Where did you grow up?
Between London and the Italian Alps.
Describe your childhood and its impact today.
I was very lucky to have been immersed in the city and country as a child. Running wild in the mountains really shaped my love for the outdoors and instilled a strong sense of adventure; and my parents purchasing Petersham Nurseries only furthered this instinctive devotion to nature. My early experiences shaped the way I see the world today, and influenced both my former immersive events company and my current food and wellness platform, The Gut, as well as my own recipes and cooking.
Where do you live and work currently?
London, but with one eye on Italy- I plan to move there. I have a job that allows me to create wellness and dining experiences in different countries and cities, which I love. The freedom to move and explore is something I cherish and construct my life around.
Who or what inspires you?
Anyone who pursues their dreams and passions with patience and good morals. I have some wonderful friends and role models that make up my close knit community. The most important lesson that I learned (be it a little later in life) is that you are allowed to fail and get up again, or be imperfect and still succeed.
When planning a menu, where do you start?
I begin with a loose theme around health (i.e. inflammation, skin or the gut) or if working for a brand I look at their style and ethos. From there I consider which products are in season, and build upon it all. I'm a huge fan of colour and aesthetics, for me the beauty of food is just as important to taste and nutritional benefits. In the winter months dishes I devise always seem to be pink- full of radicchio and beets!
What can we expect to see from you over the next six months?
I am publishing my first book, ‘Recipes To Reconnect’, which incidentally collides with the birth of my first baby. It will be a hectic few months juggling the two, but I’m incredibly excited to pour my energy into the birth of both. To launch the book, I’ll be executing dining experiences and retreats around its themes, as well as celebrating the many inspirational contributors who lent their thoughts and recipes.
What do you wear in the kitchen?
It depends on the job, at the moment it’s baggy embroidered men’s shirts and black trousers, as not much fits me. A big belly with a striped apron is questionable.
Whose style do you admire?
I’m not sure I notice any one particular person's look. At times I quite like an androgynous feel, which is why Issue Twelve really resonates. On the other hand I love to dress up, if there’s a reason for a ballgown I’ll be there.
Most recent purchase?
Zoe Lee cowboy boots. They are a modern take on the classic design, ready for any occasion.
Favourite podcast/ book/ film?
I love BBC Radio 4, it's always playing in my car and often when I cook. I’m a bit of a nerd. Plus any informative podcasts on the gut, or the way our bodies work.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel adventures. Being in the great outdoors; from splitboarding in the arctic to riding across Spain to Portugal.
Do you collect anything?
Film Cameras. Everything looks and feels better on film. I’ve been amassing them since I was 15. I shot my whole book on two 35mm cameras: a Nikon FM2 and a Ricoh GR.
Who is your partner in crime?
Being eight months pregnant, my wild child within has been somewhat dormant. But I still try to be my lover's very sober, and often very tired, partner in crime. My best friend Billie is pregnant at the same time as me, she is very much my life confidant and always has been.
Favourite country? And describe their cuisine.
Top of my list are India, Italy and Greenland. The first two have absolutely epic cuisines; the options in Greenland are limited, but the landscapes make up for it. My father lived in India and taught me how to eat as the locals do (without getting sick) The best meal I had was at a truck stop, men sleeping everywhere and all that was on offer was a moong dal and roti - it was perfect, full of flavour and packed a punch. Italy is my homeland (on my father’s side). I love exploring all of the countries vibrant corners; most recently I was in Napoli eating the most delicious homemade gluten free pasta. It’s a thing, everywhere offers homemade gluten free pasta - a dream for someone who had to reluctantly give it up.. When I go to Greenland I pack snacks, gluten free bread and pasta - sometimes I even take flour with me! When we were last there on Sky Dancer, an expedition boat, we were catching fresh fish, with mountain peaks in front of us and small icebergs in the distance. It was incredibly special.
What or who keeps you moving forward?
Working with inspirational people really restores my faith in humanity and makes me want to carry on. I interviewed so many incredible people for my book, which was very life affirming. I spoke to Merlin Sheldrake on what the connectivity of mushrooms can teach us, Isabella Tree on rewilding our back gardens and Bruce Parry on what we can learn from indigenous cultures.
Day to day, my lover Riccardo is my backbone. He always makes me laugh when things look bleak, and offers counsel on how to achieve what I set out to do. He won’t let me give up, knowing my capability, and, most importantly, where my priorities lie.
Skye Gyngell had a huge impact on me growing up, I still call her for occasional life advice. I really admire Jackson Boxer for everything he has created and his exceptional restaurants. As of late, I have gotten to know Avi Shashidhara, who’s modern Indian cooking is something to shout about.
Last supper of choice?
A Sunday roast. It reminds me of cooking with my sisters and a house full of friends, and was our ritual growing up. Even now, you’ll find me in our kitchen in Richmond, friends, dogs and small children milling around (my father watching the football). Food is so emotive, it's the ultimate act of love. When I was small my parents always hosted extraordinary individuals for supper parties, I loved the glamour and intimacy of it all. There is no greater pleasure than rallying an eclectic group of people you admire, and watching them engage and interact with wonderful food.
Most memorable meal?
Mãos in the Blue Mountain School is epic, I went just before they won their michelin star. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, you can dip in and out of the kitchen, ask questions and drink ridiculous wines.
Moment which changed the course of your life?
Life is made up of sliding doors. The opportunities I didn't take have been as informative as those I pursued. Being asked to write a book was an incredible life shift. I'm really happy that I was able to take the time to sit with the task of writing, researching and photographing its content. I feel a huge sense of achievement there and really hope people like it.
Individuals you admire the most?
I spent much of my youth looking outwards at what other people had created, and it made me feel inadequate. Now I try to look inwards and find my own confidence. As a result I don’t aspire to be anyone, but instead kick-ass inspirational people stick in my mind.
Where’s your happy place?
The Mountains. The serenity of the landscape settles my mind- any troubles seem minor in comparison to these giants of nature: when we are gone they will remain. I love to explore them on foot, horseback, climbing or on my splitboard- either alone or with my dog and friends. Nothing feels better than being in the elements.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I'm hoping it's still to come. For now my book and baby.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I admire people for the way they move through life; their morals and how they achieve their goals. I have many ambitions that I want to bring to life, but for me a legacy isn’t what you’ve achieved, it’s how you make people feel and the decisions you make daily. Family is very important to me, it's what you leave behind.
Rule to live by?
Be bold. And embody the person you want to attract. You get out of life what you put in, our energy defines everything.