Paris Zouzounis is the wonder behind the @iso.kitchen account, serving up a mix of salivating spreads. Pasta, cake, toast, lots of fruit, plenty of veg and a healthy amount of eggs and olive oil are the stars here. We love anyone who approaches cooking (and eating) with an inspired gusto - it doesn't have to be tricky to taste great! Naturally, it's one of our go-to local food accounts.
What is the @iso.kitchen journey? Why did you start, what inspired you and has food always been an important part of your life?
I started iso kitchen as a fun way to encourage myself to cook more during the first set of lockdowns in 2020. I always loved cooking and eating, so I used that time to try new things and share it with my friends. What inspired me most was the rest of the at-home-in-lockdown food community on Instagram. I loved seeing what other people would create out of pantry staples and backyard veggies, comparing dinners and baking creations made me feel less alone during lockdowns.
Food has always been an important and ritualistic part of my life, a form of meditation, learning, connection and creativity.
What is your overarching food philosophy?
Food should be fun. Simple as that. I love that there are no rules - I think that if you have fun making it, you'll have fun eating it.
Tell us about your favourite spread to serve friends, family and loved ones.
The best spreads are the ones that take a lot of time and care, but are still a little messy and fun. I love to make eggplant parmigiana for my friends and family. It's a two day labour of love and saucy goodness, and I find the whole process so grounding. I'll make some fresh focaccia and a simple green salad to go with it, maybe a tiramisu to finish. Anything that can be shared easily, and enough for seconds and thirds.
What are your top three pantry essentials? And the three things we will always find in your fridge?
My pantry essentials are extra virgin olive oil, tahini and honey.
In my fridge I'll always have Greek yogurt, butter and something pickled.
Do you have a go-to look or outfit for time in the kitchen and entertaining?
My go to look is something cute and comfortable that I can easily wear around the kitchen, and also eat in without having to unbutton or unbuckle.
Usually a loose fitted shirt over shorts or a mini skirt and crocs. And I'll always add jewellery to spice it up too - some small Reliquia hoops and a few layered chains would be the cherry on the cake!
You're the expert toast topper - what are your top three combos on rotation at the moment?
1. Ricotta with figs, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Marinated goats cheese and cherry tomato confit.
3. Butter, soft boiled eggs and anchovies, my holy trinity.
What recipe can we share on the journal?
This is my recipe for peach and raspberry olive oil semolina cake with almonds! Its not overly tricky or decadent but it looks so pretty and tastes like heaven.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
Powdered sugar to dust on top
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and line a cake tin with baking paper. I use a 20cm round tin but a loaf would work too!
Whisk the eggs, olive oil, sugar, orange blossom and vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, semolina, salt and baking powder so there are no clumps and everything is mixed evenly.
Add the dry to the wet and mix well until it is all combined. Fold through half of the peaches and raspberries, saving some for on top.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin, arrange the rest of the fruit on top, then scatter and slightly press in the almonds.
Bake for 1 hour until the top is nice and browned, checking with a skewer to see if it's cooked. Top with some powdered icing sugar and done :)
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