Spiced Cauliflower & Grapefruit Salad by Gemma Lush

Meet food stylist & blogger Gemma Lush!

Food porn: A term we’re all familiar with, but who is the sexiest of them all? The jury is out but if you ask us the work of Gemma Lush, as seen on her blog Lush Loves, is definitely up there. Go ahead and pick your fave recipe from her site: Is it the miso baked eggplant? The banana pecan bread? Or the no-bake chocolate cake? Can’t pick? We couldn’t either so we had Gemma whip up a new dish just for SS. Bon appétit, mate! 😉

Gemma! First off, please tell the people what you when you’re not on Lush Loves, ’cause we’re obsessed:
I’m a food, prop, and event stylist!

And where are you based?
Double Bay in Sydney

Tell us, what is it that makes Australian food so great?
The produce in Australia is fantastic so simple things taste out of this world. Our culture is really diverse so we have access to amazing international produce and food from Asia to the Middle East. I love the diversity of food you can find. You thought I was going to say something about sausages on the BBQ weren’t you!?

And who taught you how to cook? 
My Mom and my Nanna—Croatians and Bosnians know how to cook!

What’s your signature dish? 
Definitely my man salads. I promise I can make any man eat (and really enjoy) salad!

How and when did you get into food styling, one of our dream jobs?
I got into it about 5 years ago after I had just finished a contract buying props for an Australian renovation TV show. I was between jobs so assisted a stylist and chef friend of mine on a cookbook. It all stated from there!

What’s been your favorite styling project to date?
I’ve been styling with my BFF photographer Phu Tang for the Sydney restaurant Toko for over 3 years now. They sent us to Dubai to shoot and style the imagery for their new restaurant in February this year. It was a dream location—the most amazing food—and they are always such a pleasure to work for.

What are the trickiest foods to style?
Roast birds of any kind (the skin shrivels and is hard to keep looking tight and just out of the oven), wraps (they need to be super glued together and I ALWAYS end up sticking my fingers together!) and lasagna (have you served up the perfect slice—ever!?).

So, what’s in your styling kit?
Paintbrushes, tweezers, cotton tips, a blow torch, baby wipes… you name it, I have it!

Tell us a little about Lush Loves:
I started it almost a year ago (wow, how time flies!). I wanted to do something creative for myself because commercial styling doesn’t always allow you to be that creative. I’m a bit of a health nut and I didn’t think there was a stylish and healthy Australian based blog—so I thought I’d give it a go! So much of the enjoyment of food comes through presentation and how it looks visually. Something that is good for you doesn’t need to be beige—I guess that’s how I approach my everyday cooking and the food I share on Lush Loves.

In the kitchen, you swear by… Salt. Everything tastes better once you add a little salt. And I’m talking about the flaked kind—none of the refined stuff p-lease.

Taste you couldn’t live without… Salt. Yes, I’m obsessed.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be and what would you cook? 
I’d cook Leonardo DiCaprio the best frickin’ vegetarian dish he ever ate. And Gwyneth.

Can we come? OK, last question, top five meals:
Boy this is a tough one…
1. BBQ’ed lobster with butter at Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
2.Everything on the menu at the Tapas Molecular Bar, Tokyo Japan
3. Salamino pizza at Pizza Mario, Darlinghurst, Sydney
4. Spaghetti Marinara Rosso at Nino’s in Woollahra, Sydney
5. Whole-baked fish at Gumus Café, Gumusluk, Bodrum, Turkey

Photography by David Wheeler

Stick around for Gemma’s recipe for roasted, spiced cauliflower and grapefruit salad with crispy quinoa and a harissa yoghurt—you read right—this afternoon! Pippa@sousstyle.com