Ah, The Good Life, that soft focus ’70s premonition of today’s self-sufficiency-obsessed middle-class culture; formerly working in TV, perhaps blogger Mimi Thorisson missed a trick when naming her website, as The Bloody Marvellous Life may well have been more appropriate than Manger (the French verb to eat, as opposed to a livestock trough). For a bloody marvellous life does Thorisson appear to lead, the former fashion, journalism and television career woman having decamped to Médoc (a wine region near Bordeaux) with her photographer husband, 6 kids and 14 (yes, 14) dogs.
Besides the presumably hectic family life, Thorisson finds time to write one of the most visually mouthwatering foodie blogs around; her husband clearly a master of his trade. Pastries, vegetables, seafood and meat have rarely looked better online, and the lifestyle so aspirational it’s only a matter of time until Mimi finds herself a celebrity chef in her own right. We caught up with the lady herself for a quick chat about all things food and web…
Mimi, when did you start Manger, and what was the reason behind it?
I started ‘Manger’ in April this year. After more than a decade in Paris, my family and I decided to fulfill a little dream – moving to the country for a few years and savour a full country-life. The dream came true and we are living today in Médoc, France. I am passionate about food and cooking, so it was only a matter of time until I decided to share my culinary life filled with kids, dogs and nature.
…and what were you doing before?
I had a career in television and journalism in the field of news, fashion and food.
The photography, all by your husband Oddur Thorisson, plays a key role in the blog – how important was this in the thinking behind Manger and its direction?
The photographs on Manger tell a story and set the mood for my recipes. Oddur and I share a life together where we can both express ourselves through words and photos. It’s a powerful and personal way to communicate our vision.
Did you face any technical complications in getting your site off the ground?
It was as simple as A,B,C! I signed up on WordPress and clicked ‘publish’. It’s very simple and easy. Today I am planning to organize Manger and create a more elaborate site.
There’s all manner of mouth-watering goodness throughout the pages of your site – if you had just one final meal, what would it be?
That’s a question I often ask myself! My palate is equally in love with Chinese and French food. It has to be a tie between Shanghainese ‘xiao long bao’ and crab roe steamed dumplings and a pan-fried foie gras with glazed figs and chasselas grapes.
Any foodie guilty pleasures – I’m going to assume you don’t enjoy a cheeky Big Mac?
I can’t resist whipped cream and meringues – when I see these treats I am in a gourmet trance and indulge.
How often do you post content, and how does that fit in with your offline life?
It depends – sometimes I can post everyday, or every 2-3 days. Depends on how big the post is. This blog is my life, the cooking and activities is what I do everyday. Writing on Manger is my diary, and my husband photographs it all.
What’s your favourite thing about running and maintaining a blog?
I love it! I feel like I am archiving the most interesting parts of my life. The most satisfying part of the blog is being to communicate with my readers.
Have you had any benefits come from the blog’s success? Trips, doors opening etc.
As I work a lot with chefs, I am often invited to restaurants. That’s fun and always interesting. Doors are opening.
How loyal is your following?
A lot of Manger readers have been following since the very beginning. I enjoy communicating with them, exchanging tips and stories. If the recipes and stories are appreciated, then readers will want to come back for more. It’s a bit like a restaurant – if you liked the food and atmosphere, you’ll want to go back!
Do you focus heavily on connecting through social media?
I am very connected on Instagram and Pinterest – they are both so much fun and a great tool to introduce my recipes and posts.
What makes you smile, and what annoys you?
Good food, good health and kindness makes me smile. Small minds and money-obssessed people really annoy me.
Any advice for an aspiring blogger?
Get out there and publish anything you want! You will always find someone in the blogosphere world that will connect with you.
What does the future hold for yourself and Manger – a cookbook perhaps?
I want to cook and share all my favourite recipes. I am also preparing a cookbook for 2013. And more to come…