So where does my passion for food come from?
It could be in my genes.
My maternal great-grandfather was a master chef patissier who made a name for himself in Antwerp, Belgium. He not only had his own shop in a prominent street in the city center, he also travelled as a chef patissier on renowned transatlantic cruise liners at a time when travelling was a luxury. After parting with his business, he became the head chef patissier at the Savoy in London for many years. My paternal great-great-grandfather founded a well-known food empire in Belgium by introducing canned vegetables to the nation under the brand name, “Marie Thumas.” As a result, my family name was on every grocery shelf in the country for well over a century.
It could be my upbringing.
As far back as I can remember, women in my family have cooked “real” food. Home-cooked Belgian dishes are all about comfort and tradition and include ingredients that deserve a special mention: mussels, grey shrimp, chicory, white asparagus, wild boar, pheasant, minced meat… My grandmothers were great cooks who excelled in the art of hosting. A simple family meal would feature homemade vol-au-vent (puff pastry case with creamy chicken and mushroom filling) or chicory with ham and cheese. Family gatherings were a big deal and food was always central to these get-togethers, featuring Flemish beef stew with beer or Ghent Waterzooi (part stew, part hearty soup with chicken or fish). My mother also always made sure that her growing family had a home-cooked dinner every night. Memories abound of sitting on the kitchen counter helping my mother prepare food. Much like my own daughter does today.
It could be my own culinary culture and my subsequent exposure to world cuisines.
Belgium is a food-obsessed nation. Belgians love their local products and are very proud of their regional specialties. Talk to any Belgian and the conversation will sooner or later come round to food: the meal they had with family at the weekend, the cooking show they watched on television last night or the foods they ate for a special occasion. Furthermore, I have travelled and lived in many countries in Europe, Asia and North America. There is nothing I enjoy more than wandering around a new city and tasting local delicacies. I love roaming the world, revelling in all things food related; food stalls in Pnomh Penh, Izakayas in Tokyo, fine dining in Bangalore or gastro-pubs in London…
And where does nutrition fit in?
A few years ago, my husband’s job took us to Tokyo. After working in luxury goods marketing for global firms, I found myself in Japan as a marketeer without a job. So I decided to put my energy into a new interest: nutrition. Thanks to my grounding in the science of nutrition, I no longer approach food the same way I did before. I understand the barriers to eating well, so I developed my blog to provide simple ways to improve your eating habits. Here you will find nutritional advice, recipes and new food products that I believe are making a difference to our health. You will also find links to restaurants, which are setting the tone in food and food trends, as well as introductions to people that inspire me. My goal is to explore the world of healthy eating and fit living through sharing with you my knowledge in nutrition and food science.
So, welcome to Eat Well Live Well! Do you share my passion? Join me on my journey.