You may well have seen The Recipe Wheel book in stores as it is doing so well and the cover is so colourful and unique – let alone the content.
The premise is 120 recipes using 10 inspirational wheels that both savoury and sweet. So many fantastic dishes to try out.
Today, I feel really lucky to be sharing with you, an interview with Rosie Ramsden the author, who illustrates the book beautifully too.
Rosie, you’re an author, cook, food stylist and an artist – which came first and what inspired it ?
I painted a lot in my school years but it was only when I started working in food that I found that cooking inspired me to paint more, having so many beautiful ingredients to work with – particularly painting still life of food. When I can’t paint, its the food styling that satisfies my creative side.
Your book ‘ The Recipe Wheel ‘ is such a genius and fresh way of looking at food and cooking – how did you come up with it ?
Thank you so much ! The Recipe Wheel reflects how I think about cooking: I start with something I know, then I use that to develop a recipe; to think how I could make it more interesting, delicious, colourful. The more I cook though, the bigger my own personal recipe wheel becomes, but it gives me a lot more scope for coming up with fresh ideas.
I was immediately drawn to The Recipe Wheel book by the colour on the front. How important was this in the overall look and feel ?
Colour is an important aspect to cooking, as it tends to be the more colourful ingredients, namely vegetables, that inspire us to start cooking. More importantly though, I felt that the colours in the wheel helped to engage imagination and encourage the reader to explore their own ways of cooking.
Will you be writing and illustrating any more books ? If so when can we expect to see them on the shelves ?
I would love to at some point. I’m waiting to find an idea that really makes me want to write. In the meantime, I’m food styling and writing and painting for other people which is so valuable for experimenting with flavours and exploring recipes, before venturing into something new of my own.
With your styling work – how long does it take to prepare to set up shots ? How do you make it look so effortless ?
The time a shot takes completely depends on how long the recipe takes to cook beforehand, or how long it can stay on set before it starts to wilt. It depends on the light for the photographer and how the plate looks as a whole. Somethings are instant – a quick one shot triumph – and some can take all day..! I usually find that the less time something takes to get right, the better it looks.
Of course, I’m intrigued as to what your home is like ? How would you describe your own interior style ?
It is cluttered with paintings, cups, saucers, flowers, paint brushes and rugs ( and now children’s toys ) but I always make sure there are spaces for calm, too. I like to call it organised mess… Light is essential for me. I can’t bear a dark room, unless it is filled with lamps. The walls are all pale and muted, but there is colour in everything else. No black, but greys and reds and woods.
Being a Mum, how do you combine everything and what’s a perfect family day for you ?
I can safely say on behalf of my whole family that food tends to be the centre of everything we do. Mealtimes mark pauses in chaos, and give us a chance to spend time together. We are lucky that there’s always a full fridge at home, and living in Hackney a good restaurant is never far out of reach! In between food, I love putting Thom on the back of my bike and whizzing around Victoria Park. If there’s a beach or a river nearby then I’ll hopefully swim in it, and being outdoors, husband / baby / dog in tow, is my idea of heaven.
Can you give some advice to any aspiring creative people who dream of writing their own book one day ? ( including me ! )
The more you write or cook or eat or think about food, the more the ideas will flow. Sometimes there are knockbacks but that shouldn’t distract you from trying. Talk to people for their advice, and be prepared for hard work that is utterly fulfilling and fun !
Thanks, Rosie. I completely take my hat off to your talent and work ethic.
Having already tried some of the recipes here – I can totally recommend this book and aesthetically, it’s a talking piece in itself !
Hope you’ve enjoyed the interview and let me know what you think of it, if you buy the book too or leave me a comment just for the fun of it under this post with your thoughts. Would love to hear from you as ever … :)
Have a good one.
Photo copyright credits: 1 – Lizzie Mayson. 2 & 3 – Lucy Gleeson ( the colour wheel graphics on the front page book are by Will Webb ). 4 & 5 – Rosie Ramsden. 6 – Maja Smend for Delicious Magazine. 7 – Tara Fisher for Thomasina Mier’s upcoming book, Home Cook, Faber and Faber. 8 – A Tess Ward Recipe Fabulous Magazine by Ria Osbourne.