Talk and table X mas edition, Kim Sunee, her story and recipe.

 kim suneepicture: Kim Sunee, nytimes

I invited Kim Sunée to join in in my blog series “gesprekken en gerechten”  Korean born, American raised  Kim Sunée is the author of  the best selling book “A Trail of Crumbs” Hunger, love and the search for home. (2008). Kim is a multitalented woman. She ate her way around Europe for ten years, being a food editor. She produced a lot of publications. She worked together with Frances and  Ed  Mayes on the `Tuscan Sun Cookbook” That is the way I got to know her. She is the creator of many original recipes on her blog. And I hope she is a wine lover. Currently she works on a new cookbook, to be published in May 2014. My curiosity gets even bigger!  Time to send her some questions. To meet in my series Talk and table. Kim will be rewarded a customized recipe. To pair with a wonderful wine.

Who is Kim Sunée and what would you like to share with us?
I’m a writer, passionate cook, and traveler/wanderer.  I always have a passport in hand and a menu to plan.
You come from Korea , can you give a description of that special country?
I was born there but left at the approximate age of 3.  I was adopted by an American family and did not return to South Korea until 1995.  That journey was diffiicult for many reasons (I write about it in my first book, Trail of Crumbs) but my most recent journey back was in 2008.  There’s a documentary of that time ( .  It was overwhelming and amazing.  The people were very warm and welcoming and I rediscovered a cuisine full of flavor and love.
You ate yourself around Europe being a food editor, can you tell something on that period?
I became a food editor after coming back from Europe.  I was in Europe for most of my twenties, ten years of eating and learning and traveling; it was an amazing time in my life where I got to try so many delicious and new foods.
 Your blog on speaks to the imagination, recipes, wines, travel, certainly to me. How do you do that?
I wish I had more time to devote to my blog on  I try to include recipes that we test in the test kitchens and that have been inspired from a recent trip.  For example, I was just in Seattle and Portland and tasted so many amazing foods and wines; I’m now in the process of recreating some of those favorite flavors to offer up to my readers.
My parents were/are very French food oriented. The last two decades there has been a shift from French to a more international cuisine, certainly in my generation. Do you notice that  too?
I agree that we are turning towards other cuisines, whether influenced from South America or Asia.  In the U.S., there is always the question of what is “American” food?  Luckily, we have so many different cultures to draw from and that together make a national/international cuisine.
What is your favorite cuisine?
I guess it’s something simple and made with local, fresh ingredients.  When I find myself in need of some comfort, I seem to go Italian and reach for pasta, olives, anchovies or I make a pot of gumbo or jambalaya or a bowl of steamed rice with hot spicy Korean-style beef or fish.
What  would  you like to tell on your book “Trail of Crumbs” ? We do not know this book in The Netherlands
I had the title, Trail of Crumbs, in my heart before I even wrote the book.  It comes from the  Grimm Brother’s fairytale about trying to find our way back home through food.  In many ways, the book is about finding a place to call home, a search for self and identity told through the adventures of my very flawed twenties while living in Europe.
For me as a French wine man, I would like to ask you: what do you think on French wines?
I learned about wine from tasting and from a wise oenologist who was from Burgundy and of course favored  his beloved region.  I love the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, and the smaller finds like a wonderful Rivesaltes ambré or a Condrieu.  And Champagne is always my go-to drink.
Do you know anything about the Dutch cuisine?
Not much, I’m sad to report, but I would love to taste a typical meal from your area.  I remember an Indonesian influence in some of the cuisine I tasted while in Amsterdam, as well as sausages and lots of fresh vegetables and stews.
Tons of food are wasted every day in Western societies. Can you tall us something about your ”foodprint” ?
I hate wasting food in any way, so I am often recreating dishes from scraps and leftovers.  I also cook a lot and often call up my neighbors who have been so wonderful to happily come and eat or take home whatever I might be testing/cooking.
You are currently working on a new cookbook, to be ventured in May 2014. What is the topic?
My new book, A Mouthful of Stars, ( is a compilation of my favorite recipes from my world travels, and includes poems, snapshots, and stories of wonderful cooks and people I’ve encountered along the way, including a piece about my visit to Tuscany with Frances Mayes.  Frances, who is so generous and inspiring, wrote the foreword to the book.
If you were to start all over in the Netherlands, what would you want to teach us? I know this is a tough question.
Starting over for me is more about learning than teaching.  I’m sure I’d arrive and want to go to all the local markets and vendors and eat and cook with locals; I’d want to immerse myself in your food and wine and culture. If I were to teach anyone anything, it might be a few recipes from places like New Orleans.
Last but not least, do you want to share anything else in my blog? Please be welcome
 I’m just grateful for your interest in my books and writing and I hope your readers continue to enjoy the good work you do.  Thank you very much.  I’m open if anyone wants to share recipes with me that I can make and feature on my blog,

trail of crumbs picture: bookcover Trail of Crumbs

The recipe

Kim likes local ingredients and is eager to try something Dutch. My reward recipe for Kim is a typical festive dish from the Low Countries. A dish my mother used to make for Christmas every year. The dish is called “hazenpeper” or spicy hare stew. This dish will fill your kitchen with the smell that belongs to this time of year. You experience the scents of spices, a typical Dutch way of cooking. With cloves, cinnamon, nutmegg and all spice. Of course you need a wine to pair this hearty dish. I’d choose a Crozes Hermitage, spicy red syrah from the Northern Rhône Valley.

Spicy stew of hare


1 hare in pieces
1 chili pepper cut in fine rings
2 red onions
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 ts nutmeg
1 tbs of thyme leaves
1 tbs red wine vinager
1 bottle red wine
3 oz/ 100 g diced bacon
3 tbs plain flour
1 can of concentrated tomato purée
2 big slices of gingerbread
salt & pepper

1/2 celeriac
2 lbs/1 kg potatoes
salt & pepper
1 lb/ 450 g of Brussels sprouts


Mix the chili pepper, onion, cloves, nutmeg, thyme and bay leaves and one tea spoon of salt in a big bowl. Pour in the wine and vinager. Put the pieces of hare in this marinade. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least eight hours. Get the meat out of the bowl and dry the pieces with some kitchen towel.
Melt and heat somebutter in a big casserole. Fry the peices of hare until brown. Get the meat out and leave the pieces to rest under  some foil. Fry the dices of bacon, put in the tomato purée and plain flour. Leave to simmer for a short while. Then add the marinade and bring to a boil. Add the gingerbread and the meat. Leave the dish to stew for about two hours on a low fire.
Peel the potatoes and celeriac. Cut in pieces and bring to a boil with some salt. When the potatoes and celeriac are done make a mash of them by adding some butter and milk. Give it a dash of nutmeg. Clean the sprouts and cook them for only eight minutes until “al dente”.
Serve the pieces of hare with some sauce. Put potato and celeriac mash and the sprouts on the side.

Merry Christmas first of all to Kim Sunee and all readers of “Talk and table”

Natale facile, ingezonden antipasti

foto: de antipasti van Marty

Gereons Keuken Thuis maakt het zich makkelijk deze decembermaand. Niente gedoe in de keuken, niente pijn in de hersenpan over wat te serveren met de Kerst of op Oudejaarsavond. Het eerste deel van de makkelijke feestdagen is verzorgd door de lezers van mijn blog. Ik stelde de vraag welke antipasti zij  favoriet noemen. Dat leverde een schat aan recepten en ideeën op. Uiteindelijk won Stefan de tombola, maar ik wil de resultati niet onvermeld laten. Eén antipasto per inzender. Er ontstaat al een heel buffet.

Marielle likkebaardt van met ricotta gevulde courgettebloemen in een jasje. De smaakpapillen van Marion openen zich bij stengeltjes Japanse duizendknoop met hele verse geitenkaas. Misschien niet Italiaans, maar wel lekker zegt ze erbij. Agnes uit de Bourgogne gaat voor blokjes gegrilde tonijn. Alexandra houdt het bij crostini met leverpaté uit Toscane, de crostini neri. Marty watertandt bij een rijk gevulde schotel met tomaatjes, gedroogd en vers, salumi, worst en olijven met geroosterde ciabatta. Wendy wordt blij van jonge pecorino met peperonicijam. Stefan, de winnaar van de tombola rijdt graag naar Borgo San Lorenzo (de beschermheilige van de koks) voor de antipasto, waar hij een foto van instuurde. Ben wil graag iets met room en rucola. En als laatste kookgek Wilma maak je wakker voor vitello tonnato.

 foto: inzending van Stefan

Wat en buffet wordt dat op Kerstavond. Lekker onderuit op de bank of hangend in je stoel aan tafel. De glazen gevuld met koele prosecco of zoals één van de lezers meldde een Spritz. Andiamo, de makkelijke decembermaand is begonnen.

Kerst 2012

 foto: herders delen verhalen in Ethiopië

Kerstmis, donkere dagen, lichtjes binnen in de boom, het menu is bedacht. Tijd om te bedenken wat 2012 heeft gebracht. Via de sociale media vele nieuwe contacten, vrienden en indrukken. Virtuele vrienden zoals Antoinette uit Verona. Met haar is het heerlijk sparren over wat nu “echt Italiaans?” is. En in real life Esmée en Jonneke, we zien elkaar nu regelmatig. Mijn serie “gesprekken en gerechten” of  “talk and table”, zoals Frances Mayes voorstelde, leverde hier ook een bijdrage aan. Jeff, Frances, Susan, Maarten, James, Suus, Paula, Carol, Jeffrey, Gaby, David Charles, David Kennard, Robin. Allemaal mensen met een mooi verhaal. Met deelneemster Susan Herrmann Loomis heb ik een middag door culinair Amsterdam gestruind. Indrukken, verhalen moeten worden gedeeld. Dat doen de herders op bovenstaande foto ook, alleen dan niet met een laptop of smartphone. De serie gaat onverdroten verder in 2013. Dus wie iets te delen heeft, is altijd welkom.
En dan het foodblogevent van dit jaar. Ook zo een podium waarop je veel van je culinaire schrijfsels kwijt kunt. Het verzoette wel gedurende het jaar. Veel baksels, high teas en troostende desserts vulden de pagina’s. Als een echte Don Quichote trok ik ten strijde tegen als dit suikergeweld. Baatte het? Dat weet ik niet. Verder dan een démi sec cranberry gelei kwam ik niet. Ben niet zo’n zoetekauw.In ieder geval ontstond er een nieuw initiatief voor 2013. De ACBM. Wat dat is ga ik in deze nabeschouwing niet vertellen. Dat houdt het lekker spannend voor het volgende blogjaar.
En wat was er nog meer behalve recepten en wijnen? De volledige tekst van mijn eerste kookboek kwam af. Aan de styling wordt nu hard gewerkt. In de loop van het nieuwe jaar zal het  uitkomen. Ga beetje bij beetje de sluier oplichten na de feestdagen. Een gezellig boek vol verhalen recepten en wijnen uit Gereons keukentje.
En natuurlijk soulfood, niet alleen in materiele zin, zoals de pastitsio of jambalaya, maar ook in mentale zin. Food voor je gedachten.  Zoals mijn sprookjes op facebook als schrijfoefening. Het leverde veel nieuwe karakters op zoals Pelle Grød en meneer Zimbo. Zij blijven regelmatig ten tonele verschijnen.
Rest nu een zalige periode van rust, om na het overleven van de kerstdagen uit te buiken en met hernieuwde moed aan allerlei dingen te beginnen. Ik wens iedereen hele warme en gezellige Kerst 2012 ! In welk gezelschap dan ook! Tot in het nieuwe jaar!

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