WHO ARE YOU?
I am Jeanne Horak-Druiff, a proud South African and was born, raised, educated and happily ensconced in Port Elizabeth all my life. That is, until fate intervened and I followed my husband who wanted to fulfil a dream of working abroad. We came to London with the intention of staying a year. It’s now 11 years later and we are still here, which just goes to show that life is what happens while you make other plans. I do visit South Africa at least once a year, so I can occasionally attend events there. Please contact me if you want to know when next I will be visiting South Africa.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
In past incarnations I was a criminal advocate (barrister) and defended many people on trial for murder, back when South Africa still handed out the death penalty. I also lectured commercial law for eight of the happiest years of my career at the former PE Technikon. For the past few years I have worked in law firms in a knowledge management & training role.
When I am not at my day job, I am am award-winning food, wine & travel blogger; a freelance writer who has written for various online and print publications; and a speaker/trainer with many years of experience in lecturing, presenting seminars/workshops. I have spoken at a number of international blogging conferences, covering topics such as legal aspects of blogging, writing style and voice, recipe writing & editing, blogging for beginners, camera techniques, and post-processing. I am one of the founders and organisers of From Plate to Page, a regular hands-on food writing and photography workshop, where I teach food writing and photography.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
I love how food forms the backdrop to all the milestones in our lives – a wedding breakfast, a graduation dinner, a farewell cocktail party. It ties us to our past and our family with cords that can’t be broken. And even in a foreign land, you can recreate the favourite tastes of your childhood and take comfort from them. To me, the story of what I eat is the story of my life, and you will find plenty of stories to keep you amused on my blog. Let’s just say brevity is not my strong point.
DO YOU HAVE A COMMENTS POLICY?
As a general rule, I don’t interfere with comments, other than to remove anything spam-related or that is obviously a punt for some commercial enterprise. I welcome discussion in the comments and you can say what you like, but if you make a snotty remark, don’t be surprised if you get a snotty response! Also please bear in mind that this is my cyber home. I wouldn’t tolerate people coming into my house and being rude to me, and I won’t tolerate it here. Play nice. And don’t even think of saying anything racist, sexist, insulting of a particular religion or otherwise inflammatory – I will remove it so fast it will make your head spin. This is a food blog, not a soapbox for people with an axe to grind.
CAN WE SEND YOU STUFF TO REVIEW OR PRESS RELEASES TO PUBLISH?
I do accept items or books for review, and I am happy to be invited to events or on press trips. Please see my review policy for details. Please do not send me press releases for items I have never used, or places I have never been, and then pester me asking whether I have published something about them on my blog yet. The answer is always going to be no. It isn’t going to happen.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEWBIE FOOD BLOGGERS?
If you are a newbie blogger looking for advice, you are probably better off visiting the tremendously helpful posts by Delicious Days; David Lebovitz or sites like The Food Blog Forum or Food Blog Alliance which contain a wealth of information to answer your every blogging question. You are also free to ask me foodie questions, but few things enrage me more than spending my precious leisure time putting together a detailed answer to a recipe or restaurant query and then not even getting the courtesy of a simple “thank you” e-mail. I keep a record of all the reader questions that I have answered on my Cooksister FAQ page. Take a look – maybe I have answered your question already.
HOW CAN WE GET HOLD OF YOU?
If you haven’t already found it elsewhere, my e-mail address is emailcooksister AT gmail DOT com. I love comments and sugestions and try to answer all e-mails, even if it takes me a while.
If you like my writing or photographs so much that you would like me to commission me to write or photograph something for you, please e-mail me – I am always happy to discuss projects and negotiate rates. Please do not write to me and ask me to provide you with free content because you “the client does not have the budget to pay” and offer me “exposure” instead of payment. The answer is no.
AND BY THE WAY, WHAT IS A COOKSISTER?
A koeksister (pronounced “cooksister”) is a delicious plaited, deep-fried syrup-dipped pastry from (where else?) South Africa.
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