This week's Mama Meets is with plant based chef extraordinaire Gemma Ogston of Gem's Wholesome Kitchen. We're so excited that Gemma is hosting and cooking at our first Brighton Supper Club on 28th June at The Square in Brighton. So we thought we'd take some time to find out more about the cooking sensation that is Gem!
Gem lives in Brighton with her husband and two children Hendrix (age 6) and Carmen Rose (age 7) and new puppy Flash!
What time did you wake up this morning?
5.30am. I always wake up at least an hour and half before the kids wake, to get ahead with cooking or catch up with emails and ordering. I am definitely a morning person, so early starts work best for me. I like to get a chunk of work done before the madness starts - so I can focus on them before school.
What was your very first thought of the day?
What am going to cook first!
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
1. Always get up early .. the extra 10 minutes snooze is never worth it
2. Have a good brekky ( if you are anything like me and don't, you may forget and go into Hangry mode at 11
3. Put some music on so, when the kids get up - they wake up dancing !!
Describe a typical working morning.
My job is so varied every day and week is different but I will describe a typical day when I am cooking crazy...
Wake up at 5.30 am. Eat. Make a good coffee. Work for an hour. Get up kids, sort them out (although they are pretty good and manage most things themselves). School run (10 minute walk with puppy, kids and scooters). Have a quick chat with the few Mums I am mates with (time permitting) alternate with my Husband on school run, but when I am doing a cleanse package - I normally cannot take them as too busy...THEN drop into fave coffee shop for a flat white (normally to go) I love good coffee!
Shop for ingredients... Laway in my local Market and wholefood shop.
Start Cooking... COOK COOK COOK then Clean...
Photos... I'm always taking pics of my food and of course posting on Instagram. It is the only way I advertise and am so grateful for the work I have got from it!! ( no flash studio , just my small balcony. Often in the rain!!)
Your perfect local lunch spot would be...
Picnic on the beach or my local cafe Tilt (by the school) they do a mean salad and always sort me out yummy plate of yumminess, when I have forgotten to eat on route to school pick up !
The happiest moment in your day?
Normally when I pick the kids up after school, because this is when I take my first break of the day and I try and keep it clear for the kids. I either take them to the park or beach for some FUN! I then work again after they have gone to bed . I am absolutley CRAP at playdates and all things school, I am just too busy in the week. I sometimes feel bad but then realise my kids seem pretty happy with park life (Hope so... )
The hardest moment in your day?
Night time because I am totally knackered and I am rubbish when I am tired. Quite often I have to work in the evenings and that is often a struggle (my husband often sends me to bed when I'm falling asleep at the computer - he knows me better than anyone).
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
I have learnt to keep key times in the day free to focus on the family. For example breakfast time, before school and after school. All those emails can wait for half an hour ... My kids behave better when I switch off work and stop looking at my phone at these key times. Also try and have a dedicated family day at the weekend. It's so important. I have learnt to say NO to work if it means I cant do this.
Most overused word of the day?
At the moment "ahh Flash .." we have a new puppy (called Flash) and she is a little pickle hiding, getting into mischief and generally being naughty so we all call Flash throughout the day!! Hee hee (that and the odd swear word)
Once the kids are in bed I...
Either have to work cooking or prepping for tomorrows food or I slump in a heap and have a glass of wine.
Top 3 local gems?
1. Preloved - the best preloved Clothes shop in Brighton where I get pretty much most of my wardrobe (and chats).
2. The Open Market - great market with local produce, pottery, best optician EVER , hummus, vintage and Eco wholefood store. I can get anything I need for my cooking (and family) here.
3. The Downs - where we go on a Sunday for a lovely family walk with the new puppy and a picnic. Best views, best fresh air and it's free family fun.
Best piece of advice for fellow Mum's...
We cannot do it all...I have realised I can't be super mum. It is bloody hard sometimes. Please don't compare yourself to others. We are all doing a brilliant job. Also the simple things are the best. My kids love more than anything, just sitting on a bench with a peanut butter sarnie chatting to me about nonsense, way more than going to a fancy place or going on a big day put. Say no to things that make your life and the family life difficult and yes to what makes you all happy !! XX