We catch up with international chef, entrepreneur and food sensation, Kali and discuss her passion for fresh and healthy food that inspired her to create Kali Cooking.
Kali has worked as an international chef for many years, before setting up Palm Greens Salad bar with her partner Memby. Having been inspired by the readily available fresh, healthy food in New York and California.
Kali’s travels have inspired the flavours and style of her cooking, creating modern international flavours while keeping food fresh, vibrant and nutritionally balanced. Building relationships with local growers has encouraged Kali’s enthusiasm and belief in the need to be more in touch with where our food comes from and the impact the food system has on our environment and local community. She wants to create food that is cruelty free, good for the planet and the community, and encourage this way of eating by making it easily accessible and delicious.
What is your job?
I’m a Chef/ Owner of Palm Greens Salad bar.
How did you get here?
I’ve spent a lot of time in America, this type of healthy , fresh food is very readily available on both the east and west coast and felt there was a gap in the market in London. We decided to start with a market stall to test our business plan and it became grew faster than we could’ve imagined!
Did you have any pre-existing skills that helped you set up your business?
I’ve been a private chef for many years, hosting dinner parties and supper clubs. I’ve always specialised in health supportive vegetable led cooking. I studied in New York at the Natural Gourmet Institute, a school that specialises in vegetarian and vegan cooking with a strong focus on nutrition and whole food cooking.
What does your morning routine look like?
Warm water & lemon & cat play time while the coffee is brewing. Hate to say it, but an instagram post, Then hopefully I’ll have time for some exercise, even if it’s just 10 minutes, good to have a bit of me time & clear your head.
Then head to the kitchen, pack up all our food into cool boxes, collect the market set up and head out to set up and trade.
How did you come to be a market trader?
We started trading at the beginning of summer in a very new quiet market. Applied for kerb market, took in some tasters and we got accepted straight away. We’re looking to build our brand awareness and hope to grow so we can have an indoor and permanent space as well soon.
What does a typical day look like for you?
On a market day, post morning routine, we’ll set up trade for a couple of hours with kerb or the whole day if It’s a weekend market. Finish up, unload, clean up, do any prep needed for the next day. Relax..
What’s the best thing about your job?
Making the food I love to make, knowing people enjoy it & come back time and time again for more. Constantly meeting new people is also a great aspect of the job.
The most challenging aspect?
Loading in and out and setting up a mini shop every day. The weather is definitely a challenge too, especially now it’s getting colder.
Tell us about your lunch!
Usually a salad, when we first started we’d always trade foods and I’d get to try all these delicious meals from other traders. But at the end of the day, I like to eat healthy from day to day and feel energised from what I’m eating so our salads are great for that.
An example is the Sans elote bowl, our Mexican inspired bowl & best seller. It’s quinoa, black beans, red cabbage, kale, seasonal leaves, pickled onion, roast squash, topped with a tostada, roast cauliflower, cashew crema, toasted seeds & guajillo oil. Nutritionally balanced, but flavour packed and filling.
How do you unwind after work?
Dinner, wine and music, maybe a margarita!
How do you prepare for the next day?
In an ideal world I’ll try to get enough rest, wind down with a good amount of time before heading to bed. Lists are also very helpful!
What mantra do you live by?
As Memby say ‘Stay Gold’.
Find out more about Kali Cooking and her delicious food over on Instgram: @palmgreens & @kalicooking or on her wesbite: kalicooking.com (coming soon : palmgreens.co.uk ).