Founder of the A-Listers fave foodie brand The Detox Kitchen, Mummy to a gorgeous son, Co-Author of the cookbook “The Detox Kitchen Bible” and all round fab foodie, Lily Simpson is an inspiration to us and she also happens to be one of the world’s most wonderful people. Read on to find out why we all love Lily…
We know you’ve travelled all over, but how much did your travels influence the The Detox Kitchen and ‘The Detox Kitchen Bible’?
A lot! When I travel I find the most joy in the food I eat. I love that you can really get to know a place and its culture through the food. So wherever I go, I try to find the best local restaurants. And if I find a dish I love, it will almost certainly appear, in some shape or form, on one of our menus. The book is a real mish-mash of my travels, from Kerelan curries to moroccan tangines, Asian stir-fry to classic british stews. Every recipe I write has to come from some source of inspiration, and its wither from my travels or from local restaurant London.
We presume you haven’t got much time to spare, so what are your best ways to find a balance between work and play?
I think the key is making sure you dedicate your time to one thing at a time. So when I am with my son, I try not to use my phone and I try to give him my full attention. It’s the same with work and friends. I think we all try to multi-task too much but that doesn’t work for me. I need to focus on the task at hand and once its complete I can move onto the next one. And weekends are always family time, I will never compromise that as it is so important to me.
Can you give us some of your top tips for staying healthy, happy and detox-kitchen-ready at all times?
Drink lots of herbal tea. I have about 8 cups a day. Try to reduce carbs in the evening, instead super size your portion with loads of green vegetables and lean protein. Reduce your sugar in take, this is such a hard thing to do but makes such a huge difference. I find reducing dairy improves my complexion, but everyone is different.
Now we’re not asking for a confession here but.. we would love to know if you have always eaten this way? And if not, why and when did it change?
I have always loved food, cooking it and eating it! I guess I needed to work out a way to be able to stuff my face (I am pretty greedy) but not pile on the pounds, and the easiest way to do that is to ensure that the food you eat is healthy and delicious. I eat loads but most of it is good for me. That said, I don’t eat in this saintly way all the time, I am partial to a cappuccino and kit kat from time to time!
With two London Kitchens already super successful, can you give us a sneaky insight as to whether there will be another location any time soon?
We are very excited about our next deli which will be opening in Fitzrovia in Mid-July. It is over 2000 sqft and we have a couple of surprises up our sleeves too, we will tell all very soon!
Which foods couldn’t you live without?
Couldn’t live without lemons, coriander, red onions, ginger, eggs, chicken cashew nuts, broccoli or cauliflower.
We would love to know, from the unofficial queen of everything ‘detox’, what your top tips are for staying healthy on a budget?
You guys! So, eating healthy really truly doesn’t need to be expensive. Stock up on good grains, they are cheap and will bulk out a dish in the most nutritious way. I love quinoa and buckwheat. Fresh herbs and spices are a cheap way to create bold delicious flavours, so stock up your spice cupboard and start a little herb garden on your window sill. Batch cooking is also a great way to save money, I make banana bread at the weekend and always take a slice with me to nibble on throughout the day, it stops me from spending unnecessary amounts on cake and tea! Cooking your own lunch for a few days is always a good way to save too.
What are some of your favourite ways to exercise?
I love a good walk, I walk from Maida Vale into town, and back, on most days. A yoga class once of twice a week clears my head. But that’s about all I can squeeze at the moment.
If we opened your home kitchen pantry, what 3 staples would we find?
Onions, ginger, ground almonds.
Do you have a morning routine to prepare you for a hectic day full of recipe writing, intense cooking and business meetings?
Ha. I wish. Since having a baby most of my routine has gone out the window. So between changing nappies, wiping down surfaces covered in baby food and cleaning grubby hands, I just try to ensure that I leave the house with brushed hair and clean teeth! Although somewhere before 11am I always try and squeeze in a fresh juice!
After a long day’s work, what’s your favourite way to unwind in the evenings?
Cooking. I cook every nigh. I find it really relaxing, having a chat with my husband or friends if we have some coming for dinner, whilst I’m stiring some pots and pans. Oh and I love a long bath.
Now of course we are itching to discover what your most favourite recipe from your book is and why?
It has got to be the Lemon Chicken, it is adapted from my mums version, which I have grown up on, and the flavours are so intense and delicious. I serve it with a cauliflower cous cous, which works perfectly with it. I love the caramel slices too, they taste really indulgent.
What exercise gear do you love to work out in?
I wish I was cooler but I just wear an old t-shirt and my sweaty betty black leggings!
Do you have any beauty tips or secrets you would care to share with us, or perhaps a go-to product you just couldn’t live without?
Go and buy the Pai Rosehip Oil, it changed my life! Such a great natural product, I use it every night without fail!
Everybody loves a wave of inspiration to help them get-up-and-go, do you have a mantra that ultimately motivates you?
Everything will work out in the end, so don’t stress or worry about anything, just keep going.
With a wealth of travelling experience under your belt, if you could transport The Detox Kitchen anywhere in the world and serve up some of your most delicious dishes to the locals, where would that be, and why?
Either New York or India. Both equally energising, inspiring, amazing places.
Now it wouldn’t be fair of us to round off an interview with you without indulging slightly in our curious side.. So, what’s next for The Detox Kitchen?
Well the new deli in Fitzrovia is taking up most of our time but we are also launching our book in the US in July which is exciting and will be doing a book tour over the next few months. We are currently writing our new summer packages which will be coming out next month. We will be preparing for some big events during London Fashion week in September. There may also be talks of another cookbook… I’ve said too much 😉