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Featured Foodie: Ashley Alexander - Gather & Feast

 

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

‘No numbers’... we try and steer clear of any product that has numbers in the ingredients list. An abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables (always greens! I LOVE my greens), and I try to use as much organic produce as I can.

 

When & how did you first begin cooking?

I spent a lot of my early years learning in the kitchen. Mum enjoyed teaching my brother, sister and I to cook from a young age, preparing three course meals for dinner parties by the time we were 12 (well played Mum, well played). I am very thankful for all the valuable time spent and the lessons we learnt. Mum always taught us to cook using natural and healthy ingredients and instilled in us the value of whole and organic foods. (Vegan ice­cream for the win!) Thanks Mum!

 

00-chocolate-bar-banner{image - Almond, Pistachio & Quinoa Dark Chocolate Bars}

 

When did you realise how much you loved it?

I’ve always loved food and cooking. When I was really young I would grab a big stack of mum’s cookbooks and sit on the floor and pour over them. I loved it! I loved to see the different ingredients and flavours that people would combine together. I also found the science of baking so fascinating. It intrigued me how various methods, using similar products, could create something so different. I don’t think much has changed. I still love sitting on the floor with a big stack of cookbooks.

 

00-cheesecake-banner{image - Raw Lemon & Caramel ‘Cheesecake’ with Buckinis Base}

 

What inspired you to start doing what you do? How has your brand developed and what have been some milestones for you?

It was my love of food and the continual encouragement and urging of my friends and husband that I decided to launch Gather & Feast.

 

The name ‘Gather & Feast’ was inspired by a thought of the multifaceted meaning of to gather and feast. The gathering together of beautiful food, and also the gathering together of friends and loved ones. To feast, to celebrate, to share, to enjoy, to love.

 

My aim through the site is to share wholesome and nutritious easy recipes, using natural ingredients and fresh in ­season produce, and also to encourage people to gather and feast with the ones they love in a beautiful, fun and stress ­free way.

 

00-crumble-banner-v1{image - Berry Buckwheat Crumble}

 

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

I love Melbourne’s appreciation and passion for good quality food (and coffee!). A few of my favourite brunch spots are Top Paddock, Seven Seeds, Barry, Laneway Greens, Kettle Black and Smith St. Alimentary. For dinner the Vegie Bar is always a winner, and also Trippy Taco in Fitzroy, Ladro and Chin Chin. As you can see i have a lot of favourites! :)

 

00-caramel-almond-bar-banner copy{image - Caramel Almond Bars}

 

When did you first become aware of Loving Earth?

I came across Loving Earth dried white mulberries at my local food store a couple of years ago. I had never seen dried mulberries before and was super excited to add this dried ‘superfruit’ to my trail mix! When I got home I jumped onto the Loving Earth website and learnt more about the brand and the other products they offered. I was hooked! My favourite Loving Earth products are the coconut oil (the amber jars are perfect to recycle and use as breakfast jars), cacao powder, coconut sugar and the vanilla powder!

 

What's your favourite way to use our foods?

One of my absolute favourite Loving Earth products is the vanilla powder! I put it in everything!! I am always telling everyone about this product!

 

00-pudding-banner{image - Vegan Spiced Chocolate & Orange Self Saucing Pudding}

 

For more foodie inspiration check out Ashley's Instagram & Facebook. Also, you must visit the Gather & Feast website for lots more recipes and download her free recipe ebook!

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