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Featured Foodie - To Her Core, Dearna

 

What are your ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to diet & lifestyle?

As I get older, I definitely feel I am more comfortable in my choices and less strict than I used to be – that said I do try eat ‘clean’ (ie minimally processed) as much as possible, with lots of vegetables. I also try to buy as much locally sourced food as possible these days, I rarely shop at the supermarket and instead tend to buy my veggies from the local market, and we get a veggie box delivered once a fortnight too.

I also try to “get away” at least once every few weeks if not more often. Lately we have been taking a day out each weekend to go for a bush walk – there are so many amazing places to explore here in Tasmania! – and it’s a great way to relax and unwind while getting a bit of exercise in at the same time.

 

Mars Bar Slice{image - Mars Bar Slice}

 

When and how did you first begin cooking? 

I’ve always loved cooking. I grew up in an Italian household where everything was made from scratch so that way of cooking was something that I grew up with. I find cooking a great way to relax and I love sharing my cooking with others as well – there is a lovely communal aspect to cooking and eating together that I miss from being around my Italian family.

 

What inspired you to start To Her Core? 

A few years back I started to experiment a lot with cooking from scratch and using wholefoods and minimally processed ingredients. I started my website as a way to connect with other similarly-minded people and share ideas, and the community that’s out there is truly amazing, there is so much encouragement, support and positive vibes – it’s a lovely thing to be a part of.

 

Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies{image - Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies}

 

How have your brand / website / social channels developed over time and what have been some milestones for you?

My site originally was aimed at healthy, clean eating, and my social media feeds definitely reflected this. I was also really adamant that I wanted to get this message across to other people – as soon as I cleaned up my diet as started eating a predominately wholefoods, plant-based diet, I started to feel so much more healthier and I really wanted to share this with others. I still do, but at the same time I’m more aware now that there are other facets of being healthy, and that no-one likes being lectured or preached to. I still publish the same content, but I very conscious to not be too negative or push any agenda these days.

The photography aspect that goes alongside having a food blog is also something that I have grown to love – my photography has definitely developed over the years and I actually get more emails and comments these days about my photography than my food. So much so that I’ve started taking Food Styling and Photography workshops here in Hobart with Rebecca Wiggins and am also working on some guides along the same line which will hopefully be available online within the next month.

Definitely a milestone was winning one of Nourish Magazines’ ‘Instagrammer of Influence awards’ for ‘Best Seasonal Feed’ last year – it was such an honour to not only be recognised but also to be featured alongside such other talented people who I genuinely look up to and admire.

 

Raw Banoffee Tarts{image - Raw Banoffee Tarts}

What are your top 3 food photography tips?

I think the three most important things for a beginner are:

1. Use natural light, and natural filters. Artificial lighting and artificial-looking filters don’t do your food any justice, so try to keep things as natural as possible

2. Back away from the subject! So many photographers stick their phone or camera right up to the food, which does it no justice. Back away a little, and don’t be afraid of negative space.

3. Practice, practice, practice. As with anything, the best way to improve is to stick at it. Try taking photos from different angles, and with different backgrounds. You’ll eventually learn what styles look best to you and learn to develop your own style this way.

 

Chocolate Parfait{image - Chocolate Parfait}

 

What do you love about living in Tasmania? Are there any restaurants, cafes, stores you visit for inspiration? 

So many things! It really is such a beautiful place and definitely doesn’t deserve any of the flack that it cops from any (jealous ;) ) mainlanders! Since MONA opened a few years back it’s really just exploded - the food here is AMAZING, there are so many festivals and exhibitions. It really has a buzz about it! And if you step outside Hobart and drive an hour or two in any direction you’re going to be met with some of the most amazing bush and coastal scenery. I often wish that I could travel down here as a tourist for a weekend or longer, it’s the perfect little destination to visit.

Favorite places in Hobart 

Pollen Tearoom, my weekly breakfast haunt in Battery Point, a veggie-centric menu in a gorgeous old cottage.
Straight Up Coffee – another veggie-centric café in the the city, a great choice for brunch or lunch.
Ginger Brown – a great little neighbourhood café that’s a must for coffee or a bite to eat on your way up to Mount Wellington.
Franklin – a must for dinner - an ever-changing menu with a focus on seasonal, locally-sourced produce.
Easter Eggs{image - Easter Eggs}

 

When did you first become aware of Loving Earth and what's your favourite way to use our foods? 

I can’t really remember, it’s been so long! I’m pretty sure a friend put me on to you a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. Asides from the obvious factors, I love your company ethos, a factor which has become more and more important to me when purchasing products or services these days.

I always have some of your raw cacao powder and nibs on hand, and usually coconut oil and cacao butter too…. No guesses for what I use to make with those ingredients haha!

For more foodie inspiration check out Dearna's Instagram and website.

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