Behind & Started Her Dream Career from a
One Saturday morning during my sojourn in Provence, I woke up inspired to go explore the old Riviera town of Antibes. I was aimlessly strolling the cobblestone streets when I stumbled upon the cutest little bookstore. It was there that I found my copy of Mimi Thorrison’s first cookbook, A Kitchen in France. Once I held the book in my hands, opened it up and gazed at all the gorgeous photographs of Mimi’s idyllic country lifestyle, I knew I couldn’t leave without it (even knowing that Glenn would not be thrilled that I picked up another hard-covered cookbook…adding a good 10lbs to my already overweight suitcases).
Arriving home, I was tempted to dive right in and whip up Mimi’s recipe for Entrecôte a la Bordelaise—and perhaps her Pears à la Médocaine for dessert. Everything looked so beautiful! But before I could put on my new French linen apron (purchased in Picasso’s last hometown of Mougins), I was pulled into the story of how Mimi’s unexpected move to a little-known stretch of French countryside led to her new career as a food and lifestyle expert, which now includes an internationally popular blog, a cooking show on French TV, workshops, a pop-up restaurant and a second book of recipes on the way.
As the story goes, Mimi and her Icelandic photographer husband Oddur Thompson were living in Paris when their growing brood of children and canine companions motivated them to seek more space in the country. It wasn’t something Mimi had ever imagined for herself. Half Chinese and half French, she had spent her life a city-girl traveling between Paris and Hong Kong and spending summers at her Grandmother’s in Provence—enjoying many delicious meals along the way. “Food was constantly on my mind,” Mimi says of her childhood. “I’m the girl who was always happiest at the table.”
It wasn’t until her move to the countryside however, that Mimi’s passion for food and cooking took center stage in her life. Up until that point, she had a successful career in fashion, media and television. When after much searching, she finally found an old stone farmhouse six hours outside of Paris that fit her family’s needs and budget, she hesitated to move somewhere so remote. The Médoc peninsula, just north of Bordeaux, is responsible for many of the world’s most fabulous wines—but while vineyards are abundant, visitors are few.
Neither Mimi nor Oddur had ever been to the region, but in 2010 they decided to pack up their young family and make the leap. From their very first night celebrated with lamp chops and local wine, their bucolic new lifestyle encouraged weekly trips to the market and lots of simple, rustic meals devoured around a big country table. Mimi was working wonders in the kitchen, and Oddur was capturing it all so beautifully from behind the lens. It was only natural then that Mimi should start her food and lifestyle blog Manger, whose seemingly overnight popularity has put sleepy Médoc back on the map.
In the years since, the Thorrison-Thompson clan has grown to include seven children and twice as many dogs. The family has moved into an expansive new dream villa, the perfect place for hosting friends as well as international fans. Whether it’s for workshops in cooking, wine, antique-ing and photography, or for a lovingly-prepared meal at their occasional pop-up restaurant, it all unfolds against the magical backdrop of Médoc. With its windy beaches, towering forests and acres upon acres of vineyards, Mimi and co. have fallen madly in love with this remote corner of France, and are dedicated to breathing new life into it—stay tuned.
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