Woman in Progress: Tessa Kiros, food writer

Our Woman in Progress this week is Tessa Kiros, food writer and lover of travel. Tessa has written several award-winning cookbooks about food from all over the world. Her book ‘Falling Cloudberries’ is one of my favourite cookbooks - and I own A LOT. I fell in love with the cover, and even more in love with the writing and recipes (I make the slow-roast greek lamb from this all the time). If you don’t already have one of Tessa’s books, please do treat yourself to one. They're so evocative of places and memories, and are full of truly brilliant recipes and stories. We’re thrilled Tessa’s agreed to be our Woman in Progress this week.

Tessa at a recent Readings bookshop event in Melbourne organised by @fullybookedwomen run by @sharleegibb - a lovely community of women. Photo credit: Helen Kolovos @thecookbookkitchen

Tessa at a recent Readings bookshop event in Melbourne organised by @fullybookedwomen run by @sharleegibb - a lovely community of women. Photo credit: Helen Kolovos @thecookbookkitchen

Woman in Progress: Tessa Kiros, food writer

I have lived in several places around the world, my mom is Finnish and my father Greek Cypriot. I was born in London. I currently live in Tuscany. I haven't yet found the place I want to grow old in. I love so many places.  I think the best way for someone to describe me is how my kitchen is. Each cupboard is filled with different herbs, salts & spices from different places.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Lemons. Good salt. Suncream.

What’s the one thing in your life that makes things easier?

Good friends.

What do you love to do for fun?

Travel.

What one piece of advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?

Not to be afraid of change. Change is the only way to discover new parts of yourself. 

What are you most proud of?

My children. My home. The books I have made. 

The look on my mother-in-laws face when I presented her with my book 'Limoncello & Linen Water' that had many photos of her when she was young and recipes in – she hadn't realised the book would have so much of her!

A Golden Ladle award for my book 'Falling Cloudberries' for Book of the Year.

An award for my book “Provence to Pondicherry' Edward Stanford Book of the year,  which was a difficult project and one I had insisted on doing.    

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at work?

No matter how catastrophic everything is around you – to always keep my notes in order & organised.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at home?

Always keep a tidy kitchen with a good stock of basics in the pantry. Never be without fresh herbs in the garden. Try to have at least a couple of great sitting areas around the house for a gathering & a cup of tea.

Did you expect to be doing what you’re doing right now?

Not really - but I always wanted to travel. When I was at school I had dreamed of being a fashion designer & living in Paris.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing?

By doing what I love in the moment. Trusting my instinct & just putting one foot in front of the other without thinking about it too much.

What top tip would you pass on to other women in progress reading this?

Do not be scared. Trust yourself & what you have to give. Use your qualities for your benefit & to give something back.

Cocktails or coffee?

Coffee

Are you done yet? What’s next?

I am currently working on a couple of ideas for a new book. And getting ready for a new project, developing it in my mind.

Radicchio Cake with white chocolate icing from Tessa’s book ' Limoncello & Linen Water ' - by Murdoch books. Photo by Manos Chatzikonstantis  @manoswashere

Radicchio Cake with white chocolate icing from Tessa’s book 'Limoncello & Linen Water' - by Murdoch books. Photo by Manos Chatzikonstantis @manoswashere

Thanks so much to Tessa for taking the time to answer our questions. Do check out Tessa’s gorgeous instagram and also seek out her books.