Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kotona (ja keittiössä) maailmalla

Sunnuntain kunniaksi erikoisherkkua, ja syy siihen, miksi olin eilen niin täpinöissäni: keittiöguru ja maailman kauneimpien keittokirjojen kirjoittaja, Tessa Kiros vastasi ystävällisesti muutamaan hänelle esittämääni kysymykseen. Kirjoitin Kiroksen kirjoista aikaisemmin täällä. Nyt saamme kuulla, millä reseptillä  nuo rakastetut kirjat ovat syntyneet - ja mikä parasta, lisää on tulossa.



Tessa Kiros. Photo: Manos Chadzikostantis.


Your background is very multicultural, and this is reflected in your books as well. What is it in all the different cultures that fascinate you? Where do you feel most at home?

“While I was working in restaurants, I was also studying anthropology and sociology at university. Essentially I love the way the way groups of people get together, their traditions, why they eat what they do and when, and the many other things that make up a culture. The roots behind it all. This fascinates me.
I feel at home in various places. Greece, Italy, London, South Africa. I LOVE travelling. Exploring. Setting my foot down in a new place for me is TOP.”

You have recently published your eighth book, Limoncello and Linen Water. How are your books born? Where do you get your ideas and how do you work them?

“Often my books work from what I am busy with in my life at that time. My first book Twelve was my personal collection of recipes from my time spent in Tuscany – with the idea that I might not always live here. A memoir. Generally I have an idea that inspires me, that fuels me and I go with that. The way I want to see it down on the page, in a book.

I have fantastic team – photographer, stylist, artist/designer -  the same friends I have worked with on all of my books. It works beautifully – together we take the book from the start to the finish.”

The way you combine your personal memories, photographs, stories, observations and impressions in your cookbooks turns them into works of art. I often read your books and draw inspiration from the colours, stories and beautiful photographs, even when I am not looking for a recipe. What inspires you?

“So many things inspire me. It could be the certain shade of a colour, a smell, a memory. The way someone describes what they saw or ate. The way I want something to be.  Ingredients. Travel. People. Fabrics.  Watching or listening to someone do something that they love. Details.”

Do you have a favourite cookbook and a favourite dish?

“One of my favourites is Neil Perry. I love the simplicity of the way he gives a recipe – yet the standard is so highly professional.
A couple of my favourite dishes that we always cook for celebration are prawns with feta, lemon and piri piri. I love big mixed barbecues and salads. And cinnamon and cardamom buns!”

How did your second book, Falling Cloudberries, come about? What made you write it?

“Falling Cloudberries came about by me just writing down the recipes I wanted to share. Then it was easy to see that it was all the chapters of my life – the places I had lived. So that’s how it all fell into place – on its own really. Many people have written to tell me how they relate to this and feel a part of it.”

What are the most difficult things you have encountered during your career as an author?

“The most difficult thing – could be when I first tried to get published. I wrote to many many publishers and they all said no. Many wanted to know if I had written any books before, but I hadn’t. So it was difficult to get started.”

Are you working on a book at the moment?

“I am working on a couple of books at the moment. I’m waiting to see the direction then that my publisher wants to take. So as I go, I try things out, go with my inspiration. Write it down. Somehow it all just comes together then in the end. “ 

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this, and glad it's in English too. Google translate can only do so much! Tessa Kiros is my all time favourite cookbook author!
    Sarah

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    1. You're welcome, Sarah! She's one of my favourites too, and her books are definitely the most beautiful cookbooks ever!

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  2. Hyvä haastattelu. Herätti myös innostuksen Kiroksen ihaniin keittokirjoihin.. Pakko saada :)

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    1. Kiitos, joo nuo kirjat ovat aivan omaa luokkaansa, ja niin kuin sanoin, toimivat myös vähän kuin 'kahvipöytäkirjoina' kauneutensa ja tarinallisuutensa vuoksi. Suosittelen todella!

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  3. Oi ja vau, kiitos tästä! :)

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    1. Niinpä! Oli todella mielenkiintoinen keskustelu ja esimerkiksi tuo antropologia-tausta selittää paljon kirjojen viehätystä, ainakin omalla kohdallani. Kirjat menevät (ruoka)kulttuurin ytimeen.

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  4. Mistä sä sait idean ja ennen kaikkea pokan haastatella englanninkielistä kirjailijaa suomenkieliseen blogiin? Aivan mahtavaa, itsellä ei vaan tosiaan pokka riittäisi tällaiseen. "So what is this interview for?" "Uh, I have this blog in a small obscure language..."

    Lupasin kirjoittaa jutun amerikkalaisesta kulutusyhteiskunnasta pieneen vapaaehtoisvoimin tuotettuun suomalaiseen lehteen, ja vaikka kyseessä on printtimedia, tulee silti fiilis, että mitenköhän selitän tapauksen niille, joita haluan haastatella. Vaikka yleensä kaikki tykkäävät jakaa haastatteluita, että tuskin on ongelma muuta kuin minulle.

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    1. Itselleni tyypilliseen 'meen ja teen' -tapaan en ehtinyt asiaa pohtia kuin sen 2 sekuntia kun lähetin postia. Lähestyin asiaa periaatteella: 'ei kysymisestä nyt mitään haittaakaan voi olla'. Tässä tapauksessa asiaa ehkä saattoi auttaa myös se, että Kiroksen äiti on suomalaistaustainen eli kielialue kuulosti ehkä hiukan vähemmän randomilta hänen korvissaan! :-)

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