Each week we showcase a top practitioner in the wellness industry to give you an inside scoop on what they do and how they do it.
This week we’ve been talking with a London-born chef, Lucy from The Deli Kitchen, who is owning the healthy eating scene in Barcelona with her delicious, vibrant and seasonal menu!
Want to know how to make a delicious summer salad like Lucy? Click here for an exclusive recipe for Kale & Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing.
A bit about Lucy & The Deli Kitchen:
Having been a chef for 10 years, then a pastry chef in Australia, it is no wonder that Lucy realised how unhealthy her lifestyle had become. She didn't want to continue cooking unhealthy things and as fate would have it, she decided to move back to London to cook healthy food just as the healthy eating/wellness industry was booming 5 years ago. Working with the likes of ‘Pure Package’, ‘Deliciously Ella’ & ‘Honestly Healthy’ were great opportunities for a trained chef like Lucy who also studied nutrition and wanted to have a healthy relationship with food herself and cook the best food she could for people.
Working in industrial kitchens tends not to be a conducive environment to do anything creative in, so when Lucy met Rita by chance at a fasting detox retreat in turkey, it sparked the creation of ‘The Deli Kitchen’ - a restaurant in Barcelona founded on a mutual love for deliciously healthy food that is also organic and sourced from seasonal local ingredients.
Equipe first met Lucy as she was setting up the business, and sampling her organic treats like in the picture below had us hooked!
Anyone who has been to The Deli Kitchen can vouch for how cosy it feels, how happy (and sing-along-y) the team are, how dedicated they are to providing a great service with a smile and how genuinely healthy their menu is. It has a creative & yogi vibe about it, with space for workshops, families, yogi brunches with YO-MU, plus Lucy has creative freedom to change the menu bi-weekly and all their food is made with seasonal, organic and the highest quality local ingredients.
Redefining summertime salads is their calling card as well as offering outrageously delicious healthy sweet treats and birthday cakes. With vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten free, sugar and dairy free options in their menu, you can be sure that whatever you choose is mercifully devoid of nasties like additives and hormones. So next time you're in Barcelona, look them up for a unforgettable healthy meal!
Hey Lucy, what key ingredients do you add for a deliciously healthy meal?
I put garlic in everything! All my dressings contain garlic. Ginger & cardamon give an interesting flavour to sweet things like chocolate, coffee, berries, fruit and nuts - a really rich flavour. In terms of herbs, I'm into dill at the moment. If it is really fresh, it is great for summer dishes when paired with fish, rice, couscous peach salad, peas, dressings and lamb.
What’s your style of cooking?
I’m influenced by Yotam Ottolenghi, an amazing chef who creates incredible salads. For me it's about loads of flavour. I add loads of ginger, chilly, garlic, fresh herbs & nuts. I make quite intense dressings for salads, it's all about the dressing! It gives healthy food a punch. Some people are scared to use loads of garlic but you can push garlic quite far in terms of flavour.
In terms of healthy cakes, it's about good quality. I take inspiration from Henrietta Inman, a healthy pastry chef and author. I source amazing local honey here in Barcelona or use agave syrup, but sometimes I just use dried fruits like dates, prunes and cherries in my baking. I'm used to the different level of sweetness fruit brings. I always use the pure cacao powder, I'm obsessed with it. The truffles I make have only 3 ingredients: cacao, cashews & dates (with cinnamon on top) and the Chocolate Orange Almond Bars are also packed with pure cacao instead of refined sugar.
What’s your fave things on The Deli Kitchen’s menu this week?
The tortilla wrap with avocado, roasted peppers, black beans and chimichurri,
The courgette carpaccio salad with wholegrain tabbouleh, yogurt and turmeric dressing
Orange, carrot & walnut vegan cake with cashew vanilla cream,
Peanut, chocolate & raspberry vegan slice.
[Equipe can vouch for the yumminess of the wrap & chocolate slice! Pure heaven - all in the name of journalism, eh!]
How would you describe your wellness philosophy?
When I was working too much, eating too much and being too over-stressed I went on a juice fasting retreat for 8 days. For chefs it's a really good way to disconnect from food, remembering to respect your body and respect food. I love exercise. I do 20 mins of yoga every morning and boxing classes on the beach too. Just keep happy & healthy is my philosophy.
If you want a good book on nutrition and the philosophy of wellness, check out ‘The Slow Down Diet’ by Marc David - I didn't need to read any other nutrition books after that. I got a lot of my happiness philosophy from him. I love food and I’m never going to stop loving food.
What’s on your cooking playlist?
I’m quite chilled really when I'm cooking. I have a chilled playlist even if we're busy. Being in the flow of cooking chills me out. I’d say cooking to Bossa Nova music is great. Sensual music is good for food!
Where do you want to take your business?
I’d like a bigger space in the gottico area of Barcelona with a bigger kitchen so we can have a bigger menu. It’ll be an all-day menu with nibbles in the early evening with a deli shop, selling healthy local products and really amazing vegan ice cream.
What's your guilty pleasure food?
Here in Barcelona I love Bacoa for burgers & Jai-Ca for amazing salted cod tapas. I try to put aside 2 days a week to eat anything I want.
Don’t tell me you don’t drool when you see the salad in the picture below! Want to know how to recreate this EXCLUSIVE deliciousness in your own kitch? Check out Lucy’s Kale & Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing here!
Connect with Lucy & The Deli Kitchen
On Instagram: @thedelikitchen
On Facebook: @thedelikitchen