London’s alternative foraging scene

You might think that working as a food stylist sounds glamorous. And it is hugely enjoyable, with the massive buzz you get on set during a big commercial, or working with lovely photographers in beautiful location houses. But one of the biggest – and least glamorous - parts of the job is sourcing ingredients for each shoot, which can mean anything from my favourite one-stop-take-the-car-to-Sainsbury’s, to a mad dash travelling all around London, going to as many shops as it takes to find unusual, out-of-season, or just plain perfect ingredients. Here’s a snapshot of my last forage through the food shops of London….

10.45am: Arrive at Waitrose. I get confused by the lift system in Canary Wharf, and end up in the childrenswear section rather than the food hall. I try not to get overly broody, as am surrounded by tiny dresses, and fail miserably - they’re so small, and cute, and - I finally remember that I am a professional, and should really get to work. I start walking away purposefully, then realise I can’t take my trolley down the escalator. I keep my eyes studiously on the floor as I head back past the tiny baby clothes. With tiny, embroidered strawberries on them. Then I give in – how can I resist the tiny strawberries - and surreptitiously take a photograph to what’s app to my boyfriend. Fail.

10.55am:  Finally, I’m in the food hall. I need four bags of perfect unwaxed lemons for Monday’s photo shoot. Over the next ten minutes, in which I fear that the security guard will arrest me for showing an unhealthy interest in citrus fruit, I pick up every single one of the fifty or so bags of lemons, and examine each one minutely. There is not one bag of perfect lemons, so I start inspecting them again, hoping for decent singles. Ten minutes later, and with a slightly crazed expression, in some sort of Groundhog Day of lemon shopping, I stare, again, at the same bag of lemons, realising that they’re all useless, and potentially deformed, and that Waitrose has, for the first time in my life, let me down. Although, they have kindly refrained from setting a security guard on me. And their lemons are fine, really, for eating, it’s just I need sixteen hyper-really perfect looking, Kate Moss grade citrus fruit, and all they have are - well, lemons that look like me, who are now really harassed, and want to go home, please. Or at least to the wine aisle.  

11.20am: Smoked salmon, puy lentils, extra virgin olive oil, herbs – tick. Only the wine left. I’m under instructions to buy cheap cooking wine, which I do, but compulsively hide the label under a packet of flat-leaf parsley, as secretly fear that the other Waitrose shoppers will judge me for buying £4.99 own-brand wine. If they haven’t already judged me for manhandling all the lemons.

12.45: With the food safely stashed in the car, I’ve taken the tube to Argos on Whitechapel Road, as we need gas canisters for the shoot. Approaching the shop, I feel smug, as ordered the gas the day before to collect in store. Then I realise, on entering, that the entire store is collect in store, with about thirty people packed into a room the size of a takeaway. It takes me five minutes to work out how the queuing system works (there isn’t one), before I decide to take the plunge and dive towards the counter. Ten minutes later, I’ve jostled my way out, and proudly emerge onto the street with four canisters of camping gas in a box. Which I then realise, with a sinking heart, I have to take back on the tube. Because, of course, everyone wants to travel on the tube next to someone carrying a large box with ‘Danger, Flammable’ emblazoned on the side.

1.30pm: At Sainsbury’s in Islington, looking at the lemons. Again. Another young woman shopper comes over, and starts examining the bags, tutting and putting the less than perfect ones back on the shelf. In my paranoid state, I think I recognise the desperate look in her eyes as that of a fellow food stylist, shopping for her shoot on Monday - and I quickly grab four bags to examine all at once, in case she gets to them first. Lose. At least I’ve got the gas. And it’s quality gas. Unlike the lemons.

2pm: I should explain that I have a pathological fear of all crustaceans, starting from king prawns, all the way up through langoustines and crabs to my biggest fear of all - the live lobster. So I steel myself to go into the fishmongers, where I’ve been instructed to collect the fish for the shoot. Including lobsters. And as soon as I go in, I spot a boxful of them under the counter. Live. Their accusatory eyes swivel towards me. I look away, quickly, and explain that my senior stylist has placed an order. The fishmonger dives into the box under the counter, and starts weighing up the lobsters for me to take home. They feebly scrape their bound claws against the scale. I whisper, nervously, that I thought the lobsters had been ordered cooked, and am shocked to be met with considerable hostility from the fishmonger, who insists they’d been ordered live. I try to explain I don’t have a pot big enough, when the fishmonger moves to about an inch from my face, and shouts that the order had been for live lobsters. Live Lobsters! Live! The lobsters, perhaps sensing conflict, redouble their efforts and wriggle at me imploringly from the weighing scale. I’m about to burst into tears, when a more friendly fishmonger offers to cook them for me in store, no problem. I sniff, and pay the mean fishmonger, and am told to my dismay that they’ll take thirty minutes. My shoulders slump, and I head out to find a cafe to console myself. With my gas. At least I’ve got that. And the lemons.

2.15pm: There’s a free table in the window of a nearby deli. Win. I head inside to the counter, buy an organic sausage roll (this is Islington) and a big cup of tea - and return to the window table to find that it’s now taken. Lose. It’s so windy at my outside table that the lid of my tea blows away within seconds. Too exhausted to chase it, I complain bitterly to my boyfriend on the phone about the excessively shouty fishmonger, and then we have a row, because his first response to my story of woe is to tell me to calm down. This make me more upset. How can he be so insensitive about the imploring eyes of uncooked lobsters and aggressive Islington fishmongers? It starts to rain. I huddle under the awning, and try to finish my sausage roll, while my tea does its best to escape onto Essex Road. I dread returning to the fishmonger, and am completely bemused on my return to find the shouty man transformed into someone who smiles, calls me ‘dear’, and wishes me a good weekend. Just like that. I don’t know what to make of this, and am somewhat cheered up, until the rain decides to turn into a monsoon of epic proportions. I’m left squashed under an archway with twenty other people, twelve feet from the tube. Two minutes close proximity to that many damp people, and I’m ready to make a break for it. Gripping the gas and the lemons, I run. The lobsters jiggle furiously in their bags.

3.30pm: I may be soaked to the skin, but I am on the tube home. I’m fairly certain that people are moving away from me in the carriage, but try to reassure myself that I look more like a harassed, damp, middle-class woman carrying expensive fish, rather than someone up to something dodgy- given that I have seabass fillets as well as flammable gas on one arm, and lobsters steaming gently in their bag on the other. Half an hour later, I slump gratefully in my car, ready for the final leg home, before remembering, with rising terror, that I have a kilo of puy lentils to cook and eight bags of lemons to sift through. Glamorous indeed….


Apenas llegué comenzaron los insultos (según disfrazados de bromas, porque las bromas hacen que alguien te quiera y te valore). Me senté y en seguida vino un mareo ligero.
¿Qué era? Era la respuesta ante el estímulo. El cuerpo comenzó a quebrarse entrando a lo que parecía una crisis. 

Me quería ir ya apenas entré. 

Vinieron más insultos y el mareo creció. Control.

Hablaron de lo mismo, fingí sobre lo mismo, me reí sin sentirlo. Estuvimos ahí hasta las once.  

En casa pensé mucho, sigo haciéndolo ahora. Me encantaría tener un ataque de histeria y decirles todo lo que se merecen, pero no vale la pena, no pasará de ahí. 

Es horrible que tu propio núcleo sea quien te jode tanto. Es terrible que no te respeten y que no te tomen en serio. 

Es terrible no tener dónde llegar. 

lovezela asked:

Once you get this you have to say five things you like about yourself, publicly, then send this to ten of your favorite followers (non-negotiable)!

Thank you kindly, lovely miss. Let’s see here…

  1. I like my patience.
  2. The ability to listen.
  3. The ability to self-encourage (and others)
  4. I like my metabolism. CUZ I LOVE EATING
  5. I like my multi-cultural background. USA born, Mexican raised, Japanese blood.

This was harder than I expected.

A l u s i o n e s

Ciertamente he de comenzar escribiendo que, en efecto y en el mundo cuando se es joven y se ha alcanzado el éxito hay dobles recompensas (también dobles responsabilidades). Escuchamos que tal persona ha ganado medallas de oro a una corta edad, que algún novel artista consigue el más alto reconocimiento por alguna obra, que la mente fresca y dinámica de alguien pudo resolver lo que otros no veían.

En sí, eso se persigue.

Hay una cosa horrible que nadie se espera, he dicho que no soy igual a nadie ni siquiera parecido. Mis grandes logros como joven han sido llegar a una consulta médica y que me digan “tienes el padecimiento de alguien de sesenta años” Ahí, mi gran talento precedido de… “estás muy joven

Pero estoy muy joven para tener/hacer ciertas cosas, así como estoy muy grande para hacer otras tantas. 

No entiendo el mundo. 

… o el mundo no me entiende a mí. 

Como sea, parte del duelo es, olvidar todo aquel ideal jamás cumplido; darse cuenta de que el aquí y ahora no es el mismo planteado en un cuaderno dorado de hace trece años. 

Hay algo que afecta hoy, no sé qué es, peor si no es nada. Muchas ideas y a la vez ninguna. No es el mismo rango de atención. 

Hay muchas presiones allá afuera, la atmosférica también cuenta. 

Hay un cambio, un retroceso y una horrible estadía por la que nadie quiere pasar. No me reconforta el pensar que todo es pasajero, me gustaría nunca pisar ese lugar. 

Estoy en el punto crítico en el que todo se cuestiona.

Cuestionar, criticar y quejarme me deja peor como persona y como profesional. Eso sí que no me interesa.  


Things I did this week:

  • Baked coconut macaroons for a team building session (gluten free and delicious) I owe you guys a recipe for these, they’re really easy to make, I just need pictures!
  • Appreciated really delicious pringles, cheez-its and townhouse pita chips at a company brainstorm
  • Appreciated beverage packaging: Vuka I picked up at whole foods, it’s amazing, and the Boddington beer up there just looked pretty, I don’t drink beer but I heard it tastes good!
  • Redecorated my office at home (my vinyl toys are now on pretty little IKEA shelves, woohoo!)

This weekend I’ll be going to the Renegade Craft Fair (in Brooklyn) with some of my favorite people, if you’re there come find me! I’ll be wearing a modcloth black and white polka dot dress :) If there’s some really great food there, I’ll give you a download when I get back.

Happy Friday!!
<3 bakerhi


When I smell your cheap lotion I can not help that my stomach churn

El martes no pude entrar aquí. Errores de servidor. Escuela. 

Comencé el día con una revoltura, sí, de estómago y de cabeza, aún no sabía qué carajos hacer con mi horario. Como una joven cabra me dijo: “no vale la pena cambiar todas las  materias con los profesores que te agradan por sólo una persona”… en mi caso son tres…

mejor dicho… creo que dos…

Mi madre me dijo lo mismo…


Me levanté tarde, así que mi papá me dijo que me dejaría en un lugar para que me fuese en el transporte público, abarrotado de gente… ese que pasa cada media hora…

Me negué, le dije la verdad, que hacía frío y que por tanta gente era peligroso pues, a veces me iba colgada en la puerta…

                                                    so pathetic

Me llevó hasta allá. Llegué y fui a la biblioteca, me encontré a mi compañera. No tuvimos clase hasta medio día.

En clase de dibujo el profesor nos dijo todo lo que vamos a hacer y que el enfoque del semestre será el encontrar el estilo personal.  

Suena/sonaba bastante bien hasta que habló de un concurso extra clase…

Bueno… no importa. Hizo, además bastante alusión a la deserción…al “no pudieron”

y dijo que si eso ocurría que tenía que ser por una buena razón.


Lo malo vino después.

No debería darle ese lujo.

No debo dejar que me afecte.

No debo darme el lujo de desfallecer. De dar un paso atrás…

Pero no es sencillo o tal vez sí lo es y más de lo que yo creo…

no lo sé.

But, i really really hate this person 

I hate how he talks

how it moves,
how moisturizes lips
typical of an alcoholic

his clothes: of the imbecile child

I really want to hit him, smashing his head against the wall

well, at least hurt a bit, only a little

despicable person

a miserable trash. 

I know it’s not worth it

I should not let the transgression and aggression to get larger

I should ignore


not that I want…

but please tell me how I do.

           Thank you