chef NANA’s forgotten vegetables

In a fragrance industry dominated by synthetic ingredients, it’s often assumed that working exclusively with plants in our fragrances is difficult – a handicap we place on ourselves. But that’s not the way we see it. Firstly, we believe in the power and beauty of natural fragrance. But second to that, we believe that limitation breeds creativity. Working with only natural ingredients challenges us to be more creative, smarter, more considered. It’s a gift.

Like most of you, we are still grappling with the changes and effects of Covid-19. However, for every heart-breaking story, we hear another beautiful, creative, heart-warming one. And we want to believe that means something – that humanity will come out of this together, better.

Today we are sharing a heart-warming story about creativity and humanity, bred from limitations and very real struggle. 

When Amsterdam plant focused chef, Chef NANA saw the impact restaurant closures were having on her beloved restaurant trade (and indeed the entire food supply), she got creative. Launching her “forgotten produce” boxes was a way to directly help those affected with much needed cash flow, while inspiring awareness and bringing joy to those in confinement. The first produce box, entitled “forgotten vegetables” included erba stella, yarrow, salad burnet and came directly from one of Amsterdam’s last remaining farmers in the ‘Tuinen van West’. These ancient ingredients, were something urban home-cooks would rarely get the opportunity to discover in their own kitchen. Not stopping at just the ingredients, NANA provided several recipes for recipients to get kick-started and even a drinks pairing. 

Much inspired by Chef NANA’s initiative, we wanted to hear a little more from this clever lady.

1. We share plants in common! As a plant focused chef, how do you see the role of plants in the ‘new normal’?

I still find it difficult to picture the new normal. I believe plants already have an important role, but I see people around me becoming more aware of, and interested in the world of plants. They are questioning where the plants are grown, what their use is, and in some cases how certain plants have healing properties. It’s beautiful to see more and more people growing their own plants and vegetables from seed, I really hope this will become a new normal. Just as buying local organic plants and vegetables, which are in season. I believe plants can give us back a lot, when we treat them with respect, care and love.

2. If you could share one intention with the world right now, what would it be?

Just one is too difficult!

Having a sense of meaning and purpose. To love and be loved. Being of service to others. Spending time in nature and meditation. 

Being of service to others, we love this. Thanks Chef NANA, we will be following your journey into the future and hoping visionaries like yourself are part of the new normal x

photo credit: Yeray Sabandar

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