From rural New South Wales, Amy Chaplin has worked as a top chef for more than 20 years and travelled the world. Formerly executive chef of New York vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, she has also been a private chef for celebrities including Hollywood actresses Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler.
Chaplin’s approach to food is inspired by nature and the healing benefits of whole food ingredients. Her new book covers everything from simple everyday meals to more involved dishes for special occasions.
What would you make for yourself for a simple evening meal?
Chickpeas tossed with avocado, lots of chopped chives and parsley, a few cherry tomatoes, either raw or steamed kale, toasted seeds, flax oil and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
What is your favourite kitchen utensil/gadget?
A high-powered blender for making fresh nut milk, creamy soups and dressings. I use a Vitamix.
What is your favourite recipe from your cookbook?
It really depends on the season. Right now I’m loving the soft polenta with nettles, peas and fresh goats cheese. I also love all 10 tart recipes.
The one item or ingredient that you’re currently obsessed with?
Fresh mint. A few torn leaves add the perfect fresh, bright flavour to salads and I also love blending it into dressings with dill or coriander.
Your favourite London restaurant?
There are so many places places I’d want to try: Ethos and Nopi in the West End and the raw nut milks from The Pressery. When I lived in Queen's Park and Maida Vale I loved The River Café for simple and perfectly prepared vegetables.
How do you approach your own diet?
I eat as seasonally as possible and focus my simple everyday meals around what's available at the farmers' market. Lots of veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and a little local goats cheese here and there. I also like to use up leftovers and add avocados, toasted seeds, and more vegetables if I need to make them go further.
My diet is usually vegan but I like to add a little dairy and an egg here and there. For something sweet I split Medjool dates in half and fill them with almond butter.
More from Amy Chaplin: