From Root To Leaf.
Hello! Welcome to Eloise Eats.
I am a chef and qualified nutritional therapist. This space is somewhere that you can find out more about the services I offer, as well as access the recipes and nutrition tips I share. The ideas you’ll find here all revolve around my real love for eating a whole foods, naturopathic diet. I hope that through the simple, flavourful and nourishing dishes I create, you will discover ways to enjoy living a holistic lifestyle. Making conscious and informed decisions about the food choices you make and how they can effect your health as well as the environment.
Below are the answers to the most frequent questions I get asked, if your looking for an answer you may find it here, or please feel free to contact me for more information.
Why Did You Start Eloise Eats?
I have always enjoyed eating food and have been surrounded by delicious, traditional dishes from all cuisines since growing up as a child. As a chef I was used to working with some of the finest produce and ingredients, however, I often found myself surrounded by tasty, yet not so healthy dishes which left me feeling sluggish and bloated. I was confused about what the right choices were to make to feel the best I could, and wanted to know more about what the ideal way of eating would be for me (if there was one at all!?). On the whole, I wanted to understand what the right choices were to improve my own health and wellbeing, as well as that of my loved ones.
Aside from offering my services, Eloise Eats is aimed to pass on the invaluable knowledge I have gained throughout my training in nutrition and working as a naturopathic chef. Here I hope to inspire others to make the small, but effective changes, every day, which I know have helped me towards enjoying a better quality of life. Through the blog posts and recipes I share, I aim to empower others to feel the best they can about themselves, sharing my journey so we can grow together (it is no fun doing it alone!) and lets face it, deep down we are all looking for a way to better ourselves and to help the people close to us.
What Is Your Education?
Cookery: I began cooking from a young age, gaining a basic understanding and confidence to cook through completing my training with Pru Leith’s culinary course whilst still at school. Over the years I have worked as a chef in London starting out as a ‘Chef de Partie’ at the wonderful Petersham Nurseries where I worked under Skye Gyngell for two years, before moving on to work for numerous other chefs and restaurants in the UK and further afield (find out more in ‘Where Did You Train’). Since embarking on my holistic culinary journey, I have studied with Plantlab, the innovative and inspirational raw food curriculum founded by Mathew Kenney, as well as working as a teacher at the famous Demuths Cookery school in Bath. To date my journey has given me a real love and passion for food and since training in nutrition, an understanding and ability to use it as a healing tool.
Nutritional Therapy: I am a Nutritional Therapist (NT) for which I obtained my qualification with the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) between London and Bristol, England. The course consists of three years and trains students at a university degree level. Students qualify after completing the full spectrum of nutritional therapy, everything from biomedicine and clinical application through to all of the different systems of the human body, and related pathologies. This training has been pivotal in enabling me to understand health from a functional medicine perspective, taking into consideration all aspects of a person’s wellbeing, and enabling change to be made through simple and effective diet and lifestyle practices which aim to achieve a persons true optimum health.
What Is Naturopathic Nutrition?
Naturopathic nutrition is the application of food, to promote and restore wellbeing through appropriate nourishment. It is a system whereby the focus is on the prevention of illness through the use of non-toxic, natural therapies taking into consideration the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit, as well as the environment and other social factors, which may contribute to a persons overall health.
As a nutritional therapist I aim to treat the whole person rather than a named illness or disease, using naturopathic principles to promote the healing process in each individual rather than suppress the symptoms. So, the main focus is to promote and restore health through food and lifestyle interventions, using a range of supplementation and diagnostic testing methods to determine and support a persons true current state of health where necessary (to learn more, please explore my page titled ‘About NT’).
Why Did You Start Cooking?
Importantly, I have also always loved food, which I think this is the primary ingredient for anyone to become a good cook! Growing up we were lucky enough to have home cooked meals, so I have always appreciated the effort it takes to prepare a meal from scratch and the benefit of the result from doing so. When I was young my parents bought an old, rundown smallholding and restored it back to a proper working farm. We had orchards, as well as an old oak apple press which they began to use for making pear and apple juice from our orchards. They planted an edible forest, kept bees and livestock, dug a lake, and nurtured a bountiful vegetable garden which now supply’s numerous local restaurants with it’s produce (have a look at www.manorfarmthornfalcon.co.uk if you would like to find out more). This experience made me so aware of the process of food production, how its grown from seed to plate and what it takes to get it there. It gave me a deep respect for food, ingredients and where they came from, something which has been installed in me even more so since travelling widely abroad.
Having come from a completely artistic background (I did a BTEC in art and design instead of A levels and then went on to study Sculpture at Camberwell), it the moment I became a chef really came down to the decision I made after applying for two jobs. One was to be a photographer’s assistant and the other was to work at Petersham Nurseries. I was offered both of the jobs, but the choice was a no brainer. The opportunity to work in my first professional restaurant, which had just been awarded its first Michelin Star, was definitely one not to be missed! Ultimately, I think my development from artist to chef has been a completley natural one, it just made sense. Making food is so creative, just with the added element of TASTE and NUTRITION! Also, I find it much easier to part with the food I make being such a temporary thing, unlike much of the work I made.
How Did You Learn To Cook?
Good cooking, essentially, is about letting beautiful ingredients shine, enabling them to speak for themselves and knowing the right way to do that. I came to understand that from a number of different avenues. Primarily it watching my mum pull meals together from what we had on the farm and being so in awe of what she would manage to create (there really is nothing better than sitting down to a meal made entirely from home grown produce, something for which I am forever grateful), but also, it was whilst I was working in my first years as a professional chef. Working in a restaurant which produces great food really is the best way to learn as there is no room for error! Come 12:00pm, when it was time to set up, everything had to be ready. Soon enough orders begin to come flooding in, and the pressure is on! This kind of service taught me how to think on my feet and execute dishes with care and attention in a fast passed environment, especially when the standard was so high.
I remember tasting and trying new dishes and ingredients on a daily basis, each day being given something new to make, often, not knowing what the finished product was supposed to taste like. Loose instructions were given, but many times no recipes at all, so it was in these moments when I had to deliver, but didn’t really know what I was doing that I learnt to trust my instincts. I think thats when I really grew as a cook, allowing myself the ability to stop, taste, think and then readjust the balance of a dish until it has the ‘umami’. That thing which makes you want to go back again for more! You never stop learning, you are watching and developing constantly from everyone and everything around you and asking questions to all who inspire you. All the experiences, sounds and smells drive you forward, soaking it all up like a sponge!
Where Did You Train?
I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible chefs and organisations throughout my career, doing stints with; Nama, London’s first and only fully raw restaurant, Middle Eastern chef Greg Malouf, St Johns the first nose to tail eating restaurant in London, Hereford Road and Claire Patak’s Violet Bakery, as well as Alice Waters Chez Panisse, San Fransisco (which started the Slow Food revolution), and working with Darina Allen in Sri Lanka and at the incredible Balleymaloe Cookery School, Ireland.
Since leaving the restaurant world, I have been running my own private catering business, developing my own personal style. Working for myself has been really rewarding, allowing me meet so many different people and enabling me to get to where I am today. For the past two years I have worked as a teacher and assistant at the wonderful Demuths cookery school, where I have learnt so much invaluable information in the world of plant based food, as they offer a great range classes and cookery courses from all different kinds of cuisines. Currently, I am now teaching for CNM on their Natural Chef & Vegan Chef course, a fantastic curriculum combining both nutrition and cookery together in the same space. For all of these experiences I am truly grateful as I have learnt so much from everyone I have worked with over the course of the years gone by.
What Is Your Food Philosophy?
My food philosophy is to ‘eat consciously’ which fuels the idea of my MIND, BODY & PLATE strategy and approach to wellness. Today we are also all very much more aware of the damage that industrialised food production can do to the environment and to our health.
Having this awareness therefore enables me to make considered and informed decisions about where produce has come from, thinking about if it is sustainable or ethical. It encourages me to live a predominantly naturopathic lifestyle, making the best decisions about what food I choose put into my body and knowing what the effects are it will have on me, as well as the world in which I live.
I love the saying “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, told by Hippocrates. Throughout my studies, if there is one thing which became clear to me more than anything, it is that eating a varied, whole foods diet is the key to ensuring optimal health (and there are extensive studies to back this up!).
Eating with this principle in mind ensures I enable my body to get the whole range of macro and micro nutrients it needs in order to thrive (for an idea of the ideal balanced plate please see in my ‘Store Cupboard Makeover’ section under ‘Nutritional Therapy’). I make sure that everything I eat is in the most natural form it can be, and is organic wherever possible. Eating this way is a lifestyle that enables a person to flourish, cutting out the crap, allowing for a perfect state of balance and health.
As this is the best possible thing you can do for YOU, why wouldn’t you!?
Thank you for reading and for visiting Eloise Eats.
To your complete wellness,