Hi! I'm Ana, a certified plant-based chef with an old love for visual arts.
I grew up in a small town in Romania, surrounded by natural beauty and days passing by so slowly. My grandmother was a native talent in the kitchen. She used to cook almost daily for two families, ours and my uncle's and there was always something fresh on the stove, covered with the most white and clean linen towels. Our garden was abundant and we lived by the season; that's how I learned from an early age how ripe ingredients and good, natural food should taste.
Welcome to my online world where I share nutritious, simple and flavourful recipes that are always inspired by the taste of my childhood memories.
This platform is focused on plant-based recipes almost entirely, but it's also open to vegetarian or traditional versions from time to time. I think a natural, balanced lifestyle will help us live beautifully, but I also think treating yourself does some magic too.
Are you vegan, plant based or vegetarian?
Long story short…: I was raw vegan for 1 year, then slowly introduced baked vegan dishes and bread. For the last 8 years I was fully plant based and starting 2019 I began eating local dairy products, eggs and fish. I still have a veggie centered diet and 90% of my ingredients are plants. Living close to the countryside, it is a pure bless to experience locally, fresh made products like soft fresh cottage cheese, which is my all time favourite.
The main recipes on this site are plant-based / vegan and sometimes vegetarian or with a vegetarian version and they include gluten free options.
What is your food philosophy? Are your recipes original?
I am focused on healthy recipes that don’t betray good cooking. I love all cuisines throughout all cultures, but I am very stern about flavouring and techniques. I use condiments to bring out the best notes in a product/dish and I prefer simple, natural flavours that are balanced (to perfection) and with an inclination to the acidic flavour profile.
When creating recipes, I always try to preserve the nutrients in the ingredients as much as I can. That means I mostly use non invasive techniques like steaming, sautéing or oven baking.
When cooking, I am driven by my memories: childhood memories and travel memories are my biggest treasures.
All the recipes are created by me. They are usually influenced by Mediterranean cooking as well as Eastern European cuisine. When recreating specific recipes that are not mine, I always mention the source.
Everything is tested a few times and I’ll only share them with you if I am happy enough with the final result.
How did you begin working in the food industry?
I started young, in the arts field. I went to an arts high school and continued with Architecture in London. That’s where I had my first contact with the plant based food scene - I became vegan and I was very curious about nutrition and cooking so I started researching, cooking and having a blog, then received my first job offer at a Juice bar. After 3 years in London I came back in my country and founded a plant-based catering company.
While entrepreneuring, cooking and Instagramming, I developed a series of hard skills that led me to create the work life I want. Being interested in various subjects, I really believe in Emma Genon’s Multi Hyphen method that is so essential in the modern working world.
Arts can be a tough field, especially nowadays. But I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to juggle through projects and select my clients, be it styling, training or photography. I keep myself very organised and I am totally in love with what I do. And I think this makes a delicious recipe for an authentic and high quality work.
Where are you located?
I live in the capital, Bucharest. I constantly go to my hometown, which is 500 km away, to enjoy nature more, help with the veggie garden and mainly connect with my family. And that is in Transylvania.
What are the foods you can’t live without?
I definitely can’t live without lemon, olive oil and everything fermented (fermented cabbage and sourdough bread, especially)
What camera do you use?
Photographs and videos on this site are taken by me using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (mostly with my favorite 50mm lens of the same make).
All analog photography is taken with Zenith ET camera and lightly edited afterwards in Lightroom
All images are © Ana Rusu and cannot be used without permission. If you wish to feature any of my photos or text in your blog or web site, please contact me first to ask for permission and inquire about licensing rates. See “Copyright and Licensing Terms”.