Anna Allbury is a self-proclaimed high-heeled, flower-eating hippie who loves nothing more than playing with her food. She is also the creator of a brilliant new cooking series, My Hippie Kitchen which showcases delicious edible floral creations - Botanical Antipasto, Edible Champagne, ‘No Yoke Eggs’ - plus her gorgeous hippie style. Here, Anna reveals the inspiration behind her magical recipes and why we should all 'just play'.
What inspired you to create My Hippie Kitchen? I’ve always loved food and creating experiences with it, but it wasn’t until last year when I went on a 6 week solo trip around Europe that I found my inspiration. I learned how to make croissants in Paris, pasta in Tuscany, and had some of the most unique dining experiences of my life. But as well as everything I learned about food, my perspective of my own life changed. That’s the beautiful thing about travel, when I arrived home in Melbourne I had a new sense of how big the world is, and how small my past fears and false self-beliefs were. Serendipitously, about a week after I arrived home a friend I’ve worked with in TV contacted me and said “Hey, I’d be keen to make a web series with you, wanna do it?” – and I was like, “Hmm, mixing what I’ve been doing for a career for the last 13 years and food? That makes perfect sense!” And then, after a long gestational period and a lot of hard work - My Hippie Kitchen was born.
How do you come up with the ideas for the dishes youcreate? It tends to vary from dish to dish. I might be out and about and see something like a terrarium and think – “ooh, I’d like to make an edible version of that!”. But then other times, I’ll simply be lying in bed on a Sunday morning trying to think of a way to somehow fuse the random ingredients in my fridge into some kind of breakfast. No matter how the idea comes to me, the key has always been to just give it a go. Even if you have no idea how you’re going to pull it off, taking that risk and having a play more often than not it pays off. That’s how all of my ideas have come to life. Just PLAY.
Describe your ultimate three-course meal. I think it would have to be some kind of Heston Blumental / edible flower mash-up. I love the theatre of Heston’s food, and food that isn’t what it seems, and of course – flower-powered food. Maybe a fresh starter featuring some kind of edible flowerbed ceviche, a main featuring a vertical edible garden with lots of different bites, and a dessert that looks like an explosion of confetti. It would be in a garden full of flowers, with outstanding wines and company to match.
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All images courtesy of Anna Allbury.