Spoon {meets} : Georgina Davies, founder of Georgina Davies Food

www.georginadaviesfood.com

’Petit oiseau’ (English translation: little bird) was a name handed to Georgie when on holiday in France as a child.  The name explains her prettiness, kind nature, and her attention to detail, which can be seen in her immaculate flat (where we are on location for our morning’s photo shoot). It also explains her cooking, which is light and healthy, using the finest of super food ingredients to create mind-blowing flavours without sending you into a food coma afterwards.

We catch up over a bowl of her homemade granola: 

 

Can you tell us how you first got into cooking?

People always ask me where I learned to cook but honestly, I have grown up cooking. It is all down to my lovely mum, who is an amazing cook and was always making wonderful and exciting things when we were children and I was extremely eager to be involved in the cooking. My parents would host amazing lunch and dinner parties, with my mum creating delicious recipes - I remember making roulades and soufflés with her and adorning salads with pretty home-grown nasturtium flowers when we were tiny. For as long as I can remember I have been surrounded and fascinated by old and new recipes and exciting food and ingredients.

 

Has health always been your thing?

No! I used to be such a fussy child, all I wanted to eat was pasta and cheese - and I had decided I was a vegetarian by the age of two. I’ve always adored cooking but I really got into different cuisines and types of food in my late teens; I think as you get older you start to care about health more and what you’re putting into your body. It’s all about education really, the more I’ve researched it the more obvious it has become that good quality, homemade, unprocessed food is such a good basis for everything else. I did a nutrition course last year that was hugely insightful - I just wish it was taught in schools as it is all so relevant to everyone. I would say I try to eat healthily most of the time but I am by no means extreme in it. I also love cooking traditional food too, and at the weekend I very happily indulge in too many cups of coffee, glasses of wine and bowls of pudding. Everything in moderation!

 

Talk us through your decision process in setting up your own business?

It has been a natural step for me really. After working in the food magazine world, I decided I wanted to be more hands on and in the kitchen not behind a desk. I was using my holiday days and weekends to cater for parties for my family and friends, which I loved, so I finally plucked up the courage to hand in my notice and have since been working for a family part time whilst setting up my business. I now have a range of private and corporate clients that has grown quite organically so far, just through word of mouth. Now I’ve got my website up and running I hope to step things up to the next level. It’s really exciting, as well as quite terrifying sometimes, but I can’t imagine doing anything else now. My work schedule is so varied, and I am always running around meeting new people, thinking up fun menus and sourcing exciting ingredients.

 

Who can benefit from your business? What do you offer?

Anyone and everyone I hope - I offer any level of cheffing and catering service as well as food styling, recipe writing and development. I do a lot of drop-off-dinner-parties for clients who want hassle-free entertaining but still want to host a casual event in their homes. I devise bespoke menus with minimal last minute preparation for the client and drop it off with detailed instructions – I’m happy to plate it up properly using their own dishes too. This also works really well for weekends away (I’ve done lots of hen and stag dos recently). It’s a great option if you don’t want the formality (and expense!) of a chef onsite all weekend but you still want to eat well with minimal effort. I also often cook in client’s homes just to fill their fridge or freezers for the week. Then there is the more obvious larger scale events - big dinners, canapé parties etc., fully staffed with all the hire organised too, which are great fun to plan. And this year, I have done so many cakes for birthdays and weddings, I love designing the flavour combinations and decorating them.

 

What advice can you give any budding chef, looking to go it alone?

To just go for it. There’s nothing more satisfying than doing something you love - it will almost certainly be hard work but the cliché really is true, if you love it, it won’t seem like work. I would also say that you don’t necessarily need to get hung up on qualifications, it’s more about experience. Immerse yourself in cooking, recipes, ingredients etc. Get out there and meet people doing similar things, there’s so many people starting up on their own doing exciting things - go and meet them and don’t be afraid to ask for advice, you never know when an amazing opportunity might crop up!

 

Are you a morning person? What’s your morning ritual?

Yes, I would say I am although I don’t really have a morning ritual as such. No two days are the same for me and often I am rushing out super early but I like to fit in a proper breakfast - usually granola or porridge or if I have time, poached eggs and something healthy whizzed up in my trusty Nutribullet. I usually walk down the road to my favourite coffee shop, F Mondays on Brixton Hill, for an almond milk cappuccino.

 

What was it like working with Spoon at their new product launch event (be honest!) / what inspired the compote recipes you came up with?

Honestly, it was really fun and relaxed. Annie was great and had some lovely ideas so after our initial conversation the menu came together really easily. I was asked to come up with a menu of compotes to go with their gorgeous granolas as well as some breakfast canapés. We both wanted the compote recipes to use exciting, different flavour combinations and also to look striking. We decided on a citrus and star anise compote using grapefruit, clementines and lemon as well as an apple, pomegranate and cardamom compote, which both worked really well and we got some lovely feedback.


Do you have a dream client?

Hmmm… this is a hard one. I did job for some well-known actors, which was really exciting although I ended up wittering on about aubergines at them for ages.

The Queen! Imagine the Buckingham Palace kitchen, I bet it’s got all the bells and whistles plus those beautiful old copper sauce pans and jelly moulds. Actually, I would love to cook for David Suchet or the late Agatha Christie, I’m a massive fan.  


Your granola ticks all the boxes in our books - It’s great to hear that you’ve used maple syrup in your granola recipe (our not so secret ingredient!) Would you be able to share your recipe with our readers?

I’m so glad you like it. I use a combination of oats and buckwheat as a base. Oats are a really good source of fibre and magnesium and they regulate your blood sugar and sustain energy – making the perfect breakfast food. I’ve only started using buckwheat recently, it’s an easily digestible source of protein, iron, fibre and B vitamins and adds an amazing crunch.

The rest of the ingredients all contain good levels of omega 3s, good fats, vitamins and minerals and it is all cooked in coconut oil and a little bit of maple syrup. I try and start the day with a virtuous breakfast and then even if you’re really busy and not necessarily eating amazingly for the rest of the day at least you know you’ve had that boost of goodness.

Makes 1 large jar

INGREDIENTS

100g oats  

200g buckwheat 

160g cashew nuts 

135g almonds 

100g pumpkin seeds 

100g sunflower seeds 

2 pinches of sea salt

195g dried apricots

85g goji berries

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of maple syrup/honey

4 tsp vanilla extract 

METHOD

  • Set the oven to 160C . 
  • Roughly pulse the almonds and cashews in a food processor, keeping them fairly chunky. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the nuts, oats, buckwheat, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, salt and coconut. 
  • Using scissors or a large knife, roughly chop the apricots into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup in a saucepan over a low heat until it has melted. Take the pan off the heat, add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. 
  • Pour the oil, syrup & vanilla mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture onto a large baking tray in one single, thin layer to ensure that it all gets well toasted in the oven.
  • Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, until it is evenly toasted and golden. Check it after the first 10 minutes and continue to give it a stir every 10minutes or so to stop it from catching. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray. 
  • Once cool to the touch, sprinkle the goji berries over and transfer it all to a large jar or Tupperware.


Spoon {meets}: about

At Spoon, we are interested and excited to explore creative lifestyles.  With freelance becoming the fastest growing profession in the world, working remotely has become commonplace. From our own experience this can feel a little lonely at times, which is why we hope to create a collaborative platform that helps creativity to flow.

‘Breakfast with creatives’ is a series of conversations over a bowl of granola with inspirational creatives about work and life balance, keeping up motivation, staying inspired and living a healthy and creatively fulfilled life.

We aim for this to become a destination for creative people to discover each other’s work and lifestyle choices over an honest breakfast chat.