Two Australian recipes by Jennifer Hart-Smith, alias @tookies.gambetta
Born to a French mother and Australian father, Jennifer spent her early childhood in France, before moving to Australia. She returned to France as a teenager, but every long summer holiday flew back to her paternal grandmother’s, in Gosford, less than two hours away from Sydney. Jennifer has inherited a genuine passion for plants from this 87-year-old naturopath, who owns a two-hectare garden reserved for Australian native plants. Jennifer passed her baccalaureat in France, then attended the École Boulle, before heading off to San Francisco to study typography and web design. After working for several years on the Net, she felt the need to rediscover tangible reality. So she found a way out of the virtual world in the hands-on activity of pastry-making. She began making biscuits decorated with printed messages for those close to her. They proved so popular that she did a vocational course in pastrymaking and gained work experience at some of France’s top names, such as Benoit Castel and Yann Couvreur. Her posts on Instagram brought her so many followers that she launched her own catering business. Brands such as Bonpoint, Minois and Sézane soon appealed to her to add a sweet touch to their events. Jennifer loves combining wild plants with baking, using floral water or even whole plants in her recipes, to flavour cream, for example. Though she doesn’t advocate vegan cakes and pastries, she is, however, an unconditional supporter of organic foods. Her credo is to suggest healthy desserts, respectful of the seasons and including wild plants, while avoiding harmful ingredients like artificial food colouring, refined sugar and glucose. Nothing pleases her as much as baking in the Aveyron region of France, where she and her companion have renovated an old farmhouse. This is where she makes brioches with milk fresh from the neighbouring cows: the perfect embodiment of “from farm to table”. An all-round plant enthusiast, Jennifer wants to learn more about phytotherapy and aromatherapy so as to apply this knowledge to her baking. She recently graduated from the Parisian school Cenatho and in September will start a course in phytotherapy and wild plants. Just back from Australia with her two children, Tilda (4 ) and Milo (2), Jennifer has prepared two recipes for us made with Australian plants: macadamia nuts and lemon myrtle.