Food, portrait, and lifestyle photographer Erin Scott, who lives in North Berkeley, is the voice behind the popular blog Yummy Supper, a source for simple, seasonal, and gluten-free recipes accompanied by sumptuous photos that would whet any eater’s appetite — the gluten-free or not.
Scott is also currently recipe testing for her upcoming cookbook, The Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious, and Honest Recipes from a (Gluten-Free) Omnivore.
Many of her ideas feature ingredients picked from her backyard garden, which boasts fragrant herbs, salad and saute greens, and citrus trees.
With a background in fashion and design, and as the former co-owner of the clothing store August in Oakland, Scott never thought she’d end up spending most days in the kitchen taking pictures.
But her dad gave her a leather-bound Polaroid when she was little so she started snapping photos at an early age. Scott also enjoyed cooking beside her mom as a young child, and planning, making, and eating a nourishing supper has brought pleasure ever since.
Over nectarine friands and lemon verbena tea, Scott, 41, spoke with Berkeleyside this week about her blog, pending cookbook, and eating well with her husband and two kale-munching kids.
Why did you start a food blog?
Four years ago, we had to remove gluten from our kitchen when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. (We also learned that both of our kids are gluten-intolerant.)
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, it’s in many recipes — we’re a wheat culture. Initially, I was devastated; I felt sorry for myself and my family and I lost a lot of the pleasure I’d found in food.
But before long, I decided to try to regain the happiness I’d always felt in the kitchen. I started seeing this ‘limitation’ as motivation to expand my cooking repertoire, become more creative in my approach to eating, and even grow my own food.
I’d never looked at food blogs before but I was spending so much time thinking about food and trying new recipes that I thought it would be good to share them with others to enjoy. Ever since, I have found myself feeling anything but deprived — we eat well, we feel healthy, and I’ve developed this whole community online which has lead to photography work, a cookbook, and a whole new career.
How did you come up with your blog name, Yummy Supper?
It’s funny, that’s the first thing that came to mind. I didn’t think about it as this title that would stick around, but for the most part I would still choose it. I wanted my blog to have a playful quality to it, a joy and ease around food, and for me, if something tastes really good, it’s yummy.
The word supper can really mean anything — eggs, soup, a big meal with family and friends, or a dinner for one — I wanted a word that fit with all kinds of food and that wasn’t formal. I wanted something that evoked warmth and comfort. I love the word supper.
What’s your philosophy behind food?
I believe that freshness, seasonal abundance, and simple preparation — along with the joy of cooking — are the magical combination that makes the best meals. I’m also a very visual person: aesthetics are important to me. I want my food to look good enough to eat.
What might gluten eaters learn from your cookbook?
That you don’t have to buy a bunch of special pantry products or eat highly processed foods to eat gluten free — and that gluten-free dishes can taste terrific too.
Do you mostly cook at home or eat out?
We mostly cook at home — all of us. My husband is an excellent prep chef, a fast and fastidious chopper, and he likes to grill too. That allows me to have time to play with flavors and experiment with recipes.
The kids enjoy baking but they’ve also made the whole family a meal. My son goes to King Middle School and he loves the Edible Schoolyard. One night he and his sister made a greens and grains recipe he’d learned at school. It had amaranth, quinoa, and kale and it was delicious.
Where do you go around town when you do eat out?
We want something safe for us to eat, easy, and family-friendly. For us that means Picante, the kids love it and they do a chicken soup that’s hearty, warm, and satisfying. We also go to Zachary’s because they do a good gluten-free, thin pizza crust. Sketch is a favorite: Burnt caramel ice cream, macaroons, and pudding cake, there’s a lot of gluten-free options there. Sketch is a happy place for our family.
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