Describe your style of cooking in 3 words…
Plant-based, simple and fun!
What are your ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to diet & lifestyle?
I have very few if any 'non-negotiables' to be honest; life's too short to be too dogmatic and non-negotiables sound limiting and stressful. Having said that for me personally, I stay away from alcohol, always. I feel I'm wild enough as is ;).
When and how did you first begin cooking?
I was a VERY late starter and didn't really get into cooking seriously until I became a parent. This was largly due to the fact that my husband's a great cook and he very happily was our head chef. However once I became a mother and learned more about nutrition, I became obsessed about cooking regularly. I loved the challenge of creating a complete meal using only plant-based foods. I've not looked back since and now feel cooking is an integral part of my life and myself.
What inspired you to start The Little Plantation?
I started the The Little Plantation because I was really concerned about how our society's meat-heavy food choices were impacting negatively on our health and our planet. I knew that if I preached about it in long, wordy essays no one would take note, so instead I started the food blog, to give people healthy and delicious recipes as an alternative to the traditional meat and two vegetables. Over time the importance of creating beautiful photography to showcase plant-based food as best as I can has become more and more important to me. So much so that I gave up my 'real desk job' late last year to focus on food blogging and food photography alongside my studies as a nutritional therapist and my work as a yoga teacher.
What are your top 3 food photography tips?
- Collect beautiful food photography props – You don't need many or even expensive plates and bowls, but a small, carefully chosen collection of beautiful food photography props will take your food photography to another level. It's often the difference between a good and a great image. I try to work mainly with white plates that have interesting textures and wonky borders. It's a lovely place to start.
- Light – I am sure other food photographers have mentioned this before, but the right light is indeed everything. And the only way you can fully understand and experience its effect is through practicing regularly. Pick up your camera and work with backlight, sidelight, reflectors, diffusers etc.. It's the best way to see first hand how light impacts on your images and to discover how to manipulate light to create the food images that you want.
- Collaborate with other food bloggers – It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and to loose your creative spark, but working with inspiring food bloggers in your area is a way to keep your photography and styling fresh, whilst also having lots of fun.
What would your final supper be?
Shockingly I've actually thought about this (*blush* - #foodbloggertothecore). It would be, without a speckle of a doubt, pizza – no cheese!
What do you love about living in London? Are there any restaurants, cafes, stores you visit for inspiration?
London is so vibrant, dynamic and cosmopolitan, it's hard not to like it. It's a very open-minded city, filled with creative people seeking to live life to the full, which I find rather infectious :). Yet, at the same time you can also find lots of calm spots here too, where nature gains the utter hand; countless parks, walks by the river, deep dark woods, urban farms you name it, London's got it.
I tend not to eat out that much because I prefer home-cooked meals especially if I get to use ingredients bought at Borough Market , just by the river Thames! As for great shops, I am a sucker for beautiful ceramics or vintage homeware. Hence, places I like include Nom Living on Colombia Road, Heal's on Tottenham Court Road and numerous vintage stands at Greenwich Market in South East London.
When did you first become aware of Loving Earth and what's your favourite way to use our foods?
I first became aware of Loving Earth through social media, specifically Instagram. A number of plant-based food bloggers I followed raved about it, which made me curious. Then when I spotted some at a health food store in central London I HAD to try some. I went for what sounded the most like 'my' flavour – salted caramel and OMG! Love at first bite.
Personally, I think all the different chocolate flavours are so good, I prefer to do as little as possible with them and enjoy them, just as they are :)