I thought I'd share a bit about where I come from, and my love for food and inspiration. Growing up in Europe (in Cologne, Germany to be precise), meant to be exposed to lots of different cultures, customs and traditions from an early age. It meant that tapas, falafel, kebabs, pizza, pasta, souvlaki and much more were around every corner. I grew up with a beautiful diversity of different foods and people around me. Travelled to a few countries (not as many as I should have, I admit, but I'm working on it) and have always been in love with the Canary Islands. Maybe it's the remoteness, maybe the proximity to the African mainland with its completely different smells and vibes, or maybe the Spanish language, the people and the general hospitality. It is a slower life than in Germany for sure, with more sun and wine and hours spent watching the waves on the ocean. It is big tables filled with fresh food, and people sitting around them chatting and laughing. It is music and singing and dancing. I went back there just a few months ago and it is still the same magical place for me that it has always been. It fills my heart with complete love and joy.
On the same trip I realised how deeply rooted in Europe I am with all its diversity and history. I will definitely go back for inspiration (Greece, here I come! But then, I also need to travel to Asia more, so have to find a balance). There is still so much to see and do, foods to taste, people to talk to, oceans to swim and old buildings to cherish. I had forgotten how mild the sun is over there, and how balmy the evenings can be. All my experiences, and especially the ones in early childhood, have shaped me and left deep traces - of Europe's richness, soulfulness, beauty and... the food. Did I mention the food? ;-)
Small - 360ml - $6
Medium - 500ml - $9
Large - 700ml - $12
These containers are made from plant materials and are fully compostable in a commercial composting facility. Currently, we have only one of those operating in Hawke's Bay - Bio Rich in Awatoto. You can drop off your containers there for a small charge as far as I am aware. http://www.biorich.co.nz
I would like to encourage our takeaway customers to bring their own containers and I'm happy to fill bigger containers for the same charge (e.g. 800ml instead of 700ml for $12). We also offer bamboo containers but some of our customers have experienced problems with those when wanting to keep food fresh for a longer period of time (e.g. for lunch the next day). If you are buying food with the intention of storing it for a few days we recommend to either use bioplastic or bring your own to ensure the food keeps its quality and freshness. Please note that the bioplastic containers are only suitable for cold foods and will lose their shape when exposed to temperatures above 50 degrees celsius.
Medium (divided, two compartments) - $10
Large (divided, two compartments) - $12
Large (divided, three compartments) - $12
Extra large (divided, three compartments) - $14
These are great for immediate consumption, can also hold hot food and are home compostable. I use a hungry bin at home and it works well.
As some of you may have noticed, we have a new name. After nearly two years we are saying goodbye to The Art Kitchen, mainly because this name was part of a completely different project at first and we just kept it as it was for lack of a better and more fitting one. This morning, when driving home from school, suddenly in my head three words popped up... Love and Green. It just felt right - those are some of the most important things in my life and these words pretty accurately describe what my food and philosophy is about.
The name change comes just in time for the start of a new project. In addition to working Thursdays at The Space, I will be out and about with a mobile food trailer - it will be exciting to see where this takes me. The menu is going to be slightly different and there will be more catering options, but all in all it will be pretty much the same as it's always been - lots of Love and Green.
When I started my training as a chef in 1995 I had no idea where it would take me (and to be honest, I still don't really know). I went down the conventional path first, after a few years stopped professional cooking altogether and tried many new things. I trained in several different natural therapies, moved to the other side of the world (New Zealand, that is - at least for us Europeans), had a daughter, and at some stage landed up on a big property with lots of room for a vegetable garden and fruit trees. That was more than twenty years after my first day as a chef, and only then the penny dropped. I began to realise that all my skills had become interwoven. Finally everything made sense - my passion for cooking, food, gardening and health. At that point, I had been a vegetarian / vegan for many years, but still had the feeling that I wanted to take it further and learn more about nutrition. As for many people, reading The China Study was a life changer for me, so in 2017 I went on to complete my Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornel. Whole food, plant-based nutrition is what I mostly follow today, at work as well as at home. My family and I enjoy a beautiful diversity of food every day - different textures, flavours and colours, all minimally processed and made without any ingredients of animal origin. Just plants and lots of love.