Australian chef, Sarah Glover, has taken her love of cooking to the unlikeliest of places. By cooking off cliff-sides, grilling in grassy clearings and dining on a deserted beach, Sarah is revered for her ability to forage foods and create a feast. Verve sat down with Sarah to discuss the success of her cookbook, Wild Adventure Cookbook, as well as her cookies business, Bondi Bikkies. Sarah also shared some of her favourite recipes with us that will allow you to transition from tasty starters to decadent desserts with ease.
You started your career at a very young age, did you expect that it would get to this level?
To be honest I always knew I wanted to be someone that educated and influenced people and so with that comes a following, but I had no idea that it would be doing what I do nor that social media would even be a thing. I think when I was 16 Myspace was about the extent of social online media, I still remember having to dial up with the phone to get internet!
What made you want to start Bondi Bikkies? Do you prefer to do the pastry baking required of your shop or cook al fresco meals like the recipes included in your cookbook?
I actually started making cookies before I was cooking over open fire. I always made them for my mates around town when we went on surf missions across Tasmania, so when I was jobless in Sydney I just started to bake cookies and cakes for a friend’s cafe and it snowballed from there. I really love both for equal reasons. I love being domestic and baking and I love getting outdoors and cooking over a fire. I guess I’m just one of those girls you cant box in.
Who are your greatest influences, both in cooking and in how you approach life?
I would have to say my faith and value system influences my lifestyle approach, and also my passion for the ocean and water, it all seems to be related. I’m not sure if it’s one person in particular as it would be more a collective of people, for different reasons. I love some powerful surfer women that have done amazing things for us females in the water, and then the same for the cooking industry, its amazing how the world of cooking and lifestyle has become so accessible. I’ve always been inspired by people being authentic about their creativity and talent. You can be talented but it takes drive, commitment, humility and a tolerant openness, but yet a strong sense of self . Its really a life journey, you cant just say one thing for one day and not do it the next, you really have to practise what you preach and be willing to go the long haul.
Was it always your dream to write a cookbook? Did you expect your Kickstarter campaign to gain as much traction as it did?
Yes it was always a dream of mine, for as long as I can remember. To be honest I never thought of doing a Kickstarter. Luisa was the one who suggested it and then I knew it was the only way for me.
Would you recommend using sites such as Kickstarter to fund a self-publishing project? How did you find that self-publishing differed from the traditional publishing experience?
For sure, it’s a great way to fund a project, be accountable and build confidence in yourself, the options to do things outside of the box now days is amazing and people love it.
You have a very unique, adventurous approach to cooking that a lot of people find endearing. How do you feel that this authenticity is transported into your cookbook, Wild Adventure?
I feel its 100% authentic, we shot that book not knowing it even was a book, so we really just went out and had fun. I feel that comes across in my recipes and the photos. I’m so proud of my first book and can’t wait for the release of my second in April 2021.
How do you feel that your training in nutrition and your related passion for healthy eating influenced the recipes that you included in WILD?
I’m so passionate about having a balanced lifestyle, caring for the land and having a holistic approach to life. I feel that the recipes in Wild were just that, we found the produce on the road and made it as I went along, beside the ‘Cake’ chapter that is!
How has your home, Tasmania, inspired your cooking?
I didn’t realise that it did till I started to cook. Then I found that what I grew up with, like farmers’ markets, hunting and surfing all of which influenced so much of what I am. I am so proud to be from Tasmania and for the heritage that I have.
How much do your recipes change seasonally?
All the time, colours, seasons affect your taste and feelings but I feel that my recipes can be interchanged if you have a bit of imagination, and that’s the purpose of the book, to awaken your imagination and open yourself up to seeing the world and cooking though another lens.
We have few recipes from Sarah’s new book, Wild Adventure Cookbook, click below to try one out!