Laura Wright started her blog The First Mess to encourage cooking with natural seasonal ingredients and eating wholesome meals. While working in restaurants and growing up with agriculture, Laura learnt all about food and uses her blog as a place to spread her knowledge to others.
We spoke to the food blogger about what she hopes to achieve with her blog and she explained why she’ll never let nutrition completely dictate her diet…
What do you hope people will take away from your blog?
My goal has always been to inspire anyone, at any level, to cook and think about food and seasonal life cycles a bit more deeply. Reasons of greater nourishment, wanting to be kind to the earth, and supporting the community by choosing local seeps into the ambition for keeping up my online space as well. But the heart has always just been to encourage the very act of cooking and to foster a bit of connection over that.
There's a lot of recipes online, probably too many, and I think (but also know) that people just want to relate a bit as well. We all have to eat, and figuring out a week of dinners can be daunting or tedious for some. I want a reader to feel like any recipe I post is do-able, and I also want them to enjoy the moments of their day that they might spend looking at my site as well.
Which 5 things would we find in your fridge?
Fresh produce, lots of freaky vinegars, various nut/seed butters, non-dairy probiotics and a huge container of oil-packed sundried tomatoes that we scored from a restaurant closing. I know sundried's were a bit of a 90's thing, but I do enjoy a couple of them puréed into a tomato soup every now and then. They have a cool umami-ish quality that helps boost the depth of certain foods.
What’s your personal food philosophy?
Eat for nourishment, even if that means having a cookie and a beer for dinner sometimes. I always try to eat vegetables with every meal, but sometimes it's just not practical/what I need on a comfort level. I was at a friends' brunch/housewarming party the other day and I mostly just had champagne, black coffee, and a (nutrient void) sesame seed bagel.
But! I felt full in every way imaginable because I was with my pals in their lovely new place, and there was some great conversation and laughs. I mean, I can have a salad and a smoothie the next day, but in that moment I was just enjoying the company more than anything else. I aim to eat well always, but I never let nutrition get in the way of my life.
What’s your top nutrition tip?
Drink more water and try to eat greens, in any capacity, every day.
Where do you get your recipe ideas?
I've worked in restaurants, front and back of house, for about 7-8 years now so I do get some inspiration from that environment. Sometimes it's a flavour combination or a technique to make something come together faster.
I'm also into the seasonal eating/awareness of our own mortality thing, so I always enjoy combining certain fruits/vegetables at the appropriate times of the year - peas and mint for spring, eggplant and tomatoes for summer, squash and figs for early fall etc. I enjoy the fact that some foods are at their absolute peak for only a couple weeks in a whole calendar year. It's special and it inspires me to create, work, and treat them right.