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Featured Member Blog: Food Nouveau

Name:
Marie Asselin

Blog name and URL:
Food Nouveau – http://foodnouveau.com

Where were you born?
Montréal, Québec

Where are you living now?
Québec City

Why did you start your blog?
I’m a native French speaker, and I studied translation. I started my blog as a way to practice English, but it ended up helping me find my voice as a writer, which is what I really wanted to become all along.

How did you decide on your blog name?
Food Nouveau is a “franglish” (Français/English) wordplay I first heard in a song by a (now defunct) band, Cibo Matto. It’s a catchy phrase that people remember well and I liked it because I thought it represented my heritage perfectly.

What do you blog about?
I blog about food and travel. A grocery store is the first place I want to stop at in a new city or country, and I often come back with a suitcase filled with new and intriguing ingredients. I enjoy the challenge of recreating the dishes I tasted abroad, and following my experiments I write detailed how-tos to help others achieve the same results. Soon after starting my blog, I discovered that many people were interested in making the same iconic dishes that I did, and that they were looking for recipes and techniques as authentic as possible. My most popular posts are about making French macarons, Bolognese sauce, gelato and gnocchi.

What post are you most proud of and why?
All of my how-to posts
. I really enjoy writing detailed how-to posts (taking pictures and making the occasional video too), so it’s very rewarding when people comment that my instructions helped them succeed in making a dish that was previously a source of frustration.

How to Make an Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese

How to Make Gnocchi: An Illustrated, Step-by-Step Recipe

Which post do you wish received more love and why?
The posts I write about Québec. My blog’s focus isn’t local, but I do write about Québec’s cuisine or restaurants once in a while, in an effort to make my readers curious about our culture. They’re far from being my most popular posts, and I wish I’d find Québec-related topics that would garner more attention. I have recently become the new About.com Montreal and Québec City Travel Guide, which makes me really happy because it provides me with an outpost to share everything I love about my hometowns. I will work hard on growing that site and I will make sure to cross refer articles that I think my Food Nouveau readers will like too.

A Classic Québécois Dish: Pouding chômeur à l’érable (Poor Man’s Maple Pudding)

Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My how-to post about macarons. It’s one of the first posts I ever wrote three years ago, and it’s still my main traffic driver. I get thousands of hits on that post alone every month (especially during the holiday season), and the video I made about macarons is close to hitting 300,000 views. That little French treat is more popular than I ever imagined!

How to Make Macarons: A Detailed, Illustrated Step-by-Step Recipe

What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
My iPhone. It’s such a versatile tool; as a freelancer, my life just wouldn’t be the same without it. This doesn’t mean I don’t have manners though; in fact, people that are always glued to their screens in social situations are a pet peeve of mine. As much as I love my iPhone, I know when to put it away :)

What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
My Global chef’s knife. My parents gave it to me as a gift many years ago, and it’s the tool that I use the most in the kitchen. I used to think you needed a whole collection of different knives in order to be an efficient cook; now I only use my Global knife for everything. It’s lightweight, laser sharp, and I’m so comfortable using it that I even bring it with me when I travel and rent apartments abroad. I can’t stand a dull knife anymore! Investing in a good knife is really worth it. If you take good care of it, it’ll last you a lifetime.

Favourite food, care to share a recipe?

Pizza! It’s a dish that can be made in so many different ways and I never get tired of it. I like all kinds of pizza, thin and thick crusted, and I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I often make it at home, and I believe I have found the perfect crust, inspired by the amazingly delicious pizza I had at Forno Campo di Fiori in Rome. Here’s the recipe and how-to instructions: Rome’s Forno Campo de’ Fiori Pizza, At Home.

What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I registered foodnouveau.com in 2000 when I was a graphic design student. It first allowed me to practice my web design skills, and the site was a simple recipe repository back then. It had a nice little following but I stopped maintaining it around 2005 when I got too busy with work. I revived it as a blog years later, in 2010. Not keeping up with it and transforming it into a blog earlier is my biggest life regret.

What makes your blog unique?
The fact that I have the patience to learn how to make intricate dishes and that I know how to transmit knowledge in a way that makes people realize they can do it too. I also like to think that my French-Canadian culture gives me a unique outlook on the world and that this is why people enjoy reading about my adventures abroad.

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One Response to Featured Member Blog: Food Nouveau

  1. A Canadian Foodie December 15, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Great information about Marie!
    Love her site!
    :)
    V

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