New Zealanders will be familiar with Australians claiming some of our most successful compatriots as their own. They’ve done it with Neil Finn, with Russell Crowe (actually, they can keep him) and they’re even trying it on with today’s guest, Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme. Well, hands off, cobbers, she’s ours.
What’s your blog about?
Healthy gluten-free and mostly lactose-free vegetarian eating.
When did you start it? Why?
I first pushed publish on my daughters 4th birthday, July 2010. To begin with it started out as a place for me to share recipes that I had come up with since becoming gluten and lactose-free. I’ve always wanted to write a cookbook too, so thought it would be a great way for me to practice recipe writing as well as getting my name out there in the food world. Nowadays it’s more like a visual diary of my life, filled with recipes, stories, photos and vege gardening tips.
|Vegetarian sushi Image: Emma Galloway|
Do you have any culinary training or professional experience?
Yes. I started working in the kitchen when I was 16 years old at one of the very first cafes in Raglan, back when cafes were a new thing in New Zealand (god that makes me feel old!). I worked weekends and full-time over the holidays and loved every second of it. After completing year 13 I went on to train professionally as a chef and then spent the next seven years working in the industry, mostly in the pastry section, flitting between NZ and Australia before leaving the kitchen to start a family six years ago.
Who’s your food hero?
Jamie Oliver, hands down. What that guy has done for this world in terms of inspiring people through food is unmatchable. I also have to mention Heidi Swanson as it was her book Supernatural Cooking and her blog, 101cookbooks, that inspired me to start my own blog. She has single-handedly made vegetarian food cool.
|Creamy coconut rice pudding with date compote Image: Emma Galloway|
Masterchef and TV food shows – hot or not?
Both. I think anything that encourages people to get out there and cook real food is a good thing. But it makes me jealous when the winner of MasterChef gets a cookbook deal at the end of it without even really knowing that much about food!
What are your three favourite posts on your blog?
I’m a major perfectionist so as much as I love loads of the first recipes I shared, it’s the newer posts with my improved photography skills that I am most proud of. My gluten + dairy-free Mexican chocolate almond cookies, creamy coconut rice pudding with date compote and my sushi post where I shared every tip I’ve ever learnt about making Maki rolls are a few of my most favourite posts.
|Gluten and dairy-free Mexican chocolate cookies Image: Emma Galloway|
Tell us about another blog you love.
I read a LOT of food blogs. But there are only a handful of blogs that I read every new post of. Amazing photography gets me every time and it’s the photos as much as the recipe itself that draws me in and has me coming back for more.
101cookbooks always inspires and I don’t think there is a post I haven’t read in the nearly three years that I have been following. Heidi’s food style is very similar to mine, but it’s her photos and sense of design that leave me gob-smacked. Wholepromise delivers stunning photographs and healthy food that makes me really hungry. And Green Kitchen Stories has the most amazing photos and a story that I can wholeheartedly relate to.
What’s for dinner tonight?
Gluten-free spaghetti with homemade lentil tomato sauce and winter slaw. I’ve been making this nearly every week since I left home, one of my mama’s famous recipes.
|Lentil tomato sauce Image: Emma Galloway|
What’s your day job? What else do you do?
I’m a full-time stay at home mum to my two kiddies. My youngest started kindy a few days a week this year. Next year he’s at school, so I suppose if I can’t get a book deal by then I’ll be on the hunt for a job! What kind? I have no idea. Being a chef is not the easiest job to fit around kids…
Who do you cook for?
My hubby works away for two weeks at a time, then home for one. So mostly I just cook for the kids and myself. We eat very simply when he’s away and strictly vegetarian, but when he’s home I bake a lot more often and cook chicken and seafood for him and the kids. While I eat eggs and rice :-/