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About Marlene


About Marlene masthead

Who am I

Food, friendship and a glass of excellent wine are, for me, the most important ingredients of a life worth living. The gentle early morning debate about a possible dinner menu, picking arms full of wild flowers in the fields around the achingly beautiful village of Charroux, filling a basket with fresh asparagus, sun warmed tomatoes and purple hearted artichokes. From winter fires to steaming soups, brisk walks in the icy winter’s mist along the well loved Sea Point promenade, endless conversations around the kitchen table whilst a pot of tender-as-marrow oxtail is cooking away on the stove.

All of these and the sharing of another meal, laughter or journey with the people around me.

What is not to love?

Author: food and lifestyle

My first book, Delectable, was published in 2006. And after that the smell of printer’s ink became a small, albeit rather serious, addiction. During the course of the years following the first book I’ve realized that we all need to take a in depth look at our relationship with produce and food. What you eat should be part of a lifestyle.

Chef: food as a lifestyle

It was only a miracle that opened a service door into the kitchens of Chef John Jackson so many years ago. Under his careful tuition I was taught quite astutely how to ‘move food’. And after many wonderful journeys starting in the Alsace, doing endlessly exciting and challenging food and wine pairing lunches for wine estates in the Western Cape as well as taking a three year turn at my demonstration kitchen, The Food Studio in Green Point, I can now cook to my hearts’ desire during the Cook’s Tours at Bagatelle, Charroux in the French countryside, as well as at home in Green Point in Cape Town where I give private cooking lessons.

Travel: have suitcase, will travel

What an immense privilege to be able to combine a complete passion for food and cooking with the same for travel. When the pomegranate in the courtyard in front of my study, helped along by the first autumn winds, sheds her leaves, I haul my suitcase from the attic. Then the travelling for the year commences. A delicious journey that leads me from St Georges’ Bungalow in Green Point Village, Cape Town through the well loved streets of Paris to the tiny village of Charroux and our lovely home, Bagatelle, in the Auvergne. Where we shop and cook and share some of the most memorable times with friends as well as fellow food travellers.