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Tastespotting: Irma Schutte

A series of interviews with local foodies (people who have an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of good food). This week the Chronicle caught up with Irma Schutte, local health coach and avid foodie.

How did you become interested in food and cooking?

I don’t ever recall a time that I wasn’t interested in food and cooking! I remember being 8 or 9 and cooking up a lil storm in the kitchen. I loved to give my mum ‘time off’ and make a healthy spread for the family on a Saturday afternoon. It was a bit like theatre to me. I loved setting the table, decorate it with flowers and make my kiddie dishes look pretty. Bit of a princess!

Who are you inspired by ? A foodie relative, a famous chef, a blogger?

Definitely my Mum. She was amazing in the kitchen. Nature inspired her. As a little girl I remember picking fresh produce with her in her vegetable garden (which was amazing), taking it to the kitchen and creating something yum and lovely.

What’s your attitude towards food. Do you have a certain eating philosophy i.e. Vegan, Paleo or sugar free.

My attitude towards food? Keep it real, keep it kind, keep it conscious. I’ve never been a fan of any diet. I don’t think there’s any ‘one size fits all’ way of eating. With age, I’ve become more intuitive with my daily food intake. My body’s needs keep changing: Some days I’m an accidental vegan, other days my body asks for meat. Most days I feel good without wheat, dairy and refined sugar. That works for me!

Do you follow recipes or do you wing it most of the time?

I’m a winger! The veggies and herbs growing in my garden, my pantry and my mood decides what’s getting in my belly!

Do you have many failures in the kitchen?

Mmm…failures no, but sometimes my creativity gets a bit carried away and I end up with dishes that are a bit too busy. Less is more!

Do you eat out often. If you do what do you usually go for?

I don’t eat out that much to be honest. I get too much of a kick out of entertaining for guests in my own home. When I eat out I like to spoil myself and head to some of my fav chefs’ restaurants. I have so much respect for their art.

What is your kitchen tool you could not live without?

My tastebuds and sense of smell!

What ingredients would you bring on a deserted island with you –  can only choose three.

Garlic, lemons and sea salt.

If you had to go on Masterchef who would you partner up with?

Jamie Oliver! Would that be cheating? I think so.

What’s your go to meal when the cupboards are not well stocked? The something out of nothing meal.

Something with brown rice; usually with vegetables and fresh herbs.

What do you usually take to a pot luck?

An Irma salad.

What do you most enjoy cooking for friends and family?

At the moment it’s fresh fish with a HUGE herbed garden salad and tatties roasted to a perfect crunch in virgin coconut oil.

Can you share a simple recipe with our readers

I’ve started making a sweet and tangy “mayo” substitute/dressing/dip to go with meals.

In a food processor I blend together:

– 2 TBS almond butter

– Juice of one lemon

– 1 TBS apple cider vinegar

– 4 dates

– 1 clove of garlic

– Pinch of sea salt

– Black pepper

– Dash of water

You’ve just launched your health coach business. Tell us more about that?

Yes, it’s happening! Just like an athlete relies on a coach to help them train and do better in their sport, a health coach helps to facilitate, inspire and guide an individual to a more vibrant and fulfilled life. I have a few programs to choose from, depending on the individual’s needs. Wholesome food features quite a bit in the work that I do!  It’s so much fun to see clients realise their magnificence and tap into a higher state of being.

How can people get hold of you?

Via email, my website or by phone 0278902040.

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