Interview by Natalie Tabone
Photos by Tilly Clifford, Amy Pearson, Carine Theveau & Erica Raxworthy
I recently married, so my name is now Amy Pearson.
Where do you live?
My husband and I have recently made the move from Sydney to Melbourne.
What do you do?
I am a freelance Photographer and Graphic Designer, I also cook for pleasure and share my recipes on my personal website.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
This morning I made sautéed garlic mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and spinach with avocado, nooch and lemon on sourdough.
What does veganism mean to you?
Living the most harmless life that I can. Understanding that my actions and choices shape the world around me. Vegans really do get a bad wrap, but I feel as though most of us have simply come to the conscious conclusion that what we choose to purchase, wear and put on our plates can either negatively affect other beings immensely, or not at all. I choose to go with the latter.
What is your most memorable dining/eating experience?
Every single thing I have eaten at Smith & Daughters / Smith & Deli. Maureen + Shannon have absolutely blown my mind with what they have achieved. The first time I ate at S & D was a dinner with my friend Hannah from The Vegan Box. We went with our partners and ate a whole bunch of things from the menu. It was the middle of winter and the food was hot and comforting, the staff were out of this world accommodating and the atmosphere was fabulous. I recall having: some kind of delicious cocktail, black sausage, potato croquets, bean dip, and some unforgettable cinnamon donut holes filled with quince paste. I recently went to Smith & Deli and ate an Egg McMartinez for breakfast followed by a pink glazed donut and a Snickerdoodle cookie. I mean, nothing compares really.
If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to dinner who would they be?
This is an extremely difficult question. I have to choose 3 men and 3 women because 3 just doesn’t cut it (I’m sorry that I’m cheating). Patti Smith, Fred Armisen. Carrie Brownstein, Kyle McLauchlan. David Lynch, Gillian Anderson. Oh! There’s so many more, but that will have to do.
What would you serve?
That is even more difficult than the previous question. I would go with something simple, that everyone will enjoy. A big green salad with balsamic dressing, a huge lentil spaghetti Bolognese and home made sourdough garlic bread followed by a large cherry pie with whipped vanilla cream. Who could be disappointed with that?
Where is your favourite food destination?
I haven’t been to half of the places I would like to go, so I don’t think I can really answer that question. I’ve been dying to go to Berlin + Portland – apparently they are two of the most vegan friendly places in the world. I would also love to visit Spain, Peru, India, Mexico and Japan – I love all of those cuisines.
What is your speciality dish?
Oh that’s a hard one. I try to mix it up a lot so I don’t get bored, so I can’t say I really have one ‘go to’ meal. I love lots of flavours and textures. I love mixing savoury with sweet. Even if I have some go-to meals, I usually change up the recipe each time to make it different.
Sweet or savoury?
Savoury. I am such a savoury-head. After dinner my husband will be craving chocolate and I’ll be thinking about having a whole new dinner. Or fruit pie.
What food best describes your personality?
This may be the most difficult question I have ever been asked. I’m going to say baked kumera with tahini and hot sauce.
What is your favourite thing to eat on a hot summers day?
I love to start summer mornings off with a giant fruit platter, or a really delicious green smoothie. I also crave huge green salads with tahini.
On a cold winters night?
A big saucy red wine and root vegetable pie with mashed potato, gravy and mushy peas.
You’ve been asked to contribute a recipe to an upcoming cookbook. What is it?
Probably something savoury – either a crazy salad with an interesting dressing or some kind of warming winter dinner meal.
What is your favourite song/album to listen to in the kitchen while cooking?
Ooh that’s a hard one! I don’t turn to a specific artist or album when Im cooking, probably because I’m cooking most of the time. I always go back to Devendra Banhart, Neil Young, Erykah Badu.. Lately I’ve been loving a bit of Chet Baker sings while I’m cooking at night (with a glass of red).
If you were a vegetable what would you be?
A sweet potato. Really simple and boring until I warm to you (or – for the sake of the sweet potato – get baked).
Describe a normal day in the life of Amy.
My life is actually all over the place most of the time. We’re in-between houses at the moment so I don’t have much routine in my life. I usually wake up around 7am, I always have a peppermint tea or a hot lemon water before anything else, and then breakfast followed by coffee at around 10am. I eat way more than your average person so you’ll find me snacking a few hours after breakfast, well before lunch. I cook a lot, usually every breakfast lunch and dinner unless I’m out of the house. I spend most of my days at the moment working on freelance design and photo jobs, or working on either my personal website or my new blog – Art of Being Journal. Yoga is just my favourite way to ground myself so I try to do classes as often as I can. I also like to read a lot when I have spare time, and I’m usually drinking a cup of chamomile in bed before 11pm.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, and I don’t think I feel guilty about anything I eat. Being vegan kind of cuts the guilt out of it all for me. I feel crappy if I eat too much bread or sweet foods, but I’m generally pretty controlled. I also don’t care too much if I just live a little and eat those 3 donuts in a row every now and then.
You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What do you eat?
Baked sweet potatoes and chickpeas with tahini, pepper and hot sauce with a side of grilled tempeh and massaged kale salad. The perfect meal.
What are your plans for 2016?
Going out of my way to spend everyday doing the things that make me happy. I’m kind of already on that path, I recently quit my regular part-time job to focus on the things that I’m good at and that I enjoy. I should also take the time out to do more yoga, because It makes me feel so good.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks Forkin’ Vegan ❤