ABOUT FLORA NICHOL:
Flora’s run in with gut health came about, like most, due to a series of fortunate events. During her work as a Private Chef she was first introduced to Water Kefir as one of her clients, very trustingly, asked her to make batches for her family. Now, had her client consulted Mr. Watson, Flora’s school Chemistry teacher, her client may not have given Flora such free reign on this matter. It was after a few rather explosive first attempts that she managed to work out the best way to control the volatility of the Water Kefirs - at which point she was hooked!
The more she learned about the benefits of fermenting, the more her home kitchen began to resemble an apothecary, to the alarm of her confused flat-mate. This prompted her to study Nutrition and focus on Gut Health, if only to explain to her friends why she was encouraging them to eat bacteria.
Needless to say, her continued research has made her realise that the importance of gut health is filled with unknowns, and while we are still in the process of discovery, she wishes for this subject to be appreciated by a wider audience.
See Gutsy Events for more details.
What is the gutsiest thing you have ever done?
Quitting my desk job in London, and taking off to work as a chef on Superyachts in the Caribbean. No clear plan, just me, a snorkel and a stash of recipe books under my arm.
What is your current life philosophy?
Play it by ear. Go with the flow.
How would your greatest friend describe you in 3 words
Spirited. OCD. Gutsy.
How did you first become interested in Gut Health?
Two years ago I was working as a private chef in London, and my employer asked me to start making water kefir. A year later we had upscaled the production and where making 8litres a week and delivering it to any of her friends who were not well. This experience prompted me to study nutrition with a focus on Gut Health.
Who has been the most influential person on your gut health journey?
Do you have any gut friendly tips that are part of your daily routine?
I'm constantly standing at the fridge with a fork in hand dipping into jars of living things I have created.
How did you approach creating Gutsy
The idea for Gutsy changed all the time. I had very different visions for it at different stages. I have spent a lot of time listening to others stories and my approach to Gutsy has been entirely driven by their needs and concerns.
How did you gather your research?
This is an ongoing mission. Researching gut health is a bit like that skittle advert where everything you touch turns into a thousand different pieces. Therefore, I have tried to stay focused, and put myself in the shoes of those that will be using Gutsy - try keep it simple and accessible as much as possible and offer people the opportunity to explore further.
What has been the major hurdle that you have had to overcome to create it?
Being a perfectionist and impatient is not a good combination. There is so much information out there and I am constantly over excited about all the things I want to share on this website, but I force myself to take it slow and make sure I am delivering the most informative and helpful information possible.
What other chefs have inspired you?
My Mother, I have a lot to thank her for! Oof, so many... Robin Gill. Diana Henry. Holly Davis.
Have you had any fermenting explosions?
Yes plenty. Sadly my ever supportive husband has taken the brunt of most of them. The worst being Dearbhla Reynold's "happy" fermented chili sauce exploding in his face.