Wij stellen wekelijks ‘Veggie Heroes’ aan je voor: mannen en vrouwen die vegetarisch eten écht op de kaart zetten. Vandaag in de spotlight: Sabrina Ghayour, Perzische chef van verschillende kookboeken. Je kent haar mogelijk van de kookboeken Feasts, Persiana of haar nieuwste boek Bazaar. Ze spreekt Engels, dus vandaar dat het interview ook in het Engels is!
How come you are such a vegetable lover? What was the most important reason for this for you?
Because you cannot truly declare your love for anything without loving and respecting every element of it. I absolutely love food and my love for it is an all encompassing one which includes vegetables and I couldn’t imagine my diet without them.
Do you remember the first moment you thought: hey, something is starting to change, eating more vegetables is really becoming a social trend?
I guess I did because social media tends to pre-empt all our thinking for us these days so I noticed ‘meat free Monday’ becoming a thing online. But I kind of had my own reasons for turning to vegetables more often and that was very much to do with my own digestion issues and cravings.
When did food become your job, how did it develop? Was that always your goal or have you rolled into it?
I have worked in food since 1992, my first roles were in places like McDonalds and Pret A Manger and later I started working in hotels and restaurants so it has been quite a long time now. I first became a Chef in 2011 although if I’m honest, I had been catering and teaching cookery classes alongside my normal day job for years before.
What is the message that you want to convey with your activities?
I just want people who want good food, simple and also economical recipes to know that I’ve got your back! My recipes are and have always been very simple, mostly cheap to bring together and delicious in flavour
What role does vegetable food play in your family / environment? For example, does the family eat a lot of vegetables?
We eat more vegetables than ever before, we have become far more seasonal and have recently been embracing the wonderful British Asparagus season and also the start of the British tomato season too. We eat totally differently these days and that’s why this book wasn’t me jumping on a trend but more so because 2 years ago, I realised I just wasn’t craving much meat anymore and so many around me felt the same way
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? And what about the vegetable kitchen in the Netherlands?
The vegetables and produce in the Netherlands are INSANELY good! I have friends here and we often go to beautiful places to buy top quality ingredients and it’s like being a kid in a candy shop, my eyes light up with excitement. Where do I see myself in 10 years? A part of me has desires but the smarter part of me knows that life is far more enjoyable when you just allow things to happen and see where life takes you… hopefully health and happiness will always be something I have no matter where I am in the future.
Who is your source of inspiration / hero now?
Too many people to name, from small producers, bakers, chef, writers, so many, many people all around the world
What is your favorite vega cookbook / blog?
I don’t get much time to read but my favourite cookbooks are those that provide options for recipes everyone and don’t exclude anyone. Colourful, vibrant and innovative flavours that aren’t complicated.
Which vegetables do you prefer to cook with?
Depends on my mood but I love robust winter vegetables like root vegetables and also cabbages and kale.
Do you have an all-time favorite vegetarian recipe, which you always serve for friends or at parties, for example? If so what is it?
One of my first vegetarian recipes published in my first book Persiana in 2014 was Roasted butternut squash with pistachio pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds. It is still one of the best go-tos to please everyone.
What is your ultimate tip for the novice vegetable enthusiast?
Eat with the seasons and go with many colours of produce to increase the wonderful benefits of abundant vitamins, minerals and flavour in what you cook, and DONT OVER COOK green things!
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Uitgeverij: Good Cook