Meet Mimi Thorisson. The foodie extraordinaire - who can add author and cooking show star to her ever-growing list of accomplishments - recently published her latest cookbook, Cooking in French Country. Having thoroughly traveled the world, Thorisson eventually settled in the picturesque French countryside with her photographer husband Oddur, and their growing family. We caught up with Mimi to get the scoop on her daily life and even managed to snag a few recipes from her new book. Take a look!
Get to Know Mimi!
I am always fascinated by Michel Guérard, Alain Passard, and Alain Ducasse. All quite classic but always the best.
The best part of what I do is the freedom and pleasure I get from cooking.
My lunch routine consists of something delicious and seasonal. Always with a glass of wine.
If I weren't a cook, I would be a theatre actress.
I'm 10 times more productive when I am alone.
My favorite cold-weather dish is a winter stew, like a garbure des pyrénées, which is a ham hock stew.
The best thing I've ever eaten is Salt and Pepper Crab in Bombay, at a restaurant called Trishna.
Where do you seek inspiration for the things you make? From desire, my travels, and my passions.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I wake up inspired to eat and cook a certain ingredient. Taking care of the kids in the morning before school, then cooking, writing, playing with my baby, reading, cooking. If I am not doing that than I am probably eating something, somewhere exciting!
Beet Salad with Crème Fraîche
serves 4 to 6
If this salad were a fairy tale, and it’s certainly exciting enough to be one, it would go something like this: One day, when all the red vegetables had gotten tired of reading about how healthy and delicious their leafy green colleagues were, they got together and decided to do something about it. “I think, if we all pitch in, we could make a smashing salad,” said the beet. “I agree,” said the red onion. But they decided they needed a little help. So they sent the red cabbage to recruit the pomegranate. He was in: “I feel it is my duty to help you even if I like to work alone.” The pumpkin seeds soon followed suit. A dollop of cream and some capers for contrast and they all headed to the big salad fair where they jumped into a bowl.
To put it simply, I can’t think of a more delicious, beautiful, and healthy salad. I love making it, I love eating it, and afterward I always feel rejuvenated and happy. One note: Be sure to wear an apron when you seed the pomegranate; those red little guys are very juicy and lively. - Mimi Thorisson
Mimolette and Comté Mac and Cheese
Serves 6 to 8
This section of the book turned out to be a who’s who of comfort food—and it wouldn’t be complete without the king of comfort foods: mac and cheese. As a kid in Hong Kong, I remember reading about this exciting dish and desperately wanting to try it. I also remember my disappointment when, having coaxed my mother or some nanny into buying a ready-made version, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the best food in the world after all. But all that is relative. You reap as you sow. I still believe in the power of mac and cheese when it is done right. With just enough glorious, pungent cheese, it can still be, on a good day, the best food that a little girl ever dreamed existed. - Mimi Thorisson
This recipe is here as a result of an argument—not a serious one, so maybe it’s better to call it a disagreement. My husband loves tomatoes the way I love chestnuts, and he tries to add them to everything. He adores the Italian version of hunter’s chicken, with lots of red wine and tomato sauce, and kept asking me to make it. So I did. The problem, however, was that I don’t really love that dish—so while he devoured it, I didn’t eat that much. I kept telling him that French hunter’s chicken, with mushrooms and white wine, is much better, and one day I cooked it unannounced. To make sure I’d get my point across I went to extra lengths, sourcing the finest farm chicken, picking the tarragon we were growing on our roof garden. His verdict: delicious, crispy, tasty, flavorful, “but I still love the tomato version.” And I still disagree. - Mimi Thorisson