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A career twist

What started as a side project turned out to be a full time business for Del, the talented cook behind Del’s cooking twist. We had the pleasure of getting to know her a little better and talk about how she turned her hobby into a career. 
By: Morgane Oléron Photo: Ania Smelskaya & Private

First off, tell us a little about you!
I’m Del, a true food lover and the blogger behind Del’s cooking twist. I’m also a published author, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. I grab a whisk as I would grab a pen, and the kitchen is of course my favorite room: I work, create and eat there, and I could even sleep there.

Looking at your blog you seem to be inspired by a lot of different places. Where are you from originally?
I’m French, but have spent several years in Sweden before I recently moved to Chicago. However, I feel that I belong to all the places I have lived in. When I’m asked where my heart is, I picture my kitchen at home. Wherever home is, I need my kitchen. And my laptop too. No food blogger can exist without a laptop.

Why did you decide on Chicago?
I moved to Chicago to follow my other half (yes, love!) but I already knew from early on that I at some point would move from Sweden to the US. So I developed my American twist alongside my Swedish and my French one. Chicago is an incredible city for a foodie, where various cuisines of the world co-exist and sometimes meet, to create fusion food.

We know where you are now and what you do, but how did you get here? What made you start a blog?
During my first year working in marketing I was extremely enthusiastic and my creativity bloomed. However, since I couldn’t implement all my ideas for the company, I decided to start my own food blog. That’s how Del’s cooking twist was born back in 2013. In the beginning, it was just for fun, and I didn’t have a clear idea of what blogging really meant. I started sharing my recipes randomly, once a week, taking pictures the way I thought looked good (with the artificial light of the kitchen above the dish). A lot has changed since then, and now, after nearly four years into this project I can say that the blog has been by far the best school I have ever attended. The rules of blogging are constantly evolving, so you need to be curious, proactive, and push your boundaries to explore new ways of working. It’s hard, challenging and very demanding, but also very fulfilling.

What did you study?
I went to La Sorbonne, a university in Paris, France, where I got a Master’s degree in International Affairs and European Studies. After that, I naturally moved abroad – to Sweden – and started working in the same field, within international public policies to be exact, at the French Embassy in Stockholm.

What made you change paths?
A combination of circumstances led me to stay in Sweden longer than I had originally expected (I fell in love with the country AND with the one who would later become my husband!). As my contract came to an end and my Swedish skills weren’t perfect yet, I broadened my field and looked for new opportunities. I ended up working within marketing for a food company (and later on in digital marketing) for a leading French brand. This is when I understood that my interest in food had always mattered to me and was more than just a hobby.

A question many of us with side projects have: When did you decide food was going to be a full-time job and not just a hobby anymore?
I was spending most of my free time blogging or thinking about new recipes I would develop. It was like an obsession – my brain was continuously creating new recipes. Also, professionally I was hungry for more and my job was clearly not fulfilling enough. I felt it was the right moment to give my blog a go and attempt to make a living of it. I loved the idea, but also felt somewhat unsure altogether. Was I being too daring? Also, my friends and family were skeptical: “Seriously? Is blogging really a job?!!”. I must admit I was overly sensitive to what others thought at that time. And even today it’s sometimes hard for me to say: “I’m a full-time food blogger, and yes it’s a real job”.

What or whom inspired you?
I was following other bloggers back then, some of whom had made their own passion into a full-time career. My first thought was that they were far better than I was and as such, it would be impossible for me to reach the same level etc., until I reconsidered and decided to strive for success, trying to find my own path within the blogging world.

How did you learn everything you know?
I am completely self-taught; my mom was not interested in cooking whatsoever. But I love eating and I have always been curious about food and tasting different cuisines which eventually inspired me to create new dishes. I read dozens of recipes daily, taste many others, and craft my own ones once.

Are you happy with your decision even though it was a scary one?
I’m a perfectionist, so I’m half happy with my decision because there is so much more I could develop. But the day only has 24 hours, so my wish for the future is that I could one day develop my business enough to hire someone to help me. (Well, Best of You can totally volunteer as bowl and spoon lickers)!

How does a day behind the scenes look like?
No day looks the same: my agenda is constantly in flux. I generally try to spend one or two days a week developing recipes in the kitchen, and spend the remaining days writing the recipes, developing the marketing aspects, and doing other food-related activities on the side, working as a food author or teaching cooking/baking classes.

What tips do you have for others who wish to follow their passion?
Your life begins the day you realise you only have one. Live your dream, and do not worry, great things take time.

That’s it for now guys! Hope you enjoyed the appetiser and we’ll be back next week for the plat de résistance as we are teaming up with Del in Chicago for some fun in the kitchen, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Del’s cooking twist for more inspiration and check out her free e-book with mouthwatering dishes that are both delicious and healthy!


Name: Delphine Fortin
Age: 33
Lives: Chicago, US
Favorite food: I definitely have a soft spot for sweets and can really recommend some of the best doughnut bakeries in Chicago, such as Doughnut Vault or Firecakes.

For more inspiration on Del and her delicious recipes take a look at her blog or follow her on Instagram.

Be Inspired Featured

A happy and healthy you

Want to make healthier choices in your everyday life? Eat cleaner and feel energized and good? That’s totally awesome, but don’t let some diet take over your life. Do us a favor and don’t go on a diet at all! Make a lifestyle change instead.

Every day, people make the decision to start eating cleaner and make healthier choices. But not everyone knows where to start and end up on the first diet they can find. As a result, they cave after a week or two, leaving them with a sense of guilt.

We don’t want none of that. We like people to be happy! So here are some very simple steps to a healthier everyday life that don’t include any diets or strict regimes (if a healthier lifestyle is what YOU want).

Add more greens
Green: The color of nature and so many yummy veggies! Try to eat more greens by simply adding it to your morning smoothie or let them find their way to your dinnerplate. A recommendation is to start with the greens and then go over to the carbs and protein. A little trick that works wonders. And if you don’t like broccoli? Well then don’t eat it! There are so many delicious veggies to choose from, don’t spend time eating things you don’t like.

Drink more water
A cool water bottle should be your best friend from now on, never leaving your side. By having water available at all times makes it easier to remember to drink. And why should we drink more water? First off; because without it we die, but I guess you already knew that. Secondly; water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body, it flushes out waste and bacteria and lots of other good reasons that you can simply Google if your interested.

Say hello to alternatives
We are all told to eat less sugar. Easier said than done, believe me I know. And you know what: I don’t want to give up my favorite cookies entirely, or my favorite Belgian chocolate ice-cream for that matter (the love between us is to strong). So, the key here is to occasionally try to switch out those cookies with homemade ones, that favorite ice cream with nice-cream and that chocolate mousse with an alternative one. That way you still get your treats, just healthier alternatives.

Miss sleepyhead
Sleep is very important, because it can help protect your mental- and physical health and your overall quality of life. So, don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep (guess this must be the easiest change, who doesn’t like to sleep)?

Get your booty going
Yoga, dancing, walking, spinning, running, hiking, tennis, swimming, strength, kettlebells.. The list can continue forever, there are so many ways to get active. Just find an activity you like and get your booty going. And if all of the above fail we recommend sex (lots of it, hihi).

Making healthier choices isn’t as hard as you may think, all you need is a positive mindset and a little willpower. And remember to have fun! Healthy doesn’t necessarily mean boring. Quite the contrary.


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred

Nutrition Snacks

The ultimate snack guide

Nothing beats snacks in the food department if you ask me, and I for one love to eat snacks before dinner! Why save the best for last?

So, for all you other snack-lovers out there; here is a mini guide to some very yummy options!

Chocolate bark
An all-time favorite; Simply melt dark chocolate on low heat, add whatever you like (my favorite is goji berries and chopped hazelnuts) and place the mixture on a lined baking paper and put it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.   

Frozen grapes
Rinse the grapes before placing them in a bag or on a platter and put in the freezer. Once they are frozen they are ready to be enjoyed. It’s as simple as that.

Happiness is… always having the next snacks prepared

Spiced orange
Slice an orange into mouthful pieces and top with cinnamon. The combination is divine and will make your taste buds go crazy!

Banana chocolate
Chop a banana into pieces and stick onto a toothpick, before dipping it in melted, dark chocolate. Place on a platter and let it stand in the refrigerator for a short time so that the chocolate hardens. Or eat it while dipping into the chocolate, totally up to you.

Apple with topping
Cut an apple into desired pieces and top with peanut butter. That’s it, and it tastes magical!


By: Henriette Danielsen

Smoothies/Juices

Date Shake!

Try a quick and easy milkshake with fresh dates! It is a great pre-workout drink or as an alternative for your evening treat. 

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 frozen banana 
8 fresh dates (chopped)
2 dl almond milk
Crushed ice
A dash of vanilla powder (optional)
A pinch of grounded cinnamon

Instuctions
Use a blender and add the frozen banana, almond milk and 4 dates (half portion first) and mix until smooth. Gradually add the ice and the rest of the dates and continue to blend for about 1 minute. Pour the shake into two glasses and sprinkle some cinnamon on top!


By: Linnéa Nilsson / Image source