“Cooking is not what matters most to me in food. The taste, the products, the pleasure of making and sharing are of course important things, but what interests me most is the story behind each recipe, behind each dish, and how that fits into today’s society. I am from Brussels, Belgian on my father’s side and of Italian ancestry on my mother’s side.
““ Cooked cuisine ”, it was at my grandparents’ house that I tasted it, with my grandmother who simmered her little Italian dishes with love. “
My Sicilian grandparents left their country when they were young, in the 1950s, during the wave of Italian immigration, and met in Belgium. My grandmother learned to cook with her widowed mother – Italian dishes with Belgian products. They have always had Italy in their hearts. My parents broke up with a bang when I was 13, and it was my mother who raised me, my brother and me. A math teacher, she worked a lot and had neither the time nor the inclination to cook, let alone go to a restaurant. As a child I ate a lot of cans and pasta.
“Cooked cuisine”, it was at my grandparents’ house that I tasted it, with my grandmother who simmered her little Italian dishes with love. Arancini, for me, are emblematic of their life and the history of this Italian cuisine diluted in the Belgian environment. It’s a popular Sicilian specialty, typically a street snack, stuffed and fried rice balls – like the famous Belgian shrimp croquettes.
I’ve always loved anything fried, and loved my grandma’s arancini. To stuff them, she made an Italian bolognese sauce (with shredded meat) or what we called a “bolo-belge”, with minced meat, peas, carrots and lots of sauce. tomato. She sort of “belgized” the recipe with what she had on hand, and I liked all of the versions.
I studied journalism, worked as a communicator and then in music, and I started freelancing as soon as I could in the magazine press. I have always loved reading, writing, and asking questions, and this profession has allowed me to put it all to good use. I inevitably fell into the subjects of cooking and food, because it is an exciting (and increasingly vast) gateway to tackling social issues.
The Taste of M
A few years ago, I co-created with Axelle Minne the “Salade Tout” podcast (as in “a kebab with salad, tomatoes, onions, everything?”) Around our plates and “food culture”. I then created a newsletter, Biting, which was very popular. This is how Le Fooding spotted me.
Today, I try to bring my slightly offbeat, committed and critical outlook to what has become a team project, united and united. Fooding was born to democratize gastronomy. Today, it is a question of “de-superficializing” the discourse around food. While still taking so much pleasure in eating – especially fried things. “
The Fooding 2022 Guide is available in bookstores, kiosks and on lefooding.com