Flicking through the first pages of Harriet Birrell’s second book, WHOLE by Natural Harry, paradise is found… it’s located on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula! Barwon Heads plays host to the wholesome foodie’s uber-idyllic beachside lifestyle, though, the idea for the book actually came to her while camping on the shores of Fortescue Bay, Tasmania.
The new ‘all-year-round recipe bible’ features delicious dishes – from breakfasts to bowls, sweets, and drinks – created with minimal ingredients and no fuss. ‘Being a lazy cook that loves a shortcut, I enjoyed the challenge of finding the perfect balance between whole, satisfying, tasty meals that were aesthetically pleasing, yet approachable and easy, all at the same time!’ tells Harry.
Book one, Natural Harry, was all about summery, plant-based smoothies and desserts that Harry would create and sell out of her little vintage caravan. Creating that first self-published title was a steep learning curve, with Harry teaching herself design skills, styling, and recipe writing along the way. The second time around, she’s sought input and feedback from far and wide. ’I asked countless people – time-poor Mumma bears, friends, and family – for their honest opinion of the first book and every single recipe. I have taken every last morsel on board in the creation of WHOLE; I wanted it to be as practical and useful as possible,’ she tells.
Harry’s philosophy is a simple one: eat whole foods and be as close as you can to nature. ‘We have been inundated with conflicting dietary advice promoting quick-fixes and focusing on things like weight loss when the picture is much, much bigger,’ she explains, ‘It doesn’t sit well for me to extract this and that from food and process it to within an inch of its life, before selling it as a miracle ingredient.’
WHOLE includes beautiful food and lifestyle photography by fellow Barwon Heads-local Nikole Ramsay. The duo created their studio by moving furniture out of Harry’s tiny 40-square-metre house with friends Alice, Peggy and Jade (who also shot the book trailer below) lending a hand. ‘It has really been a joy for us, especially the camping and surfing days!’ reflects Harry. ‘While a lot of planning, preparation, plating-up, and styling went into the shoots, we all got to eat every skerrick!’
Harriet Birrell recently opened The Natural Harry Concept Store in Geelong – a curated collection of treasures for the conscious consumer. There are whispers on of another book on the way as well as workshops and products. Find out more at Naturalharry.com.au.
The Natural Harry Concept Store
72a Garden Street
Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm.