To fall in love with healthy food, I first fell in love with my passport

Hi I’m Erica, welcome to Sōlfood. Sōlfood is a platform where I can express my love affair with healthy food, fresh ingredients and the balance of life. I am a vegetarian and Sōlfood is vegetarian but I, chef of over 18 years wasn’t always a bunny hugging, plant eater. I tried everything from lake flies in Malawi, to frogs legs in Southern France, white bait in New Zealand and oysters in Namibia.

I always said I would try something at least once. And this fantastical journey with food has taken me from cooking in small artisinal wine bars on the streets of Dublin, to running a Café on the border of the Abel Tasmin National Park, even to the high peaks of the Italian Alps. My love affair with food was really a love affair with travelling.

I caught the travel bug when I was 18 but I needed a way to move faster than having to stay in one place for many years to save money to travel. I was far too impatient for that, so my career in the Gastronomy Industry began. Everywhere one goes there are restaurants, after all everyone needs to eat!

I worked my way up the ladder until I was able to run kitchens in restaurants, bistro´s and trendy café´s all over the world. What this lifestyle taught me is that the world is full of wonderful culinary dishes and ingredients native to that particular region of that particular country. I learnt to cook food using a myriad of spices, produce and often in the most unusual ways. I learnt about flavour!

I began to change my attitude towards food when I was diagnosed with a Hyperthyroid Auto Immune condition. I was told I would have to manage this disease for the rest of my life. This made me take a long look at myself, at my priorities and I decided that I would have to start doing things differently.

Of course I had to start with food. To make better choices to live a healthier life, I would need to learn about the nutrition of what I was eating and I am now a sponge for information on plant based foods.

It has been a joy for me in the past few years to invent dishes that are full of flavour and nutrition. And it has been a privilege to share my ideas and dishes with people who love great tasting food.

The ingredients I source are locally grown as much as I can. The magic in watching a vegetable grow from a small seed into a seedling and then being able to harvest it and make something healthy and delicious from it is the miraculous journey of nature.

What I do believe is everyone has their own journey with food and health. I don’t preach a vegetarian diet but what I do is try to encourage people to make healthier choices within their diet and their lives. My mission is to teach vegetarian cooking in a fun, practical and informative way so that people have the tools to make changes in their lives they wish to see. Eating well adds so much value to life and this is something we have forgotten in our fast processed and mechanised society.

Follow my social media channels to learn about loving your health and feeding your body “happy” food.

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