I admired you and your lifestyle before, I do even more now.
Wishing you all the best, with plenty of love and light from across the Irish sea.
I hope you don’t let that mean-spirited review hurt your feelings. I, for one, love your cookbook and your blog. I feel inspired by your beautiful recipes and photographs and love to imagine what it would be like to live in France. You sharing your own life doesn’t mean you think it’s better, it’s just that you want to share the beautiful moments with others, and that I admire. Don’t change a thing. 🙂
So many have said so many nice things, so I’ll just say this: Keep on keeping it real 🙂 Thanks for the blog and the hard work that goes behind it.
I read your blog not only for the good recepies you share here, but at least as much as for inspiration for your lifestile with a big family. as a mom of 4 including twins I ask myself would we have the time for mean comments on other people’s lives? honestly if I have some free time I prefer using it for something good that make me and other people feel better not worse, our time is too precious! It’s not that you want others feel that your life is better than theirs, you simply enjoy it and if this make some people feel miserable than they have a problem and not you! And again going back to feminism, I sometimes feel as a working mom that feminism should support all kinds of decisions, including the one to have a large family and not having a carrier instead! By the way I enjoy a lot your insights about your family life, I think people need this kind of inspiration too, how to handle a big family and that it can be fun, not burden! I’d lovo to here more about your educational values as well 🙂
As a rather new follower, I adore your blog and purchased your gorgeous cookbook for my daughter. We both love France. I admire your courage and the way you and your family have chosen the lifestyle that appeals to you. I do not think you need to apologize to anyone. Your work should be critiqued on the merits of the book…not on whether someone likes you or not.
Mimi I love your book and wagon the list before it was published. Fi on Mr. Roberts! Your book took a lot of courage. When I have shared it it has been admired. Mind you I have over 80 cookbooks for reference, quiet reading ,cooking, sharing and explanations. MY daughter teaches a high school cooking class on a daily basis. Life is too short to be nasty to each other’s efforts.
I haven’t even bothered to read Mr Roberts review. It is obviously of no consequence to you ,your family or your friends. I love everything you write and all of your lifestyle.Let the sales of your cook book do the talking and relegate Mr Roberts and his choice of cook books to the closet ! Some men are threatened by beautiful women! Don’t let him disturb your sanctuary! Please carry on as you are. The dreamers among us need you.!
your blog and your book are both SO inspiring, nothing against your competition, but the “critique” was very mean spirited, and offered nothing other than one persons opinion.
Dearest Mimi, I just read the clumsy and flippant review regarding your cookbook, and I must say it was unfair. You are too elegant for such a thing. I have followed you for several years and, as a mother of three myself as well as a food blogger, I must admit, I have wished my life to be as beautiful as yours. But you know, my life is as beautiful. It’s just different!
We must celebrate such differences and not be jealous (and as catty as Adam Roberts–sorry Mr. Roberts, I was once a fan of yours too). Yes, your gorgeous family, your beauty, your cooking, your food styling, recipes… your house, lifestyle, settings, and please may I have your life? You have so much that of course we all can envy. Tabletops, silverware, kitchen… ah, but let’s not envy. Let’s admire. I have admired you and your blog for many years. So much so that at times when I was struggling in my own life— being a mother of three, trying to find the time to write, cook, and dream about creating my own cookbook– you have inspired me to keep going at it. Life here in the busy hustle of Los Angeles isn’t your rustic France. My farmers’ market shopping on Sunday is the closest I get to farm fresh produce among the mini malls and traffic.
Now, the ridiculousness of that review. It was simply stupid. Not very funny. I was not entertained by his usual comic strip this time. It’s gimmicky and not a nice way to present such a fabulous woman and her food.
I hope to meet you in person one day and experience the fabulous cooking in your kitchen! Until then, I’ll have your cookbook and perhaps honor you with a special recipe post on my blog featuring one of your recipes. You inspire me Mimi! xx Stephanie
Next time I go to WH Smith in Paris, I will buy your book.
I’d looked at it the last time I was there and thought I would buy it later for some great occasion, Well, this is it!
I’ve thought about your cookbook for several hour now, since I read Dianne Jacob’s article this morning. I had not heard of you, but I had subscribed to Mr. Roberts blog. I’m reversing that as of now. I could write volumes on what I think of his stunt, and to be sure it’s a publicity stunt. He’s been under the radar lately and is about to launch something new and now he’s getting his buzz on. What he forgets is that you’re a real person, not a cartoon character, and your life is not a Hollywood set.
You are being punished for bringing “pretty” to the world. Trust me, I know that spirit well. I liken what he did to a virtual beheading, where for no real good reason, you were taken down. (or the reason is his own unhappiness and I’d be willing to stand on that). I’ve seen that he and a bookstore owner won’t carry your book because it irritates them. I’m sure he carries books on serial killers, no irritation there. (Another stunt).
Has anyone watched the headlines? The world is a dark place and unspeakable things are happening to women under duress. There are different ways to attack women. Sometimes it’s brutal. Other times, it’s like this. You don’t need to defend yourself or even like Mr. Roberts. I don’t like him very much after this. You are free to be real in this, even if you take the high road. He cleverly knew exactly what he was doing and how this would go viral. He needed this attention, but at what cost? Now I’m going to purchase your book. Maybe I’ll even review it, because I like pretty. I like beautiful. I like children and family life and eating at the table and I like happy life pictures. You show a happy life. Not a perfect life, but a happy life. I have a happy life, so I enjoy meeting like minded souls. My motto in life is this: Do what you love and you’ll love who you are. (when you love who you are, you’re a nicer person to the world). I wish you well and I wish we met under better circumstances, but I’m glad we’ve met now.
Mimi, your blog is beautiful, your book is stunning. For Christmas, my best friend gave me your book and it was one of the most thoughtful gifts that I received. Reading your blog gives me a break from the everyday–and even though I love my life, I also love the glimpse of someone else’s wonderful life. It makes me sad that some people want to critique the perceived lives of others, especially when the people they critique put beauty and kindness into the world. In the time that I have read Manger, I have occasionally commented on a post, and each time, you have commented back! You have many children, a husband, and a full life, but you have taken time to respond to my comments. Someone who thinks they are better than others would not show such courtesy to a stranger! Keep doing what you’re doing, especially if it makes you happy, because you’re making others happy, too.
I came here after reading about the whole debacle via Design*Sponge. This blog is beautifully done and may resonate with a specific audience but you can’t please everyone. A beautiful woman with an abundance of gifts is usually judged harshly, but then so are a lot of women and men of opposite means . Either way, I’m glad I’m now aware of this blog and can’t wait to try some of these recipes.
I discovered your blog at the beginning of the year. What makes me follow it almost religiously are the recipes for the food that you prepare for your children. One of my greatest pleasures as a mother is being able to make and share lovely food for my children. I am glad that you promote it. All this being said, I was saddened by Mr. Roberts comments. They are trite. I am glad that you have taken the high road.
I bought your book yesterday after reading designsponge’s post. It’s beautiful. And refreshingly without cynicism or sarcasm. I would love to see a picture of a room full of kids toys and mess, would make me feel like I’m not alone in sometimes having boisterous children 🙂 But I understand that the book is about, not your kids.
I haven’t visited you in a while – busy with my terrible life, all the lemons we are getting instead of beaucoup d’enfants and cooking from your lovely cookbook (I can’t let a week pass without garlic mashed potatoes) – but just caught up with all the palaver, urgh.
A blog is something truely personal and I adore your blog & personality, the aesthetic, the furniture, the food, the children, the dogs, those amazing photos, you, the Médoc, the countryside, the quirky characters you meet, oysters. It is a choice what one shows & shares, if I want to see messy corners, I look at other blogs, my desk or my I can’t believe I haven’t use this new waffle iron for 3 years larder.
Hi Mimi, i am from brazil, and little late for comment this post. I am a big fan of yours, and just received your cookbook. I am in a serious case of love, still write about your book on my blog.
Well but the case is that, there is so many envy in this world! And the true is: dont be less, just because there is so many mediocrity in this world.
Just do what you do, that is splendid.
Dear Mimi, i am a little bit obsessed with you these days, but in a good way. 😉 Your life really does look better than most of ours do, heh, but I know it must be hard work to rais all those kids and dogs and run a blog and look so fresh while you do it (please, tell us your secret, I’m dying to know! And don’t just say it the fFrench air because I can’t move;))! I’m guessing your extremely positive attitude must have something to do with it all … Lots of love <3
I never comment on blog posts, but I felt the need to comment after reading Adam Roberts’ post on Food 52, which I found sexist and shallow. Mimi, I find your blog, the photography, the recipes and the writing inspiring, beautiful, funny, and just wonderful all around! A peek into your lives in Medoc is such a treat. I look forward to each new post!
Mimi, you are amazing! My favorite thing to do is pour a glass of red wine and catch up on your blog. My husband will tell you, I call you my “friend in France” and make him look at pictures of your dogs. Thank God, he is a patient man! I think you are a fantastic writer and even if I can’t cook most of your recipes (I have Crohn’s disease and can’t eat dairy or meat), I still read every single one and imagine what it would be like to savor your cooking! As the saying goes…”haters gonna hate”… You make my world a brighter place!
Mimi you inspire me to learn how to cook better and appreciate what I eat. I aspire to be able to share all the great and delicious meals I have learned from you with my loved ones! Thank you kindly.
Few words about you book; beautiful, wonderful, delicious. LOVE THE COUSCOUS!
I’m all for the balance of keeping it real, but also somewhat curated. The more public we become we have to figure out that private side. It’s complex. Thanks for being honest. And also, for pictures of Jack Russell Terriers.
The world is a beautiful place, full of love and adventure and goodwill. At least, it is unless you see it as an ugly place, full of hatred and trivial gripes. Thank you for showing the former in your blog- reading it is a true pleasure that brightens my day with each new post or Instagram photo. Everyone knows that no one’s life is perfect (duh! Who could pretend otherwise?); however, some people are perfectly content and that is the source of authentic happiness. The world has enough haters- it’s refreshing to follow along on the journey of someone who is pursuing her dream. Qui me risque rien, n’a rien! Merci 🙂
I am a culinary student in NYC at the International Culinary Center studying French culinary techniques with a Farm-To-Table focus, and I want to tell you how much I love your cookbook A Kitchen In France! You are a beautiful and truly confident feminine energy – something I’m learning the culinary world and the world in general needs more of! It is apparent that your presence for whatever reason triggers something inside that person who wrote those subjective comments about you, your life and your cookbook. I am certain one ingredient to happiness in life is speaking up and confronting someone who has unacceptable behavior/actions. And I am proud that you have so confidently and eloquently done just that! I believe the things we create in life are an expression of your inner world. And your inner world in clearly peaceful and kind 🙂
Well put. Thoughtful and meaningful. People love you blog for the beautiful photos and recipes, and that is why we will keep coming back.
I have been a follower of your fabulous blog for quite some time. I own your book and have been cooking from it extensively this Winter. I also gave it as a present to several friends who all loved it as much as I do. I am very much in tune to your approach to cooking and eating, the old fashoned ways, the seasonal produce, the family table… I find your life style gorgeous even if It doesn’t provoke negative feelings of jelously. And I like your voice (not finding it irritating at all) and your husband’s photos, which are like small works of art each.
In that context, I have to say I found your response a bit over the top, not very classy, a tad too moody. Which does not fit the picture one has of you at all… Oh well, in a way it makes you more “human” I guess, that someone you don’t know can generate such distress. But, what I wanted to say is, i think your book gives a big weight to “lifestyle” featuring as it does many pictures of you, your home and family, which are exceptionally enhanced by the superb photography but are not strictly necessary for the understanding of the recipe. I love them, and I am sure most of your readers do to. But in making that choice of presentation of your cooking, I think you need to accept that those aspects of the book are also critizised, and take it in your stride.
Keep up the good work!
Don´t worry about any negative writing from others. If they don´t like what they see, they shouldn´t follow you and that´s it..so simple…..Your blog is wonderful, your house awesome, you´re pretty, you´re thin and lovely, you seem to be happy with all the children around which is something I love…and you love to receive which is something I love doing too…..envy exists…..mine is completely sane…but we have to think insane envy exists too….LOVE FROM THE NORTH OF SPAIN, please don´t give up what you´re doing because I want to have your blog in my following list forever.
I began following the blog recently after I cooked one of your recipes featured in the latest installment of Food and Wine. I buy cooking books and magazines primarily for recipe inspiration and judge them based on the success of the food, I don’t think this point even needs to be made. The tricky thing about inspiration is that it transcends logic. Every now and then something I make inspires me to dig deeper into an author or particular ingredient or region of the world, and who knows why (I think it is purely related to emotion) but I know the curiosity is incredibly welcome. Usually I satisfy my curiosity and move on but sometimes I am inspired to follow a blog, in this instance yours and I have to assume it’s because I have read or seen something that has transported me somewhere new, out the ennui of daily life. Isn’t this one of the goals of good writing, art, photography and even cuisine? Honestly I find your food delicious and the surroundings and pictures, and dogs, and clothes, and tiny tables incredibly charming. It is exactly where my mind wants to drift, but if it isn’t the way some people like their recipes adorned…well who cares? You are never going to please everyone, right?
I research a lot of restaurants – bare with me, and you’ll see the relevance – but I rarely read Yelp reviews. I don’t read them, because dining at a restaurant – although it is a perfectly valid experience – doesn’t somehow turn one into a qualified reviewer. Reviewing, if it’s done well, isn’t merely “well here’s what I thought.” It’s quite different.
In this whole fiasco, it’s as though you’re a writer of opera whose work was given to a judge who knows only rock and roll, and unfortunately, what you got was a critique not so much of your work, but of the cultural differences between pop and classical music. Your work is stunning and includes pristine formal elements. His work is more casual, while just as professional. Unfortunately, he judged your work as if it were his own (which is the antithesis of a proper review), and it’s pretty clear from his response to your response, that he can’t see beyond that perspective.
Just because someone has written a book doesn’t mean he possesses the skill to review another writer’s work.
For the last few days I have been really sick and trying to keep my mind straight I was browsing around when I stumbled upon your blog. I must say you cured me. It was such a refreshing view of how french country side is. I visited Paris and surrounding 3 years ago and always longing to visit South of France. I guess now I have a few points of reference.
What I want to commend you was for the way how you handled yourself for the comments from Mr Roberts and others. We live in a world where everything is looked at with a profit margin. Sometimes the world always look for the “catch” in everything as if to say doing something you love and passionate about is a strange thing even if it does not bring a wealth of money. What they don’t understand is wealth is not always money. Pleasure in small things, moments you have with your children and dogs, finding the perfect spot to relax for the afternoon or even just a short stroll down the street sometimes can have a lasting memory. So, again thanks for being you and for what you are doing. I am not a blogger but I am big time foodie and love to cook all sorts of food. I am Sri Lankan but married to an Indian man and have a very diverse family so I really do connect very well to your ideas and thoughts. I am yet to make something from your blog and will post a comment once i do. Thanks.
I discovered you about a year ago, and since then I ardently follow you. I thoroughly enjoy reading what you write (which is always a bit like a story book), being inspired by Oddur’s moody and fairytale-like photography, and trying out the recipes. I had your book on preorder since you announced you were writing it. I absolutely love it, although I’ve only tried one recipe (calves liver a la bourdelais) because I’ve not had the time to cook due to a family illness. I admire that you put yourself out there for your readers. I know what it’s like because I’m a blogger too. Sometimes I am anxious about what I share and yet at the same time, I want to be an honest blogger always. So, kudos on having said what you have. You should never apologise for being who you are or the life you live. Yes, I’m sure many think you have a better life than they do. I’ll admit that I’m inspired oftentimes by you and the blog because it transports me to a fantasy life.. in a way, you are “selling” a dream. And it’s beautiful. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for me or for others. We have our own happiness in a different way…. It’s too bad you’ve been critiqued like that. And sadly, when you reach a certain level of recognition, with that comes the negativity of people as well. However, I hope you keep up the GREAT work you have been doing and YOUR style. It makes you Mimi; it makes you who you are and that’s unique. Hugs, Debra
Reading this post, I realized that I happened to have a fresh head of cauliflower on hand, so I quickly made the cauliflower egg salad for a light supper. I used some nice bacon (from Goose the Market, one of my favorite foodie haunts in Indianapolis) instead of the duck magret, and the recipe did not suffer in the least. Your recipe was delicious, and we will certainly have it again.
Absolutely unsatisfied with my professional and to some extent my personal life at the moment today I started to give some serious thought about doing something that I enjoy, for a change. And here’s what I enjoy: beautiful food and wine.
Not exactly in the same mold as you do but something very, very similar.
It was when I came across your blog on a wine magazine.
May I just say: wow! What you’ve been writing, how you portray your recipes, the pictures illustrate a lifestyle that I can only hope to achieve some day, hopefully soon. And for that I applaud you. You’re a source of inspiration.
Now, I do not know this Mr., Mr… whom, again? I forgot his name… The one that wrote what sounds like to me a spiteful review. And to that I’m sorry, but not for you, as I know that the beauty which you bring into the world will continue to serve as a source of inspiration. I’m sorry for him, for not being able to enjoy another person’s success.
Alas, as you say in France, c’est la vie. And as we do in the UK, keep calm and carry on.
With my best regards,
Lovely to hear from you Renata! I hope my blog will inspire you to cook lovely dishes – I am sure they will make you happy and hopefully inspire you to cook more (and who knows, come to France too!). Sending you love and light from Médoc! Mimix
Hi Mimi, I just read this post and want to encourage you to keep up the good work! I live a life similar to yours. I work from a studio in my home as an artist and stayed home to raise our three children. Now I help to care for my grandchildren. I believe that life should be as beautiful and meaningful as one can possibly make it and that we should slow down and take the time to appreciate it. And I agree with you, happiness does not come from our lifestyle, it comes from within. I recently purchased your cookbook (which is wonderful) while on my first trip to Paris. We stayed in the 7th arrondissement and fell in love with the city!
I recently bought your book and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. I also just read the Piglet review of your cookbook and lifestyle and had to post my thoughts. I’m sure my comment will leave the whole LGBT community screaming, but honestly how can you expect a gay man to like a cookbook that glorifies family and marriage between a man and a woman. That fact is obvious but of course we’ve all been intimidated by the media and the gay community to not say out loud what we are all thinking. But in Mr. Roberts case he criticized and made fun of your straight lifestyle, but if we criticized his we would be labeled hater, intolerant, any number of things. Keep on doing what you do — you, your work and family are fabulous and a joy to read about. I have to add that some of my best friends are gay men, so I don’t hate the gay community. But I did detect that tone in Mr. Roberts review — he just couldn’t stand a cookbook that was about food AND family.
I know I’m reading this a year too late, however, I feel I need to point this out: Your life IS better than most others. You actually DO look naturally and effortlessly beautiful. And your husband’s love and pride does shine through the pictures taken of you. As we do in Iran where I’m from, I knock the wood on all three accounts and wish you all joy. The idyllic settings of your life, the parquet floors in Paris and the gorgeous scaffolding and high ceilings and corner bakery, or the charming chateau in the middle of all that fresh beautiful forest, the olive trees, and the close location to the ocean, are, believe it or not, inconsequential. Unfortunately people only tend to see the outward manifestations of blessed hearts and think they’d be as joyful and happy, if they were placed in that setting, not realising that we all of us do actually take our own skies wherever we go. So please go on and be as charmingly oblivious!!!! [to the petty judgements] as you were. I fear Mr. Roberts shallowness only diminished from an otherwise quirky review. But that’s on his shoulders. On another note, am I the only one who thinks a cookbook should not be competed against a dessert book?
About as well said as anything I’ve heard or read lately………..very well stated. Thank you G..
Dear Mimi and Oddur,
Maybe comments for this post are locked and all water under the bridge by now but I felt the need to address you both, because I felt something that you and Oddur both created got ridiculed and above all, wrongly judged and offended. My father taught me: if you cannot help someone, don’t do him wrong either. I look forward to your second book! And would be sad to see something like that happen again.
I follow your blog for some time now and have a copy of your „Kitchen in France“. I tried more than 10 of your recipes and I guess if all of those turned out well and tasted and looked as shown in the blog/book, then they are real. And I’m an average cook with no formal education. I really enjoy reading about your life in Medoc, Oddur’s photos really complement your words and meals.
So, you live in a french castle in the middle of peace of wine and sea and food heaven. After 6 births you still look great. You go around in small black dresses and ballerinas and your meringues are flawless. Your children are healthy, smart, cute and well behaved. Your husband is great looking inteligent man with whom you can share your dream and even make business of it.
And someone cant. I don’t live in France, not even in my own house. We are the same age, I had my second baby last year and still don’t look even close to you. My blog doesn’t make money. I can’t afford to buy foi grass, your workshop is beyond my financial reach.
So? Who’s to blame? And why even the comparisson? Did you, Mimi, stole my little black dress and made me fat? Did you, Oddur, took my castle away? And last, do I have to like your photos, way of life? I don’t. And be perfectly ok with that. I don’t want your castle, dogs and artichokes or anything yours, not because it’s wrong, but because I have my life and want my things in it.
And all of that „you are fake and posing“? What were you supposed, to not pose? Blogs need beautiful photos, did you have to „pose“ with spinach between your teeth or what, to make it „real“?
Some people are jealous. Some people hate when you show them that your dream came true. I had bad times and lost some friends. Then my life got so much better. I lost some friends too. Some people like when you are low so they can look at you and say, ah, I’m doing so much better than you.
And what they have inside themselves, they will accuse you of.
Thank you, Mimi, for reminding me of my dreams, not yours, mine, and that I should work on them. And they are slowly unfolding one by one, and that’s the beauty of it. Thank you, Oddur, for sharing your talent with us. I learned a great deal just by looking at your photos. Just keep on doing on what you do, there are people who recognise and appreciate it. And I know you will, because your work shows that all of it comes from heart, in all of it’s positiveness, ease and beauty.
Blessings to all!
Thank you Mari for such a meaningful comment. For me, success is the realisation of a dream. For my case, it was love, a family, good health, and yes to pursue my passion, which is cooking. I feel so fortunate to be able to make a career out of my passion. Everything happened in a very organic way. We all have our dream, our personal taste… the most important is to always be authentic, be yourself, and most of all, be happy! 🙂 Thank you. Mimi x