Food for Thought with Anna Hansen, Simone Cunliffe and Kristie Walker

On 27 February 2013 about 100 women gathered in a warehouse art gallery in Angel to celebrate Ladies Who Impress.

This time we met Anna Hansen, a culinary artist and possibly the most creative chef in London, Simone Cunliffe, a lady who had successfully swapped her career in financial services to start a private catering business and Kristie Walker, a nutritionist and a young mum, running a fitness and lifestyle business together with her husband.

The foodies among us were delighted to get some inspiration from the experts, and there was plenty of Food for Thought to contemplate ways to achieve balanced nutrition and lifestyle.

The evening raised £1,000 (including Simone’s Kitchen Secrets sales) for Huntington’s Disease Association, which is a fantastic achievement.

Photos: Natalie Walter, natalie@exposurelive.co.uk

Here are a few inspirations from the evening…

Anna Hansen talked about her cooking philosophy which combines ingredients of completely different origins and deliberately creates dishes which push the boundaries, surprise, excite and please the palate.

We’ve discovered that tamarillo aka tree tomato is a fruit of South American origin. According to Anna, it tastes best when poached in spiced red wine and served with Greek yogurt and crunchy granola. For this and other sensational treats, book a table at The Modern Pantry.

And don’t forget to check out Anna’s cookbook: her recipes will intrigue, seduce, then delight you. I’d start with cocoa, cardamom and macadamia nut cookies… 

Anna reckons that paella is the ultimate dinner party winner as it’s really scrumptious, its components can be prepared in advance and you can really impress your guests finishing cooking this vibrant dish on the night. Why not cook paella this Easter? That’s what they do in Argentina…

I am fortunate to be able to call Simone Cunliffe my friend, and she is my first and foremost Lady Who Impresses. Simone is talented, kind, generous and super adventurous – all of these qualities are wonderfully reflected in her book Simone’s Kitchen Secrets. Whilst I have not yet cooked through the entire book, my favourite dishes so far are miso braised pork cheeks and grilled chicken with za’atar and sumac. Don’t be put off by Anna’s and Simone’s exotic ingredients – they are easily available from good online grocers.

If you did not get a chance to get a copy of Simone’s Kitchen Secrets on the night or would like to enquire about Simone’s private catering services, please email her directly.

Simone’s ultimate secret is to enjoy an active lifestyle (which may or may not involve kettlebells), to look at the bright side of life and to make the most of it.

Kristie Walker somehow manages to run a business, look after her family and find time to compete. (Guess who took home a gold medal in her category in 2011 World Kettlebell Championship in New York?) Interestingly, by her own admission, once she loosened the grip on herself, she achieved most through balanced lifestyle.

In fact, lifestyle comes pretty key in Kristie’s unorthodox approach to nutrition consulting. Apparently, you may be eating well and exercising plenty but still be overweight just because of various sources of stress in your life.

Kristie advised against toast with margarine or oats for breakfast advocating natural, unprocessed food as the best way to deliver essential combination of nutrients to your body in the morning. Natural yogurt with seeds and berries or eggs, such as Anna Hansen’s sugar-cured prawn omelette, do a much better job of balancing carbs and protein as well as stabilising blood sugar and energy levels. She also advised against anything “low fat” preferring food as nature intended. Once again, it’s all about balance; 80/20 is a good rule to follow when it comes to healthy food and occasional treats.

For information on personal training and nutrition with Kristie, see www.theurbanathlete.co.

P.S. In case you are curious, on the night we were listening to a playlist of songs containing a food item in their titles. My favourite tunes were Tangerine by First Aid Kit, Chocolate by Snow Patrol, Cherry Pie by Katzenjammer and Coffee & Cigarettes by Michelle Featherstone although none of these are recommended as balanced breakfast options!

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  1. Pingback: The F Word, a Ladies Who Impress celebration with Nicole Wilson, Alice Arnold and Polly Courtney

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