Spoon meets: The modern-day cooks

Lately, I’ve been a big fan of Whole Foods Market UK’s events and the last one I went to was ‘Spoon meets’ in WFM in Kensington, which is apparently the start of a series of events that will be organised by Spoon {Cereals}. They aim to bring together like-minded people to discuss and chat about topics related to lifestyle and creativity. All of this over their amazing granola bowls in a cereal bar concept. The bar served bottomless granola bowls with three options to choose from, served with either coconut or natural yoghurt – a little something for everyone *yay me*. I tried the cinnamon + pecan and the chocolate bowls, which we both delicious – but the cinnamon + pecan is definitely my favourite! We were also greeted with a welcome juice from Botanic Lab 🙂

The event started with the founders of Spoon {Cereals}, Jonny Shimmin and Annie Morris talking about how they started their business. Annie is such an inspiring individual who talked about how with the rise of street food kiosks she just wished there was one that offered wholesome breakfast bowls. But instead of wishing she went out, sought advice and just went for it, although she doesn’t have any background or experience in the food industry! Such a lovely and creative person, whom I wished I had more time to talk to, especially considering that I am a designer too! Well, maybe next time!

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Next, the discussion was led by chef and award-winning author Jordan Bourke (@jordanbourke), junior doctor Hazel Wallace (@thefoodmedic) and award-winning food writer chef Olia Hercules (@oliahercules), talking about their journeys and how they made it to where they are now.

Jordan is one of the most genuine influencers I have listened to. He touched on the idea of how some people believe they might have gluten intolerance when the real reason bread makes them feel bad is because of all the bad ingredients it could contain. His new cookbook healthy baking provides an alternative; he offers clean baking recipes with the best ingredients, which have helped many people realise that they can enjoy sourdough bread and not suffer from any side effects. When I asked how he manages to stay different amongst so many bloggers and food writers, he answered that being a consultant, he always advises people to be authentic to who they are and that’s the best way they can bring something new to the world. And honestly, I think that is something he’s been doing extremely well. *hats off*

Olia is a Ukrainian chef who makes East Europian look so good! And hearing her talk about it made me want to try Ukrainian food so bad. She is the most honest and funny individual and I love how she just speaks her mind and always wears a big smile on her face. She talked about how she switched careers and ditched journalism to pursue training in cookery. But what made me admire her even more is her openness when I asked about how she manages to stand out from the pool of food writers and recipe creators. She simply answered: I love seeing new people raising awareness of our food and I don’t mind being just another one of them. How modest and inspiring is this in a world where competition is eating us alive? And to quote one of her best lines: ‘If you want cake, just have that piece of cake!’ (Well, in her case it was custard)…  ‘Just don’t have the whole cake’. Well, she obviously doesn’t know my issues with portion control. If I have that piece of cake, I’m definitely going for the whole cake haha. Olia also talked about she gets a lot of inspiration from her mother, who she said is the best cook in the world for her. Yes, she’s perfect!

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Hazel (yes, that’s us with her in the picture) is an inspiration to all the people out there that keep complaining about time to cook healthy. She’s training as a junior medic, constantly runs events all across London, and manages to cook healthy, from scratch, write about it, write her own cookbook, and still look absolutely gorgeous! Beat that! So to all of you complaining, you need to find a new excuse… Hazel talked about her background and how she was brought up in a home and culture where everything was cooked from scratch and how this influenced her. Studying medicine has really consumed her time and she looked at food as medicine to keep her in good health. ‘It’s about what you include in your food, and not about what you take out’. She talked about balance and eating everything moderately and how you shouldn’t feel guilty for treating yourself (with grandma’s apple crumble, yes we all wish we could meet her grandma now) from time to time as long as you know you’re being good to yourself most of the time.

The key topics that were discussed focused on the benefits of fermented food, the importance of eating everything in moderation including fats, the idea of just eating less of what is not good for you, the ethos of cooking from scratch using nutritious ingredients, and finally the flexibility to treat yourself with something you are craving every once in a while!

Looking forward to more Spoon Meets events! Thank you Spoon {Cereals} for this inspiring morning and thank you Jonny for asking all the right questions and providing us with the msot delicious granola!

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