You’re probably already familiar with Meike Peters, our guest blogger culinary gem, who’s the brains (and the camera) behind such creations as Roasted Ginger & Lemon Sprouts and Lentils with Pomegranate and Dukkah — and her personality is just as delicious as her recipes. Creator of Eat in my Kitchen and currently living in Berlin, Meike posts a recipe everyday, many of them stunning takes on German classics – her pretzel buns for example – with others taking inspiration from her summers spent in Malta.
As a blogger, Meike loves to push boundaries. When reading her posts, you feel as if the two of you are chatting in a corner table at the local coffee shop, sharing a biscotti. She has the ability to teach and inspire you, but leaves any patronising tone at the door. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she comes up with mind-blowing awesome recipes and couples that with incredible photography skills.
She’s very much a rising star in the food blogging world – her work has been featured on sites like Food 52, The Kitchn and The Zeit, whilst also winning over the foodie masses with ‘community pick’ recipes time and time again. If you’re like us, you’ll be drawn into her world by the incredible photography and creative recipes. Read on as Meike shares the secret to photography, why she prefers tea to coffee, and exactly how she found herself sharing her creations with the internet.
You’ve been known to come up with quirky, creative recipes. Where do you find inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from when I go shopping, I just have to look at all the vegetables, cheese and meat and I automatically get lots of new ideas for what I’d like to create. My mother is an excellent cook and whenever we talk on the phone we exchange recipes and our new culinary discoveries. She inspires me a lot!
You obviously have excellent photography skills – was it something you’d studied before, or something you picked up through life?
I studied architecture and that definitely improved my intuitive sense for proportions and aesthetics, but I believe that as a photographer you just have to love what you see in front of your camera. At one point you get a feeling for the object, how it plays with light and how to capture the right moment. I used to take lots of portraits of friends and family and I always took tons of pictures when I traveled. Now it’s food and after having taken so many photos of my dishes almost every day, the creative process comes quite naturally, but it’s an ongoing process. My photography never stops evolving and I love that!
What’s your process when you take a photo? How do you decide where to shoot, how to set up the background, and how to style your dish?
I simply follow my feeling, it starts with the food as that’s my main focus. I look at what the food needs and not how I would like to decorate the table. The light, the background, colour and light, it all has to fit to the food and not the other way around. When I take pictures in winter in Berlin I have to work with the darkness, it’s a completely different situation to my summers in Malta when I have to deal with a biting brightness. This effects the colours and textures. Sometimes I just arrange the food on a plate (like I normally would for dinner) and put the plate on the table and it looks great. But there are times, especially when the light is difficult, when I have to try a couple plates, surfaces and positions – and this has to happen quickly, as food looks best within the first few minutes. I want the food to look naturally tasty – that’s my priority and I think that’s what people like about my blog.
You must browse other blogs, foodie and more – how do these other bloggers influence your own work, if at all?
I don’t read that many and I also don’t really want to get my inspiration from other blogs because then we would all do the same at one point. I prefer to get my inspiration from my ingredients and conversations with other food lovers, from places outside the digital world.
What do you think food blogging will look like in 5 years? Will it still be around?
I hope so, as it’s a great way to exchange recipes and to share this wonderful passion for food which so many people feel. In the digital world it’s hard to make a forecast, things develop so quickly, but seeing that so many people all over the world enjoy food and cooking so much, I can’t really see the end of food blogging coming soon.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Maltese bread with olive oil, or dark German bread with butter!
Simple one: tea or coffee?
Tea! Green Sencha in the morning with fresh lemon, various herbal teas during the day, Darjeeling or Earl Gray for my tea time and verbena or fennel seeds in the evening vs. 1 espresso a day!
Interview: Paris Bielby | Images: Meike Peters