The salad guy
Why did you start making salads?
I was working in an office, sitting down most of the day. I wanted to eat healthier meals to make up for the fact that I wasn’t moving much. Plus, I wanted to be able to prepare my meal at my office, so there were limitations around what I could do. I started with salads – they don’t need cooking and there is so much variety. The preparation became an escape from my busy day – it was a break from my desk.
How did your Instagram account come about?
My colleagues were amazed by my creations and they all wanted to have a look, so I decided to photograph them and put them on the web. This was way before Instagram – it was still Flickr time! To keep myself motivated, I decided to set myself the task of making a different salad every day for a year.
Did you ever expect it to take off as it has?
No way – I was doing it just for fun! But I see now there was something magic happening at that time and place in my life – my former colleagues are still my biggest supporters.
How has your life changed?
Massively, in every sense. First of all I dropped about 10kg, which was the result of my healthy eating. I started to feel so much better during my working hours because I was eating lighter and not feeling exhausted or sleepy after lunch. Plus, I started practising yoga and meditation. Actually, making your salad at your desk is a pretty mindful experience! Then, I started a full transformation from a graphic designer working for a large corporation to an independent writer (my salad creations are now published in two books Salad Love and Breakfast Love in countries all over the world), chef and entrepreneur. It has been very exciting and I’m a happier person – full of projects and ideas and feeling driven.
What’s your favourite salad?
Wild rice, avocado, cherry tomatoes, black peas, fresh corn, coriander and smoked paprika dressing – yum.
Your secret to salad success?
There has to be a good proportion between the ingredients – not too much of anything – and a tasty but simple dressing.
Best salads for winter?
Use grains and pulses to give fullness – you can warm them up if you prefer – and add some heat to the dressing with chilli, ginger, wasabi or mustard to keep you warm.
Do you eat a salad every day?
I did for almost four years! Now I’m more balanced. But I never get bored of salads and I’m still experimenting with flavours and textures every day.
And you’ve just opened a restaurant in the UK?
Yes! It’s going very well and growing rapidly. It was important for me to have a home – a place to experiment with new ideas and feed people healthy and beautiful food. SaladPride has been open for a few months – the challenges are massive, the responsibility is big and the hours are crazy but the feedback from the customers is heart-warming.
Last updated 1st March 2017