We caught up with chef, entrepreneur, and author Nina Parker to ask her 15 questions about what it means to be a successful woman, her lifestyle, and all things fashion. Here’s what she had to say...
2 words to describe your personal style?
(finish the sentence) You feel most comfortable cooking in…
Trainers, jeans and my apron.
You're heading out for date night at your favourite restaurant what do you wear?
My white converse, a grey t-shirt and pink tie-dye leather mini skirt.
What does slow fashion mean to you?
It means doing your research on each brand you buy something from. Also basically buying very little and fixing your clothes when they break. Also looking into the materials of the clothes you are buying.
What's a typical ‘day in the life’ for you?
I don’t have a typical day which is why I love my job. It roughly starts with a meditation, a smoothie and some form of exercise, maybe running or yoga. It sounds smug but I have to do these things all the time to keep in a good headspace, more than ever in lockdown times. Then I’ll do some recipe testing and shoot the dishes and post something on Instagram. I’m always following the food seasons which helps guide me in terms of what to cook. Then I usually grab a coffee at some point and go for a little walk in Victoria Park. I’m working on a product range at the moment so in the afternoon I’ll be designing the labels. I’m excited to share them very soon. Midweek in the evening I’ll usually make something veggie with rice or noodles. I’m still watching Call My Agent which is my favourite so I’ll definitely squeeze in an ep of that. I also try to read something too and I’m currently reading Mo Gawdat’s book, Solve For Happy.
What inspired you to write your book ‘Saucy’ and what’s the inspiration behind its name?
Over 4 years ago I changed to a predominantly vegetarian diet and I soon found that eating a plate of vegetables needed a good sauce to make it exciting. This is where the idea came from. The book is basically all the food that I like to eat. It’s making healthy food but still making it tasty. I find that dressings, chilli oils, pestos, marinades are the key to achieving this. A good sauce is all you need!
Buy 'Saucy' here
As an influential woman, what do you find is the key to success?
It’s hard to think of just one thing as it’s a whole bunch of keys. I do believe if you do something that you are genuinely passionate about then success can come from this. Being authentic is important.
What does the perfect weekend look like to you?
At the moment, the perfect weekend involves some delicious food and being in a different location other than my flat. Haha! After the year we’ve had, I feel like my demands are much more simple. I think it’s better to want less and then if you manage to book a hotel or restaurant, then it’s a bonus. Also, won’t say no to a beach in the South of France, a girl can dream!
Where do you draw inspiration from when creating new recipes?
Pre Corona, I drew inspiration from restaurants, travel and meeting chefs. I managed to go on two pretty life-changing trips before it hit, one was Japan and the other Mexico. It was lucky I went because this helped me write Saucy. These trips changed the way I put ingredients together and I’ve also learnt so much from the LA food scene. Even eating tomato pasta from a London restaurant can give me an idea. Today, all I have is the internet and the seasons to get ideas from. After a year of lockdowns, I’m ready for a change and can’t wait to go back to restaurants and eat something other than my own food.
Favourite London Restaurant?
So many but Westerns Laundry and The Dusty Knuckle Bakery are both excellent.
Go to a summer drink?
Pisco Sour or a Margarita.
First destination you’d like to travel as soon as it allows?
I mean, I’d take anywhere but the South of France and more specifically, Port Grimaud.
Go to the last meal (if you had to choose one)…
Tomato spaghetti with mozzarella or roast aubergines or crispy shallots or a more puttanesca vibe. It sounds standard but it’s a dish that always brings me comfort wherever I am and I never tire of it. This and a good movie is unbeatable.