Interview With Celebrity Annalise Braakensiek

14 Jan

I was in the middle of giving a lady a facial at a work function, when I met Annalise Braakensiek for the first time. Annalise gave me a glowing smile as she walked to the front of the room to give a talk on her low fat, meat free, organic Love Lunch business and personal challenges with food allergies. I nodded in agreement as Annalise described the frustration she experienced when, despite following a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, her belly bloated prior to an important event.

Up until September last year, I had also been following a strict gluten free diet for over 1 year and it was encouraging to hear how Annalise began sharing her healthy recipes. Annalise had been up since the wee hours of that morning preparing a delicious vegetarian Rogan Josh with rice, for the staff and guests of the event. What else can I say but YUM!

I recently asked Annalise – gorgeous Aussie model and actress who wears many other hats – a few questions about Love Lunch, her upcoming cookbook and what she thinks of food blogs.

What was it like growing up on a biodynamic farm?

Amazing! Something I’m so grateful for.

What/who inspired you to create your catering business called Love Lunch?

It came about rather by accident actually…as I was in the process of writing my cook book, (still am) and I needed to try out my recipes. My sister in law suggested if she pay for produce I try my recipes out on her, which I did, then her friends and colleagues wanted some, and my other friends soon heard and wanted some, and their friends…, and as the word spread I couldn’t keep up with orders! After 3 weeks I had 100 orders and after 6 months I thought to myself that this could actually become a viable business, not just a labour of love.

What’s your vision for Love Lunch in the future?

I’d love to stock Love Lunch in supermarkets and deli’s and health food stores across Australia, and start catering for schools…so that everyone has the opportunity to eat organic, meat free, delicious food made with love and that wont cost the earth!

How do you get in the mood to cook?

I love cooking, its one of my favourite things to do in the world (well, cooking and eating). I’m always in the mood!

You’re in the process of writing your first cookbook; how has the experience been so far?

It has been a great experience so far, continuously compiling recipes from my extensive travels, from dreams I have and adapting other incredible dishes. But in saying that I haven’t been given a deadline yet, so I haven’t experienced any stress…

When do you expect the cookbook to be released?

Not sure yet…will know soon I hope!

If you could cook for anyone from the past or present, who would it be?

I’d love to cook a family dinner for my darling father, my nanna and grandpa…if only they could fly down from heaven.

You use fresh herbs from your garden when preparing Love Lunch recipes. What’s growing in your garden at the moment?

I have an Asian section in my herb garden and a European section, my Asian basil isn’t too happy at the moment unfortunately, lemongrass, galangal etc all a tad frail, but Europe is standing strong! So we’ve been eating lots of Italian, Greek and French food lately, which is rather unusual for me, as I tend to lean towards the Asian fusion, (and Mexican, Indian, North African)

I was on a gluten free diet for over 1 year and eating at special occasions was often difficult. What are your special dietary requirements and have they affected your lifestyle in any way?

I feel your pain! I’m allergic to wheat and dairy and I choose not to eat meat, so it can be extraordinarily difficult. Hence me cooking nearly every meal, so I don’t feel deprived! Ha ha

Your talents include modeling, acting and jewellery making. Is Love Lunch another form of creative expression to you?

Cooking is definitely a form of art for me, absolutely! And Love Lunch is one of my biggest passions, its certainly the hardest job I have ever done, I’m not going to lie, and definitely not the most lucrative of my business’, but I feel so strongly about saving the environment, (Love lunch is not only organic and meat free, but served in recycled containers, and delivered in smart cars) about peoples health and wellbeing, and about saving animals that I wouldn’t think of giving it up. I feel compelled to share the love!

If you could remove one ingredient from the average Australian household fridge or pantry, what would it be and what would you replace it with?

Preservatives. Unfortunately they are laden is so many foods, even supposedly “health food” it kills me! and in an ideal world I’d love people to stop eating animals of course, for their sake, for the animals sake and for the sake of this beautiful planet of ours…

During your extensive travels around the world, did you learn of any traditional meal time customs that influence the way you dine today?

Oh yes! I have gathered ideas and inspirations from ever country I have travelled, something I’m so grateful for.

What’s your opinion on food blogs?

I think they are a fab!

You’re always up to something new and exciting so what are you planning to focus your energy on in 2011?

I’ll continue to share the love with Love Lunch, launch my signature jewellery collection in the next month, and I’m proud to say that the success of my signature lingerie range has meant Bras and Things have asked me to expand my range to include sleepwear which will be launched on 31st Aug, the 2 year anniversary of my label.

Thanks for your time Annalise and for sharing your story on Gourmetician.

My absolute pleasure! Thanks for asking me…xxxx If you would like to order some Love Lunch, it will recommence in approximately 2 weeks time.


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