Welcoming back @ProvenceCalling to #FBC15 this September!

A warm welcoming return to Alumni Angela Billows behind Provence Calling (@ProvenceCalling) !!
Angela BillowsAs a returning FBC Alumni, what are you looking forward to learning and enjoying at FBC this year?

I no longer blog on a regular basis and am looking to get my inspiration back.

Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is your day job? 

My full time job is costume designer for commercials and films. When I’m working its quite intense, but then I have time off when I think of other things, like travel and baking bread. I used to live full time in Provence, now its more part time and I also work and travel to the US at least once a year and like to connect with food bloggers, bakers etc. there.

What first motivated you to blog? 

Originally I started to blog whilst living in Provence, I wanted to write about the food in my local market and create traditional Provencal dishes from the produce, often told to me by the stall holders. Whilst living in Provence I also had a supper club, about once a month. Blogging takes up a lot of time and I only post occasionally these days.

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What’s your signature dish?
As a returning FBC alumni, have you stayed in touch with any bloggers and industry folk you met at previous FBC’s? How was this helped in your own blogging throughout the year? 

I have stayed in touch with some, but as I haven’t been very active in the blogging world, these have become fewer. In the past it helped to connect me with the blogging community at large.

finishedTartHow do you shop for food – supermarkets, farmer market, local shops, online etc? What are your thoughts on the decline of supermarkets and the future of our grocery shopping habits? 

I like to shop locally as much as possible. When in France I go to the market in my town every week and by most of the weeks produce there, vegetables, fish, oysters, mussels, chicken, eggs etc. The produce changes with the season. I go to the supermarket for everything else, but mainly go to a small one in my town. In Gloucestershire I go to the local butcher and the farmers market in Stroud on a Saturday. I also buy local organic vegetables when I can, but it seems a harder thing to find compared to France, where it is more or less on your doorstep all the time.

What blogging trends are you enjoying at the minute? Do you follow trends religiously or are you most interested in setting new trends yourself, a bit of both, or do you ignore them all together?

I am not interested in cooking trends, but enjoy seeing their passing, rather like the hem of a skirt, that goes up and down according to whats in or out. I’m not interested in high profile restaurant eating, but prefer to find a little place that serves authentic food, when travelling. I like places that are a little quirky, not places that are over hyped and expensive.

What’s your idea of food hell?

Food heaven is a fish soup cooked in a hut on the beach in Baja California, food hell is anything processed that comes in a packet.

Does the proliferation of food programmes on TV aid or hinder your quest to develop and sustain a food blog?

I would love my own TV show!!!
Alumni
How many cookbooks do you own? What cookbooks have you added to your collection recently? Which cookbook do you return to time and time again?

I own a lot of cook books. Favourites come and go. Probably Elisabeth David is who I go back to the most, as much for a good read as to follow a recipe, especially French Country Cooking.

Do you have a favourite kitchen tool or appliance – either a new addition or a trusted old favourite?  What’s on your wish-list right now? (Could be a gadget, appliance, ingredient/product, book, restaurant, course, travel destination etc)

I have a lovely old herb mezzaluna handed down from my Grandmother (who did not cook herself) to my mother and now me. I also love my sycamore garlic chopping board. I am yearning for my own wood burning oven to bake bread in my garden. I would love to travel to Taste Lebanon with Bethany Kehdy and try all the delicious recipes she writes about in her book!

How is your lifestyle shaped by food?

My lifestyle is shaped by food in so far as I love to shop for food, love to read about food and love to find local dishes when travelling.

To achieve a successful blog what comes first – the dishes, the styling, the photography or the words?

I think that all of the above together make for a successful blog.

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