If you ever needed any proof that life is, in fact, beautiful, then spend some quality time on Mimi Thorisson’s Instagram account. The French cook and writer, who splits her time between Médoc and Turin, documents her adventures both in and out of the kitchen with the kind of style and splendor that has inspired thousands, if not millions, of urbanites to contemplate a more satisfying life in the provinces. Her new cookbook, Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from Our Travels in Italy, is packed with traditional, ingredient-driven recipes that even culinary neophytes can attempt with confidence. Despite her mastery of all things domestic, her taste is just as exacting when it comes to matters outside of the home. —Ashley Baker
Airline: Singapore Airlines. I always loved their uniforms. I bought the same top and paired it with Levi’s 501 in the early 90s.
Airport: It’s closed now, but it has to be the old Kai Tak Airport, in Hong Kong. It was always a thrill to land on that narrow strip and be so close to the buildings.
Bag: A vintage Celine bag in burgundy.
Bedtime: Too late—11:30 p.m.!
Birthday: One with lobster, Jura wine, and a Saint-Honoré cake.
Breakfast, weekday: Blueberries and Assam tea with a cloud of milk.
Breakfast, weekend: Focaccia and prosciutto cotto.
Car: If I could only drive! My fantasy car is a vintage Jaguar in racing green.
Child: Toto in the movie Cinema Paradiso.
Cocktail: A Negroni Sbagliato at Bar Basso, in Milan.
Cocktail appetizer: Sage fritters or good crispy and salty potato chips. I can’t resist.
Couple: Paul and Linda McCartney.
Date: Stockings and a little black dress.
Dinner, weekday: Roast chicken with potatoes.
Dinner, weekend: A beef tagliata grilled with rosemary, radicchio, and garlic.
Enemy: Haters without a cause.
Escape: Filicudi, in the Aeolian Islands.
Having eight kids is always a good excuse for anything …
First Lady: Michelle Obama.
Fitness regime: Power walking mixed with running.
Frock: A beautiful black-and-white embroidered dress by Jean Louis. He was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite fashion designer.
Hotel: The Ritz in Paris.
Jacket: A Y.S.L. vintage tuxedo jacket.
Last Meal: Lobster soup with little strands of trita pasta.
Lunch, weekday: Tajarin pasta with something seasonal—right now, it would be porcini.
Lunch, weekend: Homemade tortellini in brodo.
Match: Pecorino cheese and almonds.
Movie: Big Night.
Name: Marie-France. “Mimi” is my nickname.
Neighbor: One who brings you fruits from their garden.
Nonfiction book: Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell.
Novel: Tender Is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Shoes: Le Monde Beryl black velvet kitten heels.
Pet: Smooth fox terriers.
Piece of advice: “Don’t complain, don’t explain.”
Restaurant: Al Gatto Nero in Turin. All the elements for a top restaurant are there.
Saying: Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place! (He who leaves his place loses it.)
Singer: Dionne Warwick.
Spouse: Oddur Thorisson, my Viking. He is what I call a real man.
TElevision series: Lace, based on Shirley Conran’s novel from the 80s. I loved it then, and still do!
Theme song to your life: “Freedom,” by George Michael.
Time of day: Six p.m.
Toast: With butter and Marmite.
Vacation: Amalfi Coast.
Wake-up time: Seven p.m.
Weekend bag: Filson.
Work of art: Hope II, by Gustav Klimt.
WRITING IMPLEMENT: Fountain pen.