What do you create?
I write and I cook—both activities centered around food! I’ve written a food memoir called Mastering the Art of French Eating and a novel, Kitchen Chinese. Both books use food as a way to explore a new country. I also write food-centric travel articles and create recipes for my blog. Basically, my work is a giant excuse to travel around and eat.
Why do you create?
My husband is a diplomat and a month after we got married, we moved to Beijing, China. At first I was adrift—unemployed in a new place where I barely spoke the local language. But eventually I became fascinated with the regional cuisine of China and started researching and writing about it for a local expat magazine. Several years and a lot of hard work later, I’ve turned my enthusiasm into a career, writing about everything from traditional Chinese cheese, to aromatic tripe sausage in France. I love hunting down home cooks, chefs, and farmers to chat about their culinary traditions. But like most people who love to cook, I only feel like I’m doing my best work if I’m sharing it with others.
What do you consume?
On good days: French cheese, hot buttered toast, a big chunk of a fat novel (I just finished Life After Life and feel bereft), flamboyantly dramatic TV (like Nashville), beautiful travel photos, and red wine and massaged kale to balance out the cheese. On bad days: too much Internet, too much iced tea, frozen leftovers unidentifiable until defrosted, and/or the leftover macaroni and cheese my baby daughter is about to throw on the floor. I also love Top Chef, which can brighten any kind of day.