Foodies all know Cat & Cook. This famous food blogger and cat lover Ivana Jindřichová has already published two successful cookbooks. Recently, her cat family has grown to include Miňonka and Laskonka and she soon plans put out another culinary oeuvre. The kitchen is her domain and the love of good food is the motivation. “The more foodies out there stronger the idea of traditional cooking.” Therefore, she bakes, cooks and spreads this art further. And she is great at it!
All the delicious recipes for the blog and cookbook are created right here, in this kitchen, which has recently undergone a great change. Judge for yourself what difference the “simple” replacement of the worktop makes.
So let’s start from the beginning.
Where did your love for cooking come from and with it the idea of making a living from it?
I have gravitated towards cooking since childhood and I am passionate about it. I discovered this passion in first grade and invited my friends’ for French scrambled eggs. Initially, I drew inspiration from my mother and grandmother, and while studying at university I got to know foreign cuisine. I cooked with zeal, experimenting with new ingredients and traditional international dishes. I usually shared everything on my private Facebook.
The idea of making a living from food blogging was organic. It all started at a cooking event school where I was appointed event manager. It was the hub of Prague gastronomy and creating a food blog was the only thing missing. Finally, my boyfriend Martin created the domain and presented it to me as a gift. I blogged on a very high level for three years while having a job and gave up my private life, but it was fantastic. Suddenly, I realized that my influence on the wider public was on the rise. This was my dream from the beginning. In 2018, I decided to quit my job and start blogging full-time. Since then I have published two cookbooks, and I am working on the third. Every day I have come to increasingly appreciate the decision I took to leave my ‘’comfort’’ zone and become a freelancer. 🙂
Where and when was your passion for cats born?
I have been around cats from early childhood. I was collected porcelain ones and stuffed ones and my room was full of them. I longed to have a live cat and I knew that one day I would own one. My dream came true at 16 when I got a Persian kitten. I named her Minda, and the name stuck becausetthats what I called cats. ☺ Minda inspired me with the Cat & Cook blog and was an amazing buddy. She died after 10 years as a result of kidney failure. A few months before her death, I decided to publish a cookbook in her honor. I am happy to have such beautiful memories of her. Mindy was replaced by the British cat Miňonka .Last I published a cookbook for her as well remembering her time as a kitten and then finally we now have the Siberian cat Laskonka to complete the collection.
“I like buying quality meat and vegetables from farmers, happy eggs, genuine vanilla, micro-herbs for decoration, etc. The basic ingredients are most important for me. ”
How long does it take to prepare a recipe for the blog?
It takes a lot of time for me to prepare one recipe. First I have to figure out what to cook. It depends on the season, available ingredients, wishes of my followers etc. It takes me about 1 hour and involves a long search on the Internet, in cookbooks etc. I search for the history of the recipe to understand what ingredients to use and try to understand the tradition of the recipe. This part takes me about 3 hours. I write a rough recipe as a guide which takes about 1 hour and then I search for the right ingredients. In most cases, they are not available in one place, so I shop around from more sources. I like buying quality meat and vegetables from farmers, happy eggs, genuine vanilla, micro-herbs for decoration, etc. The basic ingredients are the most important for me. If all goes well, I am done in 2 hours. Then it is time to cook or bake the food. The initial process is experimental. I take a lot of time to prepare and study the recipe, then comes the first try. Of course, it depends on the recipe, but it takes me about 3 hours – I note the changes and so on. Immediately after preparing the food I do a photoshoot. Everything has to be in daylight, I never take pictures with artificial lighting. Taking photos takes me about 2 – 2.5 hours. If I take pictures of the cooking process, it takes more time. After the photos, I sit down at the computer and write a recipe to make it understandable to people. I write my recipes in great detail so that everyone can follow them. At this stage, I sit for as long as 3 hours during which I write into the recipe giving various tips and advice. When I have finished writing, I proceed with postproduction photos. I have to download them from my memory card to my computer and then make a narrow selection (at times it takes about 60 photos to eventually select 10-15 shots). The selected items are adjusted to please the eye. This is 2-3 hours long. Next, I upload the recipe and photos on to the blog and make them available on Instagram and Facebook. That is about 2 hours. To sum up, we’re at 19 hrs. Of course, it is less for soups and simpler recipes, and sometimes more for cakes and other complex recipes.
I write my recipes in great detail so that everyone can follow them.
Where do you get inspiration for cooking?
I draw inspiration mainly from the seasons. I try to use seasonal produce, for example, in spring I enjoy asparagus, in summer strawberries, in autumn plums, in winter I bake with apples. My visual social media inspiration is definitely Pinterest, I spend hours there. On many occasions my fridge inspires me, I do not like to throw away food, so I try to consume everything to the last bit.
Do you ever have a “crisis” and the desire to throw away your ladle and order a pizza? ☺
I love pizza! ☺ I don’t order it, but I have favorite restaurants that make real Neapolitan pizza and we go there occasionally. But at home, I enjoy cooking and cherish it. It’s my lifelong passion. When I’m on vacation and don’t cook, I already have withdrawal symptoms and a list of the new recipes I have to prepare!
What parameters did you use in selecting the kitchen?
In our apartment, the kitchen in the drawings was small. From the beginning, I knew I had to change it, so I took away from our living room and added to the kitchen. I thought a lot about adequate storage space of different sizes. Practicability was also important to me. Last but not least, I wanted an aesthetically pleasing kitchen; so for example, I got brass handles from the USA, which are not available here.
What do you like about it and what would you change?
Originally I had an island in the kitchen which I eventually had to take out because the room was too crammed. Instead of an island, I got a wooden table and the kitchen opened up. Later, I added the missing storage space with a kitchen dresser, which is also works for taking pictures.
I installed the worktop “just for a while” before deciding which material fits. This set-up lasted 2.5 years with a temporary worktop and no tiling. You don’t even know how much I looked forward to the new worktop and tiling!
Which color from the Technistone collection did you choose and why?
I chose Technistone® Crystal Calacatta Silva. Because I love anything with a marble design, I was immediately clear about it! But I have to admit that Technistone has a number of beautiful, elegant and trendy designs to the extent that I would want at least three kitchens! ☺
What plans and ideas do you have for the future?
This year I plan to publish my third cookbook which will be all sweet stuff, full of traditional recipes from the Czech Republic and around the world. Unfortunately, due to the current situation my travel plans and wedding have been called off. However, I have many other plans which I don’t want to let out because they do not bring good luck.☺
Follow Cat & Cook’s transformation on Facebook and Instagram and get inspired by her blog recipes: https://catandcook.cz/