About the Emily

First off, my name isn’t Emiglia. It’s Emily.

Emiglia is my Internet alias and has been for years. And while I now have an Internet presence with my real name, Emily, Emiglia still seems to suit here.

So, about me. What can I say?

I was infected by the travel bug early. I was born and raised in New York, but I had already lived in two countries and several cities by the time I was 18. I first moved to Paris in 2007, and I’ve never really been able to bring myself to leave.

This may not be your typical food blog. Recipes tend to take a backseat to stories — stories of expat life, stories about Paris, and yes, OK, a few stories about food.

There is a lot of franglais and a lot of tomatoes. Hope you enjoy the ride.

EmilyInFrance.com / monacoem@gmail.com

My Original “About Me” from 2007, which I can’t really bear to delete.

I know I’ve taken awhile to update this page, but I kind of wanted to get into blogging before I decided what I wanted to write here.

I’ll start with the easy part. My name is emily, and I was born and raised in New York City. My father’s family is from Italy (Sicilia and Napoli), and my mother’s family is a mix of German (Prussian), Irish, and Portuguese.

My mom is the cook of the family, and not only does she take after her mother and grandmothers when preparing typical German and Irish food, but she is also well-versed in Italian cooking (she had to be to appease my father, raised on maccheroni and gravy). To top it all off, she was trained in France.

While she has never made a career out of it, my mother is one of the most amazing cooks I have ever known. I know that everyone says that about their mother, but there was not one night growing up when my entire family of six did not sit down to a full, homemade meal. I didn’t even know what Rice-a-Roni was until I got to boarding school. I’m still not too sure what comes in a box of Hamburger Helper. All I know is, when I came home from school, I would immediately come into the kitchen, where a platter of crudites and a platter of sliced seasonal fruit was already waiting. I would sit and munch on carrots while doing my homework, absently watching as my mother added a little of this and a little of that to the many saucepans on the stove, peered in the window of the oven, and pulled lettuce and vegetables from the fridge to assemble a salad. And then there was that moment. That one moment where suddenly everything was magically ready. The chicken came out of the oven and was plated. As it rested, potatoes and carrots took their place in their serving dishes. The salad was dressed and tossed, the bread was buttered, the perfectly caramelized shallots were poured over the blanched green beans, and as she carried the large platters over the table, her refrain carried over the Celine Dion CDs she played in the kitchen, “Friends of the friendless! Dinner!”

My mother is my inspiration. My cooking guru. I look to the day when I will seamlessly assemble an entire meal all at the same time. Until then, I am content with being me, the student. I take inspiration from everywhere: recipes from epicurious and cooking magazines, tips from other bloggers, and a lot of trial and error. But my best teacher, my first teacher, is my mother. My tomato sauce will never match hers, no matter how many times she walks me through the steps, but maybe someday, I will have a dish to call my own.

9 thoughts on “About the Emily

  1. Hello lovely,

    I have just stumbled upon your blog via tastespotting. My colleague gives me grief, calling it food porn, yet I would not go quite so far.

    I , like you, am a writer at heart – or at least I like to think such. And I simply adore your composures on screen [ computer screen that it ]. You make me smile, and more. Despite my perhaps being just a few years older than you [ I would hardly call 31 old just yet ], I am identifying with your growing pains, reflections, experiences and questioning identity – in the precious years that you are actually cultivating it.

    My father once said ” a rolling stone gathers no moss ” with regard to the 18 month moving itch…..he meant it in a way, that one is required to stay put, establish some roots, lay claim to fame – and rest a stake in the ground type of thing. My mother always said the same quote, yet referenced it as – no one wants yukky moss darling. It holds you back, ties you down, burdens you – you want to be light and free to roll in the wind and float in the waves. I like these different approaches – needless to say though, being such a dichotomy of opinions – it has left me a little disturbed, and questioning. I have found my niche in life [ or have I? There is every chance I have become complacent, and stopped the fight ] and I love what I do – yet I derive enormous pleasure and glee, to read of a spirit such as yourself, living the life.

    Take care beautiful girl

    Joanne x

  2. Joanne-

    Definitely something to think about… there are two sides to every arguments and more points of view than people to have them! Thank you so much for your comment and your kind words… I really appreciate hearing from readers, especially those who are also writers at heart!


  3. I understand you Emiglia
    My Mom and Granny were the most amazing cooks (Mediterranean style).
    I tried to get some of their spirit in what I am doing but will take time…
    I’m not a chef as you, just every once in a while a recipe just tries to jump out of me, just get in the kitchen and let it be
    So enjoy life, cook for the people you care about and share
    You are very brave, I’m not as brave as you to get the soul on the table and let the chefs of the world make something out of it…
    When I’m next time in Paris will give you a buzz, maybe we can cook something together

  4. Matt Jenner thinks you are my twin. I don’t see it. But, that’s Matt.

  5. I love your Thanksgiving article in My French Life. Like you, I’ve moved around, but mostly in the U.S. Your article reminded me of my first Thanksgiving fiasco. Now that I live on a boat with a one-butt galley, I can’t handle any big. No Thanksgiving dinner. I wait for invites.

  6. Hi Emily, i stumbled onto your blog through a FB article. I, like you am an expat living in France. I really liked how in the prelude to your Salmon Niçoise recipe you wrote something that I have not been able to express as eloquently as you have:
    ” I complain a lot about special snowflake syndrome, but even I have to admit that it’s nice when someone else seems to care about how your day is going. It’s just so damn pleasant to have people smile at you.”
    Canada is the country I regularly travel back to and the feeling I have when there is exactly how you describe it; it’s my comfort zone!
    Thanks to you I don’t feel any longer like the odd one out!
    On an other note, I love your recipes and enjoy your writing and your stories!
    All the best for your continuing adventures in France, your recipes and your travels.

  7. Hi Marianne! Thanks so much for your comment, and glad to hear that you identify with smiling people, even living in (and loving!) France.


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