Me at the gate of the Villa Nellcote, Villefranche-sur-Mer, in La Belle France.

Bonjour and welcome to Chez Bonne Femme. I’m glad you’ve come for a visit. Here are a few questions you may have about what I’m up to.

1. What is “Bonne Femme”?

La Bonne Femme is French for “the good wife,” but in French cuisine, it refers to a style of cooking—namely, the fresh, honest, and simple cuisine served at home, no matter who does the actual cooking, femme, mari (husband), or partenaire domestique.

(And, by the way: I’m happy to say that many of the most active voices on my facebook page are men! Come join the conversation.)

2. So, what’s this site all about?

Mostly, this site is meant to help you tap into the everyday pleasures of France and French cooking. I do that with some recipes, entertaining tips, observations about France, and such. The site was originally developed to support my cookbook, but it has grown from there!

 3. But don’t you also write about the dining scene in Des Moines, Iowa? Where can I find that stuff?

I was the Des Moines Register’s restaurant reviewer for nearly 15 years; I gave that up in 2012. Nevertheless, I still write about restaurants for a variety of venues, including DSM Magazine, a bimonthly lifestyle magazine. Find my dining and food articles for dsm magazine here.

I also write about the local food scene on Facebook at All Things Food DSM. Please drop by—we have an active group of food-lovers who love to dish about great things they’re finding at local restaurants.

I’m also on twitter @winimoranville. And you can sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, below.

4. Hey. Wait a minute. You’re from Iowa? What do you know about French Cooking? 

Clearly, you have no idea about Iowa.

Nevertheless, that is a fair question! Since 1992, I’ve had the great luck to summer nearly every year in France. (I’ve been a freelance food and wine writer since 1994, which has allowed me some flexibility).

Wherever we travel, we spend extended periods of time in one place, where we rent a little apartment (two favorites towns: Collioure and Beaulieu-sur-Mer); this allows me to shop, cook and eat like the French. Over the years, I’ve amassed many great recipes and tips from my summer stays there. Once home, I’d translate them (so to speak!) into a language that American cooks understand (that’s how my training as a food writer/editor has come in handy).

My focus has always been on the everyday-easy side of French cooking; the question that drove my research was this: The French have no more time to spend in the kitchen than we do, so how do they bring great meals to the table night after night? That’s what the book is all about.

5. What else do you do?

• Print Outlets: I continue to write about food and wine for a variety of outlets, many of which are in the Better Homes and Gardens family of publications. Over the years, I’ve contributed to dozens of their cookbooks, including the last three editions of The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. I’ve written scores of magazine articles on everything from Italian wines to low-calorie slow-cooker recipes. I also contribute to the website. My work has also appeared in The Des Moines Register, DSM Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Relish Magazine, and Publix Grape magazine.

• Online Outlets: In addition to the work I do for, here’s an overview of what I’m up to online at the moment.

• Video: I’m now an e-How video contributor. Here is my list of videos.

• Television: Recently, I’ve been contributing a food segment to the Great Day morning show on KCWI Des Moines. This airs every Friday at about 9:10 a.m.). For this, I talk about anything of interest to a food lover: restaurants, cooking tips, wonderful cooking gadgets and ingredients, and more. Here’s a recent segment.

6. I Have a Story Idea for You 

If you truly think it’s something right for my outlets, email me. Please note that the people I work most closely with are those that understand my audience.

7. Can We Hire You to Write/Edit/Produce For Us?

Let’s talk.

8. How Can I Contact You?

winimoranville [at ] yahoo [dot] com



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When I’m not in France, I live in Des Moines, Iowa, where I was the restaurant reviewer for The Des Moines Register for 15 years; I’m currently the restaurant reviewer for dsm magazine, a luxury lifestyle magazine in Des Moines. To get updates on what I’m finding around town, subscribe to my monthly Des Moines Dining e-Newsletter.

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Photo by Richard Swearinger.

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