Monday, January 6, 2014

Inspire me: Laura Wright from The First Mess

I'm not really sure Laura needs any introduction here at all today. Why? Cause she's ridiculously talented, her work is everywhere and if you haven't yet come across her, well umm, really? Not only are her recipes uber fresh and exciting, but her writing is honest and funny (and it makes me want to hang out with her, always a good sign in my book!) She also takes photographs which wouldn't be out of place in a glossy food magazine. To say I have a crush on her and her blog The First Mess, is an understatement. I mean Strawberry hand pies + chocolate hazelnut ice cream and Earl grey + chocolate shakes? Yes please!

Me being the nosey girl I am, when I fall hard for a blog I like to know a little bit more about the talent behind it, so Laura has kindly shared a little bit about herself with us all today! Cheers love xx
What is your blog about and when did you first push publish?

My blog is about trying to achieve some greater connection with the earth and ourselves through food choices--and all of the human experience that comes with that. I started publishing in June of 2011.

Tell us your cooking philosophy in three words.
Seasonal, relational, nourishing.

What's your favourite season?
I really do love them all--the bright renewal of Spring, the lazy and intense heat of Summer, the gifts of Fall, and the close quiet of Winter.

Sweet or savoury?
Savoury mostly. I love briny, earthy, bitter, and salty foods so much more than I used to.

What's your favourite cuisine?
I love the whole North American farm-to-table/wine country kind of thing--I've worked in these kinds of restaurants for a long time. But Southern Italian cuisine is something fiercely comforting for me. Everything about it feels right--how it effortlessly spills out onto the table, its generosity, the seasonal aspect, how it gives to slow grazing, the vegetable presence...

{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first mess
{Banana Bread Granola Bars | The First Mess}

Who are your food heroes? And which food bloggers inspire you?
My food heroes are Bryant Terry for his commitment to food accessibility and for initially teaching me that plant-based cuisine wasn't all brown rice and tofu, Gabrielle Hamilton for writing with fierce clarity on her life in kitchens, the Joe Beef + Liverpool House dudes for just doing what they want and eschewing all of the food fad BS, and Dr. Andrew Weil for teaching us all the benefits of a holistic, whole food approach.

I follow a ton of blogs, but I'm consistently inspired or moved by Apt. 2B Baking Co., Oh, Ladycakes, Happyolks, Sprouted Kitchen, Golubka, Earthsprout, My Name Is Yeh, Delightful Crumb, The Year In Food, Local Milk, Not Without Salt, and My Darling Lemon Thyme (obviously!). That list was huge, oops!

Do you come from a family of good cooks?
My mum will tell you that she isn't into cooking at all, but she always made sure that everyone at the table was full and nourished in record time. I enjoy the craft and meditative movements of cooking quite a bit, but that "get 'er done" mindset of hers is always lurking in the back of my mind.

What's your favourite food indulgence?
Oysters and bubbly.

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn't necessarily know from reading your blog... 
I'm not vegan! (ahem, see above) I mean I aim to eat, like, 95% plant based, but at the end of the day I'm just a human being that loves good food and vehemently dislikes rules. Also, I have a rather deep voice and my eyes mist up at the drop of a hat--like if I see a cute dog walking along all happily with its owner or something, my eyes just start to tear up because life is really beautiful on those simpler levels sometimes.

You have so many AMAZING (understatement) recipes on your blog, are there a couple that really stand out as your favourites? 

Thanks so much Laura! xx

moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first mess


  1. I loved this! Laura's work is so inspiring and awesome and she basically makes me want to hang with her and eat those hand pies all day.

  2. I met Laura in *real life* last month and I can confirm that she is equally as rad in real life as she comes across on her blog. FIST BUMPS. Big love to you both!

  3. I love The First Mess! Loved reading more about Ms. Laura. xo

  4. I really love this series and I particularly loved finding out more about Laura. You're both so totally inspirational. Much love xo

  5. Thanks for another awesome interview Emma. I also find inspiration in the lovely blog of Laura's. Her photos are amazing and I have made quite a few of her recipes - always a good sign of a great blog! I made her banana bread granola bars in the weekend and they were a serious hit with the kids (and adults) :)

  6. I love Laura and her beautiful blog. I'm an organic farmer and home cook and I find inspiration from both of you ladies.

  7. Go Laura!!! She is the coolest. Thank for this interview!!!

  8. Weeeee! I had so much fun doing this, Emma. Thanks again, lovely :) xoxo

  9. I absolutely loved this post. Laura is just so dang fantastic [we finally just got to meet!] and I'm so excited to dive into your blog more. It looks outstanding at first glance. :)

    1. Thanks so much Ashley, love your work too! I sure hope I get to meet Laura in real life one day, you lucky thing :-)

  10. Emma, I have to admit I only came upon Laura's blog a couple of months ago. Her work is wonderful!

    Thank you for once again sharing so much deliciousness with us all.

    Here's to a fabulous 2014! Can't wait to get your book in my hands.


    1. Thanks lovely! It's gonna be a big year for you and I, hold tight! xx

  11. She is a gem, that's for sure. Loved reading her answers here. I too am attracted to her honesty, wit and amazing recipes. So much goodness in this food world. Hope all is well, lady!

  12. So glad you introduced me to this beautiful blog. Love Laura's pics and recipes but also her philosophy on life.

  13. Emma, I agree with every word you said here about Laura and her work! And that Cucumber Noodles on Salted Watermelon is not only my favorite recipe of hers, but maybe my favorite recipe period. Amazing!


Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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