Go Inside Mimi Thorisson’s French Château & Learn Her Style Secrets!
French food blogger, author and TV personality Mimi Thorisson carries herself with an effortlessness that translates into her home, her cooking and her life. Since the success of her blog, Manger, and first book, A Kitchen In France, Mimi moved to Médoc in need of more space for her growing family. Her new book, French Country Cooking: Meals And Moments From A Village In The Vineyards, offers a glimpse into her busy, but beautiful life living in a dreamy château in the French countryside with her photographer husband, Oddur, their seven children and 14 dogs. H&H‘s Kristen Eppich and Adena Leigh sat down with Mimi to get her secret to making it all look so easy — and the details on her breathtaking home.
Mimi Thorisson: It wasn’t exactly what we were looking for, but we fell in love with the history of the house. What sealed the deal was the kitchen. A lot of these houses and old châteaux have two kitchens, and we were very lucky because a family lived there so it wasn’t altered, but left as-is. It was luck.
MT: All we needed to do was remove some plaster and wallpaper. But everything that you see — the cupboards, fireplace, stove — it was all there and I just had to clean it up a bit and uncover all that. We are going to let the walls breathe to show the patina, and preserve as much as possible.
MT: Yes, we do grilled steaks. You just need a simple grilling rack and simple vine branches that have been pruned and dried. It’s a local way of barbecuing. You could even barbecue a pig in there!
MT: My cast iron pan. It’s the best roasting pan I’ve ever had. I like black cast iron pans in my kitchen; I can’t have any other color. Black is such a powerful color, and I love that it’s in its original state.
MT: I love adding copper pots all over the place because they are so beautiful. They can be on your wall, stacked in a corner or on shelves and create a rustic feeling. I find them at antique stores and the ones that don’t cook very well, I just put them on the wall! That’s how I decorate.
MT: Scouting for little objects like plaques, bronze sculptures, old soda bottles — anything that goes into a bistro restaurant. It’s just about finding beautiful objects. I also love decorating with vegetables and fruits and garlic. It just makes your kitchen look so nice.
MT: Copper pots, because you cook with them but they are also beautiful. Seasonal flowers — we can’t live without our flowers. And loads and loads of baguettes. We like to have at least 20 in a day at home, just stacked nicely in a corner, but we have a big family.
MT: First it’s to serve champagne, wine, and lots of goodies like appetizers. Then get your guest involved to do beautiful things — you know, fun things that make them feel special. Usually people enjoy making a recipe when you get together and talk, and get the champagne flowing. And be relaxed — I really don’t like it when the host is slaving away and the guests are just sitting there. It makes you feel bad and the host is stressed, so you’ve got to get them involved.
Get Mimi’s recipe for Sea Scallops With Cauliflower Purée And Capers.
MT: On my table is always lots of candlesticks. Like about 20 of them. And lots of plates of seasonal vegetables, and lots of wine.
Get Mimi’s recipe for Quail Stuffed With Fois Gras.
MT: My favorite is the Guinea Hen Ravioli. It takes a little bit of time to make but it’s so good. My kind of food is very different than molecular gastronomy. I have friends who are chefs and my cooking is as if you threw it on the table. It’s a beautiful mess. Very simple but the best ingredients.
Get Mimi’s recipe for Guinea Hen Ravioli.
The kids love the Salted Butter Chocolate Cake. I just did a pop-up in Paris at Colette, and I chose three cakes, and it was one of them.
Get Mimi’s recipe for Salted Butter Chocolate Cake.