50 Women Game Changers in Food: #18, Clotilde Dusoulier

This is the first Game Changer post on a blogger. It ought to be interesting for the next month because for some reason, Gourmet listed four of them in a row.
I'm of two minds about including them on the list; have they had the experience and been
 involved in the culinary world long enough to be included on this impressive list of 50 world-wide game changers? And if so, do you think four spaces on a list of 50 is just about right? Can you imagine the debate that went on about this?
Of course real talent should be recognized and rewarded no matter the age. Everyone has to start someplace and these girls began blogging for fun, just as we have, and their blogs have resulted in successful (probably surprising themselves as much as anyone else) careers.

The food blogs have amassed an enormous internet audience and their influence is spreading through the entire culinary landscape, whether the old guard likes it or not. And let's face it: a lot of them do look down their noses at bloggers; they better get with the program as food blogging is here to stay and will continue to grow. (Remember what Julia Child said about Julie? “Julia said, ‘I don’t think she’s a serious cook.’ ”) So I think the best of the bloggers deserve recognition, but I did give a thought to other innovative women chefs who were ignored. I'd be willing to bet if I asked my daughter if she knew who Clotilde Dusoulier was she would say no. She's a foodie, a super cook, but not a food blogger. It's an interesting conundrum, isn't it?
(And no, she'd never heard of her.)

So our first food blogger Game Changer is Clotilde Dusoulier. She certainly qualifies as being young (early 30's) but as well, you can't deny she has become an influence in the culinary blogging world. Her Chocolate & Zucchini blog is widely read and Clotilde has made a big name for herself. I doubt when she began blogging, she would ever have imagined how her life would change. 

Clotilde was born and raised in Paris, where she studied to become a software engineer. Following graduation she worked in the Silicon Valley for a couple years and this is when her interest in food and cooking began. When she returned to Paris in 2003, she started her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini. Its success led to a second career in food writing. She eventually gave up her engineering job to try a writing career full time. Four years after she began blogging, she published a book based on her blog. Then another in 2008. She also worked to update the classic of French cookery, first published in 1932 called I Know How to Cook, Je Sais Cuisiner.  And now, her most recent, a book she has edited called The Art of French Baking which is to be released in November. 

Her hopes for the future? A family seems to be foremost, more books and she'd like to mentor young talent.

Now for those of you thinking this recipe for fregola and zucchini sounds familiar, it is. I've posted it before and it's worth repeating. A lot. I serve it frequently and it's always a big hit. Creamy, nutty and cheesy and altogether fabulous. And when I first saw it posted on Chocolate & Zucchini years ago, fregola was new to me, so in addition to a great recipe, I was introduced to an unusual pasta that I continue to use often. 

A month or so ago, I had company coming and I paired this dish with quail from
D'Artagnan. What a perfect dinner.

Fregola Sarda with  Zucchini and Pine Nuts
From Chocolate and Zucchini, October 5th, 2004 post

3 small and slender zucchini
2 cups cooked fregola sarda 
2 handfuls of pinenuts, dry toasted
2 ounces parmesan cheese (or more)
olive oil
herbes de provence 

Wash and slice three zucchini very thin. Sauté in a bit of olive oil, with herbes de provence to taste and just enough salt to bring out the zucchini flavor. Add the fregola and pinenuts. Grate liberal amounts of parmesan on top and mix in. Serve warm. Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch.

How I cooked the quail:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
Season the quails with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof saucepan, heat the canola oil on high heat and grill the quails in canola oil on all sides until brown. Finish cooking them in the oven for approximately 8 minutes.

oin Mary from One Perfect Bite and all the other participants in this fun series.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets 
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Kathleen Van Bruinisse - Bake Away with Me 
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Amy - Beloved Green
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda

Nancy - Picadillo


  1. I will have to go to my Gourmet market to find this pasta. Great post on Clothilde. She has also written a book about restaurants in Paris that I want to get. I think bloggers deserve to me on this list, especially when you consider the influence the internet has on our lives today. You have me curious as to who the other three are. Will take a look.

  2. I found some fregola the last time I was in Seattle and realy should do some experimenting. This is a great dish!

  3. Clothilde has a great blog. A recipe which must be wonderful! A healthy and delicious combination.



  4. Thanks for this Barbara, I've never heard of fregola, I'm googling right now!
    Also, I missed the maple scones...yum. I've started my fall/winter scone fest, so I have to try.

  5. Oh my, it's been ages since I saw that blog but it was one of the first that I found... was it that long ago??? It's interesting that before I started doing this myself I would visit a blog, read tons of back posts and then move on.... rarely visiting again. Now that I do it... I am far more loyal and have come to love visiting favorites (like you) sort of like having a cup of coffee with a neighbor or 2 in the morning.

    Lovely recipe... quail is so darn good and would be perfect with the pasta.

  6. I must check her out!

    Was PW on the list?

  7. I suppose you do have to run in certain circles to recognize some names. Funny how the food-blogging world is so full and rich, yet so elusive to those outside of it! You chose such a lovely meal to make this week. Wonderful intro to our 4 bloggers :D

  8. This recipe actually seems fairly easy to recreate. Not for me to cook. For Mr. A to cook. I don't know how to do anything in the kitchen.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  9. Barbara I love Clotilde recipes and her blog and this look delicious, gloria

  10. Great post about Clotilde!I love her blog...The dish looks amazing, Barbara!

  11. Le sigh. No chance of that getting made in podunk. Yes, I could venture across town to the grocer I affectionately call "Gucci Foods", but the Knight wouldn't eat it, so...

  12. I am so going to try this! I've got zucchini up the kazoo right now and my boyfriend is planning on a quail hunt next weekend!


  13. I remember that post and the fregola that you used. I put in on my shopping list but sadly, came up empty-handed.

    This looks wonderful and the quail looks succulent and crispy at the same time.

  14. Oh my goodness, that looks simply divine!!! Got any left overs? Want a house guest?
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    *kisses* HH

  15. I've never tried fregola sarda, but I've seen it in a local Italian deli and wondered how to prepare it. This simple dish from Chocolate and Zucchini sounds like a nice way to try it.

  16. Hi Barbara,

    We are so spoilt to have fabulous food blogs like yours, thank you.
    Was great to discover Clotilde and to read about her and look forward to going over to visit her blog.
    Your recipe of Fregola Sarda, looks delicious and how lucky guests would be dinning at your home.

    Happy weekend

  17. difficult to find these pastas in france !!but looks very good !!Pierre

  18. I have her book. It's so nice to see a food blogger on the list. I once told someone I was a food blogger, and they had that turned-up nose expression and announced that she didn't read blogs. As if to say the world blog was a nasty word. I now say I have a food site just to avoid those turned up noses. Great post and lovely dish with the quail.

  19. My darling chef, friend and fellow blogger,

    Your kind words today have touched me dearly. Yes, friends far away are so missed but when you have a friend who is SO CLOSE in proximity, there is a buried treasure that has been discovered. AND THESE RECIPES HERE are killer diller beautiful! I have a wonderful collection of Gourmet magazines and I seem to recall a quail recipe as such. I need to pull those out, but I used them at a time when I cooked more. These days with a busy teaching job, a salad is usually what is on my menu...poor Ruben, my husband doesn't get the homemade pizzas from the past, but now that the weather is turning cooler, a salmon and white bean stew is in order!!


  20. I also was happy to see a food blogger on the list! I love her site. I'm glad you're joining in on the fun, Barbara! Looking forward to reading more.

  21. I'll have to look for fregola, it looks fantastic with the quail.

  22. I love Clotilde 's blog because she always gives out a ton of info so it is useful especially for an info freak like me; anyway, this dish looks smashing and pretty easy to make too, so worth the investment to get the choice ingredients. By the way, I can't think of a more spectacular success in the blogging field of cooking than with the pioneer woman.

  23. Must get some of this pasta...looks so gorgeous with quail and pinenuts.

  24. quail. i see them around here all the time, but i've never eaten one. great side to pair with it, though--excellent contrasting textures most of all!

  25. Great post, Barbara! I really do enjoy Clotilde's work & the new frontier of the blogging world and how it fits into the grand scheme of the culinary world is fascinating! I can't wait to try this recipe too - lots of fabulous flavors and great texture too - thanks!

  26. While not in the same tier as say, Julia Child or Elizabeth David, Clotilde was one of the foodblog pioneers, and her success contributed greatly to all of us connecting here and now with our blogs. salut! and a gorgeous recipe.

  27. My goodness! My mouth is starting to water from those food blogs you've recommended! Too awesome.



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