ABOUT DEARBHLA REYNOLDS:
If it's lying around your kitchen, Dearbhla can ferment it and turn it into a living food! The author of 'The Cultured Club', is one of the leading advocates for a diet rich in fermented and cultured foods. Her interest in the topic was first ignited after joining the world of motherhood, which inspired her to look into gut health and its affects on all manner of ailments. With a pharmacist father and home economics teacher mother, I like to imagine her kitchen is akin to an alchemist's lab - a series of edible delights perpetually bubbling away until they're ready to serve.
At the moment, I can't begin to imagine the focus required to write a book, let alone with two young children in tow. Dearbhla has managed not only to juggle the two, but create recipes that even those of less developed palates can appreciate. Let's not forget that in between she has also designed a range of workshops that she continues to host. Her upcoming retreats include one in a beautiful Irish castle that definitely appeals to me. I was also delighted to see Dearbhla rubbing shoulders with my Ballymaloe teacher Darina Allen, as one of the top 20 food influencers that are shaping the way you eat.
Where is home?
Currently Holywood in the North of Ireland, not LA but with dreams of anywhere warm. Forever moving.
What is your earliest memory?
Geez, not sure, but in the context of what I now do, I have very early memories of my father getting me to taste his mead. My facial expression apparently dictated if it was ready or not. He was a pioneer, so I was the next best thing!
Where or when are you the happiest?
I think these days I am generally quite happy most of the time. I actually think I am happiest in old places, surrounded by nature, with an abundance of food, a blue sky and my children running around.
Who would be your dream dinner party guest?
Gosh, just one? Frida Khalo for style, leonard Cohen or John Lennon for enlighten conversation and I reckon Russell Brand for chaos.
What is the gutsiest thing you have ever done?
This summer our whole family headed off to Portugal on a one way ticket to travel around teaching fermentation, being hosted in the most wonderful places. A lot was unplanned before we left and it all unfolded on the road.
What is your current life philosophy?
Breathe in love, breathe out fear. Continue to be the change and trust I am on the right path.
How did you first become interested in gut health?
My interest was first ignited about 7 years ago. As a recent mother I had already begun on the nutritional path which were quickly lead me to learning about gut health as the source of all manner of aliments. I have a fairly ingrained knowledge of health being brought up in a family of medics but the simple alterations I was making in my diet was proving such dramatic benefits that the interest to learn more was hard to deny.
Who has been the most influential person on your Gut Health journey?
The microbes I would say, (I jest). It has been a wonderful privilege to meet so many people who have benefitted greatly from gut health transformation that I believe they influence me all the time. Of course it is wonderful to have met and spent time with such knowledgable minds as Sandor Katz, but those early transformative moments with people mean so much to me.
What is your favourite Gut Health product
A jar, some salt and some vegetables
Do you have any gut friendly tips that are part of your daily routine?
Drink water. I Like to add fresh aloe vera into smoothies. I eat a portion of fermented food at every meal. I avoid sugar. I eat only sourdough bread, and avoid lots of carbs. I eat lots of fibre and I take my time over meals. I also try to not eat after 6pm, giving my digestive system a break to repair.