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DECOFood is fast becoming one of our most popular features, with mouth-watering food styling and inspirational recipes celebrating creative cooking. Here online, guest writer Dominique Vieira speaks to the two foodies behind food journal As We Please.

Jesse and Jamie Friedberg are the creative minds behind the online food journal As We Please. Born in Johannesburg, but now calling Cape Town home, they are inspired daily by quotidian pleasures like…

our first cup of coffee on the stoep, bowls of fresh fruit, our home baked granola and curling up in front of a fire.

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Their passion for whole-foods and their infinite healing potential led them to running their own downtown café – Skinny Legs & All – for three and a half years. Having always been a fan of their café, it was wonderful to meet them for a cup of tea and a chat about their next steps. Jesse and Jamie are now focusing on their online food journal, food styling and their new, creative catering adventure from their home kitchen in leafy Tamboerskloof.

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‘Our space, with its pressed ceilings and large street-facing windows, and our food, simple in its preparation, proved to be the perfect pairing,’ they told DECO. ‘But it is the chitchatting away with our customers (and now friends) that we miss most from our café days… our cue to the world of online journals – As We Please – as a way to continue the shoptalk we came to so enjoy.”

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So Jesse & Jamie, what is As We Please?

Our online food journal is a way to combine all that what we love: writing, photography, cooking, recipe development and food styling. It is an ongoing project, ever-evolving. ‘Anything done well’ is the tag line of As We Please… vignettes from our lives in the Cape, experiments at the stove and our joint explorations of this wild, wild world.

What does it take to start your own food business?

Any business or venture should be born out of passion and an unwavering belief that if you work hard enough for long enough, you can make a living doing what you love.

What is your food philosophy?

We are food-centric creatures, with a relish for natural wholefoods and their infinite healing potential. Our food philosophy is similar to that of life – less is more. We believe in real food, unadulterated and unadorned.

How does your new venture play into current trends?

There is an undeniable shift towards natural foods – whole grains, less-refined sweeteners and the like. Whenever asked to prepare a dish or create a menu, we focus on ethically sourced, seasonal wholefoods – and the recipes found on As We Please follow suit. In our kitchen, simple flavours and natural whole-foods are a constant and our food tastes better for it.

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Jesse & Jamie shared their favourite whole-foods recipe for DECO readers to sink their teeth into.

Food Styling with As We Please Tabbouleh

‘More-ish in the extreme, this is one of our favourite salads. While tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur wheat, we’ve opted for quinoa instead (lighter and gluten-free to boot). It usually forms part of a mezze spread, but we like it big!’

‘In fact, the bowl is never quite big enough. We eat this all year round. When pomegranates are out of season, dried blackcurrants are delicious too. It goes well with everything but a yoghurt and orange-blossom dressing is by far our favourite. Pour it all over.’

  • 180g Italian parsley, chopped
  • 45g mint, chopped
  • 400g cherry tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml olive oil
  • 45g quinoa, cooked
  • good grind of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon all-spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • ½ pomegranate, deseeded
  • a few radishes, thinly sliced
  • a handful of roasted pine nuts

Whisk all these ingredients together to make the dressing:

  • 1 cup / 250g probiotic goat’s milk yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 5 drops of organic orange essence
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in your biggest salad bowl, and give a good mix. Cover it all with the dressing and enjoy!

Food Styling with As We Please Image_3 | Instagram: @jesse_jamie | Facebook: Jesse-Jamie

Dominique VieiraDominique Vieira is a self-proclaimed health-food nut, bookworm and ‘words girl’. She is a lover of beautiful things, real human connections, and of course, delicious food. When she isn’t living the café life, working on her healthy-food and lifestyle blog or doing yoga, you’ll probably catch her trying to figure out a way to text her dogs back home in Joburg. Follow Dom’s adventures on Instagram at @domandrea.