The inception of this blog has always been for the enjoyment of food, and especially stressing the enjoyment of food in what I call "the lack of culinary enjoyment in my line of work" (that being the modelling industry.) It is an industry where fashionable standards do not sync with food as fashionable, where a chocolate cookie wouldn't generally be allowed to come within 10 yards of "thin" and "beauty", and where a model du jour wouldn't be caught dead near a doughnut du jour (let alone eating one). Going out to eat with your modelling agent calls for the worst meal (or non-meal) of your life. This all has proven to be a challenge for me considering that I don't feel I need to compromise my enjoyment of food to "fit in" to the industry standards.
Now I understand that models need to be somewhat thin to fit sample sizes, but the point is that when an industry, which is shaping societal norms and aspirations of beauty and image, takes "thin" too far, the result can be significantly dangerous. There are models who eat like myself and manage to stay thin, but indulging in food (even healthy food!) in fashion is still somehow seen as a faux-pas. I'm not sure how to change these entrenched perceptions within the industry as one person alone, other than by being an example; as a model, I express my enjoyment of food, that food doesn't necessarily equal fat, and that perhaps skinny bitches could afford a cookie or two.
Sheila Hui, a fellow model, close friend (who eats!) and writer for OMFG SheilaKins Blog and BallnRoll.com, lent some thoughts on the subject...
"As Toronto Fashion Week takes over the city, models once again are in the spotlight, ready to be scrutinized by the media, fashionistas and the general public. Whoever said modeling was an easy job has never done it -- only those with thick skin should apply. Thick skin, however, is the only part of a model that is allowed to be thick as rail-thin is still the ideal body-type. I don't care how many fashion organizations vow to use models with body types of a certain BMI, or cast "curvier" models every once in a while: fashion has always featured extremely thin women. Everything else is simply for good publicity or sympathetic smiles from the fashion elite. We're all dying to be thin, thin and thinner.
Well, not all of us! I've been lucky enough to be naturally quite thin (while still being able to eat as much as I please for the most part) and find that the girls I become close friends with in the industry share my view on food: eat what you love, just don't stuff your face. I've never been one for extreme dieting, unhealthy means of staying skinny (read: laxatives and other unpleasant forceful removal..), juice cleanses or anything else along those lines. It's all too impractical for me. Life is for living, and that, in my opinion, includes ordering dessert when out for dinner with your boyfriend, making grilled cheese when you feel like vegging out and doing nothing at home, or sampling all the various gourmet hor d'oeuvres when at a party. Anyone who has the willpower to censor themselves every minute of the day with food is probably not the happiest...after all, a starving model is never a happy model. Give me the happy glow of a well-fed woman over the greyish tinge of an emaciated waif any day.
My closest friend from modeling, Elizabeth Minett, (or Minny as I call her) shares a similar philosophy when it comes to chowing down: mainly that we both turn into miserable cows when hungry, and become gentle purring kittens when with a bellyful of delights...." Continued story at OMFG- SheilaKins Blog by Sheila Hui.
OMFG and Haut Appétit highly recommend...
Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookie
This recipe is from François Payard, but I added an Haut Appétit twist!
2 3/4 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp jamaican all spice ** à la Haut Appétit
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spread the walnut halves on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Transfer walnuts to a work surface and roughly chop.
Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320F/160C. Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. It is important to do this, opposed to buttering the baking sheet, otherwise the cookies will stick!
In a large bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and salt followed by the chopped walnuts. It is important to add the walnuts before the wet ingredients, which will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cookie during baking.
While whisking, add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not overbeat or it will stiffen).
Spoon the batter in small mounds (do not flatten) onto the baking sheets, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store cookies in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Eat what you love, and love what you eat.