What’s your creative process like? Do you follow any rituals or routines when working?
For a book, it starts with the idea. I will have a few stories in mind that I’m desperate to photograph or feature in some way. This all gets developed and after a very long list of emails and research, gets fine-tuned to the final selects. When I’m writing, I like to be organised. I write in the morning straight after school drop off (one cup of coffee, followed by a large pot of herbal tea), without a phone or any distractions in the room – and then spend the afternoon responding to emails and setting up stories for the next day.
How “wild” is your kitchen and has putting together this book encouraged you to think differently about how you cook and eat at home?
My husband is the cook of the house and when it came to the rooms’ design, we worked it out together. There are a lot of freestanding cabinets and we tried to create a Moroccan-style plastered unit for the sink with smooth, curvy edges but it didn’t fully work. Next time around, I’d like to introduce more pattern and colour, as well as beautiful, natural materials. With cooking, I have a few dishes that I love to make that remind me of certain times and places in my life but from the book, it’s actually the small stuff that really gets me involved, like collecting spruce tips with my daughter to make syrup for pancakes, or making Julia Sherman’s candied peppercorn orange slices to enjoy as snacks. Rita Sodi’s riff on a vermouth spritz is also delicious.
To ask a question posed in Wild Kitchen: What’s your number one treasured item in your kitchen and why?
I have a silver desert serving spoon embossed with fruits that I’m really fond of. It’s not an heirloom but my nan used to have a similar one, which she would use to serve up trifle on special occasions. I’m sentimental when it comes to material things. Plus, her Sunday roasts were the best.