We’d like to introduce Georgia East, a freelance food writer, stylist, and photographer living (and brunching) in Cape Town, South Africa. Food is her first love, but to keep her fridge stocked with parmesan and Prosecco, she also runs a clothing label, FORTUNE.
She is currently expanding her recipe-developing skills to include superfoods, as she’s really interested in healing the body and promoting overall well-being through diet. That being said, she still posts the odd OTT burger recipe on her blog. It’s all about balance!
She first began her blog East After Noon after receiving recipe requests for the dishes she had photographed and posted to social media. “I reckoned that I couldn’t leave it at only inventing a recipe--I had to create a platform where that recipe could be easily viewed, recreated, and enjoyed. Beginning my blog was also how I got into food styling and photography as I feel all the more authentic for creating 100% of my content.”
Table manners aside, this soup can definitely be classified as hearty winter fare. Olive oil, wine, and homemade stock guarantee a rich dish, but it’s the beef marrow bones, roasted to perfection, that really make this soup stand out.
Growing up in a multicultural city like Cape Town meant that I was exposed to lots of different flavors from a young age. Cape Malay bobotie (a curried mince topped with savoury egg custard), Afrikaans koeksusters (a plaited doughnut dipped in syrup) and Greek kourabiedes (celebratory butter cookies) all played a defining role in what I enjoy cooking and eating today.
My favorite childhood dish, however, has to be my Mum’s Italian Arrabiata sauce with homemade meatballs, spaghetti, and lots of fresh basil from her kitchen garden. This was usually made when my older brothers were coming for dinner and I would get so excited to sit down at a table filled with family and friends.
I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to what I carry around with me on a day-to-day basis. My Nikon and a change of lens have to be my most important bits of luggage, whilst a good lip balm, hand cream and my sunglasses never go amiss. I often bring along my MacBook too, as I enjoy editing my snaps as I go.
As for kitchen essentials, I’m most inspired by the basics seen in authentic Mediterranean cooking. I can’t live without simple ingredients like chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemons, garlic, and ground black pepper. Eggs are essential to my lifestyle; they’re my favorite fast food. Maldon smoked sea salt flakes are another favorite, as is a good tipple to add a rich earthiness to any stock or sauce I happen to be making. I’m currently loving Hope On Hopkins, a pure gin distilled here in Cape Town and full of fresh, fragrant flavor.
Utensil-wise, I adore cooking in my selection of cast iron skillets. Anything from brownies to fry-ups to roast chicken gets done to perfection in these. My Microplane grater for garlic, citrus zest, and ginger and my Mezzaluna Chopper for fresh herbs are also often in use.
Raw eel sashimi in London was an experience I’d think twice about having again, as was the local rubbery delicacy Perlemoen (Abalone). My most recent epicurean adventure had to be a whole pig’s head, slow-roasted and served with a fiery peri-peri sauce, crunchy slaw, and floury bread rolls and shared between 4 people. The flavor was superb, but eating my way through the face of what must have been a very lovely pig almost pushed my already teetering decision to go vegetarian over the limit.
A few months after embarking on my decision to become a food stylist, I was able to work with one of my dream kitchen brands, Le Creuset, and provide them with content which I had done, such as recipe creation, food styling, and photography. The fact that I’m entirely self-taught but was still able to work alongside a global luxury cooking brand was an absolute honor.
I’m a total minimalist at heart; for me, everything in my kitchen needs to perform a function and so I don’t go for clutter of any kind. That being said, I’m an avid collector of vintage cutlery that I use to style with, so I do have a cabinet that’s full of a very organized selection of odds and ends. I’m so limited with space right now so I reckon my ideal kitchen would be quite roomy but still intimate, an open-plan space where I could cook and still interact with my guests. Right now I’m loving the concept of New Classicism--clean lines, light hues, and modern functionality combined with high ceilings, reclaimed wood, and industrial detailing. Think an architectural amalgamation of Victorian height and warmth, loft apartment space, and well-loved kitchen paraphernalia.
One that is spent near the ocean, full of smiles and seafood.
A positive attitude and an open mind.
A good Scottish whiskey.
Sea salt potato chips and hot sauce on everything.
Being in two places at once! Sometimes I feel I need someone on my side that gets me as well as I do!
I’m really trying to return to a healthier way of eating and treating my body as well as I possibly can so dishes like Buddha Bowls resonate with me. Currently, I think the recipes of food blog Recipe for Deception are total magic and I can’t wait to try out the Spicy Salmon Poké with Coconut Rice bowl.
Salmon poke bowl filled with fresh slices of mango and avocado on a bed of coconut rice.
Trust your own abilities and never stop learning. It’s so important to keep on improving, to keep on exploring, and to put yourself out there. I’m a total introvert, so it never gets any less scary when approaching a potential client; the best thing to remember is that the worst they can do is say no. And usually, when you’ve employed a cheerful disposition, an ambitious attitude and have kick-ass content, they will jump at the chance to work with you.
The main thing is to maintain a positive outlook and sometimes get a little cheeky. If you don’t ask, you won’t get!