About

Ilse van der Merwe (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

First of all, I am a food lover – a true enthusiast of the culinary world and all of it’s magical chambers. Eating great food makes me deliriously happy! Cooking is my favourite way of spending my hours, and writing about food is something that just comes naturally to me. Like they say in Afrikaans: “Waar die hart van vol is, loop die mond van oor!” (“If it fills the heart, it will flow from the mouth.”)

In the beginning of 2011, I made the decision to change career paths from being a music booking agency owner to working in the local food scene. I had a two month old baby, and it was a scary move! At first I wasn’t too sure of how to approach the change, so I started by writing a food blog www.thefoodfox.com. The blog has always been my personal play pen – a creative platform where I could write about the food that I loved to cook most, and share it with like-minded people. I quickly realised that the blog would become my “shop window” – great opportunities came my way in the form of recipe development, food writing, reviews, social media content writing and tv cooking. I even became a part-time trout monger in the process!

It is a tremendous pleasure to be working as a food writer and cook in the SA food landscape – a competitive but seriously dynamic environment. I am so thankful to have been working with the team from www.theprettyblog.com since the beginning of 2012, where I have access to the photography skills of the amazing Tasha Seccombe and the styling skills of TPB co-founder Nicola Pretorius. Together we have the best times in creating beautiful pictures for their blog and for mine, and I have learned so much from them both.

I’m now fortunate enough to be involved with food on a full time basis from where I live in Stellenbosch,  and I still love every second of every bite, every word and every shoot. My husband and daughter have been on this ride by my side every step of the way. They are so important to me, and I am so happy to be sharing this journey with them both.

Contact me via email: ilse@thefoodfox.com

(All food preparations, recipes and photographs on this blog done by The Food Fox since January 2011, unless mentioned otherwise. All rights reserved.)

65 Responses to “About”

  1. Thuli February 23, 2011 at 15:50 #

    I say cheers to that! The world of foodies is wonderful and very exciting. Looking forward to reading more about your food and wine life at Stellenbosch!

  2. Sam March 3, 2011 at 12:46 #

    Keep up the blogging, its a wonderful journey and I look forward to seeing your posts

  3. Anele April 21, 2011 at 11:47 #

    Ek is seker ek sal iets kan ruik uit jou oond as ek op die agterstoep staan !
    Kan nie wag om nog te lees nie :)

    • The Food Fox April 21, 2011 at 13:42 #

      Ek sal jou moet begin oornooi om al die eetgoed te kom uittoets! :)
      Check julle binnekort. xx

  4. Maré Rootman May 19, 2011 at 13:09 #

    wowweee, alles lyk so so heerlik! Jy’t ‘n besonderse talent! en daai pavlova sal ek moet probeer

    • The Food Fox May 19, 2011 at 13:18 #

      Maré! Het nounet jou site ook gaan check, en dis beautiful!! Wow, super professioneel! Ek sal moet kom tips vang! xx

  5. Dominique September 27, 2011 at 11:24 #

    I would love to chat to you about an idea I have in mind for a Client of mine – Sasko Flour.
    Please can you send me an email with your details so that I can contact you about this.

    Thank you very much!

    Kind regards
    Dominique Harmse
    dominique@helloworldagency.com

  6. Sig Williams October 29, 2011 at 23:09 #

    I am glad I found this site. I love food as much as you do and people can never figure out why I love to cook, especially make up my own recipes. Nothing ever tastes the same twice. I think we foodies enjoy to eat all foods of all varieties from all nationalities. And, healthy to top it off. Will keep checking the site often. Keep up the good work. Sig in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

    • The Food Fox October 31, 2011 at 10:35 #

      Dear Sig, thanks so much for your message! My blog is created out of pure love and passion for food, and it is fantastic to find more people who feel the same – on the other side of the world! Let me know if you also have a blog, I would love to check it out. If you don’t have one, it’s maybe time to start one…

  7. Sig Williams November 4, 2011 at 04:10 #

    No website and no blog – no time. Will continue to read yours.

  8. Liebe Calitz December 9, 2011 at 15:39 #

    Hi daar! Jou blog is super awesome! Ek werk vir die TV-program Pasella en ons wil op 1 en 2 Februarie ‘n kosinsetsel skiet saam met 3 kosbloggers in die Kaap omgewing. Die tema vir die program is MUIS en ons wil dus kyk hoe 3 bloggers ‘n dis demonstreer op kamera met ‘n minder bekende kaassoort.

    Sou jy dalk belangstel om deel te neem?

    My e-pos adres is liebe@pasella.com. Indien jy meer wil weet pop vir my ‘n mail en dan chat ons oor die details!

    Vriendelike groete,
    Liebe

    PASELLA
    021 700 1050

  9. Anita January 16, 2012 at 12:44 #

    Hi there, The Red Fox

    I would like to make contact with you regarding the Eat In DStv Food Network Fresh Produce awards.

    If possible, can you please send me your contact details?

    Thank you in advance.

    Kind Regards
    Anita

  10. Wentzel' January 19, 2012 at 09:21 #

    Wishing you all the best on your new adventure..
    You look like you’ve been doing this all your life, calm and collected..Great!
    I’ve just discovered (during the December holidays) a new hobby at the age of 43’ and being a male and never baked in my life..I’m Loving it’
    Thanx for your inspiring pumpkin cake!

    Keep it up!

    Wentzel ‘Melville Johannesburg’

    • The Food Fox January 19, 2012 at 11:35 #

      Dear Wentzel
      What a fantastic message! Thanks so much for your kind words. It is amazing to be following your dream, or finding a new hobby that you really love. Food and cooking is such an wonderfully positive thing in my life, and it’s so great to hear that you also enjoy it. Keep on baking, you’re going to love this journey!

  11. Lauren February 8, 2012 at 13:09 #

    Jy moet n boek uit bring ilse!!!! dit lyk scrumptious!

    • The Food Fox February 8, 2012 at 13:36 #

      Wow, Lauren, dankie vir die groot kompliment! Ek sal baie baie graag ‘n boek wil publiseer, hopelik in lyn met die tv-reeks wat ons gaan skiet later die jaar. Jy moet duimvashou dat als uitwerk – baie exciting jaar wat voorle! :)

  12. Tamryn February 29, 2012 at 14:47 #

    Thank you for this blog and sharing your passion for food. I am inspired to be more creative in the kitchen :)

    • The Food Fox February 29, 2012 at 16:30 #

      Hi Tamryn, it is just my pleasure! And so great to hear that my blog has inspired someone on the other side of the screen. :)

  13. Thomene March 12, 2012 at 14:24 #

    Wow, great blog!
    I agree, you should do a book!
    What new food show, yaaay! Sounds awesome, what is it about?

    xxx

    • The Food Fox March 12, 2012 at 21:44 #

      Thanks so much Thomene! I’ll tell everyone more about the tv show when our sponsorship gets finalised – in the very near future! I’m so very excited. :)

  14. rishad March 28, 2012 at 06:34 #

    hello, your post is great. keep going and let more and more people vistit your blog regularly. check this site http://www.foods.itspunched.com it may help you to promote your blog!!! there is a link in main menu called “Punch yourseklf”, once you are logged in, u can submit your blog/site there :) anyway all the best :)

  15. Martina Barth April 16, 2012 at 18:19 #

    Hi Ilse, please may I have your e mail address, I would like to invite you to a murder mystery evening at Five Flies, thanks Martina

    • The Food Fox April 16, 2012 at 20:57 #

      I’ll send you an email with all my details. x

      • Sandra May 5, 2012 at 11:00 #

        Please i alwys follow your recipes but i cannot find this one the recipe of your chicken pie Please and i also want to get you recipes by e-mail I love your recipes

  16. Colleen Conradie June 22, 2012 at 11:10 #

    How do you stay thin with all your delicious food and cakes? I am happy to hear about your TV Show but I think a book would be great please :)

    • The Food Fox June 27, 2012 at 22:11 #

      Hi Colleen! I’m lucky enough to be 1.90m tall, so I think I have more “space” for food than other people! :) And I like to run about 3-4 times a week. I don’t believe in depriving myself of anything, otherwise I just get more cravings. The golden rule is moderation! And don’t forget to indulge every now and then. ;)

  17. Jo June 30, 2012 at 18:04 #

    Hi, stumbled accross your blog looking for a receipe for chocolate peppermint crisp as my SA hubby has mis-placed his mum’s. I’ve just popped the tart in the fridge and looking forward to surprising him with it and a taste of SA tomorrow! I love your style, it’s so easy to follow and your dishes all sound delicious! Many thanks, Jo, UK.

    • The Food Fox July 2, 2012 at 12:45 #

      Hi Jo! Thanks for your lovely comment – hope you love the pepperment crisp tart as much as I do! :)

  18. Theo Sonnekus July 17, 2012 at 13:19 #

    Gunsteling, gunsteling, gunsteling blog! Volgende stap: ‘n boek?

    • The Food Fox July 17, 2012 at 14:34 #

      Baie dankie Theo! Ek sal mal wees daaroor om ‘n boek te doen, hopelik in lyn met die komende tv reeks! Ek dink al lankal daaraan. :)

  19. Nicci August 20, 2012 at 18:31 #

    Well done on your new website Ilse – looks stunning and so professional. A real feast for the senses with all the beautiful photos, and your blogging is top-notch – so easy to read and full of passion. And the recipes…(Swoon). So special watching this baby growing, and wishing you all the success you so richly deserve! Xxx

    • thefoodfox August 21, 2012 at 08:28 #

      Ag Nicci, thanks so much for your message! I really appreciate it so much. I’m loving every second of this journey – so happy to be doing what I really love! :)

  20. Belinda January 22, 2013 at 16:17 #

    Hi do you have a cooking class? I’d love to join. I tried the Sasko Swiss roll yesterday, the flavor was perfect but the cake just would not roll. What a flop! Any tips?

    • thefoodfox January 26, 2013 at 14:08 #

      Hi Belinda, I’ll announce the next upcoming cooking classes soon – apologies for the delay! Also, for the swiss roll: don’t worry too much if it breaks, it’s part of the charm! But try to roll it while it is still hot and leave it to cool while rolled up. Then open it up very carefully, fill and roll up again. :)

      • Belinda February 19, 2013 at 18:20 #

        Brilliant thanks! Look forward to it, very much!

  21. Jane February 21, 2013 at 08:09 #

    Hi Ilse
    Just found your blog and it makes me so nostalgic for everything South African. We moved to the US in December last year and I am hosting a proudly South African dinner party for our new friends next weekend and your blog is giving me such great ideas! Thanks! Looking forward to following the adventures here.

    • thefoodfox March 5, 2013 at 14:52 #

      Hi Jane, so lovely to hear from you!! Hope you cook up a storm in the States! Show’em how we do it! ;)

  22. Reluctant Mom April 2, 2013 at 14:48 #

    I am not a great food blog follower, probably because I prefer to rate myself as a good “buyer” of food, rather than a good “preparer” of food.

    But your blog is gorgeous, and I really love the images and what looks like the most yummy reviews.

    • thefoodfox April 7, 2013 at 08:07 #

      Thanks so much Celeste! Lovely to hear such great feedback from a good buyer of food! ;)

  23. Debs April 16, 2013 at 14:24 #

    Hello Ilse,

    I came across smoked Mozzarella purely by chance at a winelands market and scoffed the one and used the other to make your Eggs Benedict. What a treat!

    Which food stores, markets, stalls and shops do you frequent for ingredients? Please share your pantry secrets with us.

    Regards from a recent arrival to the Boland

    • thefoodfox April 24, 2013 at 10:36 #

      Hi Debs, welcome to the wonderful Boland!! As a food lover, you’re going to have a BLAST here, I can guarantee you that! There are many great shops here in Stellenbosch. The 2 supermarkets that I go to often are Die Boord Superspar and the other smaller fine foods Spar opposite Paul Roos – both stock a fantastic range of artisenal and delicatessen produce (like free range eggs from Farmer Angus from Spier). For bread you cannot beat De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Church Street. Otherwise it is always great to visit the Slow Food Market at Oude Libertas on Saturdays, and the new Route 44 Market at Audacia on Sundays. But we are so spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting actual producers in the greater Boland area, like Dalewood Fromage, Fairview, Bread & Wine (Neil Jewel’s charcuterie is the best in the country), etc. I think I must write a post on great shops/stalls/markets in my area!

      If I can let you in on a little secret, you’ll soon be able to buy the best produce in the whole Boland and Overberg area in my new shop in Somerset West – will post about it as soon as I have the opening dates etc. VERY exciting times this side!

  24. jani July 20, 2013 at 17:04 #

    suppper Blog Ilse!!!

    • thefoodfox July 23, 2013 at 09:37 #

      Dankie Jaans! xxx

  25. Geenie September 3, 2013 at 09:28 #

    What camera do you use to take your pics ?

    • thefoodfox September 4, 2013 at 13:44 #

      Hi Geenie, most of the pictures that you see are taken by Tasha Seccombe (they are credited accordingly) – I’ll have to ask her! But you can go to her site at http://www.tashaseccombe.com. For my own pictures (there aren’t too many, because I’m not a good photographer!) are taken with my very basic Fuji Finepics S700. ;)

  26. Margaret Engelbrecht November 21, 2013 at 14:14 #

    I am arranging a 50th birthday party for my blind brother-in-law and would like to know if you are into catering and what areas.
    We stay in Walkerville, south of JHB and anticipate about 40 guests.
    Date: 30-Nov-13

    Regards,
    Margaret

    • thefoodfox December 3, 2013 at 10:31 #

      Hi Margaret, I only saw your message now!! So bummed that I didn’t see it earlier! I’m based in Stellenbosch, but if your budget allows is I am always willing to travel! :) Yes, I do some private catering for smaller groups of people – I would have loved to do this function, so sorry that I missed your message. Hope you have a beautiful day! In furute, you are welcome to use my personal email: ilse@thefoodfox.com

  27. Tamsin February 28, 2014 at 11:54 #

    Hi Ilse. I’m tring to reach (call or email) Inke Gouws Sandri. Any chance you share her details with me. I’m organising a baking event at Nitida wine farm on 23 MArch and would love to invite her. REgards, Tamsin

    • thefoodfox March 2, 2014 at 17:07 #

      Hi Tamsin! I’ll email you Inke’s details!

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