Times of Tunbridge Wells 12th December 2018

Page 48

Life&Times

food

48

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Why healthy eating

is big business

Food fan Jo Banks, who lives in West Kent, launched her company Alive with Flavour three years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength. Here she tells Eileen Leahy why eating healthily is both achievable and enjoyable, whatever the time of year…

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TAKING A QUICK COFFEE BREAK Busy Jo Banks

Wednesday December 12 | 2018

E’RE officially now in full seasonal swing, where chocolate advent calendar treats often replace a proper breakfast, or endless trays of tempting canapés and flutes of fizz become the norm at the end of the day. In short, Christmas is a time of year when, for most, the wheels come off with regard to eating sensibly – but after the festivities are over, how about making sure that your everyday diet changes for good? Local food blogger Jo Banks set up her company, Alive with Flavour, with just this culinary premise in mind. “I started it three years ago, and the idea was based around the importance of creating healthy but flavoursome dishes,” she tells me. But what was key, she goes on to say, was that they also had to be ‘fuss free and unpretentious’ dishes. “There were – and still are – a lot of complicated cookery shows on TV,

AIR AND THERE: Jo shares pumpkin recipes with former MP Lembit Öpik on BBC Radio Kent such as MasterChef, and I felt that people were becoming scared of how to approach food,” Jo explains. “I wanted to offer an alternative and show people there are simple ways to cook and enjoy food which don’t need to be a Michelinstyle standard.”

‘I love bringing people together and frequently facilitate events, such as food festivals, supper clubs and tasting tours’ Jo says that the other key aims with Alive with Flavour were to improve and build upon their classic recipe repertoire, but to also ‘give people the confidence to experiment with food’. “I love experimenting,” says Jo. “I love finding new foods and am lucky enough to be often ahead of the curve on this. “I was working with edible insects a while ago, and just last month Sainsbury’s have now taken