West London based chef Nina Parker is a woman of many culinary talents.
In June she released her debut recipe book inspired by traditional St Tropez dishes as well as the people, places and tales from her frequent visits to the South of France. Whilst working on a follow up book focusing on Capri, Nina also owns an ice cream van that caters at festivals, parties and gallery openings and regularly creates vegan feasts at the popular Secret Yoga Club. Additionally, Nina presents a miniseries entitled 'Yum in the Sun' for VideoJug, offering quick and easy tutorials for Mediterranean meals.
With a penchant for marble and a predominantly monochrome, elegant theme throughout the house, Nina invited us over for a look around the stunning Kensington home and spacious kitchen where she conjures up delicious dishes.
St Tropez was the theme of your first cookery book. Have you discovered any beautiful places there or were you impressed by any particular interiors?
I've been going there all my life so I've definitely found some good places over the years. The bric-a-brac markets are the best for finding antiques and great one off furniture pieces. There's an amazing market in a vineyard near my house in Grimaud. There's so much choice for making your house look good whether its driftwood from the beach or old Paris style doors from a warehouse - you can't find that kind of style very easily in the UK.
Your sister Juliana Parker, who you live with, is an artist and interior designer. Has she influenced your aesthetic taste and how would you describe your personal interior style?
Yes, definitely she has influenced my own style. She's my creative director and we worked together with my brother-in-law on my book and company... everything from the branding to the style and feel of it. I suppose my own interior style is classic, a bit rustic and I hope a bit chic but who knows?!
With such a beautiful and spacious kitchen at home are you often inspired to rustle up new dishes and host dinner parties?
I probably host a dinner party for around ten people at least once a month. It's been a bit tricky recently with my book coming out this summer though. I love cooking here, it's not only inspiring and relaxing to create new recipes but there are always lots of people to taste test which is fun.
Where do you see yourself living in five years' time?
Wherever it is I hope it has a big kitchen with room for a large dinner table and perhaps some French windows opening out onto garden or terrace. That would be awesome! Fingers crossed!
What do you love and hate about living in Kensington? Where are your favourite places locally to shop and eat out?
I love that it's central as many of my jobs and friends are in this area. I particularly love running in the park too. I wish sometimes that I lived in Brixton or east though as for food they've got some great new places. I spend quite a lot of time in Notting Hill though, Pizza East's breakfasts, Osteria Basilica's wild boar ragu and Poilane in Sloane Square for a killer French breakfast.
When working from home how do you get into work mode?
I put on some old hip hop or rap and I get cooking. But if I'm writing or doing research then a cup of camomile tea and nutella crumpet and I'm ready!
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