SINCE STARTING THE BUBBALINO KITCHEN, I HAVE DISCOVERED A WHOLE ONLINE WORLD OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE PUTTING TOGETHER GORGEOUS, INSPIRING, ENTERTAINING AND JUST PLAIN AWESOME CONTENT. SOME OF THEM YOU MAY HAVE ENCOUNTERED ALREADY, OTHERS YOU MAY NEVER HAVE HEARD OF. I HOPE BY BRINGING YOU THIS SERIES I’M CALLING GETTING FRANK WITH FOODIES, I MIGHT INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME PRETTY WONDERFUL KIWIS BOTH HERE AND ABROAD. EACH WEDNESDAY I WILL BRING YOU SOMEONE I ADMIRE AND RESPECT AND SHARE WITH YOU THEIR ANSWERS TO MY FIVE FOODIE QUESTIONS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY.
I discovered Unna on Instagram a long time ago and fell instantly in love with her amazing images – like many of the NZ foodie community have and many international fans too! When she put out a call for recipe testers on her social media, I stuck my hand high and was lucky enough to test two beautiful recipes that my entire family adored. So good were they that I continue to make them regularly. I preordered her first cook book as soon as the opportunity arose and I waited with baited breath for it’s arrival.
No matter what this woman puts her hand to, it turns up gold. Her food looks incredible, her styling and imagery is impeccable and her brand is overall beautiful. She turns egg shells into art and every dish the only thing you want to eat when you scroll through her instagram. When My Garden Kitchen arrived on my doorstep, I carefully turned each page, marvelling at every gorgeous image staring back at me while salivating. Then I read the Gratitude and Thank you pages and sat at my dining table with tears streaming down my cheeks. Unna is a beautiful soul both outside and in and her heart shone through those pages. Her homage to her grandparents, her love for her husband and sons, it warmed my heart no end to read her tribute to those she dearly loves.
A couple of weekends ago she came to Auckland to present a Food Styling & Photography Workshop. I was booked and paid for in seconds of the tickets going on sale. Sitting in that session and listening to her wisdom and her hilarious sense of humour was a wonderful experience. Like I told her after, I had assumed she would be shy and quietly spoken from everything I’d seen online. But in person she is both unassuming and confident, composed and down to earth. Humble and yet very comfortable in her talents and abilities and talking about herself in that vein. Meeting her made me love her even more. Now I just wanna be her friend.
It is my extreme honour to have Unna play along and answer my Five Foodie Questions so please grab a cup of whatever you feel like sipping and read on to learn more about this beautiful talented being.
What is your earliest food memory? How has this defined your relationship with/ethos around food?
I remember spending a lot of time with my Grandparents growing up and they were both really creative people. Grandad was an amazing gardener and photographer and Gran was the best home cook. Everything she made was cooked from scratch and made with love. So I grew up seeing her preserving, beginning the evening meal at 3pm, baking for church jubilees and town fairs. I also grew up on a sheep farm, so I have very early memories of Dad butchering meat. From a young age I had a connection to where food came from, how it was grown and how to prepare it.
I am now food obsessed. Growing our own organic vegetables, keeping heritage breed chickens and marrying a beekeeper and having 38 home hives for honey. My childhood was full of food memories and this had really influenced my approach to food as an adult.
Tell me about your proudest food moment.
It was completing my first cookbook. When I hit enter and sent the book off – that was a pretty amazing feeling. My life was consumed every day with that book for 8 months. When I sent my book off it was a weird feeling that ‘tomorrow I don’t have to work on it’.
Then celebrating the book with friends and family at my launch party was pretty special. When the people I love say they are proud of me, that makes it all worth it.
What is your biggest food dream? (What is your loftiest goal? What do you hope to achieve in your food journey?)
My biggest food dream, honestly, to make money doing what I love doing. It’s important for any creative person to put a monetary value on what we do, and to not just ‘survive’ on it, but LIVE from it.
We really want to build our own home, my husband is a builder, and we have lots of ideas about our first home (we are still renting). Thankfully, we have the same aesthetic and taste! So if I can make money and contribute to that dream doing what I doing, then that is a huge dream come true!
I want to look into the idea of a TV show. Also another book (ideas happening for the next now) and I have really been loving teaching and creating workshops around food. We also want to get our honey into the market next year and sell our raw honey via The Forest Cantina. I do want though, to put as much thought, time and consideration into each project that I put my name to.
Your most favourite ingredient and why?
I have lots, but my ONE would be lemons because they can be used for savory or sweet dishes. You can use the zest and the juice and I really love how they lift a dish and gives freshness. We also have a huge and plentiful tree that provides year round. When we came to look at this house 5 years ago my husband said “Its got a garage! Yussss!” and i said “it’s gotta lemon tree! Yusssss”
If you could create the perfect scene including your dream person, in a dream location indulging in a dream meal – what would that look like? Person, place and meal?
I would love to travel more and eat and experience things in new places. I’d love to travel and visit these places with my family so they become part of our family memories that we talk about for years to come. South of France, Mexico, Vietnam… anywhere would be fun – as long as my parents were with us to wrangle the kids haha. 4 adults, 2 kids – gotta out number the kids 4-2, especially with that mischief 3 year old of ours!
And if we could rendezvous with Rick Stein somewhere that would be pretty cool!
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CHECK OUT UNNA’S SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS!
I hope you’re enjoying this series as much as I am. I can’t wait to bring you another wonderful foodie next week. If there are any particular Kiwi bloggers or foodies you would like me to ask my five questions of, don’t hesitate to make a suggestion.
Until our next episode of Getting Frank with Foodies…. adios x
Photo credit goes to Meg and Lou.