‘When it comes to presenting food, I am really big on eating with my eyes.’
‘There is no sincere Love than the Love of Food’
Nobody understands this quote more than Precious, creator of the successful food blog Eating with Precious. Her love of food is infectious!!
Below Precious discusses what she has been doing during lockdown, why her new focus is on working with small independent businesses and how she ‘eats with her eyes’.
What is your background and what do you currently do?
I am Precious, a twenty something millennial and I currently work in the NHS predominately with children. I have always loved food and studied food for GCSE and A level. Therefore food has always been a big part of my life. I have a food blog called Eating with Precious, where I talk about the places that I have eaten in London and on my travels and I also share recipes that I have created at home.
How did you start Eating with Precious?
I started Eating with Precious in 2017 when I moved to South West London (I am originally an Essex girl). It was my first time living away from home and I found myself going out to eat quite a lot. I wanted to have a record of places to eat, that I had enjoyed visiting and would recommend. This is when I decided to create an Instagram account and my website. I started taking pictures of food and tagging businesses and this became my online diary. I would also receive messages from friends asking for recommendations for somewhere to eat for an occasion and everything has built up and started from there.
What is it about food that you love?
I would say that food is an international language of love. Most people like to eat, and food plays such a big part in many different cultures. I have a big family and since I was young, we would always do a family Sunday dinner. There was always a big emphasis on what we were going to eat, and we would choose different foods for different celebrations. Food became a social event in where I couldn’t wait to try it. If you invite me somewhere, I want to know what we are eating as it’s something to look forward to. When I am feeling stressed I either eat or cook. Eating with Precious is a hobby and a release of tension for me.
Do you have a favourite cuisine that you like to eat?
Being Nigerian I would firstly say Nigerian food. However, for a quick and easy dish it would also have to be Italian, as you do not need lots of ingredients to make something nice. I am also obsessed with Thai food. So, if I have to narrow it down my favourite cuisines would be Nigerian, Italian and Thai.
How do you decide which restaurants to visit for your blog?
I really love independent and family run restaurants and businesses, so that would definitely be a big deciding factor. If I knew I was going to a certain area, I would research what restaurants would be there. When I started my Instagram page, I created a list of London restaurants that I would like to visit, and I am working my way through that list. Apart from my list, the places I visit are a combination of places I have discovered on social media, or from word of mouth and positive reviews received from friends and family.
Do you have any upcoming projects or collaborations that you will be working on?
In the last year I have been working more with restaurants and collaborating with brands and companies as well. I have a few campaigns coming up from brands that have contacted me, however I do sometimes contact brands myself. I think the best thing about social media is that is has brought brands closer to individuals.
For July I have had collaborations with products that you could eat or drink at home. I have also started to research restaurants that I want to go to. I have found a few small independent businesses on line that have struggled during lockdown. I really want to support small businesses now that we are coming out of lockdown. We all know who the big chains are, however, there are so many hidden gems around. It is nice to find somewhere for example that changes their menu weekly, or uses local produce, or holds supper clubs. With the current movements that have been happening over the last few months, I would also like to work with BAME Restaurants & Bars. This is my focus moving forwards.
What influences the look and style of the food you post on social media?
When it comes to presenting food, I am really big on eating with my eyes. Before even smelling food, we immediately decide whether we want to eat food from how it looks visually. I really enjoy colours and try to style my food in an appealing way. I have always loved photography. When I studied food technology in my teens, I learnt about the importance of presentation. Our family dinners are heavily presented, so that you can eat with your eyes. I want the first thing you think of to be Wow, this all looks amazing, I want to eat this. This is how I look at food. I am a very summery person and I like bright colours. I try to incorporate this with food as well. So, presentation, detail and colour are especially important to me.
What have you been doing during this isolation period to keep busy?
Besides cooking and baking, I also like to get creative with crafting, During isolation I made a flower wall and macramé bits which I am quite proud of. I also have been reading a lot of books and I have been practicing photography. I want to get better at taking pictures of anything and everything. My other guilty pleasure has been binge watching TV and watching different box sets. Sorry to my friends if they read this and wonder why I haven’t answered their zoom calls. But it’s because I’ve been watching TV and enjoying some me time.
What places are you most looking forward to visiting now that hospitality has reopened?
I wrote a list a couple of months ago and the list is constantly growing.
The main thing that I am constantly craving is a Wagamama Katsu Curry. I will be heading there first because it is just not the same when you try to make it yourself. Another place is Mud Café which is a brother and sister run business. Flour and Grape is a place in Bermondsey that I was supposed to visit in March and had booked just before the lockdown announcement. I want to rebook and go and eat my body weight in pasta.
If you were trapped on a dessert island, what 3 food or drink items would you want with you?
One would have to be Pineapple, its random but can help you with your sugar levels. If you are craving something sweet with no access to chocolate or something sweet, then Pineapple is healthy, sweet, and delicious. Because I would be somewhere sunny, I would need Gin and Lemonade on tap. That’s my drink. I am not a fan of tonic and I find the lemonade blends the tonic. And my last choice would be pasta as it would keep me going for however long I am on the island. You can also add seafood to it, and it would also help to line the stomach for all the Gin and Lemonades.
Complete the sentence. I am happiest when?
I will have to be cliché about this and say I am happiest when I have food in front of me and about to eat. It is when I am truly enjoying myself. Or otherwise we could also say it is when I am on my travels and eating on holiday.