Food, like fashion, is driven by trends. A cooking method, ingredient or concept can influence society in waves and by season just like a particular print, color or designer label.
But there’s a dated stereotype that fashion and food don’t mix, a notion that’s debunked by the proliferation of professional bloggers who combine the best of both worlds stylishly and deliciously. These hungry fashionistas share hot looks with their legions of followers along with gorgeous recipes, each prepped in their home kitchens and inspired by world travels, runway shows or their own sense of style.
“Both are about taste; about showing what you love and sharing who you are with those around you,” says Peony Lim, a London-based blogger and talented home cook recognized for her sophisticated street looks and signature red lipstick. She’s one of several fresh-faced bloggers with backgrounds in fashion who have gained international attention for their chic style, both in apparel and in the kitchen.
Philadelphia-based blogger Lauren Vacula, a fashion school grad and stylist who also studied nutrition, says fashion and food are bonded by creativity. “Whether it’s an outfit or a dish, there are no limits in expressing creativity through either of these two mediums,” she says.
Milan blogger Anna Marconi takes the relationship between food and fashion one step further by translating runway looks directly into dishes, mimicking colors and textures from the catwalk onto the plate. “I decided to combine fashion and food because they are two things I love,” she says, adding that the goal is “to make people smile.”
Lovers of food and fashion should bookmark these stylish blogs, because in life, these things are certain: A well-prepped meal, like a well-accessorized outfit, never goes out of style.
Celestina Blok is a Fort Worth-based freelance writer and graduate of the Culinary School of Fort Worth.
The polished British blogger Lim, 28, studied fashion promotion at the University of the Arts London, where she was regularly captured by street style photographers outside campus. Her look is clean, classic and simple, as are her dishes. Her namesake blog launched in 2010 and provides a catalog of high-fashion looks categorized by season, brand (think Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen and Fendi), and theme, such as knitwear, tailoring and leopard. Then there’s the food. From tarts and pies to sides and sauces, Lim presents dozens of recipes with glorious step-by-step photography in vibrant color, showcasing glimpses of her manicured nails and well-styled wrists. Having learned to cook as a child from her mother, Lim’s love of fashion also arrived at an early age. “I just always loved dressing up,” she says. “As a child, I would change my outfit three or four times a day.” Try Lim’s Poppy Seed Lemon Cake, a childhood favorite made with a delightfully unexpected crunchy sugar crust. “If you make the cake at 11 a.m.,” she says, “it will be ready for tea at 3 p.m.”
Lauren Vacula, A Lovely Side Project
Philadelphia-based blogger Lauren Vacula, whose style ranges from California-inspired carefree to edgy biker-chic, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York after earning a degree in nutritional science from Penn State University. She developed her blog, A Lovely Side Project, in 2013 out of a desire to combine her passions and share with the masses gluten-free, vegan recipes along with well-styled look books categorized by season. “On any given day, I’m telling some kind of story with what I’m wearing,” she says. “My style has definitely evolved over the years. I’m much more concerned with quality than ‘fast fashion,’ a big revelation for a former clearance shopper. I now want to open my closet and only find items I love.” Vacula shares her recipe for Gluten-Free Vegan Caramel Apples, a healthy snack she says is worth the time and effort and easily customizable with other toppings, like chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
Anna Marconi, Taste of Runway
Anna Marconi gives flavor to fashion by re-creating catwalk looks in the kitchen. The Milan-based blogger, 32, translates colors, patterns, textures and silhouettes seen on international runways into alluring dishes, such as raspberry and red currant mousse inspired by a pink and crimson Dior ensemble and an avocado, lime and egg sandwich crafted after a yellow and green Marni robe. “After a few months spent wondering whether it was pure madness, I realized that it was actually pure madness,” says Marconi. Her Taste of Runway blog, launched in 2011 and published in English and Italian, now receives 500,000 monthly page views. Visitors can search for recipes by category, such as soup, brunch and dessert, but also by season, color and designer. All dishes are prepped by Marconi, who graduated as a fashion designer from the Istituto Marangoni in Milan and learned to cook in her mother’s kitchen, what she calls “the best school ever.” Try her Tomato, Black Olive and Thyme Tartlet inspired by a black polka-dot Dolce & Gabbana print splashed with red flowers.
POPPY SEED LEMON CAKE
Makes a 2-pound loaf
• 1 cup soft margarine
• 1 cup caster (or very fine) sugar
• 4 eggs
• 4 tablespoons milk
• Zest from 2 lemons
• 2 cups self-rising flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 8 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if needed
• 8 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus
more if needed
• Lemon zest curls for garnish
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk and zest. Fold in the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds.
2. Pour the batter into a greased and lined loaf tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean from the center. Once the cake is cool, remove it from the tin and place it on a serving plate.
3. For the Sugar Crust, pour one-third of the lemon juice over the whole top of the cake. Using a spoon, sprinkle the top with a layer of granulated sugar, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Repeat two more times until a crust has formed, using more lemon juice and sugar if needed. Let the cake sit uncovered to allow the crust to form. Garnish with lemon zest curls.
GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN CARAMEL APPLES
• 10 dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
• 2 tablespoons softened coconut oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tablespoon cashew butter or other nut butter
• 4 apples, preferably Honeycrisp
• 4 Popsicle sticks
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Topping:
• 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil (divided)
• 1/4 cup peanut butter
1. Remove pits from softened dates. Add dates, coconut oil, almond milk and cashew butter to a high speed blender. Blend until fully combined. If mixture is too thick, add a touch of almond milk to thin. The mixture should be pretty thick, as it will be spread over the apple. Remove from blender.
2. Push sticks into the top of each apple, next to the stem. Using a knife or spatula, coat each apple with caramel sauce. Place on plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow caramel to set.
3. For Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Topping, melt non-dairy chocolate with 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil over low heat or in 30-second increments in the microwave. Using a fork, drop chocolate onto caramel-covered apple in a swirl pattern. The chocolate could also be placed in a sealed plastic bag with a tiny hole snipped in the corner to pipe the chocolate onto the apple.
4. Melt 1/4 cup peanut butter with 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil over low heat or in the microwave in 30-second increments. Repeat swirl method used for the chocolate. Set on plate and place in the refrigerator to firm.
TOMATO, BLACK OLIVE AND THYME TARTLET
• 14 ounces cherry tomatoes
• 1 ounce black olives, pitted and rinsed
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 rounds puff pastry, approximately 8 ounces each
• Butter for greasing pastry molds
• 6 slices smoked cheese
1. Heat oven to 390 degrees. Place tomatoes and olives in a glass bowl with olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Roll the puff pastry out flat and cut into six discs about 4 inches in diameter. Grease six small ramekins or tart molds, about 3 inches in diameter, with butter. Line prepared molds carefully with puff pastry, pressing to adhere well to the base and sides of the dish, allowing sides to overhang a little.
3. Fill the molds with the cheese, marinated tomatoes and olives. Bake for 15 minutes, poking the pastry with a fork as it swells. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden. Let cool and serve.
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