If you've seen Marieke Verdenius' Instagram feed, you'd know exactly how stunning it is. Beautiful, minimal still-life images featuring only the freshest ingredients.. There's something about it that really soothes the soul. The food blogger now works as a food and lifestyle editor for the online magazine, Jamie Magazine (yes, by the one and only Jamie Oliver!) and she killing it! Marieke kindly took some time off to share with Bloesem on the Bloesem Gazette where she gets her inspiration for amazing recipes, and a little secret or two to whipping up a great meal.. Here's the rest of the juicy bits!
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Peanut butter sandwiches, especially with toasted bread.
Ah yes, the classics! Any tips on making the perfect sandwich?
Add some sliced avocado, it always works. Or, if you add some lettuce to your sandwich, make sure it is seasoned with a honey-mustard type of vinaigrette. It tastes so much better!
And how do you like your eggs?
Poached! Or sunny side up.
What is your favourite comfort food and why?
Croque-monsieur. During my studies, I worked as a chef at a cozy lunchroom. I really loved baking these grilled sandwiches with various fillings for our guests. I created my favourite combinations, such as one with organic ham, mozzarella, pesto & pine nuts. Or chèvre with homemade peanut butter and honey.
For a first time cook, what would you recommend they try making?
Cook spaghetti and add some raw ingredients like sliced cherry tomatoes, rocket, feta cheese, seeds, nuts, freshly chopped herbs, olives or anything you like. Season well and add some extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice. Easy does it.
And what do you think is the most versatile ingredient to work with?
That’s a difficult question to answer because I could mention more than just one. If I had to make a choice, I’d go for lemon. It is the best secret ingredient to give your vegetables or pasta dish a kick. Lemons combine with everything, from fish to salads and from cake to cordial, it’s an ingredient that uplifts nearly everything.
Name 5 places you go to for recipe inspirations.
At the office, where I am lucky to have access to a small culinary library filled with the latest publications and favourite classics. On Instagram and Pinterest, by browsing through the feeds of many talented Instagrammers & Pinners worldwide. I also visit restaurants or food shops for inspiration, it is really nice to see how their different signature dishes are presented. Sometimes I meet up with fellow foodie Instagrammers to cook and eat together. And lastly, cooking programs on the BBC. I could watch them 24 hours a day.
What's a ‘must try’ local dish?
I would say kroketten by Holtkamp (croquettes with prawns, lobster or veal). They are Yotam Ottolenghi’s favourite too.
Wow, that sounds awesome. And what dish makes you miss home the most?
My mum's ‘kruidkoek’. She created her own recipe, which is still a secret to all of us!
What's a good dessert to get in the mood/ date night dessert and your go-to drink?
Meringue with fresh seasonal fruit & whipped cream. My favorite drink, except water or tea, is a glass of white wine or a GT with cucumber.
And when you're getting together with your friends, where do you eat?
One of my favorite spots in town is ‘De Kas’, a restaurant located in a glass house. They serve the best organic food. If I have less to spend, I love eating at a small, intimate restaurant called Balthasars’ Keuken. It’s located in the heart of the ‘Jordaan’ area on the Elandsgracht.
Do you ever diet/detox?
Sorry, I can’t say I have.
What about dietary advice to help stay in shape?
Stay away from too much sugar or sweet things.
Any tips on food styling?
Keep it simple and make choices, less is more.
What trends do you see in foodie culture?
I think we are slowly changing our food habits by eating more honest food that’s locally produced. People really like to hear how and where their bread, cheese or sausage is made. These days it is quite common to drink beer produced by local brewers rather than the mainstream alternatives. And a positive development is that new local food start-ups are finding support in the community.
Lastly, tell us your secret indulgences!
Organic fries with mayonnaise, it’s part of my monthly menu!
Anyone else's got cravings now? Thanks for the lovely interview Marieke!
Photo credits: Marieke Verdenius