Rachel De Thample Pic

TSF 20: Rachel De Thample – Chef & Urban Gardener

Rachel De Thample is Head of Food at Abel & Cole the pioneering food delivery company. She is also an urban gardener and author of Less Meat, More Veg. rachel de temple.collage1

I got my job due to?
My chef and journalism background, and for having a complete love for organic fruit & veg.

 My typical day is…
Crazy and hugely varied. In fact, no day is typical. A quick day in the life: wake early, try to do yoga and practice piano (currently learning) but usually hit snooze instead. Wake. Make son’s packed lunch & breakfast, whiz up a smoothie or juice for me. School run. Dash to office. Lots of cooking, photoshoots, food styling, meetings, dreaming up new recipes… Normally on my feet or in meetings all day so have to do emails in the morning and at the end of the day over a cuppa. Today I cooked three soups (Spiced Beetroot with Pickled Plums, Spinach with Apple & Cumin, Squash with Sweetcorn & Sage) and styled them ahead of our Superb Souping Box launch. I had a meeting about new recipe card designs, and a meeting about bringing our amazing Kid’s Cook Boxes back next year. I also made a dozen Quickles (quick pickles) for a School of Veg recipe card, which I styled and photographed. Top quickles to know about: Beetroot with Juniper, Orange Zest & Balsamic Vinegar, Apple with Lemongrass, Honey and Rice Vinegar, and Cherry Tomatoes with Tarragon & Cider Vinegar. At the end of the day we reshot some recipes for a Hello magazine feature: Gingerbread Doughnuts with Apple Sauce, Roast Squash & Ginger Mash, and Cauliflower Coconut Curry. On big photo shoot/cooking days, I normally pop into a café on my way home, where I skim through the day’s emails. I then go home and get everything sorted for my son’s breakfast and lunch for the next day. Tomorrow he’s having tamarind & orange chicken skewers
with mango, cucumber and our fave: homemade peanut butter cups.

 What would you want as your epitaph?
Thoughtfully indulged.

Who or what is your greatest love?
My son, my husband and my family. Walks along the beach or through the countryside with my husband. Cooking with my sisters, brother and mum. Hanging out on London’s Southbank with my son. Art, books and old things.

What is your definition of true happiness?
Indulging in the simple things.

When did you last lie?
If you count promising to meet deadlines and not quite making it, I’d say I lie all the time. I’m a bit overambitious when it comes to how much I want to get done vs how much I can actually do.

What talent do you yearn for?
I’d love to play the piano like Nina Simone.

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?
Being there when it mattered most.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is when I’m cuddled up with my son.

Which living person do you most admire?
I really respect Jamie Oliver and all the avenues and endless battles he’s fought to bring healthy eating at the top of the agenda.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Vintage dresses and kitchen gems: French cast iron pots, Victorian dishes with gipsy riveting, olive wood spoons… Luckily I’ve managed to weave my passion for things into my work. A lot of the props we use are ones I’ve picked up in tiny little places like my local Haynes Lane Market.

 What is your current state of mind?
Chilled. I’ve just finished a long day and I’m now cradling a mug tea, paired with some dark chocolate. Melts in your mouth.Bliss.

Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver?
Alys Fowler.

 What should people look out for?
Abel & Cole’s brand new six fruit and vegetable boxes designed for everyone – busy bees, keen cooks, super salad fans – you name it, we have got it covered!