by Silvana de Soissons•19th January 2012
One of my very favourite food Blogs is the one created by the polymath Emiko Davies at www.emikodavies.com.
I have been following it for about a year now, and although her work is published in many prominent places, I am sure that if you were to say the name Emiko Davies out there in "Blogosphere" circles not many people would recognise it. This may be for several reasons, but I think that the main one is that there are so many vociferous people in food and drink writing that quieter, more self-effacing participants may find it a disconcerting challenge to squeeze their head over the crowded, collective parapet.
Emiko is of Japanese and Australian descent, and her family has travelled widely, in China, America and Europe, and she settled in Florence for seven years, married to a Tuscan sommelier-foodie. The artistic, culinary and cultural attractions of this beautiful city have, evidently, had a profound influence on her work and vision, and seem to have informed the basis of her writing, photography, cooking and art work.
Her Blog is very beautiful, as she is a talented photographer with an intuitive skill for capturing those fleeting moments of light and happiness that punctuate life at evanescent speed. You will want to spend time in her world, and you will see within its clean, uncluttered frames architecture, food, people, places, flowers, skies and waters that you will want to see, taste, hear, smell and touch. She draws you into the photographs, leaving many questions opened to interpretation. Where does the winding pathway into the vineyard and surrounding landscape lead? What is the bride thinking as she smiles, buckling her shoe? For whom is the cake covered in little pink roses?
A good writer, her posts vary from historical accounts of the work of Pellegrino Artusi, to a foodie tour of Florence, Elizabeth David’s chocolate cake and narratives of art and holidays. There are recipes accompanied by descriptions of the people, traditions and historical events that shaped the history of the dish.
As if all those talents were not enough, she pulls the trump card out with her own enchanting watercolour paintings of herbs, vegetables, fish and recipes, carefully hand painted with subtle watercolours, on high quality, heavy weight ivory Canson paper. Her work is reminiscent of naïve-art, with bold splashes of bright, Mediterranean colours, layered to denote texture and edged with thin black ink lines and faint, watery splodges. Handwritten instructions tell you how to achieve the recipe, so the pictures are didactic as well as decorative. The prints are A4 paper size and would make very attractive menu holders or illustrations to frame for a café or dining room wall.
I ensure that I dedicate time every week to check into the website. By looking at and learning from a diligently produced, edited and presented piece of work I feel it helps me to improve my own standards and reach higher. It has also taught me that all the social media, shouting and marketing in the world means nothing: the fundamental work speaks volumes all by itself.
Emiko Davies: www. emikodavies.com
Follow Emiko on twitter: @emikodavies