We adore the passion and creativity in which Hannah celebrates life through food, community, sisterhood and music and we loved chatting with her about her journey in creating a life ‘less trodden’ and true to her heart in Ibiza.
Hannah, can you tell us something about how you came to be a chef and DJ living in Ibiza?
I came to Ibiza in September 2018 following heartbreak and feeling a bit despondent in London. I had been cooking a couple of years there at a fantastic restaurant called Little Duck in Dalston. I loved it but couldn’t see where I was going. One of my best friends is a fantastic chef and she told me to come and help her cook on a retreat over on Ibiza. It’s a cliche but Ibiza really is a great place to heal a broken heart! I stayed for the retreat then got another job, and another, then bought myself a car, rented a home and suddenly I was living and working here. I find it a magical, inspiring and creative place to be – definitely never boring.
I then went on to work for myself and this year I joined two friends and became a partner in their company La Grande Bouffe where I can use my management skills and host and run the events as well as cooking for bespoke smaller groups. I love the business side of things as well as the food – I am a true Taurus!
You are clearly passionate about food as not only nourishment for our body, but also as nourishment for community and as a creative process. Can you share a little more about this?
I am super passionate about food and inspiring the people around me to cook more and eat well. I love food, I love vegetables! I love to eat seasonally and experiment with flavours. I am always getting creative in the kitchen and I don’t like to be put in a box or to put food in a box! I mix things, play with recipes and work intuitively, tasting as I go. It’s an amazing stress reliever and it takes my mind off anxiety. I like the full shebang, baking, whilst cooking, whilst prepping a salad, and having the end result of beautiful delicious food, and a calm mind.
On community – eating together is such a crucial process to connect. Bringing my friends together around the table is a joy. One thing we all have in common it that we must eat and we become equal around the table. I love sharing dishes and the process of passing sharing plates across or serving each other and talking about the food we’re having. It’s even more beautiful when friends want to bring flowers, or beautiful drinks or plate wear to bring it all together.
Of course there’s a functionality to it, but I’m all about the pleasure and the joy of eating and cooking.
We love to witness the community that you are rooted in, can you speak specifically to the power of sisterhood in your life?
Sisterhood is a big part of Ibiza life. I have so many amazing women around me. I feel very grateful to be part of a group of incredible strong, inspiring, intelligent women. It’s a funny thing how this island attracts all these amazing women from all over the world, we bring each other up a lot. I love collaborating and hatching plans to work together – there’s a real ‘fuck yes let’s do it’ attitude amongst us.
There’s a big support network here – I guess in part because the majority have left wherever they’ve come from to start fresh. Although we do often wonder where the men are? They seem to be less visible – we would be delighted if more of them came out to play!!
Who are the women who have inspired or influenced you?
My Mum is a big inspiration – I love her very much and miss her living here. It’s hard to be apart and to miss each other’s lives. She is very strong and has lived an unconventional path. She’s a true creative and I love the way her mind works. She may not be the chef inspiration but I always loved cooking with her and remember making fairy cakes as a kid. She’s a tornado in the kitchen like me and tends to use as many bowls and utensils as possible!
She inspires me to work hard, be creative and to put something of me out into the world.
Also my female friends inspire me, especially the ones who run their own businesses such as Rachel Entwistle the gorgeous jewellery designer. I’m genuinely always telling her how much she inspires me and asking for advice about running a business!
In terms of cooking women in the public eye I’d have to go with Ravneet Gil. I found her on instagram years ago and love how honest she is. Her recipes are fantastic and she shares honestly on her experience of the industry.
How does being an empowered woman look and feel for you?
Being independent, running my own business and following my dream life.
I’ve stepped away from the more conventional formula of getting a ‘regular’ job after uni, marrying quickly and being ‘normal’. It is hard following a path less trodden yet I have to listen to my intuition and be brave to try new things and new ways whilst trusting that I am making decisions that are in alignment for me. I am never bored, that’s for sure and if it didn’t feel good I would stop.
I have felt pressure to be more conventional, especially compared to my friends from school who have more, shall we say, classic careers and are having babies now. I recognise that comparison is unhealthy so I try my best to stay focussed on what I am doing and I meditate and exercise to manage and keep negative thoughts at bay. We live in a crazy instagrammable time where everyone appears to be successful and happy all the time and it can really get you down. I am aware of my relationship, even addiction to instagram, but I tend to share food and delicious things which I hope can inspire others.
Can you share a recipe for our community which represents celebration and community for you?
Sharing a recipe here for whole roast baharat spiced tahini crusted cauliflower:
1 whole cauliflower – if it’s really big cut it in half but one medium size is good
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
5 tables tahini (get the runny stuff, ideally Lebanese)
1 garlic clove crushed
3 tables full fat yoghurt (or omit for vegan)
5 tables water
3 tables olive oil
1 tsp baharat spice if you have it mixed or use 1/4 tsp each cumin, paprika, ground coriander, cinnamon
1 table pomegranate molasses
1 table coriander
1 table parsley
1 table pomegranate seeds
First bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add your teaspoon of turmeric powder.
Blanch the cauliflower in this water by cooking it until soft but not falling apart – about 10 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower and leave it to dry out on a baking tray. Be aware it will continue to cook as it cools so it should still have some bite to it after you cook it.
While it cools, mix the tahini sauce by whisking together the tahini, garlic, yoghurt (if using), water, salt, olive oil, baharat spice and pomegranate molasses. You can use a blender too. You want it to be spreadable but not watery. If it’s too thick add more water until it has dropping consistency.
Place the cooled cauliflower on a tray on top of baking paper and cover it in the tahini sauce.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes at 170-80’.
It’s done when you have a lovely glossy golden crust.
Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes then top with the fresh coriander and parsley.
Drizzle with olive oil, a crunch of malden sea salt and the pomegranate seeds.
Also delicious the following days cold in a picnic.
Great served with a green salad, crispy potatoes, homemade bread and dips.
For more recipes see my instagram and website and La Grande Bouffe.