Lizzie King – aka Lizzie Loves Healthy – is a mother, wife, cook (graduate of Leith’s School of Cookery), a trained Nutritional Health Coach, influencer (for food, health tips and family life hacks) and best-selling author. She sat down recently and talked to us about Florence, food relationships and Ladbroke Grove.
What does healthy mean to you?
The problem is with the word, which is pretty annoying at best. The meaning for me boils down to feeling good and strong, in body and mind.
How would you describe your relationship with food?
Unrequited love. With that I mean I love food and have always built my days, my holidays and most things around making sure it’s going to be really good. My Dad used to sit down for lunch with a huge plate, heaving with incredible food my Mum had made for him, and say through mouthfuls “what’s for supper?” Nothing made my Mum more incandescent, but I think this is where the seed was planted. I see food as a joy and pleasure and we are so privileged to be able to choose from the best restaurants, ingredients, food writers and recipe ideas these days, in London.
Who/what has inspired your cooking style?
Almost everywhere I go fires up my senses and inspires me; from fresh produce in a market to incredible restaurants, to great friends throwing together lunches for hordes. Cherry picking tastes and flavours and then working out in my head how I’d like to combine them, is the process I think.
Do you have a mantra?
“Must remember to meditate!”
No, I don’t really, but I like to think that I put all my energy into everything I’m doing. I hate the thought of not knowing what could’ve been.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Without a 10-year plan! We mull over moving countries or moving out of London and then stay within a 1-mile radius of where we’ve been for 20 years. So, all bets are off, but one day I hope we’ll have our own home and a garden, and I’ll be running my business from it.
What is your favourite view?
The endless line of green hills hitting the sharp blue sky from my family’s place in the middle of nowhere in Tuscany; not a whisper of humans to be heard and no trace of a road or a house on the horizon. It’s a magical place, and I’ve never found anywhere like it.
Your ultimate meal: where, with whom and what?
It would be with my husband and I’d have to include my 9-year-old daughter as she gets so much joy out of eating well. Somewhere decadent and beautiful like Harry’s Bar in Florence, for bellinis and crostini, then to the Osteria nearby for Lobster Ravioli and maybe a slow roast lamb, finished with a dark flourless chocolate cake. But otherwise The River Café for their pasta of the day and the Chocolate Nemesis to end.
Which bit of kitchen kit couldn’t you live without?
My Vitamix blender, which I’ve had for 15 years. We use it more than once a day. Magimix might come in equal.
Any tips for looking stylish in the kitchen?
Don’t bother with aprons – I never understand them. All you need is something tied around your waist or a drying up cloth over your shoulder. I’ve never been that fussed about my kitchen get-up, but I’m pretty sure I look like I’m enjoying it. A flapping, stressed, scowling cook is never a good look.
Where in London do you live? What drew you here?
We’ve lived in an area within a half mile of Ladbroke Grove for nearly 20 years. My husband drew me here when I started dating him in 2000. We bought our first flat together on the Portobello Road opposite an amazing record shop called Honest Johns, and above a Thai restaurant that would lay our takeaway out in our sitting room. It’s a brilliant, buzzing, unique and beautiful part of London that I adore.