Inspire me: Tara O’Brady from Seven Spoons

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I can’t remember when it was that I first discovered Tara and her inspiring blog Seven Spoons it was that long ago (she’s just celebrated 8 years of blogging, far out!). But I have a feeling it was right around the time that I started this space and the visual person that I am was hooked from that very first visit. If I had to pick just one photographer who has inspired me the most over the past three years, it would be Tara. The simplicity of her shots is deceiving, her eye for detail amazing, her recipes are beautiful and her writing, pure and honest. When my grandfather passed late last year, it was Tara’s post in which she talked about the loss of her beloved grandmother that I instantly looked up and re-read over again. Reading that post the first time through I felt much love and sorrow, but when I read over it the second time I found so much comfort in her words that it brought me to tears.

Thank you so much Tara for taking the time to share a little more about yourself with us today, it’s an honour to have you here.
Much love xx~Emm

1.
What is your blog about and when did you first push publish?
My
site, seven spoons, is very much cooking diary of the food I make for me, my
family and our friends. I started it in May 2005.
2.
Tell us your cooking philosophy in three words.
I
don’t know if I can get my philosophy to three words, but here’s a motto I
like: “respect your ingredients.”
3.
What’s your favourite season?
Autumn.
I love the season’s bounty, the celebration of the harvest, and Thanksgiving is
the nicest of all holidays.
old fashioned



4. Sweet or savoury?

It
depends entirely on when you ask — I’m a moody eater.
5.
What’s your favourite cuisine?
This
is almost impossible to say because as much as I am a moody eater, I’m also a
greedy one. I crave Indian food for a million sentimental and gluttonous
reasons, and nothing is soul-satisfyingly comforting to me as a bowl of dal and
rice, or gets me as giddy as masala dosas with chutney. But then Vietnamese and
Thai ring many of those same notes of hot, salty, sweet, and sour, so they can’t
be ignored, either. I go weak in the knees for Mexican food, and barbeque from
across the Americas, and Middle Eastern cooking is the source of such
inspiration. Then there’s my weakness for Italian, my fondness for French, and
my affection for British cuisines, too.

Basically,
if it’s tasty and made with care, it’s fair game as far as favourites are
concerned.
6.
Who are your food heros? And which food bloggers inspire you?
There
are so many. Nigel Slater, always. Fergus Henderson for classics done brilliantly.
Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House are heroes. Nigella Lawson’s writing knocks me
flat. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s
vegetable book
is
living on my kitchen counter right now. Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi have the best
flavours, and April Bloomfield is up there too. Jamie Oliver’s food is
gorgeously, bravely, rustic, and it’s the sort of food I always want to eat.
As
for blogs,  Molly’s was the first food one I
ever read, and I remember writing Heidi a fan letter, about eight
years ago, which is embarrassing to admit now. Tara and Jess write with grace and a clear, striking honesty. Ashley is a dear friend. Sara has such a way with flavours, and Hugh captures her recipes perfectly. I think Kelsey and Shaun are true talents. Yossy’s photographs are absolutely
charming, and Sarah’s work has a distinct beauty.


nutmeg honey ice cream
7. Do
you come from a family of good cooks?
I do!
And a family who enjoys eating. Growing up my mother and grandmother did the
majority of cooking in our house, and in the last while my father has joined in
too. For years we lived next door to my best friend and her family; they were
Italian, and her mother’s food is still a great influence on me today.
8.
What’s your favourite food indulgence?
Well
made pastries. Bostocks. A feast of Korean barbecue, the table crowded with
banchan. Custard tarts. Popcorn at the movies with M&Ms (sometimes peanut,
sometimes plain). I know that’s a list, but again, I’m greedy.


That
said, I think food-related activities can be indulgent, like taking the time to
shop for food; to explore a market, be it a farmer’s market or a tiny ethnic
grocer, and spend a while poking around, and picking up ingredients you’ve
never tried before.

That said, I also feel a thrill at going out for a proper, leisurely breakfast
or brunch. There’s nothing better than an exceptional breakfast.
9.
Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t necessarily know from reading
your blog…
I
make terrible coffee.


pea shoot + almond pesto
10.
What is one of your favourite recipes from off Seven Spoons?

It isn’t a recipe, but I
am fond of the piece I wrote to introduce a collaboration between my pals Michael
Graydon
, Nikole Herriott and me for Kinfolk Magazine called “The Scent of Salted Air’. In it I  talk about my father, who is a
retired ship’s captain, and I like how my words settled in against Michael and
Nikole’s images. Some of the recipes associated with the full feature appeared
on Bon Appétit.

In regards to recipes,
I’m most often asked to make these Sugar Buns.. As for me, right now I’m looking forward to warmer days and local produce so we can have Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Corn for dinner and then head out to the backyard
for Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Espresso Caramel as dessert.

Note: All photo credits Tara O’Brady | Seven Spoons. Thanks so much Tara! xx~Emm

You might like to also read my other posts in the Inspire me series:
Inspire me: Sara Forte from The Sprouted Kitchen
Inspire me: David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories
Inspire me: Sarah B from My New Roots

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina @ The Hungry Australian
    May 6, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I love Tara's blog – she has such a beautiful style. Thanks for this lovely interview, Em

    • Reply
      emma
      May 6, 2013 at 2:27 am

      You're welcome Christina! Isn't she amazing xx

  • Reply
    Sam Dickenson
    May 6, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Sevenspoons has been a favorite of mine for a while too. She made this amazing chocolate krantz cake recently. One day maybe i'll be able to bake like that. As for pea shoot and almond pesto – yum + sounds a bit more achievable!

  • Reply
    Luisa Brimble
    May 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    My favourite quote is this "This is almost impossible to say because as much as I am a moody eater, I’m also a greedy one. I crave Indian food for a million sentimental and gluttonous reasons, and nothing is soul-satisfyingly comforting to me as a bowl of dal and rice, or gets me as giddy as masala dosas with chutney. But then Vietnamese and Thai ring many of those same notes of hot, salty, sweet, and sour, so they can’t be ignored, either. I go weak in the knees for Mexican food, and barbeque from across the Americas, and Middle Eastern cooking is the source of such inspiration. Then there’s my weakness for Italian, my fondness for French, and my affection for British cuisines, too." Just perfectly described!!!! A beautiful interview Emma! More of these please.

    • Reply
      emma
      May 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      I love doing these too Luisa. Plenty more to come in the future 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Hannah Cordes
    May 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing this marvelous interview, Emma! I love your Inspire Me series and I'm delighted to discover Tara's blog. I look forward to more!

  • Reply
    Irina @ wandercrush
    May 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I remember Seven Spoons being one of my first favourites, too! Your blog has since been added to that list. It's really so inspiring for a new blogger like me. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  • Reply
    Colette Just for Foodies
    May 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Your "Inspire Me" series are so cute!

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    May 7, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I love Autumn too except that down under it's Autumn now. I still want Thanksgiving dinner soon.

    What a lovely interview and she's certainly got a winner of a blog.

  • Reply
    tara
    May 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Emm, I am floored and touched by your words. You're too kind, really. Thank you for featuring me here. And thanks to your readers for giving me such a warm welcome.
    xo, and hope your day is grand.

    • Reply
      emma
      May 8, 2013 at 1:42 am

      Thank you Tara, I meant every word xx

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