I was recently asked what my religion was. I instinctively said ‘Yoga’.
It was a provocative answer but practicing yoga has surely guided my mind in the last few years. It gives me calmness, confidence and it teaches me acceptance.
I have practiced Ashtanga for a few years and then, because my timetable didn’t allowed to go to the Ashtanga Yoga School, I have joined another Yoga Center and I have started to explore different styles and practice with various teachers. In my yoga years, I have learned to focus, to let bad thoughts go, to concentrate on myself (which sounds like a bad thought but it actually means that you don’t judge yourself according to what others do) and my body has become strong and flexible.
I met many dedicated individuals who inspired me with their passion and knowledge. If they are reading the post, I want to express my gratitude.
This awareness is effecting every aspect of my life and it is making me a more centred person, willing to do good.
It is not a case that in my work as well, I tend to go for natural materials and objects that have an history.
Her gorgeous plates (shown below) look like they are made of wood and ceramic but they are actually made of clay painted like wood and ceramic; they look amazing and you don’t have the problems that wooden plates present (wood retains smells and it is effected by too much water).
I like the irregular shapes of this dishes and the combination between a color, a tiny stripe of gold and the wood look.
Spring has arrived (check this photo from my balcony) ! I am really happy, it is a positive period, life is busy but sweet at the moment. Tonight (the icing on the cake) my girlfriends are coming for dinner, it is going to be 4 of us, it would be nice if we could have one of these cool plates from Zup each!
Like Camilla Walala, Yinki Ilori has made bright colours his signature style. Yinki has been spreading colours around London (where he lives and works) and on the Instagram for a few years now and he has recently launched a homeware collection inspired by his British-Nigerian upbringing. The collection includes cushions, rugs, mugs, table mats, plates, tablecloths, socks, prints with different geometric patterns and color combinations, all very joyful. I have selected some of my favourites to show you but check the Yinki Ilori online shop to see the full range.
I have known Kate Wesson for a few years now. We have spent some lovely weekends in Rome together walking around and eating delicious food. Kate is a keen food explorer, a curious eater and passionate about all things related to food and its presentation . It is not a coincidence that she has had so much success working as a food stylist and food writer, she boasts a long list of brands and agencies that she has collaborated with. I love Kate’s instagram because it shows her passion for beautiful food. She posts images of what she cooks on a daily basis; her Instagram makes you salivate! Her style is honest and attractive, as food should always be.I recently asked Kate a few questions about her work and how to make this lockdown more yummy.
When did you decide to become a food stylist ?
“I made the transition from chef to food stylist fairly early on in my career at the age of 25. Working in the food industry back in the early 2000’s the hours were long poorly paid and tough. I had always enjoyed the visuals of food as much as creating something that tastes amazing. I love the different visual texture and colour combinations you can create and I recognised that the plating of dishes was often where I felt I was able to express myself the most.”
What’s been your most interesting jobs as a food stylist?
“As a very small scale micro influencer I was flown out to the Italian island of Pantelleria to document the food and culture of this beautiful place to help promote the film A Bigger Splash starring Tilde Swinton and Ralf Finns that was set on the island. I had 2 great guides who took me around and we visited the local producers, made fresh ricotta and visited the terraces where the famous pantelleria capers are grown. The island was quiet as we were out of season so we had some restaurants opening especially for us serving some delicious local dish’s cooked only for us. I loved hearing the story of how certain dishes have come about and meeting the producers who have such a passion and finding a way of documenting this through a series of images was a career highlight.”
How do you find cooking these days without being able to pop to the shops whenever you want to get ingredients?
“I’ve always been a creative cook but the current situation has really pushed me creatively to try new combinations out and I am often substituting ingredients with success (but not always!) sometimes I’ve had some real wins. The main ingredient that seems to be difficult/ near impossible to get hold of is wheat flour, it seems the only flour often left on the shelf is buckwheat and I have enjoyed using this although I am missing making pasta as I’ve run out of 00 flour now.
I have never liked food waste and recently I seemed to have stepped this up a gear too and I don’t seem to waste a single scrap any more. All stems, cores and cheese rinds are kept in a big tub in the freezer and when amassed made into stocks perhaps with a chicken carcass or left over bone from the freezer. Left over chicken skin from a Sunday roast is rendered off for its fat and the left over crispy skin is used to top a ramen or crumbled into a salad. Any peelings like potato, carrot or artichoke are crisped in olive oil and salt and eaten as a snack. This morning I found 3 bruised overly soft pears in the fruit bowl normally I would have thrown them out but instead I whizzed them up in my blender with some maple syrup, mixed spice and melted coconut oil and used this mixed to make delicious granola by mixing it with some oats, whole nuts and seeds and some chopped stem ginger. I love this new found thrifty behaviour and it seems to be spreading I hope when this is all over its something we all still manage to keep hold of.
Ive also been foraging outside when I’m out for our daily 1 hour of exercise at the moment I can pick up nettle tops, wild garlic and wisteria.”
Can you recommend interesting places to shop online for interesting table ware?
“As stylists we often go to the London prop houses to source and hire tableware/linens background surfaces and all things food related these places are like an Aldines cave full of treasures. When shopping for home or an extra special piece for a photo shoot :Kana Ana, David Mellor, La Tuile a Loup, Texit Vicens, Volga Linenare a few of my favourite places to source from.”
What’s your favourite cuisine?
“I love to explore many different cuisines, food in the UK is very encompassing and London has some amazing restaurants from all around the globe. I find my taste change all the time, we are loving south American food at the moment ceviche and tacos have been something we have cooked a lot recently. I am also enjoying fermenting vegetables and experimenting with this technique which is handy to keep foods for longer during the lock done days.”
All photographs are taken and styled and all the food prepared by Kate Wesson, as the amazing Japanese Okonomiyaki Pancakes Recipe is that you can find below.
KATE’S LOCK DOWN JAPANESE OKONOMIYAKI PANCAKES RECIPE
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g Finely shredded Chinese cabbage
A handful of finely shredded kale
A handful of shredded left over- chicken, chopped ham or grated cheddar cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
70g finely chopped kimchi or sauerkraut or other fermented vegetable
sunflower/rapeseed or groundnut oil
4 tablespoons of okonomiyaki sauce or make your own by mixing together the following: 2 tbsp. Ketchup ,1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce ,1 tbsp. Honey, 1 tsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp. of mayonnaise, ideally from a squeezy bottle.
Extra optional toppings:
A tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds/ black or white or both
Finely sliced spring onion
1 tbsp. pickled ginger
sprinkle of chopped chilly
1 tbsp. siracha hot sauce
A sprinkle of Bonito flakes
A sprinkle of finely shredded nori seaweed
A handful of chopped herbs such as chives or coriander
Place the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk in with 150ml of water until you have a smooth batter.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, don’t be afraid to substitute with what you have left over as ingredients are very interchangeable but always making sure you include the cabbage.
Heat a tbsp. of oil in a medium sized non-stick frying pan over a medium heat; spoon in half the batter to make 2 large pancakes and cook until golden, carefully flipping to cook the reverse side and repeating the process with the remaining batter. Alternatively you can make several smaller ones by spooning in the batter and cooking in batches.
When the pancakes are cooked on both sides, brush the top with a little of the okonomiyaki sauce until lightly glazed. Slide the pancakes onto plates and drizzle with the mayonnaise and a little more of the okonomiyaki sauce, sprinkle over the optional extra toppings and devour!
Poor my eyes: most of the time indoor and in front of a screen for hours every day. They fell so dry, I feel so sorry for them that publishing Lover’s Eye collection by ArtefactoMadrid seems to me an original and fun way to apologize.
The Argentinian Santi Carbonari and Franco Donati source antique and vintage porcelain, restore it and “and stamp with (the) new designs through a careful process of high temperature vitrified. They have many collections of plates with different subjects but they are all fun and pop and original.
The decorations of the support of the antique or vintage porcelain complement and create a funky contrast with the fantastic and detailed prints representing tropical worlds, lunar places, collage beings, cartoon heroes and much more.
I wanted to publish at least other twenty plates!
ArtefactoMadrid sells also prints, lights, t-shirts and glass objects.
The level of detail of the antique porcelain together with the quality and complexity of the prints makes these decorative plates pop and captivating.
For more porcelain on +DECO, use the search on the website or click here.
I am back from my holiday in California and I am still pretty jet-lagged.
We have been waking up at 5 or 6 am everyday since we came back but at least we don’t have the unbearable wave of tiredness and sleepiness during the day.
The positive side of being jet-lagged at the end of August in Rome is that the city is still very empty so you can take advantage of the early unwanted rises to go out and admire the dawn from some of the best spots in the city centre.
I have published quite a few photos of my holiday on Instagram and some are still to come, if you want to see my visions and views, follow me, I promise it is not going to be boring!
I am preparing a post for the beginning of September (a bit like the September magazine issues) which is going to be fun but in the meanwhile I want to show you this beautiful Japanese style crockery by Tokyo Design Studio.
They are the perfect wedding gift! I love the black ones from the collection Onyx Noir: in those dishes almost anything you cook will look like something off Master Chef!
This is a post for tattooed people but not only.
For instance I haven’t got any tattoos. My taste and esthetic sense is continuously evolving and I have never wanted to commit on anything printed on my skin for ever.
I am glad I haven’t, to be honest. Nowadays it is more common having a tattoo than not (even over sixties have tattoos!) and the fascinating sense of rebellion that once came with them has disappeared.
The estethic pleasure or affection is still there for many and I don’t judge that.
Anyway if I was going to have a tattoo, I would have gone for a old style sailor’s chick or heart or a Japanese mafia design.
When I saw these fabulous ceramics by Eva Gernandt, they made me think of sailors’ tattoos (as well as granny’s crochets and Jean Paul Gaultier). I love these plates and pots by By Mutti: the mental connection with the adventurous and reckless life of sailors and the inevitable association with tattoos make these old looking sets very street-style.
I used to shop in PrimarkinLondon in 2000. At that time, Primark wasn’t so well-known to the public and the only shop was in Tooting, one of the less glamorous area of London. I bought things there that I still have in my wardrobe. I remember being very vague when asked where I had got my clothes, even if they were actually complimenting them. A few years later half of the female London population were to be found inPrimark.
The big Irish high street brand is arriving in Italy imminently near Milan.
They are going to open a home section as well. In memory of the amazing afternoons in Tooting sharing the big changing room and advice with colorfully dressed strangers, I have selected for you some pretty items for the home from Primark website.
Do you want to buy me a present and make me happy? I have a tip for you then: I love love love the new range of dishes, cups, table-clothes entitled Toilet Paper by Maurizio Cattelan for Seletti. I know, a lot of bloggers promise give-aways and I, on the other hand, demand presents but I can’t resist, I want these plates with livers!!!!!, horses, hands, plungers horseshoes and much more. They were launched at the Salone del Mobile by Seletti and they are available in white, mint (ice-cream) and light blue (70’s tiles). Seletti, an Italian brand active since 1964 also produces the cool Hybrid collection and the pretty lights Eggs of Columbus, as well as many other beautiful designs
Maurizio Cattelan on his sculpture L.O.V.E (photo Elle Decor).