The Floury Baker
words by Edana Isobel Jamora & photography courtesy of The Floury Baker
"If baking is any labor at all, it's a labor of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation."
Anna Simamora is The Floury Baker. She runs a Sydney-based online provisions store that delivers homemade meals directly to your door every Monday and Friday.
1/ Explain to us the process of curating the menu of My Floury Baker in reverence to the season.
A lot has to do with having a good contact with your supplier(s) and talking with them on a weekly basis as to what is coming into season. The Cooks Co -op which is owned and operated by Martin Boetz does exactly that. They send out weekly updates as to what they are actually harvesting that day/ week. I work with suppliers that actually source their produce straight from the fields that day, not from cold storage.
2/ How do you stay true to the spirit and essence of simplicity in terms of food, style, and approach?
My secret is what I learnt from Neil Perry, keep it simple, keep it seasonal, keep it local and use the best produce available.
3/ At tête-à-tête &PLATE we relish in the idea that food brings people together- whilst also having the ability to stimulate fruitful conversation. Having this shouldn’t be a luxury but an instance that should be integrated into our everyday lives. Do you agree? And what is your take on that?
I totally agree that food brings people together, however it has become a luxury as everyone is so tight with time now. Working hours are longer, there is no such thing anymore as a working week Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. We all lead very productive and busy lives and when we do get the joy to sit down with family and friends over a wonderful home cooked meal - it is now cherished even more.
4/ French people have this proverbial way of living, paying close attention to dedicating a sense of balance to all aspects of life and encouraging gracing all five senses. Do you have any particular rituals that you partake in to keep a balance in your life, whether it is based around food or anything else? (drinking wine, physical exertion, reading, gardening etc)
I really enjoy a nice glass of red, if I have had an extremely busy day. It mellows me out and gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day. I also love to go on a run, this helps to clear my mind and freshens me up. Gardening - has become a relaxation tool for me and a very enjoyable one, especially when it involves tending to our herb and vegetable garden.
5/ What is your earliest and fondest food memory?
My grandmother was a great baker, well in those days I think all grandmas were, when we didn't have such a great choice in bakeries and enjoyed the simple, old school tea cakes baked at home in your own kitchen.
6/ Must have ingredients at all times in your kitchen?
Vanilla, sugar, flour, butter, light soy, jasmine rice, Forum cabernet vinegar, sea salt and a great extra virgin olive oil.
7/ What would you say is the most important kitchen tool?
8/ Home cooking or dining out?
Love both but cook more at home due to family and time.
9/ What are some dishes or meals that you like to make just for yourself?
Nasi goreng, home made muesli, passionfruit pound cake.
10/ What makes a meal memorable?
Great produce, simplicity, friends, family, French bubbles.
11/ Who are some chefs, food professionals and restaurateurs that you admire the most?
Neil Perry, Alice Waters, Yotom Ottelenghi, Amanda Gale, Maggie Beer.
12/ What to you is an unforgettable dining experience?
Wonderful local seafood BBQ, hot breezy night somewhere near the equator, feet in the sand, sipping chilled French champagne and enjoying it with my family.
13/ What was the specific point in your life that triggered this interest in creating food, which made you think that it could be a career?
My mother told me - I was unaware actually. She sat me down and said I don't think University is for you. Do something you actually enjoy doing and I think that is cooking...that is where your passion lies.
To learn more about Anna, The Floury Baker and see the provisions store head over to: www.theflourybaker.com.au