Cook your dream
06 July 2012
A master of manipulating light to get that perfect shot, Sarka has an uncanny ability to make a lone chilli pepper or a stalk of rhubarb look compelling. Chronicling both her food journey and various travels on camera, she brings her readers striking imagery that is in a league of its own.
Ticking all the right boxes for what constitutes a splendid online read, our blog crushes are visually arresting, engaging, and above all, inspiring. Beautiful images that make for perfect visual grazing motivate us to capture special culinary moments on camera, and creative recipes prompt us to add our own tweaks to tried and true classics. Crumbs is always keen to meet the talent behind the blog, so we chat to our blog crush on what makes her content stand out and what her gastronomical preferences consist of.
Today’s blog crush is Cook Your Dream by Sarka Babicka. Sarka uses her blog as a platform to share her infectious enthusiasm for simple, seasonal food that looks as delicious as it is bright and colourful. Her recipes are easy to follow and she encourages you to try your hand in pretty much anything, from churning out homemade butter and baking your own sourdough loaf, to whipping up some oven dried cherry tomatoes and gooseberry sorbets.
We especially love her minimalist approach to food styling – a wooden board here, a rustic tea towel there – and her photographs are truly something to aspire to. A master of manipulating light to get that perfect shot, Sarka has an uncanny ability to make a lone chilli pepper or a stalk of rhubarb look compelling. Chronicling both her food journey and various travels on camera, she brings her readers striking imagery that is in a league of its own. Here’s what Sarka has to say about her site.
Name: Sarka Babicka
Why is your blog called Cook Your Dream? Before my blog, I never cooked. I started cooking when I moved to London and suddenly my whole life had changed. Originally, the blog was simply my name, but thankfully, through it and cooking, I discovered my real passion – photography – and decided to follow my dream and turn it into a career, I ‘cooked my dream’.
What has been your favourite post? I have two favourites, ‘Birthday Blueberry Pancakes’ and ‘Traditional Czech Pig Slaughtering’. They both hold a special meaning to me. I nearly share the same birthday with my boyfriend, born two days apart, though we rarely find the enthusiasm to celebrate the occasion. Making these delicious blueberry pancakes together and enjoying them on a lovely sunny autumn weekday morning has been our fondest birthday celebration, a memory I treasure.
The pig slaughtering was, on the other hand, the most difficult blog post to write. My aim was to document what goes into preparing pork meat from the farm to your plate. It took me quite some time to carefully choose each photo, ensuring the entire selection of images authentically reflect the reality of the pig slaughtering while tastefully balancing the bloody gore with the art form that goes into this traditional Czech process, all the while trying to not scarw away my readers. I was dreadfully expecting a storm of negative feedback and was so surprised by how well the post was received. This has been my most successful post and is thus very special to me. It made me happy to see that people still care about the origin of their food and are not scared to accept the reality.
What photography equipment do you use? Nikon D700. I mostly shoot with 50mm f/1.4 and 24-70mm f/2.8. The latter is my favourite travel lens for its versatility – it’s quite good for low light conditions and is a convenient zoom lens for capturing both portrait and landscape images.
What other food blogs do you follow? I have a long list! 101 cookbooks, à la mode, Forty-sixth at Grace, La Buena Vida, Roost, Desserts for Breakfast, Green Kitchen Stories, honey & jam, What Katie Ate, Dirty Kitchen Secrets or Juls’ Kitchen to name just a few.
Why blogging? And Why food? I’ve always loved to eat and fell in love with cooking! Blogging became the easiest way to share my favourite recipes with friends and family and ignited my true appetite for photography. What started as a simple food journal grew into a place where I can freely capture and share my personal and professional zest for food, travel and photography.
What makes your blog special? How long have you been blogging for?
To me, it seems like ages, though in reality I have been blogging for almost 3 years. The blog is an expression of my three passions; food and travel captured through my lens, showcased in a natural and ordinary way without the fuss.
You’re an expert on... Making strawberry rhubarb crumble with hot custard!
One thing we can learn from reading your blog? That simple can look and taste good. My recipes are uncomplicated and the photography and styling is focused on representing reality.
One cooking tip? Always have a sharp knife. I am lucky to have an on-demand professional knife sharpener as a partner – he’s so on top of it! The combination of a sharp knife and a good partner certainly makes life easier!
One photography tip? Pay attention to the light and study it to the geeky extremes; understanding light will take you from a good photographer to a great one.
A taste you could do without? Fish heads, but I gladly pass them on to a dear friend and food blogger.
Your last meal on earth would be... I was recently amongst friends and was asked what my last meal on earth would be if I was to take a one-way space flight to the moon with no return! It would consist of a feast with endless options; marrying my palette of pastas, fresh vegetables, Middle Eastern mezze spreads, lobsters, crabs, fried fish (sparing the heads), fresh fruit, dessert tables filled with scones and clotted cream, chocolates, ice creams, rhubarb crumble with custard, and barrels of lonkero or Original Gin Long Drink, a mixed drink of gin and grapefruit soda. As for the one-way ticket, we mostly agreed to venture to space with a return option, not ready to be space cadets, just yet!
By Rosa Park
Images by Sarka Babicka