Farm Fresh….Foodie?

24 May 2010

Nettle Soup

Last Thursday I was privileged to attend an amazing Irish Foodie event in Dublin, organised by Donal Skehan and Bord Bia (the Irish food board).  I met loads of fabulous foodies such as: 9BeanRow, Dinner DuJour, The Friendly Cottage, The Daily Spud, Icanhascook?, Bibliocook and An American In Ireland and was thoroughly inspired by all the warm personalities and informative food demos put forth on the day. {Oh yes, and for those of you who have a bit of a crush on Donal, he is every bit as charming and lovely in person as he is on television or via his website and twitter}

Truth be told, I had always intended to bring food to the forefront of this blog. It just made sense…it’s what we do best out here in the countryside. Cook, eat. Eat, cook. In particular, my idea was to feature traditional Irish farm dishes combined with a modern American girl’s cookery style. {ahem, yes that would be me}

Somewhere along the way, I was sidetracked by the many distractions of life on the farm, but also, I had a few apprehensions about going in that direction. These foodie fears are as follows:

  1. Does the world really need another food blogger?
  2. If I start food blogging will my body become large (or large-er)? *

Two obviously very important concerns. The good news is that I was not worried about the actual cooking/devising recipes part of the equation. I feel fairly confident in my culinary skills to pull it off and have frequently been told that my little “gift” may be be worth pursuing more seriously. {having said that, I suppose they were all drunkenly delirious at the time of  these said statements}. I also have wide-ranging experience with filming food from my years in advertising production which should work to my advantage as I imagine my OCD tendencies would too.

So does the world really need another food blogger? Well, up until I went to the event last week…it was definitely questionable in my mind. In the USA, this niche is completely saturated and dare I say, nearly “old news”.  Still, I see things differently. I see that for so many people {myself included} food is truly a complete passion and to be able to create and share this vibrant passion with the world brings a tremendous amount of joy to their lives. And, we all know that joy certainly makes the world a better place.  If that weren’t enough, I’m convinced that food blogging is very much a highly creative endeavour. At least it will definitely be for me. Creating a scandalously delicious dish, taking a pretty photograph of it, followed by carefully composing 200-500 words about each preparation takes loads of creative thought, time and energy-if you want to put your best foot forward. Whether it’s mixing up a prosecco cocktail made with a cardamom-pear infusion or a simple traditional Irish stew, your senses are put to work on so many levels. So, because this kind of passion is sensationally creative and simply fuels my raison d’etre then I say: long live cooking/baking/blogging/writing/photography/television…anything foodie, really!

My plan is to proceed by collaborating with my mother-in-law and other Irish foodies to discover the best traditional Irish recipes around. I will draw from the farm as well as Ireland at large and then will lovingly prepare and imaginatively shoot them for you all to nip in and have a look as you see fit.  I will also continue to write about all the other bits and bobs that I experience here as well as featuring Irish talent whom inspire me. If food isn’t your thing, please don’t go away.  I promise I will still share all the silly snags and shenanigans of my Irish country life.

Well, having spilled the beans on my new adventure I am looking forward to the glorious month of June which will be spent in the USA where I will be shopping for a shiny new camera like this.  And this time, I will have even more fun going to my favourite foodie haunts such as Williams-Sonoma, Cooks of Crocus Hill and the one and only Target to find some fabulous new utensils for our kitchen. I’ll finish off with an afternoon or more spent at Crate&Barrel, Pottery Barn, PatinaAnthropologieAmpersand and Victory for colourful and smart accents to add to our collection..and to make for really lovely props.

I am so thrilled to get started on this and I hope you will join me on my Foodie journey! I’m looking for your favorite Irish traditional dishes and would love to hear your suggestions. Just leave a comment below.

Slan Abhaile,


*As far as my concern about getting “large”. Well, I guess that’s my own problem! (But, Donal, we all want to know your secret to staying thin and making all that yummy food all the time?!)

Photo courtesy of “The Country Cooking of Ireland” by Colman Andrews and Christopher Hirsheimer, photographer.

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29 Responses to “Farm Fresh….Foodie?”

  1. BBG says:

    That was exactly what I was looking for. You are doing a great job communicating your message. Keep up the good writing.

  2. 'neen says:

    I have meant to respond to this so many times Imen! I am so looking forward to your food adventures. Talking to you at the Bord Bia event, I was drawn in by your enthusiasm and passion. I can’t wait to see what fun you get up to with your unique perspective on Irish food.

  3. […] other wonderful bloggers have great pics and details of the event itself, check them […]

  4. The foodie angle sounds good, and I’m always halted in my tracks by a well-presented recipe. I’m looking forward to your new kitchen adventures.

  5. You sound like a gal with a plan! I’ll definitely be reading along. Best of luck with the camera/props shopping. Hope you don’t end up with too much excess baggage!

    Lovely to see Barbara popping up here too!

  6. Ariane says:

    Good Luck – I love reading food blogs, there can never be enough 🙂

  7. Hi Imen,
    Love reading your posts already so cannot wait for the foodie ones. Also, have major camera jealousy right now as that is the one I really want but think I will need to start off with a lower model. Good luck with your new venture, I’m sure it will be fab.

    • imen says:

      Aww thanks darling! You know it’s really the light that counts most…I’ve always wanted a nice camera and this will be a belated gift! Love your blog too!! x

  8. Kristin says:

    Looking forward to seeing the dishes you create, Imen!

    • imen says:

      Kirstin, it was so wonderful meeting you last week! You are an inspiration for sure….only hope I can be as good as you! xx

  9. Beth says:

    Can’t wait for this to start! And to see all of your new purchases!

    • imen says:

      Beth, you are the best! We must have a little expat meetup in Dublin this summer. Thank you for your support! xx

  10. Babaduck says:

    It was a great day & absolutely lovely to put a face to the name. Keep up the blogging!!

  11. This sounds like a great concept – I’m really looking forward to seeing the dishes I grew up with from fresh eyes, and very likely discovering some new ones too!

  12. barbara says:

    I’m looking forward to you foodie adventures. Hoe fabulous you met Bibliocook. We started out blogging around the same time when we both lived in New Zealand. I love this photo. Did you use an effect to achieve it?

    • imen says:

      Thank you Barbara! I hope I will not disapppoint! The photo was taken from Colman Andrews, “The Country Cooking of Ireland” and photograph by Christopher Hirsheimer..isn’t the light so gorgeous and warm?! x

  13. Krista says:

    I’m absolutely delighted that you’re going to pursue this!! 🙂 We are all so different that even if the topic is saturated, the heart of that topic can never be. I look forward to hearing your voice. 🙂

  14. Donal says:

    Hooray! You are nearly there! 🙂 Go for the 5D you deserve it! 🙂 x

    • imen says:

      Donal, you realize that you were the impetus behind my moving forward, thank you!…and also do you realise that you are a really really amazing food photographer…up there with the best! Total inspiration for me!! You will have to come down to the farm and give me a lesson or two–in exchange for a lovely farm-inspired meal of course! x

  15. Clare says:

    Woohoo! So stoked to hear (read) this :). I have visions of food blogger potlucks and cooking challenges in our foodie futures, lol. I love the idea of learning how to cook traditional Irish dishes and look forward to reading your related blog posts (and seeing your food porn pics!).

  16. shayma says:

    my fave are boxty pancakes. as for this new angle- hear hear! we are here on your culinary journey- waiting w the pear-cardamom prosecco for you at the end of it all. x shayma

    • imen says:

      Shayma…did you like the mention?! Too yummy sounding to not talk about!! Thank you so much for your support!! xoxo

  17. Carolinesweetie says:

    You go girl,I will follow all your foodie blogs and be happy to do so.xx

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