From one girl boss to another meet Anna Barnett – chef, author, food stylist and one all-round talented lady. I first came across Anna whilst reading Grazia’s brilliant food pages and have been hooked on her super stylish Instagram ever since. It was an absolute pleasure having Anna join me at the Social Supper Club in April where along with the boys from The Frog, The Dairy and Typing Room, we created a stunning 5-course meal and raised £2,00 for Key4Life. From featuring on the pages of Vogue to collaborating with the likes of Lavazza and Grey Goose, Anna is one seriously cool girl boss…
Your background is in events and fashion, what was your initial inspiration to start writing about food and subsequently your book?
I’d always loved food, eating it mainly, but also learning to cook from a young age. I grew up with five siblings so there’s was always plenty of people to feed and cook for. It was one of those things where if you cooked you didn’t have to do the clean up after! Meal times were always spent round a table and Sundays were the big event. When I moved to London at eighteen I just carried on cooking, for birthdays, Sunday lunches I’d find any excuse and it just grew from there.
Where do you find inspiration for new recipes?
The seasons dictate a lot of what I cook with, I shop locally, try to buy what’s in season and at its freshest. My husband’s vegetarian so a lot of what I cook tends to be vegetarian and something new for him to try plus keep me or anyone else I’m feeding interested too.
Who has been your biggest inspiration career-wise?
I’ve had a lot of friends that I met when moving to London that had the confidence and drive to follow their dreams, literally their childhood dreams! They’ve had huge success as a consequence. I think I’ve drawn huge inspiration from that, it just took me a little longer via a whole other career to take a leap of faith and have the confidence to do what I love, what I’m passionate about and do it for myself.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced since you first started in the industry?
Having faith that it will all work out. Also working on your own can be challenging at times, you really have to be dedicated, strict and committed to making it work and putting yourself out there.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer/author?
I think it will always be exciting when you see publications or sites that you really admire sharing your work. Feeding people and them loving it and being as excited as you are about it can’t be beaten.
From one girl boss to another, what advice would you give you other women wanting to start their own business?
Just go for it, have confidence in your convictions, you can totally do it. Build a network around you where you can support each other, get out there, make that first step today.
What is your favourite part of working for yourself?
Being able to be flexible, able to prioritise all the other things that count in your life too. I really wanted to be able to rebalance my life, travel and explore more. Have more variation and continue to learn.
If you travel a lot with your job, how do you balance work/home life?
Make sure you love the travel your doing, I’m always really appreciative of any opportunity to travel and explore. I get restless if I’m in one place for too long. I find that if work and travel are out of balance then it just really forces you to make sure you make the most of the time you have wherever you are whoever you’re with.
What is next for Anna Barnett?!
I’m working on some really exciting collaborations at the moment, challenging and the perfect opportunity to push me to learn and be more creative. There’s some summer holidays across July which I can’t wait for. We’re also in the process of buying somewhere so I imagine lots of decorating…
What do you enjoy doing to relax after a stressful day?
Dog walking, meditating, yoga or cooking.
Talk us through your day in food: do you have time for breakfast in the morning? What is your favourite meal?
It’s so varied depending on what I’ve got on. Some days It will be the afternoon before I get round to eating, others I’m up organised and having a bowl of bircher with fresh fruit. Dinner is mostly vegetarian, fresh salads, pasta if I’m not on a helath kick…it’s so changeable depending on what I’ve been working on.
Where is your favourite place to eat out?
Luca is delicious, great for incredible pasta.
If we came over for dinner, what would you serve us?
Homemade pasta, big salads.
Are there any specific ingredients/foods you couldn’t live without?