My Life In Food: Joey O’Hare, Allplants | sheerluxe.com
Joey O'Hare is a Senior Development Chef at Allplants, a plant-based frozen meal delivery service. Since learning to cook at Ballymaloe, a working biodynamic farm in Ireland, she has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants, run a successful veg-centric supper club and reached the quarter finals of Masterchef the Professionals. Here, she shares some of her favourite restaurants, bars and recipes…
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My earliest food memory is when we went on holiday to Mallorca as kids and adored a simple paella restaurant on the beach. I think we were more interested in the lemon ice-cream to be honest. It was served inside the shells of real lemons which blew our little minds.

The first dish I learned to cook was Christmas cake with my mum. Well, I learnt to stir cake batter at least. The recipe has changed over the years, but we still make a Christmas cake every year.

The restaurant I visit most often has to be Lewellyn’s in Herne Hill. It’s a short walk across Brockwell Park from where I live. They serve chilled red wine and affogato, what more could you ask for?

My favourite chef is Blue Hill Farm’s Dan Barber. He’s been one of the key influencers in the farm-to-field movement and celebrates food in a holistic, truly sustainable way, including putting vegetables at the centre of the plate.

My favourite new restaurant opening was SLAW, a recent six-month pop-up restaurant in Angel. You need to check out their Instagram – their plant-based plates are so beautiful and have huge flavour. Their slow-cooked tomato dish with black rice is absolutely exceptional.

My most memorable meal was piping hot pasties in Padstow, after walking the Camel Trail in the rain. It was the perfect harmony of food and setting.

I love The Lord Nelson in Southwold, Suffolk, where my parents live. It’s an Adnam’s pub so serves all its beers on tap, and the fish and chips are second to none.


 

My favourite London bar has to be the wine bar at Salon in Brixton Village. My girlfriend and I love to order small plates from the next-door restaurant too, like tempura kale which is salty, crispy heaven. They have an interesting selection of wines both in the bar and the shop.

My girlfriend and I like to do ‘Citrus Sundays’. For some unknown reason we always crave insanely citrusy or acidic flavours on Sunday evenings. That normally means a delicious salad with one of her amazing dressings (usually parsley, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, seasoning and crazy levels of garlic), loaded with pickles and ferments, mopped up with sourdough.

My top recommendation for a date? Duck Soup in Soho. It has everything you need for a date: sharing plates, beautiful wine and flattering lighting.

After a long day at work, I only want to eat something that’s very simple. At Allplants we run a daily quality check on all our meals which can mean tasting up to 16 dishes in one go. Toasted sourdough slathered with Marmite and dark roast Manilife peanut butter together usually does the trick.

At home I mostly drink Dash water, which is fizzy water with a hint of flavour from wonky fruit and vegetables. It’s super refreshing and unsweetened, which I love.


I love to buy ingredients at Herne Hill farmers market every Sunday. The array of veggies from Perry Court Farm is my happy place. So fresh, so colourful and very reasonably priced. Good seasonal produce is such a joy.

If I’m entertaining at home I like to mix it up, but it will inevitably involve many, many sauces and dips, and much time spent documenting my antics on Instagram stories. I try a different cuisine each time and go to town. Most recently I cooked up an Indian feast of mixed vegetable pakoras deep fried in a garam masala and English spIit pea batter, served with six different sauces including a fresh coconut and green chilli chutney; salted lime pickle; mango and scotch bonnet salsa; and a curried ketchup. It’s always vegan: I love showing our guests how flavoursome plant-based cooking can be and winning over any sceptics.

My dream dinner guest would be Ellen DeGeneres. She’s a legend.

At the best party I’ve ever thrown Katy and I served a ginormous bowl of slow-cooked caponata alongside a mound of garlicky toasted sourdough. People loaded up their own bruschetta and topped them with gremolata, tapenade and sweet red onion relish. As I said, we love dips.


 

My favourite takeaway has to be Allplants – I’m super proud of our range. My favourite is the moussaka and I have it at home with a simple green salad on the side.

My drink of choice is Real Kombucha on ice, with a squeeze of lemon. It’s the best kombucha brand on the market.

After a quick midweek meal? I like to make a tray-roast of veggies and tempeh, dressed with olive oil, sea salt and zaatar.

I’m more a Sunday brunch kinda person, rather than Sunday lunch. At the farmers market we always buy some vegan gyoza from our favourite stall and drown them in chilli oil and chinkiang vinegar. 

The most decadent meal I’ve ever had was dinner at Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers for an anniversary celebration. The mushroom and truffle wellington was breathtaking.

My death row dinner has to be my mum’s tomato soup.

And my food hell? Razor clams!

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