If you haven’t heard of the lovely Gena Hamshaw, you’ve no doubt come across her work if you’re a reader of Food52, where she shares delicious and nutritious vegan recipes along with tips and tricks for those new to a vegan diet.
Like many, I first came across Gena’s work via Food52, and started following her beautiful blog, The Full Helping soon after. Her fantastic recipes are delicious, eye-opening (such as her banana cashew yoghurt), yet down to earth and achievable.
Gena is one busy woman, because, in addition to her work on Food52 and The Full Helping, she’s also a certified nutritionist and working toward her Masters in Nutrition and Education and RDN (Registered Dietary Nutritionist) certification. She also works as a nutritionist and food coach and is the author of two cookbooks, Choosing Raw and Food52 Vegan!
So please join me in welcoming and thanking the lovely Gena for carving out a few minutes from her schedule to talk with us today!
Interview with Chef Gina Hamshaw
When did your love of food begin and what led you to start The Full Helping?
I guess you could say that it began in my mid-twenties when I went vegan. I came to food after a very extended struggle with eating disorders, and I also had absolutely no culinary experience to speak of, so cooking was really a brave new world for me. Going vegan was really the best decision I’ve ever made, and it gave me a tremendous kind of excitement for cooking. My blog grew directly out of this excitement a few years later.
Many readers will know you from your fantastic vegan work on Food52. How did your relationship with Food52 begin?
I reached out to them in 2012; I had a contact who worked there and had been a longtime fan. I felt that there was room for more vegan content on the site, and they agreed.
Your blog was originally named Choosing Raw, and your food philosophy focused more on raw food. Tell us about the transition away from a strictly raw food approach and what brought this about?
What food can’t you live without and why?
What inspires your cooking?
Describe your kitchen to readers. What do you especially love about it?
What is your favorite kitchen appliance or utensil that you just couldn’t live without?
Describe your cooking routine? Do you plan your meals in advance or improvise?
Do you listen to music or watch TV when you cook?
What is your best time-saving kitchen trick?
What are your favourite magazines or cookbooks, apart from your own, of course, and why?