The first dutch underground farmer’s market…
Posted in amsterdam, food May 17th, 2010 by pia

Yesterday my lovely friend Rani and I went on a food-lovers treasure hunt, looking for the location of the first Dutch underground farmer’s market. It wasn’t too hard to find (thank goodness), all the clues were on the talkin’ food twitter account in the lead up to the event, and when we arrived in the general vicinity of the hidden market we spotted little signs pointing the way. Set up inside a non-descriptive building in downtown Amsterdam was where we struck gold. It was quite a sight really – an Amsterdam artist’s studio filled to the brim with artisanal goodies from all over the country, food enthusiasts, farmers, coffee makers, tea drinkers, and even a few gorgeous hens…

There were dozens of microproducers with some amazingly innovative foods to showcase and share. After a first wander of the space, chatting with some of the producers and spying their delectables, Rani and I embarked on a second round, this time with intention to eat our way around the space. We started at the Moroccan ‘cafe’ where we drank authentic Moroccan mint tea (as opposed to just mint leaves plonked in a cup of hot water) and Moroccan sweets. Then we selected little nibbles from each stall and chatted some more with the producers.

Among them were Jason Hartley (who I call ‘the brunch man’, known to us expats for his fabulous pop up brunches throughout the city, I wrote about it here) who was offering delicious pies and his famous bejewelled New York cheesecake; by m.e. black potato chips and chocolate coated black olives (they were super yum); an ex-butcher who made amazing patés and dipping oils and who also gave us a sip of his incredible homemade lemon infused gin; Stumptown coffee makers; and my favourite, formocha tea

I was also wrapped to find someone offering nettle leaves! So I bought a bunch and haven’t yet decided what I’ll make with them but I’m excited about it. All in all the event was a great success. Congratulations to all the stall owners and to Marjan Ippel for creating such a great market, I can’t wait for the next one!

artwork by selwyn

Yvette’s cookbook is on its way! Here’s a sneak peek…
Posted in books, food, holland, stylists May 13th, 2010 by pia

Oh yes, I’m a very proud friend. I just wrote a post about it in the (blog)house kitchen, go and take a wander in there to learn more about this gorgeous book in the making!

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inspiration overload: alys fowler from the edible garden…
Posted in DIY, food, hunter gatherer, nature April 28th, 2010 by pia

This past month, I’ve been glued to BBC 2 every Wednesday night, blissfully absorbed in Alys Fowler’s world as shown in The Edible Garden. Each episode, Alys demonstrates through polyculture how she grows various fruit, vegetables and edible flowers in her small city back garden, with the aim to not only avoid shop-bought fruit and vegetables so she and her husband can live off their home-grown produce but also create a beautiful, inspiring garden. The misfortunes and mistakes are not edited, and her style is perfectly imperfect. In tonight’s episode, she planted strawberries, raspberries and blueberries; picked apples to make delicious apple rings; concocted a lip-smacking fruit infused vodka with friends; made gorgeous hapa-zome fabric lid covers for jam pots; and introduced a friend who lives in Bristol and forages for plums and berries in her local environment. Last week she focused on root vegetables, the week before, salads – each episode packed with extras.

While I have no soil patches on-shore or on-deck of my little boat home, I’m completely re-inspired to pot up some edibles again. I love walking passed the on-shore gardens belonging to the houseboats (also love spotting the adorable newcomers) along the Amstel, they never cease to inspire me as most of them are filled with wild flowers, tulips and untamed bushes. There is one that even has chickens.

Also, I’ve been reading up a lot lately on suburban foraging (a couple of episodes ago, Alys made dandelion fritters from foraged dandelions and I’d love to try it!) but really don’t know enough about northern hemisphere wild foods, nor the protocol for foraging here in The Netherlands. Plus, I have no idea where to go. I would love to have the courage to forage but I think it would take a series of workshops and guided tours before I got out there myself.

Anyway, Alys Fowler– wonderfully inspiring, just as much as Ray. Even though you can’t replay the episodes on bbc iplayer unless you’re in the UK, it’s worth reading the episode details and even better, buy Alys’ book. I haven’t got it myself but I’m sure it’s awesome.


PS I just remembered this photo of me in the garden in vancouver island, rather fitting for this post…

edible sunshine…
Posted in food, pia's photos March 3rd, 2010 by pia


I’ve been carrying on about how good this homemade orange marmalade is on my facebook page (sorry to bring it up again, guys!) but I just can’t say it enough – this really is the most delicious marmalade I’ve ever tasted.  It was a gift from a friend who brought it back with her from a recent trip to Southern Italy. It was made from the oranges on the property where she stayed.

I’m not usually a fan of marmalade, often finding it a little bitter for my tastebuds, but one mouthful of this and I was in heaven. Seriously, you can taste the sun in this sweet spread, it’s magic.

Today it is super sunny in Amsterdam and I am very eager to get out there to enjoy it but I really need to keep working in here. Seeing the sunshine pour through my windows is pure torture! But I have my edible sunshine, I must remain content and get on with my work.


edible immigration tales in sydney…
Posted in books, food, stylists, sydney January 27th, 2010 by pia

Do you remember English lass Rachel Khoo? She’s one of the young and talented food stylists I’ve featured here in the (blog)house kitchen many moons ago. I met Rachel in Paris in 2008 when she was studying at Le Cordon Bleu. Back then she was flitting around Paris as a food stylist for the likes of Elle à table and Galeries Lafayette,  creating fun workshops in the gorgeous little bookstore La Cocotte, and regularly cooking up a storm of new recipes.

Today, I am very happy to hear she’s coming to Sydney this March to host one of her  fabulous “underground” culinary evenings with her food + design writing friend Frankie


From penal colony to gold rush eldorado, to sun and surf mecca, British gals Rachel and Frankie interpret the tastes and influences of past and present Australia over a six course dining experience.  Rachel has been hosting a few of these underground dinners in London and Berlin over the past year with great success, and she’s super excited to be coming to Australia.

The edible immigration tales will be told for 3 nights only (Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th March) in a secret Eastern Suburbs Sydney location. It will be 6 courses paired with wine and a recommended donation of $75 pp will be very appreciated. Seats are limited.  In order to book you can email Rachel and Frankie directly or click here for more details.


In more R.Khooks news (geez I love to hear about my (blog)house guests incredible achievements!), her first and super gorgeous book has just been released today. It’s called muesli et granola maison -which translates as “homemade muesli and granola” – and is published by marabout, with photography by akiko ida and beautiful prop styling by elodie rambaud. Here is a rather exclusive sneak peek inside…




miam, non? I love muesli and making anything muesli related, especially muesli bars. And with that perfect touch of french style, who can resist.

Congratulations Rachel! Have a fab time in Sydney (and try not to get too many colours like I have done, it’s really not so pleasant).


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