Tara Smith is a busy person. She writes local food & lifestyle blog Tara’s Busy Kitchen, she teaches ballet, she also works at a big named salon AND she manages to go nice places whilst writing about her adventures and providing some awesome recipes too. I’ve been a fan of the blog since she started it last year (I think I’ve been reading it since the summer) so I couldn’t resist asking Tara to answer a few questions for a ’10 Questions’ feature.
And to add to all of this, she is starting ‘Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents…’ a series of Pop-up events starting with Afternoon Tea. All cakes are crafted by Tara herself, tea is in unlimited supply using Tara’s very own vintage china collection. The first Afternoon Tea event was a success and covered by Hazel from Bedboat Magazine on the Bedboat Magazine blog; I was there too read my account of it here.
Tickets are £19.95 each and spaces are very limited. Nearly a quarter of the tickets have sold for the next event on the 28th February, for more information email Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org
What gave you the inspiration to start Tara’s Busy Kitchen?
My aunt has always been a massive inspiration to me from being a little girl to the here and now. She is a fabulous cook and entertainer and I vowed to be just like her when I grew up! Hopefully I am getting there in some form or another. She was my initial inspiration alongside numerous friends telling me I should share my love of cooking and entertaining with others. So one morning in May last year I wrote and published my first post and the rest is history. Tara’s Busy Kitchen was born.
I’ve followed your blog for a while now, you’re quite a cook! What do you love cooking more than anything else?
I love anything with a Mediterranean twist. Fresh fruit, vegetables and fish get a big thumbs up from me. I like serving my home cooked dishes on big vintage platters in the middle of the table so everybody can dig in.
Is there any authors or big-name bloggers who inspire your writing?
The first person that springs to mind is Yotam Ottolengi. I love his style of cooking. Lots of salads, vegetable and fish dishes for communal dining.. I find his books very inspiring, particularly Plenty. I follow numerous foodie bloggers but my favourites at the moment are Deliciously Ella for her easy, healthy recipes and Secret Squirrel for her love and passion for food. That girl can eat!
For most bloggers there is a ‘real-life’, what is your day job?
I have two jobs in and around Tara’s Busy Kitchen. I am a self employed Royal Academy of Dance trained ballet teacher. Alongside this I work part-time on reception at a well known hairdressers. I’m a busy bee!
What is currently your favourite place to eat out in Exeter?
That has to be The Hour Glass. It’s my “go to” place whenever I want fantastic quality in a relaxed informal setting. I have never had a bad meal there. It’s always “top notch” in my book.
I hear you love Vintage china, what’s your favourite item in your collection?
That is a tough one..I have a rather wonderful Royal Vale white and gold tea set that I add to every time I spot a piece on my travels but I would probably choose my big blue and white serving platters. They get used on a daily bases and I love them dearly.
For those who don’t already know, what is ‘Tara’s Busy Kitchen presents’?
Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents.. Is my take on the popular supper clubs and underground restaurants that are springing up everywhere. I didn’t want to limit myself to just supper so I decided on afternoon tea as a starting point and hope to branch out. Who knows where it might lead.. Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents..Brunch, Lunch, Cocktails. The list goes on. It’s exciting to think where it might lead in the future.
I bet there’s a heck of a lot of preparation?
There is! The menu is the main thing obviously. I keep changing my mind but know it will all come together on the day!
What have you got in store for diners on the 28th February?
A beautifully styled “pop up” tea room at my house with vintage china, sparkling wine and delicious homemade goodies. You will be greeted with a welcome glass of fizz. A chance to mingle with other guests before finding a seat at one of the vintage themed tables. From this point on indulge yourselves in the edible goodies that come your way. Savoury treats, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of cakes. All of this is washed down with as much tea as you care to drink. I try and use as many local producers as possible when putting my menu together so you can be assured of fabulous quality.
Any plans for the future, where do you want to be with the blog by next year?
I don’t have plans set in stone but I am focusing heavily on making the blog as successful as I possibly can. 2016 is going to an exciting year for me watching the blog grow. Don’t forget my first post was less than a year ago. (May 2015) I love sharing my experiences with my followers and readers and hope that they continue to enjoy what I do. Onwards and upwards as they say!
I would like to do more Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents .. Too. Perhaps you and your readers can come up with some awesome ideas for future events?
Visit www.tarasbusykitchen.com for more information about the next Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents event.