My name is Gretel, vanderlust lost in vonderland. That would have been my movie screen name. It sounds sexy, robust, rich and careless like a decadent chocolate cake drooling with ganache icing. Everything that is not me, except for the careless part and the drooling.
My name is Louise. A Capricorn. Third child from a family of eight gluttons. Ex-journalist for a Manila newspaper. Moved to Belgium as a young not mail-order bride after a romantic encounter with a Walloon journalist during a tourism conference in Indonesia. Over two decades of living in this country of beers and chocolates and taking on a myriad of jobs from being a bad secretary, an ultra-motivated english teacher, a socially-conscious world food importer to creating one of Brussel’s famous tea shops (Les Trouvailles de Louise). The kitchen fairies kidnapped me at past forty when I discovered I could actually cook. I’ve fed from one to a hundred with very little technical culinary background. I just prepared dishes the way I would at home but in larger quantities. Nothing fancy, nothing cheffy. Just good old home cooking. One day, I fell in love with Paul Hollywood and created an altar of Mary Berry, placed patron saints “Peter,” Pierre Marcolini on her left and Pierre Hermé on the right. And vowed to go back to school to earn a diploma for bread and pastries. Flour, butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate…these are a few of my favourite things. When I’m not having conversations with my oven, I travel. And even then, I make sure pastry is part of the itinerary. A visit to a local bakeshop, tea house, or gourmet store is a must to seal my happiness.
I’m happiest when I can eat, bake, travel and write! The time has come. I’ve given up my two shops after waking up with a swollen middle finger that couldn’t welcome any more cocktail rings. The beginnings of arthritis. So, no more cooking for the masses. But Doctor Me (doctor who?) said that I could still use it to tap on the keyboard, twist a whisk out of a Kitchenaid, and dip into chocolate fondue.
Your destiny might lead you in the future to my doorstep and enjoy my kitchen but in the meantime, keep me company in my gustatory sojourns.
Postscript: I would love to hear your suggestions, objective comments, and even your own ideas, recipes and holidays. However, I will delete spam, unrelated topics, or any comment expressed in rude language that is disrespectful to me or anyone on this planet. But if you drop me a line that gives me a high, then I owe you a cupcake.