Say hello to Elizabeth Hewson. A recipe writer, cookbook author, head of creative at leading hospitality group Fink and most recently, a columnist for The Weekend Australian Magazine.
An inspiring women who has transformed the way we cook our favourite comfort food, teaching self-care through the humble act of making and most importantly, eating pasta.
But at home, she is just 'Mum' - serving up some of the most delicious home cooking to her beautiful children Louis and baby sister Remi.
So we invite you to sit back, pour a cup of tea and get to know our next mama muse //
~ Elizabeth Hewson ~
Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous little girl Remi! How is Louis settling into the role of big brother? He’s doing a mighty fine job. He’s as proud as punch and has taken on his role of big brother very seriously. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a big transition. Going from being the centre of attention to sharing the spotlight has affected him.
Now that you are a mum of two, how have you found the transition? Really tough. I found going from 0 to 1 also very tough. But this is hard in a different way. It took me more by surprise as I thought I was prepared. I had done it before, surely it wouldn’t be as big of a shock. But it’s been challenging, emotional and draining in a whole other way.
For many households around the world, your recipes have become a form of self-care - bringing families together to reignite their love of sharing meals and cooking together. Can you take us back to those early days of you in the kitchen - when did you realise cooking was your passion? I have always LOVED to eat, and I think being a curious person, this led me to the kitchen. I cooked a lot with my grandma, I loved watching cooking shows, reading cook books. I even enjoyed food shopping. However, it was only later in life I realised how therapeutic cooking was for me. Cooking, and the preparation around it, is my self-care. It gives me the time to focus and be present; fuels my imagination, communicates how I feel, and allows me to take time out from the mental clutter of the everyday. My world starts to calm just seeing the ingredients for a meal ahead. Cooking is my way of holding on to some semblance of myself amongst the obstacles of daily life. It is what makes me happy – and that’s all before I’ve fed anyone.
We've seen you go from strength to strength, from the launch of your first cookbook Moving Out Eating In, to Saturday Night Pasta and now your column in The Weekend Australian Magazine. How has the ritual of cooking evolved for you over the years? I’ve become more confident which I think has resulted to me embracing simplicity in cooking. For me it all starts with great ingredients. Once that’s there, you don’t need to do much. But it’s about being confident and comfortable with that. For example, serving up a perfect tomato salad to friends. Not much goes into it, there’s no cooking but every element needs to be on point. When I was younger, I thought I needed to do more. Now I’m happy with doing less.
From writing to cooking, your work is based around the magic created with your hands. Talk us through how babywearing has helped you transition back into work life? Cooking is such a big part of how I take care of myself. As we all know, especially those early days, there are days where you can’t put a baby down. Strapping both Louis and then Remi to me allowed me to potter and move about my kitchen. This freedom made me feel so much better. It made me feel more like myself.
What is your go-to, midweek meal for a busy mum? Pasta. How could I not say this? We all love a simple tomato, basil pasta with pangrattato in this house. It’s an easy one to throw together. I add anchovies, chilli, olives and capers to mine, whilst Louis enjoys it as is.
Launching a business is a lot like having a baby! Do you have any advice for any mothers out there who have big dreams and want to take a leap of faith? To be honest, it was a little too ambitious. The second child hit me in a different way to the first. It’s hard though because whilst running my business was extremely stressful, it also gave me a creative outlet that made me feel more like myself. My business falls within the kitchen, so I’m super passionate about it. I enjoy doing it, especially the recipe writing. As mentioned above, at times it can be very calming. I know as we move through the few months, it will get easier too. There will be more predictability and we will be more in a routine. It’s this light I’m holding on to. My advice to mothers with big dreams is to go for it BUT to be realistic about what can be achieved with babies around. Take it slow. Remove any expectations. Don’t do too much. And then tell me how you did it so I can try that too. Ha.