New Cross resident Ceri Jones gave up her career in the arts world to retrain as a chef, and now she’s making it her mission to change the way that people see food with her food blog, Natural Kitchen Adventures
Ceri Jones had a successful career in the arts world and hence at first glance, her decision to embark on an entirely new path as a natural chef and food blogger seems rather unusual. Over the course of the past few years, New Cross resident Ceri has established herself as an authority on eating well and amassed an impressive social media following in the process.
When she’s not putting together a new recipe for her blog she can be found teaching the natural chef courses at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Kings Cross and at The Garden Museum.
Having started writing a blog while training for the marathon, Jones unearthed a passion for writing that she didn’t know she had. Once she’d run the race, she put her energy into creating a new food blog – Natural Kitchen Adventures – and soon realised that she found her blog far more inspiring than her job in the arts industry.
‘I then very sadly lost my mum to cancer in 2012 and in a way that gave me the kick I needed to turn my attention to what I truly wanted to do,’ Jones explains.
A year later she handed in her notice at work and enrolled at the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition & Culinary Arts in California to retrain as a chef – continuing to create delicious, wholesome recipes for her food blog as she went.
Talking of her decision to gear her recipes and writing towards natural whole foods, Jones explains that after establishing the connection between what she ate and how she felt, she saw a lot of sense in cooking wholesome, nutritious meals.
I found the link between eating well and feeling good really fascinating and it makes sense to cook things that really nourish the body
‘I found the link between eating well and feeling good really fascinating and it makes sense to cook things that really nourish the body,’ she says.
With winter now in full swing, many of her recipes are centred upon hearty, comforting meals that will boost energy levels and lift your mood. Her flavourful turmeric dhal with aubergine and pomegranate is packed with warming spices to ward off winter sniffles, and the cashew cream cauliflower soup – best served with big hunks of bread fresh from the oven – makes for a delicious lunch in the colder months.
‘I’ve been cooking risotto non-stop,’ she says on the topic of her fail-safe winter suppers. ‘I also make pasta an awful lot – it’s my comfort go-to at the moment. I like to throw some greens and garlic into a pan, sauté them and then just throw in the pasta.’
Honing in on the connection between eating well and living well, Jones is currently dedicating a lot of her time to hosting health-focused retreats.
‘The idea of devising a bespoke menu, creating the food and then talking to the guests about the dishes is something I really like,’ she says. ‘It brings everything together in a really lovely way.’
Along with a handful of fitness retreats at the beginning of 2018, in March she is heading up the culinary offering at a restorative Les Arcs ski and yoga retreat in collaboration with The Retreat Club, and over the May Bank Holiday she will lead the foodie offering at a wellbeing escape in the Surrey Hills.
CERI JONES’ SOUTH EAST
Brick House Bread in Peckham
Favourite Sunday brunch
The London Particular on New Cross Road
Favourite coffee shop
The Greenhouse near Deptford has a small but tempting breakfast menu: ‘I really like going there, even if it’s just for something like avocado on toast.’