Natural Harry

JULY 2017

Interview by Natalie Tabone

Photos by Nikole Ramsay 



Harriet Birrell

Where do you live?

On the beautiful Bellarine Peninsular, Victoria

What do you do?

I create delicious, plant-based, whole-foods recipes for my upcoming book Whole by Natural Harry. I do a little creative content work for other businesses, as well as occasionally assisting a photographer, and sometimes I go to the Melbourne market at 3 in the morning to collect the organic fruit and veggies for a local Geelong grocer. No two days are the same.

What did you have for breakfast?

It’s winter here in Vicko at the moment. I had a delicious, warming bowl of porridge made with coconut milk and rose water and topped with my favourite chocolate sauce and pistachios!

When and why did you decide to go vegan?

About 4 years ago on a trip to Perth for a wedding. I was so over getting run down easily and catching colds. My skin was not the best either. I had never enjoyed animal products and had just consumed them to fit in. I thought I would give a plant-based diet a go as it seemed like a natural progression. My skin cleared up, my energy increased, I have caught one to no colds a winter since.


What does veganism mean to you?

It means fuelling my body with foods that give me energy, help me feel satisfied and allow me to do everything I need to in a day (the days can get pretty full!). It means feeling great about what I am eating and having the knowledge that it is kind food that caused no harm.

What is something surprising/interesting you’ve discovered or realised since going vegan?

There are a few:

  1. The misconception about vegans not getting enough protein
  2. That you can be vegan and still eat a pretty awful junk food diet (I had no idea there was so much junk on the market)
  3. That it is way easier, more satisfying and delicious than loads of people think!

Have you ever been called a forkin’ vegan?

Not to my face. Hahaha. But I am sure I have at many stages!

Describe a normal day in the life of Harry.

That’s tricky. No day is the same! I usually start work when Fraser (my partner) leaves for work about 6.45am. I am fresh in the mornings and often have woken up with some new idea for a recipe I have to get down immediately. I will usually do lots of the house chores before brekkie too. Sometimes washing, cleaning, veggie gardening etc. Boring I know but that’s my morning. Sometimes I will do a bit of yoga too.

The rest of the day is always so different. I can be delivering books, recipe creating, having meetings, doing video production for a client etc. I usually take a break around 2-3pm for a run, walk or swim then back to work.

Evenings consist of anything from yoga class to dinner at home with Fraser, to walking Fred, our dog on the beach to dinner at a friends house to an event. It varies so much!


What food best describes your personality?

Definitely anything Mexican! Un-complicated, fun, fresh, whole and delicious. Love it

Sweet or savoury?

Surprisingly, considering all the Natural Harry cakes…..savoury!

What is your most memorable eating or dining experience?

That’s a hard one! I would have to say when my mum made a Natural Harry cake for my 30th birthday! I was very chuffed. And she nailed it!

What is your favourite song or album to listen to in the kitchen while cooking?

Anything old and classic, Al Green, Paul Simon. I also love Bobby Alu for a bit more energy!

What is your speciality dish?

That would have to be cake!


If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to dinner who would they be?

Good one! Ummmmmmm…….. Nelson Mandela, Dr McDougall and my Grandfather.

What would you serve?

A massive feast from the new book with loads of colour!

Where is your favourite food destination?

That’s a hard one! I love so many. If it were to be a country I would have to say Italy! Locally, I love Diggers Veggie Kitchen in Anglesea!

What is your favourite thing to eat on a hot summers day?

Smoothies! Cold, refreshing. All from my first book are on high rotation during the warmer months!

On a cold winters night?

Lasagne or “neat balls”,  both of these are so comforting, warm and delicious and in the next book!

Describe your perfect day.

Yoga in the morning. A walk with Freddie (our dog) and Frase on the beach. Delicious food at home, surfing with mates, working on Natural Harry (my passion), and a swim in the ocean!


You’ve been asked to contribute a recipe for an upcoming cookbook. What is it?

A nourish bowl of goodness. Easy, satisfying and multi-layered!

If you were a vegetable what would you be?

Hahaha. Good one! A sweet potato!

What is your guilty pleasure?

All of the food from the next book and a really, really well made coffee on occasion!

You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What do you eat?

Vegetable gyoza!

How do you think we can each make the world a better place?

By being kind to one another. By being conscience of what we consume (both food and other commodities) and by leading by example and not preaching!

What’s the best thing about being you right now?

Living where I do. My absolutely incredible family, friends and partner Fraser. My dog Fred and the legends I get to work with! My health and my passion for what I do!

What are your plans for 2017?

To publish the second Natural Harry book and send it far and wide!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks you for the interview lovely! It has been an absolute pleasure and you are very inspiring! xx

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