Anna Allbury is a self-proclaimed high-heeled, flower-eating hippie who loves nothing more than playing with her food. She is also the creator of a brilliant new cooking series, My Hippie Kitchen which showcases delicious edible floral creations – botanical antipasto, edible champagne and no yoke eggs – along with her beautiful signature bohemian style. Here, Anna reveals the inspiration behind her magical recipes and why we should all play with our food more.
Where did the inspiration for My Hippie Kitchen come from?
“I’ve always loved food and creating experiences with it, but it wasn’t until last year when I went on a six week solo trip around Europe that I found my inspiration. I learned how to make croissants in Paris, pasta in Tuscany, and had some of the most unique dining experiences of my life. But as well as everything I learned about food, my perspective of my own life changed. That’s the beautiful thing about travel; when I arrived home in Melbourne I had a new sense of how big the world is, and how small my past fears and false self-beliefs were. Serendipitously, about a week after I arrived home a friend I’ve worked with in television contacted me and said ‘Hey, I’d be keen to make a web series with you, wanna do it?’ – and I was like, ‘Hmm, mixing what I’ve been doing for a career for the last 13 years and food? That makes perfect sense!’ And then, after a long gestational period and a lot of hard work, My Hippie Kitchen was born.
Where do your ideas for beautiful new dishes come from?
“It tends to vary from dish to dish. I might be out and about and see something like a terrarium and think, ‘ooh, I’d like to make an edible version of that!’. But then other times, I’ll simply be lying in bed on a Sunday morning trying to think of a way to somehow fuse the random ingredients in my fridge into some kind of breakfast. No matter how the idea comes to me, the key has always been to just give it a go. Even if you have no idea how you’re going to pull it off, taking that risk and having a play more often than not it pays off. That’s how all of my ideas have come to life. Just play.”
Can you describe your ultimate three-course meal?
“I think it would have to be some kind of Heston Blumental-meets-edible flower mash-up. I love the theatre of Heston’s food, and food that isn’t what it seems and, of course, flower-powered food. Maybe a fresh starter featuring some kind of edible flowerbed ceviche, a main featuring a vertical edible garden with lots of different bites, and a dessert that looks like an explosion of confetti. It would be in a garden full of flowers, with outstanding wines and company to match.”
Which three people would you most love to prepare food for?
“Heston Blumethal, because he is my culinary muse…
“Deepak Chopra, because I’d love to pick his very interesting brain…
“And my nanna, because she was the human incarnation of a butterfly and I’ll forever be making flowers for her to land on.”