Bircher Muesli

Chef In Quarantine

A daily food guide through self isolation with Chef, Taylor Cullen

I sit here, in my apartment in Bondi, amidst this corona crisis, wondering what to write about myself. I’ve written so many bios and various statements of who I am in the context of selling myself for work, but never really on a personal level, are blogs about food even personal? Let’s just start with my objective and work back from there, hopefully ending up in the place I began, but completed. I intend to write this to introduce myself to the Bondi Harvest family through food. By family I mean all you beautiful people, dropping in for coffees, soaking up the atmosphere, or the many of you who just love food, content and the amazing flavours we produce. Im in isolation and have to cook in my apartment for two weeks. By all means, this will not be elegant, ill be raiding my cupboards of forgotten spices, grains and anything I can use up during this process, they will not be super thought out recipes, vegetables won’t be the freshest, just little tricks I do to make things taste good while produce is limited. I’m cooking for 1, and while I love cooking food, it’s my career and passion, cooking for yourself is never as exciting. I’m hoping this will inspire me to get creative in my own home, perhaps i’ll even eat well.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Waking up on day 5 like, my dog is more frustrated than I am, the coronavirus isolation hitting home for him as usually by 6 I’m up and he’s out, swimming, playing with his friends and generally causing some ruckus around town, however, now as the jetlag fades and I’m staying in bed until 8 ish he’s losing his mind. We get sun all day from the balcony, right above a busy street in Bondi, it’s amazing coming from Italy, where shit gradually hit the fan, back to Australia, it’s actually like going back in time, people going about their daily routine, unknowing about what is to come, its the same pattern, you almost want to scream it off the balcony. Life goes on. There is some respect to be had in that, I’m just hoping they don’t shut down the country as I come out of isolation, only to be trapped inside for another 4 weeks. I’m slowly getting through all the grains, nuts, fruits and seeds in my cupboard, I never usually eat breakfast, but in times like these who wouldn’t get excited about bircher, with fruit and yoghurt. For a few months in 2018, a partner and I launched a company called Raw Reformation, why we chose that name I don’t know, but we liked the RAW element to it, just because the word sounds as it describes, it has punch, not many people understood the name, I learnt the lesson of a catchy title. Upon starting this private chef company, we booked a gig with a beautiful couple who were spending the summer in Jackson, Wyoming, right along the snake river, just outside of Teton Village, this was one of the most amazing places I’ve lived, and still have nostalgia about it frequently. The house smack bang in the middle of the natural Alk migration, we saw moose, bears, Alk, owls and so much more, coming from New Zealand where there are no predators and only farm animals this blew my mind! The lady of the house was quite partial to the granola She had eaten at Split Apple, where I had cooked for her 6 months prior, so first duty on the first morning was to replicate her beloved granola. I’m a big fan of coconut yoghurt, I got off dairy besides the odd bit of cheese a long time ago, but everywhere you travel, it’s super hard to get your hands on co-yo that tastes good and has the texture I desire, its usually one or the other, I need both!! So with the joys of my trade, I decided to make my own, I’m not sure how I stumbled across the recipe, I would like to think from a little lady of the land, making kombucha and jams to sell at the local market, but I can’t be sure, low and behold it was the most amazing coconut yoghurt I have ever had, 3 ingredients, lasts 5 days and surpasses anything I’ve had the opportunity to taste, in fact, I never buy coconut yoghurt, if I’m going somewhere new, I take my probiotics with me and will have a fresh batch within 24 hours. During this stint in Jackson, Valerie and I worked on a cookbook to gift to the couple on our last day of service, I had never produced written recipes before, I keep them in my head, and with Val never making a book, it was stressful, however after 2 months we managed to compose 57 recipes, have them photographed and printed. An amazing experience received so beautifully by the couple we worked for. Doing a little extra work goes a long way to grab peoples hearts, it’s a beautiful feeling, While Valerie and I are no longer together, she’s currently studying graphic design, amazingly this book made her choose a career path and I’m so proud to have been a part of that. The world is a funny place, and if you step back, you realise things happen the way they are meant too. Not sure if Ziggy ‘the dog’ will comprehend that as I’m still in bed unloading my brain to this paper. We’ll walk soon pup, I promise.

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Does the category of bircher and granola spit the population in 2? Or are us people that like to eat bird feed not too fussed on the difference, maybe it could be the same situation of crunchy and smooth peanut butter? I know I rambled on about granola before, but that spiel was mainly for the yoghurt. I’m all about bircher, and I think this recipe is better than my granola, mainly because I just use whatever I have on hand, as long as there are oats you can’t go wrong. I’ll say soak for overnight, but I’m impatient, and 2 hours should do the trick, on this isolation I made a big batch of bircher day 1, it’s now day 8 and I’m almost down to my last bowl, only eating this for first, and sometimes second breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 4c oats

  • 1c each any seeds you want-pumpkin, sunflower, sesame.chia, flax

  • 1c almonds, sliced or whole

  • 1l oat milk

  • 1l orange or fruit juice

  • 1/2c each dried fruit sultanas, apricot, mango, goji, papaya, coconut

Instructions

  • Chop dried fruits, mix everything together in a big bowl or container, set overnight in the fridge.

    The reason I have not added yogurt or fresh fruit is that I want the longevity out of my grains, it’s just as easy to add the fruits and yogurt you want on the day, in order to get the right consistency and flavor.

    To serve, any type of nut butter, yoghurt, fresh fruits and protein powder you want, just mix it all in and enjoy.

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2020-03-30T15:24:46+11:00