Lara’s take on Food and Cooking

My love for food started with my mother; she could and still can, turn the simplest produce into a feast and passed on the gift of loving each element in its most pure, whole and natural state. Way back when she was under the medical supervision of one of the most renowned naturopathic physicians, which was not common practice at all back then in South-Africa, introducing us as her children to the healing properties of food, detoxing, and the philosophy of “you are what you eat”.

Growing up as a child in South Africa in the eighties, home cooked meals could have easily been very mono-cultural and boring. Mom defied these beliefs and  prepared meals that were very healthy, ahead of her time, always innovating with exotic mixes, very different to most of the other moms. She always stood out in whatever she attempted, and was never afraid to be herself. Thank you Mom for all the gifts!

Yet, I must say from my growing years and with all the culinary diversity we have in South-Africa, I have always had a major weakness for Indian Curries and Cape Malaysian cuisine with its rich, heavenly flavours, spices and a mixture of East meets West made in Africa! And  all the other influences from Greek, Jewish, Italian, Portuguese to Lebanese cuisine…traditional Samp, Umfino to name a few. There is just a taste for every palate; it never ends.

I have been living  in France for the past 14 years, as well as Turkey, Greece, London and Switzerland for shorter periods of time, with dining experiences that have also influenced my palate in interesting ways. I don’t consider myself  a chef in any way, but see myself as a promoter healthy foods and keeping my preparation as simple as possible, playing with herbs and spices. Consuming food in its most natural state, preparing it as tastily and yummy as possible is what it is all about for me. We all know how delicious an avocado on a piece of warm whole wheat toast can taste with a dash lemon and a pinch of pepper and maybe a sprinkle of chopped chives mmmmm and there we go. Slowly savouring every delicious mouthful with presence and appreciation.

Trying to use produce that is not altered, stripped or refined that our bodies know how to break down and utilise them for maximum energy and potential. When possible products that are organic and seasonal: real food, making them as ‘gourmand’ tasting as possible yet not deforming the taste of the produce in its natural state. Salads, vegetables, soups, bakes, curries, stews…using herbs and spices, touches and tastes from all over the globe.

Making the road towards sobriety sexy, sensual and a pleasurable as we get rid of all the excess and only keep what is essential and necessary. But of course I am no saint in any way, my excessive, passionate nature and profoundly sensual relationship to food has led me down this path, constantly encouraging me to search the higher road for everything I do in my life.  Enjoying real healthy food, has a major effect on our well-being; my energy levels soar and I am so much clearer in my thinking.

We are what we eat in many ways so come join us in Corsica this Spring for a taste!

 

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