Hey crew! It’s been absolutely wonderful seeing so many new people drop by Guac, even though I was only writing the same sentiment at Christmas too. Thank you! It’s so great to have feedback from new visitors on Twitter and Instagram, and see Guac & Roll pop up in searches and generally seem like a useful resource.
Because there’s so many of you now, I thought it would be a good time to answer a few more questions. These ones are about Guac and being vegan in general, but if you’d like to know a bit more about me, check this post here.
So here are a few FAQs I get asked quite a bit- feel free to leave more below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can :)
Where else can I follow Guac?
On Instagram, on Twitter, and, as of today, on Facebook! I also have a personal Pinterest account, but when I get a spare day in the coming weeks I’ll be making a new Guac one too.
Where do you get your ideas from for your recipes?
All over the place! I love restaurant and street food menus- whether they’re vegan or not, seeing what other cooks and chefs have paired together or focused on can be really inspiring. For recipes at home, it’s usually from needing to use up a vegetable we have in excess from our vegetable bag, which is why I’ll always appreciate a new beetroot recipe. I also get a lot of inspiration from my parents, who cook a lot and for their friends, so we’ll always talk through what’s been working well for them. Actually I pretty much talk about food all the time. So really my ideas come from a kind of constant stream of conscious/ obsession with making the next meal!
Do you cook like this every day?
Kind of! I’ve been working from home for a few years now so I’m really lucky that by about 6pm I can start making dinner from scratch, and I usually spend about two hours making it. My friend Tsouni once told me she sees cooking as something you can get 5% better at every time you make something, and I think that’s really true. So I often cook things I need to practise at for a supper club or event, or test out ingredients I have in mind for a blog post. BUT I’m also not opposed to the odd microwavable rice and salad meal, and have a total jones for garlic bread, so no, it’s not homemade every single day.
How do you find vegan places when you travel?
Instagram is a great resource for travelling because it’s so up to date. Instead of buying a year-old travel guide or checking a website/ forum post that’s a few years old, I find Instagram is a really reliable way to see who is saying what about the places you might want to visit. A good trick is to search for the place in English with ‘vegan’ in the hashtag- such as #veganBerlin, and then look at the rest of the hashtags the person posting has used- they’ll often write the equivalent translation in their own language (e.g. German) too, and then, when you click on that hashtag, you can check out what local vegans are eating too.
If I’m in a hurry I use Happy Cow, which is an amazing resource for vegans and vegetarians, but it can often be a little outdated. I find it best to cross-examine the suggestions on there with recent Instagram posts.
The other great thing about vegans is that they’re always pretty happy to help another vegan out! So send out a tweet or email a few friends who may have been to the same place you're headed- I’ve been so surprised by the efforts vegan pals I’ve made online will go to help another vegan out.
Who are your favourite cooks/ Instagrammers/ bloggers?
I chatted a little about this back in December, but it’s always good to shout out a few more mega-talented peeps, right? I love Isa Chandra Moskowitz for practical advice, @takeamegabite is amazing for baking inspiration and @homegrownsmoker for RIDICULOUS vegan creations I wish I could eat every day. @claracakes for awesome baking and catering by super-talented Clara Polito, @florescent_herbivore for inspiration to make meat-free alternatives to classics like biscuits and gravy, chicken pot pie etc. And finally @_faringwell for really understated photography of plant-based food.
I want to make friends with other vegans but I don’t know any! I have vegan friends online but is it weird meeting them in real life? How do you do this?
I get asked this a lot and I’m not sure what to recommend because I think a lot of people make friends in different ways :) I have made a lot of friends through talking online to people, but this isn’t often the most practical or safe advice to give.
If you’re meeting people from the internet for the first time, definitely always meet in the middle of the day at a busy place like a train station or cafe, and go for a coffee or drink first! Or you could arrange to meet at a local food market. If there’s a few of you, you could all get tickets to a vegan pop-up or supper club, as there will be lots to talk about. The other thing you can do is agree to each bring along a friend- especially if you each have a vegan friend.
Make sure other people know you’re going, check in with a mate or your significant other while you’re there, and keep it short and sweet. I sound like I’m running a vegan dating site, but it’s always good to have an initial meet-up with a new friend before committing to spending a few hours together, you may just not get on that well in real life!
Other cool ideas to make friends could be to talk to your local vegan cafe or health food shop about putting on an event like a bake sale, a gig or a fundraiser. These are less daunting than a supper club and other vegans can get involved helping you. You’ll get to make friends as well as raising money for a vegan cause or just covering your costs on a bake sale to promote a local vegan shop or business.
Where can I go in London for good vegan food?
I’m super passionate about supporting the vegan businesses we have in London (and the rest of the UK, of course) because without the support of other vegans, it’s really tough to convert meat-lovers. Club Mexicana, Mildred’s, Cook Daily, Fed By Water and G Kelly Pie and Mash all do great totally vegan menus or vegan options that need your support so they’ll stay on the menu. Black Cat Cafe in Hackney, The Hornbeam in Walthamstow, Sagar, Maoz Falafel, The Gate pub in Islington, Loving Hut in Holloway, Sakonis in Harrow, The Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green and The Waiting Room in Deptford also all offer great vegan menus or vegan options.
Can I email you about a product or brand launch?
Yes you can! Drop me a line at guacandroll (@) hotmail.com
Do you cater for weddings/ parties/ photo shoots/ anything else?
Yes! Again, drop me an email at guacandroll (@) hotmail.com so we can talk about what you’d be looking for.
Where can I eat Guac food?
This year I’m working with the incredibly talented peeps at Frank & Olive as their resident cook for their crochet retreats in Yorkshire. There are eight more retreats taking place in 2016- you can check out their website here to see the amazing weekends they put on, where I cook from Friday through to Sunday.
If that’s too far-afield for you, I’m also looking at putting on the first Guac & Roll events in London this year. Again, drop me an email at guacandroll (@) hotmail.com and I’ll make sure to put you on my ‘first dibs’ list so you’ll get an email when the first tickets go on sale.
And for anyone in Berlin, I cook with the Poppadom Preach crew two-three times a year. We’ve just sold out our second event, but look out for info on our summer 2016 event on my Twitter and Facebook pages.