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Q & A with London Chef Nina Parker

We caught up with London chef Nina Parker. Nina is a London based chef, writer and director of her own food company, ‘NINA’. 

Describe yourself in 3 words

 

Passionate, competitive and hopefully funny!

 

What/who inspired you to become a chef

 

I think it was probably my family and my sister especially, who inspired me to have my own business. When I was at school I knew I wanted to be my own boss and later this developed into being a chef and having my own business.  My sister had her own property company and it always looked like fun seeing her work for herself.  I think having people around you who are freelance means that it doesn't seem so scary and unattainable.  The passion for food slowly grew after I left uni and worked in my first kitchen in Liverpool Street, L'Anima.  From that moment on, I knew I was in the right place!

 

How do you unwind

 

Sometimes cooking helps me unwind and making a healthy salad with lots of veg makes me feel good.  I do love a game of tennis though to forget about a stressful day!

 

If you could only live off one meal, what would it be

 

It would be a toss between my healthy lunch salads which are usually vegan with a punchy Asian dressing or peanut sauce. But, I am tempted to say pasta too!

  

What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring chef

 

Try and work in as many different places as possible to develop your own cooking style.  I didn't go to culinary school and learnt on the job in restaurants which I think meant that I started forming my own style of food.  I think it's important for anyone to work in a kitchen and understand what that environment is like and learn about hard work and discipline.   

  

Where if your favourite place to travel to

  

It's hard to pick just one place of course, but I go to the South of France ( Port Grimaud ) every summer and I never tire of it.  It's where my first book, NINA St Tropez was written and I am always inspired by it.  The food, people and the stories that it holds.  I've had some of my best times out there with family and friends.  I feel that you can be any age and love it!  I'm lucky that I get to travel with my job and do some travel writing, but no matter where I go, I always find myself comparing it to that part of France.  

  

What is your favourite Björk & Berries product and why

  

Definitely the Re-Activating Body Serum!  It smells incredible and I now I'm addicted to using a body serum instead of a cream.  I also like that it has omega 3, 6, and 9. 

Your ultimate skincare secret

 

I always find that a good night's sleep is very important and I notice when I'm behind on sleep.  Also I've been eating a mostly vegetarian diet for two years now and that has been a game-changer and I feel that everything in my body works better and my skin is better too!  I believe that a lot comes from within!