For this latest Wonderful Women feature I speak to chef-extraordinaire Vanessa Bolosier of Creole Kitchen.
Renowned for her incredible Caribbean cooking, Vanessa’s recipes are like sunshine on a plate bursting with beautiful and vibrant flavours!
Hi Vanessa, describe a typical day for you?
No two days are the same. The only constant is I must have exciting food. I wake up around 6.30.
I like slow mornings but prefer exercising early. On some days, I’d be waking up and be free to bake like my life depends on it. It soothes me. Or, I’d decide to make it a market day and would go and buy mountains of plantains and experiment.
I’m opening my first ‘Creole Kitchen’ this month so lately it’s been a lot of cooking and designing the food experience as my menu will be served in small plates and snacks within a Tiki Bar called The Beachcomber.
You can imagine there are going to be a lot of cocktails and food pairings.
Eating is the most exciting part of my day. I love food and telling stories about it, so on some days I could be involved in giving talks about my experience in food, Caribbean food and culture or just my experience as a woman in business.
I’m involved in social impact initiatives when I’m not in food, so I’d be working on projects about health or social care for instance and would design services, engagement experiences or work on campaigns against social injustice.
When not in London, I tend to be in Guadeloupe which is where I’m from and when I’m there I generally am a travel companion to tourists who wish to discover the French Caribbean beyond traditional tourist treks. So my day is full of sunshine, tropical food and drinks and storytelling about my islands.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I suppose getting my book published is my biggest achievement to date. I have achieved a lot in my career as a model and in my work with domestic abuse victims but I can’t deny the feeling I get every time someone shares a picture of themselves cooking my food. It’s like I’m with them, in their home cooking and to me that’s priceless.
What’s in your handbag?
A whole lot of things I don’t need. Lipstick, hand cream, earphones, coins, a book I take ages to read (generally a psycho-sociology book). 9 times out of 10 I’d have my laptop with me, a notepad, a nail file and perfume. I love good perfume!
What are your ambitions in life?
To make a cultural impact in all the possible domains. To raise awareness on things I’m passionate about. To empower women in all areas of their lives and to make my culture known, beyond clichéd grounds.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Travelling, eating great food, telling impactful stories and changing mindsets. More books and hopefully a family.
What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur?
Fail early to move on to success very quickly.
Finally, happiness is…
Being surrounded with the ones you love, around a table with great food with laughter and storytelling.
Creole Kitchen opens at The Beachcomber opens Friday 20th May. The address is 86 Queensway, London W2 3RR.
Creole Kitchen recipe book is available to buy from Amazon