I’m Annelies Zijderveld, the food poet. Welcome to this gathering of food, poetry and art for one seriously delicious party. I try not to take myself too seriously, though that is often a losing battle. My voracious appetite for eating and the intertwined twins of reading and writing has led me to work in food marketing for 13 years and to receive an MFA in poetry. Food and poetry mingle far more often than people think.
What started as a life lived on the go, la vie en route, years ago became a place where I could chronicle all of the exquisite food, sights and books that I encountered or accompanied me on my travels. Here, on the food poet, I invite the poetry to mingle with food and for the food to be inspired by the poetry of life.
I tend to be good food focused with an appreciation for real food and try not to satisfy a certain sweet tooth too often. Sigh. Also, sometimes, a losing battle. But seriously, I’m intrigued by the idea that a person can change their tastes and what they crave and the idea that we can change the world. With an avid intent of trying to live by an 80/20 philosophy, sometimes that ratio radically shifts to 20/80, leading to the right occasion for recalibration. I possess a proclivity for interesting ingredients and an obsession for tea. My approach to cooking can be best summed up in four words: start where you are.
I did not grow up in a home with a Mom who relished cooking or a dad who appreciated aromas of food wafting through the house, though they lavished plenty of love on me in other ways. My journey in cooking has been founded over the years in a series of fits and starts. And if you find yourself curious about cooking but without the know-how, I would want for you to consider that even someone as respected in the food community as Julia Child or James Beard had to start somewhere.
Start where you are.
Experimenting in the kitchen keeps me on my toes and sometimes leads to epic failures. Epic. Here’s a pro-tip: all cooks will have epic failures at some point. But, just like the importance of pre-writing or even writing four “poems” that actually may only yield a line or idea, without failure in the kitchen we wouldn’t know what not to do the next time or new ways to tackle an old concept. More often than not, though, nothing cataclysmic occurs other than capturing flavors teasing me for days on end as figments, the way a line of poetry just nags at the mind until it’s ready to be realized on paper. The point in cooking, just like writing is to keep doing it regularly. Inspiration strikes during visits to a farmer’s market, listening to Mumford and Sons’ first album, while reading poetry (right now, obsessing over Gary Snyder) or I help it along…
I’m glad you’re here.
Say hello. Send me your current food obsession. Share a poem. Join the food poetry community.
PS- I have closed comments on the blog so if you have any feedback you would like to impart, please email it or share it one of the social channels above.
PPS- Will you help me bring back the postscript? My fondness for it knows no bounds.
- Featured as a favorite food blog by Alimentum Food Literary Journal
- Arthouse America
- Curator Magazine
- Darling Magazine
- Huffington Post
- Huffington Post
- Jamie Oliver blog
- Monica Bhide blog
- Sated Magazine
- SF Weekly
- Spiced Panda
- The Blender Girl- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- featured poet in Voz Sin Tinta poetry reading at Alley Cat Books, winter 2014
- The Abbey, Santa Cruz, food poetry photography installation, summer 2013
- New England College, taught a Mixed Media Poetry workshop, summer 2012