An Exclusive Interview with Kath and Jade of Panaceas Pantry

If you’re a foodie who loves social media, you’ve likely realized that the work of online content creators has reached new levels of imagery, creativity, and visual captivation. It is easy to get lost in Instagram for hours looking at all of the amazing pictures of people’s “edible art”! It’s obvious that in today’s scene, if you want to have an impact as a content creator, you have to be willing to put in the work, develop your skills, keep evolving and live up to some very high standards.

For an example, you need not look any further than Panaceas Pantry – a highly popular Instagram page that features plant based recipes so gorgeously photographed and styled that you’d almost feel guilty for having to dig a fork in. Whose behind this incredible body of work? Two of the kindest and most humble Australian sisters you’d be honored to meet: Kath and Jade.

We are completely thrilled to feature some of their raw recipes on our site, and today we sat down with them (virtually) for 12 fun questions. ENJOY!

iced chocolate

Easter­ spiced iced chocolate with vanilla banana ice­cream and coconut whipped cream

 

RFR: What inspired you ladies to start up your IG page. Did you have any idea it would become so popular so quickly?

Kath:­ We were inspired to start our instagram page @panaceas_pantry to become apart of a community. Its long been a dream of ours to open a cafe, and we thought this would be the perfect stepping stone beforehand. We honestly had no idea it would grow so rapidly, I remember how excited we were when we reached 50 followers, which really wasn’t that long ago.

RFR: What is your food styling and photography background? Are you self taught or did you have official education or a mentor?

Jade: Self taught (and still learning!). I have always enjoyed taking photos, in the past it was of my continual travels. We come from a family of 7, and quite a few of our family members are into photography. My Grandfather was a talented hobby photographer, and I have always been inspired by his passion and keen eye for beauty.

RFR: Who introduced you to healthy eating? Did you grow up on a plant based diet?

Kath­: We grew up in a pretty healthy household, our mum had always cooked us nourishing, homemade meals. We didn’t grow up on a strictly plant­based diet, though my dad was vegetarian so our meals were always meat free. My diet began to stray a little in my mid teens, mostly when I moved out of home at 17, thankfully I moved out with Jade who was studying Naturopathy at the time. My interest in healthy eating was sparked then, and has been a passion ever since.

RFR: Where do you draw your inspiration from for your recipes and also your incredible photography?

Jade: I’m a big fan of going to the Library and borrowing a bag full of magazines and cook books. I’ll often not make a single recipe from them, but rather scroll through the pages, checking out the photography and always looking for new flavour combinations. At the moment I am loving the new Donna Hay magazine ‘Light and fresh: powerfoods’­ always classically styled, photographed and innovative, Yotam Ottolenghis ‘Plenty more’, and the Greenkitchenstories Apps. On Instagram, I adore @silver_spies , @cookrebuplic , and @tohercore . There is so much talent out there!

RFR: Do you work together on both the recipes and the photos, or do each of you focus on a separate aspect of your IG page?

Kath:­ We don’t have particular aspects of IG that are specifically Jades or mine. We try to work through things together, and each put in what we can. I currently manage a cafe which takes up a lot of hours. Jade does a lot of the photography of our page, which I am in awe of and constantly trying to learn more when I can.

RFR: Getting a little snoopy now ­ but we must ask ­ if we were to open up YOUR personal pantries, what would we most likely find?

Jade: Hopefully you’d find selves all neatly organized, jars stocked full of all sorts of wonderful stuff. Probably though you’d find what looks like the remains of a mini food explosion. Haha. I’m a little bit obsessive about the pantry, but despite organizing it more regularly than I want to admit, its always chaotic. Amongst the chaos, you could bank on finding extra virgin coconut oil, enough tahini to get us through the zombi apocalypses, nuts, seeds, rice, lentils, dried herbs/spices, quinoa, dark chocolate, coconut cream, preserves made from last years produce and some dried noodles (soba, rice, udon or other). Our pantry also doubles up as our fermenting room, so you’ll generally find some jars of Komucha, sauerkraut or coconut yoghurt bubbling away. Maybe once a month you’ll see a bottle of red make a star appearance.

RFR: What are some of your favourite superfoods?

Jade: I like traditional superfoods like organic, home­grown greens, herbs, berries, avocado and coconut oil, though i’m also pretty partial to spirulina and cacao.

RFR: What are some of your every day staples that you could never get sick of eating?

Both Kath and Jade: Avocado! Always. Tahini, bananas, greens and blueberries are all pretty strong contenders, too.

RFR: Jade, you are a mother to a beautiful, vibrant little girl! What types of things does she like to eat?

Jade: Oh thank you, she is pretty sweet! If she had her way she would eat avocado all day, every day. Haha. Her other favourites are smoothies (we use banana, organic berries, spirulina, coconut yoghurt and coconut water), apples, oranges and mixed vegetables with grated tempeh, coconut oil, tahini and seaweed flakes.

RFR: Do you have any pointers or advice for someone wanting to start their own successful food­related IG page or blog? Any tips for maximizing exposure?

Jade: where the focus goes, the energy flows. We put in a lot of hours into the beginning to get ourselves ‘out there’. We posted regularly, connected with other foodie pages (and maintained those connections) and replied to every comment we received. It was hard work, but it was worth it. The love you take is equal to the love you make (I stole that from the Beatles, but you know, its true). Besides that, just post what makes you happy. Don’t get sucked into posting what you think other people want. Take regular breaks from social media, and don’t take yourself too seriously!

RFR: Aside from running Panaceas Pantry, what do you girls do in your “free time”. Do you have other jobs or hobbies?

Jade: ‘Free time’, what is that? Can somebody let my baby know I’m meant to be getting ‘free time’? I think she missed the memo. Hahaha. Hmmm. I have lots of hobbies. I love to read, do yoga or a workout. Gardening, bush walking, researching about history, cleaning (is that free time? It feels like it), chilling to music or drawing. I love craft, too. Id love to pick that up again.

RFR: What is the next step for Panaceas Pantry? Is there a blog coming in the future? (we’re all over it!)

Jade and Kath: You know, we are just trying to decide on that one. Stay tuned!

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