Kathryn Smith has interviewed Nathalie Dewez for Tasting and Living.
Here’s the interview:
Following her graduation in 2001 from the Interior Architecture department of the Ecole nationale des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels, Nathalie Dewez quickly found her way in Lighting Design. Nathalie brings delicate attention to the duality of ‘ matter / non-matter ‘, which she sees as being at the core of all lighting devices; with an emphasis on function as well as on the quality of light in both on and off situations. Nathalie’s works are characterized by an economic use of means, a minimum use of components and a focus on ease of production. Her light works carry an undeniable charisma. Just a few lines or surfaces bearing simple and effective geometry are enough to express delicate poetry. Nathalie’s presence at numerous international shows and exhibitions has led to collaborations with a number of architecture practices as well as producers such as Ligne Roset (FR) and Established&Sons (UK).
Nathaile has just been elected as Designer of the year 2011, well done!
Hi Nathalie, what is your professional background and how did you end up in Brussels?
I am a lighting Designer, I was not born in Brussels, but in Leuven, though I feel as a “bruxelloise” girl as I live here since I was 2 years old. I really like Brussels.
How would you describe your relationship to food?
I love eating! Food is a real pleasure of every day, to celebrate something, to comfort myself, to give, to share…
Where are your roots in food?
My parent’s cooking; both of them are used to cook. Not really the same cooking, my mum was in charge of ‘every day’ meals, which is a kind of a real challenge I think! Her cooking is healthy and diverse; My father is the ‘Week-end’s cook’, he likes dishes that takes hours to be perfect, with lots of spices and different flavours.
Is food important to you?
It is, and I think I don’t always pay enough attention of what I eat, especially for lunch when I don’t always have time to make a proper meal. Then it happens often I eat a lot (too much…? ) in the evening, which is not the best way to spend a good night.
Do you see a link with art, design and food?
There is a link, it is a way to approach life, a way to consider every little thing that surrounds us, a way to take care of us and of the others as well, a way to look, to propose and compose things in a specific way, simply, differently, personally in fact. Do you cook often? Regularly, it depends of the period, in winter I like to spend time at home, warm and cosy, cooking, in summer time I also like to go out more often, but I like trying new things each time I can.
Where did you learn to cook? At home, watching my parents, and also with some friends, talking about food or cooking together, I think it is important to be curious with food and to dare new matches.
Do you use family recipes?
I do, But very often I don’t follow exactly the recipes, I adapt them with what I have at home.
What’s your strong point in cooking?
Ok to round things up here are a couple of quick fire questions:
Favourite cook book?
Which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Woody Allen, nothing to do with cooking but he certainly has a funny and interesting point of view on food!
What’s your ‘best’ recipe?
Your most important food ingredient you couldn’t live without?
Best food travel destination?
Definitely : Italy
Best Brussels food place so far?
Flagey french fries!
Best shop in Brussels?
Via Lamanna’s negozio gourmet traiteur… ? Italian food is so good !
Worst food experience in Brussels (or abroad)?
Breakfast in China ! It was a kind of rice salty soup with big gherkin… really not tasty at all…
Or « Aguti » in Guinea Conakry, we had rice with vegetebal sauce (which was ok) but serve with boiled Aguti which is a kind of big rat !
Any food addiction?
Last thing you cooked?
A salad with corn, roquette, shrimps, mushrooms, Ginger, honey, lemon…
Best food place ever?
Joël Robuchon’s restaurant in Paris…
Thanks for the interview Nathalie!
We’ll be doing another interview next week, because due to popular demand, more interviews are requested, so there you go.
Next week it will be the turn of Alex Weston, head chef at La Britannique, a top caterer in Brussels