• The Food&Home Awards are nearly here (published in the September issue of Food&Home) and we want you to get to know the judges! Ilse van der Merwe, more commonly known as The Food Fox is a foodie, cookbook author and recipe developer from Cape Town. Read more to get to know her and find out what makes her tick!

    How did you get started in food and content creation?

    I started my food blog at the end of 2010 as a foot in the door to pursue a lifelong passion (food & writing). About 6 months later I made a full career change to follow my love for food content creation full time. It’s been 11 years and I haven’t looked back!

    How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

    Warm, authentic, independent.

    What are some of your passions?

    I love outdoor running, power yoga, French pastries, good coffee, sourcing stunning local produce for cooking, recreational cooking, sleeping, music, the ocean.

    What has been your most memorable food experience?

    Geez, that’s a hard question. I once ate lunch at a taverna in Plaka (Athens Greece, May 2010). It was a simple but perfect Greek salad with tzatziki (the thickest ever) and freshly grilled juicy lamb koftas. It was Mediterranean simplicity and perfection personified.


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    What is your go-to dinner to make when you’re short on time?

    Woolies free range chicken schnitzels! Mayo and steamed broccoli optional.

    If you had to leave for a deserted Island for 6 months, what 5 food items would you pack and what would your last meal be?

    Stone ground white bread flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt, canned tomatoes, jasmine rice. My last meal would probably be a freshly baked focaccia soaked in the finest extra virgin olive oil and perhaps some oozing soft gorgonzola on the side with an epic bottle of Shiraz.

     Who are your favourite chef’s?

    Nick van Wyk, Pete Goffe Wood, Maritz Jacobs, Bertus Basson, Michael Deg, Scott Borreros Armstrong, Chris Erasmus, Phillip Pretorius, Reuben Riffel, my list is VERY long and I can give you at least 10 more!

    What are your favourite cookbooks?

    Lazy Days by Phillippa Cheifitz is probably my favourite cookbook of all time, and her work has influenced my career so much over the past decade and more. I’m also a massive Donna Hay and Ottolenghi fan – I have many of their books and cannot choose a favourite, I truly love them all!

    What is the best thing you read this year?

    Essentialism by Greg McKeown – it’s a life changing read.
    Visit her website here
    ALSO SEE: https://www.foodandhome.co.za/features/get-to-know-all-in-the-kitchen

    Fatima is the editor of Food&Home. Trained in English Literature and recipe development, she can be found eating her way through Cape Town armed with a cookbook in her bag and her camera at the ready.