I’m still glowing over the chance I was given to interview Elizabeth Minett of Haut Appetit. She’s not your average model slash fashion blogger. You won’t find endless “outfit of the day” posts but instead endless recipes (gluten free and vegan too) for cookies, cakes, and sweets galore. I made her gluten free coffee cake for my boyfriend the past Valentine’s Day and it was absolutely delicious to say the least.
In a society where plenty of models are starving (literally) to be thin, Elizabeth is a perfect example of a girl who enjoys the little things in life without sacrificing taste. This native Canadian discusses her run ins with David LaChapelle, the importance of tea parties, and why she prefers her grandma’s closet over shopping malls!
AD: How did you get into baking?
EM: It began with a cookie… I started baking when I was a child and most definitely my Mom is the reason for it. We used to bake together (and still do!) and she would tell me her baking tips as I went along. Back then my specialty was a chocolate chip cookie, and to this day, that recipe is still my favorite!
AD: What was is like collaborating with Lookbook Cookbook?
EM: Jessica Milan, the author of Lookbook Cookbook, is a modelling industry friend of mine from Toronto going back a few years. I was so excited for her when she started LBCB because her blog is fab, and we both share a similar love for food and fashion! The obvious next step was an Haut Appétit, LBCB collaboration – two Canadian chics with blogs featuring all things sexy and delicious! Shooting with her was very quick and comfortable and her shots always come out smashingly. I just remember eating the whole time… Leftovers from her previous shoots and of course the vegan pumpkin cupcakes we made.
AD: You seem so natural in your videos – were you always this way? Did you take acting classes?
EM: I love sharing my passion for baking on film. It really makes the experience come alive. Now I just wish I could share the amazing smells that come with baking! I have done several TV commercials in the past and also have experience in TV presenting, so that all helps with feeling at ease on camera. I’ve certainly had some interesting job experiences that help with this, especially when I shot a commercial with the David LaChapelle…what a character!
AD: You’ve done quite a few interviews with creative individuals – who was your favorite to interview?
EM: I have genuinely enjoyed working with everyone I interview because they have all brought something new to the table (pardon the pun). I love hearing the story behind the cake so to speak! The best part of the interview is the eating part of course…
AD: Has modeling led you to meet some interesting individuals?
EM: Wow, I could probably write a book about all the interesting people I have met through modelling! You certainly rub shoulders with a unique group of people: the drama queens, the celebrities, the egos, the creepy older men… Like I mentioned earlier, I worked with David LaChapelle who was a genius and crazy all at once, Elle MacPherson for a TV commercial in the UK and she is simply gorgeous, and I remember Oscar de la Renta lit up the room with his pearly white smile. I’m sure google has a collection of my other encounters… (haha!)
AD: Have you ever thought of becoming a pastry chef as full time career?
EM: I would absolutely love to take pastry classes and am currently looking into a few in London and Paris. I don’t think I would ever become a full time pastry chef because that is a life-changing commitment, and also I’ve been told by other pastry chefs to stay away because the pay is so low! But certainly I want to gain more knowledge and experience.
AD: I love how you provide recipes for gluten free and vegan allergies how did that start? Are you allergic to any of these ingredients?
EM: I have a slight intolerance to gluten and lactose (although I find goat products easy to digest.) I have lived with these intolerances for years, and always appreciated having the option, for people like me, with similar problems. And by option, I mean I’d like to have a double chocolate cake but gluten free please. So, having my cake and eating it too so to speak! Similarly, I like providing that option for people on my blog by having recipes for everyone, gluten free, vegan, and the regulars! I never discriminate…
AD: Do you ever host dinner parties?
EM: I’m bigger on tea parties than dinner parties to be honest. I swoon over the tea cakes, petits fours, mini cucumber sandwiches, and fake British accents we put on for effect.
AD: Have you ever modeled during Fashion Week? What was it like?
EM: When I first started modelling, I did fashion weeks in Toronto and Athens, and thereafter shows unrelated to fashion week in Milan and London, but my market as a model has always been more commercial (TV, print, catalogue, lingerie.) They’re always hectic but exhilarating! I’m off to fashion week in Milan to attend some shows, so now I prefer to watch!
AD: I love that you are all for models who aren’t afraid to eat! How to you stay in shape?
EM: My blog motto “…where skinny bitches are allowed to eat” is so important to me. Enough of this starvation-to-be-thin nonsense. Have everything in moderation, and you’re good to go. I’m not a work-out freak and could never be a gym bunny – its not my look. But I always stay active by walking everyday, doing hot yoga, and going dancing some nights. I must say that one should enjoy their exercise (even if its pain!) otherwise its counterproductive and that negative energy will somehow sneak its way back onto your hips!
AD: Where are your favorite places to shop?
Big shopping malls make my skin crawl. I prefer small boutiques, vintage stores, or shopping online like net-a-porter.com
. There is great vintage in East London (brick lane, spitalfields, camden), and I have found some little gems in Toronto (Queen East and West.) What Goes Around Comes Around in NY has a great collection of items, for men as well. And my Grandma’s closet of course (that’s not a store name, my actual Grandma!) Budget: Zara and Topshop, Splurge: Céline and Nicholas Kirkwood please!
AD: Do you have a fashion muse?
EM: I’m inspired by people who make me reconsider what I want to wear and fashion altogether – a trend-setter or visionary of sorts – someone who doesn’t give a damn about “trends” and just wears clothes for themselves. I mostly encounter these original types on the street, as most fashion magazines are very much tailored to mass trends.
AD: What’s currently on your wishlist?
EM: Nicholas Kirkwood pumps, The Row round sunglasses, and life advice from Nigella Lawson.
AD: What is your favorite thing about New York?
EM: That every time I land in New York and see the Manhattan skyline, I get butterflies in my stomach. I get excited. Not many cities have that effect on me… The energy of New York is infectious.