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Interview, Narratives Exclusives

Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan in September 2010. Image by John Gundy

Dorie Greenspan in September 2010. Image by John Gundy

When I first started conducting interviews, I was hesitant in taking my own portraitures to accompany the pieces. So I had the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing people. One of those was Mr. John Gundy, an incredibly talented natural light photographer. Up until that point in time, I didn’t know that such a description existed and that I was essentially a subscriber to that camp of photography styles. Of course, John is far more advanced that I, and has this incredible ability to capture the mood of his subjects in a captivating and emotional way. (I later learned that John is also a director of stage productions on the side. What an incredible use of his talents. Truly a story teller in so may aspects of his work.)  I aspire to be able to do a fraction of what he was able to catch during my time speaking with the incomparable Dorie Greenspan.

And example can be seen here.

I have an admiration for Ms. Greenspan because I feel we might have shared similar paths (both had worked on our doctorates) but instead of pursuing hte degree, she went to study cooking, ending up in food writing and becoming an award winning cookbook author who ended up working and collaborating with many of the industry’s best. Including my own idols. She also has a low-key but loyal fan base, and food groups like Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) and French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD), whose content populate the worldwide web.

Dorie was in town as part of a promotional tour for her upcoming (at the time) cookbook, Around My French Table – a fantastic collection of excellent recipes for the dinner table (and beyond). Just like her other cookbooks, Paris Sweets (standout), Baking: From My Home to Yours (excellent and reliable), Baking Chez Moi (most recent addition), and Desserts by Pierre Herme (one of my all time faves), her collection of works are not only tried, tested and true resources, but a pleasure to read with the many anecdotes shared.

Sadly the notes from the interview I conducted with Dorie in the cafe portion of Sen5es – or rather back when there was a division between cafe and restaurant – are lost. It was a Monday morning, and I remember both John and I hanging out in the warm sun drenched room, waiting for Dorie and her publicist (who were a little late because of traffic and a previous appointment that ran over). I remember hanging on to her ever word, because I love Dorie (honestly, who doesn’t. She is has the most joyful spirit), then having to rush after our conversation to another appointment (which I almost wanted to cancel, but it was a class that I agreed to subsitute teach. So, you know, responsibilities).

The interview itself is also a memory because the start-up publication it was penned for folded before it got off the ground. It was also back before I had the foresight to screencapture or scan my works, and the advent of this blog (that circumvents outcomes like these). Despite all those set backs, we still have this photo John took that embodies all that is so warm and lovable about Ms. Greenspan.


Interview conducted: September 2010

Post image by John Gundy of John Gundy Photography

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About Renée Suen

Renée Suen is a food loving freelance writer and photographer based in Toronto. Her insatiable appetite, curiosity and camera are often found travelling around the world in search of memorable tastes and the stories behind the plate. In another life, she is a PhD candidate in Cardiovascular Sciences.

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