Donna Hay Chats Zero to Sourdough, Human Connection through Food and Being the Condiment Queen

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EPISODE SYNOPSIS

Joining host Anna Barnett on this week’s episode of the Filling podcast is cook, food stylist, presenter, and author of 30 award-winning cookbooks Donna Hay. Zooming in from her oceanside Sydney home (swoon) Donna recounts her early days as a fledging food stylist and recipe developer through to managing her current food and cooking empire which incorporates writing, TV, her eponymous magazine and online store, and not forgetting hosting live cookalongs for over 4000 people during lockdown. How does she do it all and appear so calm? A combination of natural creativity, the desire to share and experience, and a heavy dose of Australian realism is what drives her success.

EPISODE NOTES

15:00 – 18:00) Donna recounts how helping her mother in the kitchen as a child ignited a natural passion for cooking. But was her mum a talented cook? Maybe not, it seems.

23:00 – 25:00) Food trends are discussed in this section with Donna explaining the sudden rise of homemade sourdough bread during lockdown: the need to nurture, see something grow. Food fashion is a reaction to what’s happening in the world.

25:30 – 26:00) With refreshing frankness, Donna and Anna discuss the environmental effects of the food industry on every level; packaging, production, waste.

27:30 – 30:30) One ‘silver lining’ to lockdown was that Donna was able to connect to her followers in a much more naturalistic way. Running interactive cooking classes for dads and kids through Zoom, for example, gave Donna a much more personal insight into how her work positively affect lives.

39:40 – 42:00) Food styling is so much more than selecting the rights props; here Donna gives valuable insight into how she approaches the styling process to her books.

48:10 – 53:00) Here Donna shares an evocative memory of working on the launch of Marie Claire Australia and how she found a mentor in its fashion editor.

TOP QUOTES

“When I was 8 or 9, I made steak Diane for my father’s birthday meal and thought I was very cutting edge.” Donna

“There’s a link to what’s coming next in food and what’s happening in the world.” Donna

“Don’t look inside food for inspiration, look outside.” Donna

“I feel like I’m cheating as a food stylist in Australia as the produce is so fresh.” Donna

“I have so many sandwiches for so many occasions.” Donna

“I just feel that a sandwich with only two condiments is a wasted opportunity.” Donna

RESOURCES

www.donnahay.com.au

www.donnahay.com.au/the-donna-hay-general-store

ABOUT THE GUEST

At the age of eight, Donna Hay picked up a mixing bowl in the kitchen and never looked back. She is

Australia’s leading food editor and bestselling cookbook author. Her food, recipes and styling focus

on basic ingredients that are simply prepared and beautifully photographed are hallmarks of her

work. She has written 30 award-winning cookbooks which have sold over six million copies

worldwide and been translated onto 10 languages. She was named one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’

cookbook authors at the international Gourmand Awards in 2007. Donna completed her first TV

series, ‘Fast, Fresh, Simple’, in 2011; the series screened in more than 17 countries worldwide. As

well as additional TV shows, Donna also writes food columns for Australian and international press,

and in 2009 she launched the ‘Donna Hay General Store’. She lives in Sydney and has two sons.

IG: @donna.hay

ABOUT THE HOST

Anna Barnett displayed an enthusiastic interest in food, cooking (and especially eating) early in life;

eagerly joining her nan in the kitchen to observe and learn the traditional baking, ingredients, and

recipe techniques that would prove to serve her in the future. After several years working in TV

production and fashion, Anna’s natural culinary passion and energy led to a series of supper clubs,

pop-up restaurants, and professional catering. Subsequently, Anna released her debut cookery book

‘Eat the Week’ in 2015 and spent several years writing ‘The Reluctant Vegetarian’ blog for The

Independent newspaper as well as contributing to Vogue. For over a year and a half Anna wrote the

food pages for Grazia magazine, and now has a column writing for The Evening Standard online

where she shares recipes and food and travel recommendations, as well as interviewing some of the

world’s most eminent chefs.

Instagram: @annabarnettcooks

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