Today we’re excited to share our conversation with Kaity Farrell of Fare Isle! If you’re not already following Kaity on Instagram and browsing her blog for the best plant-based recipes, you’re in for an amazing discovery! Kaity is a food stylist, photographer and private chef living and working on Nantucket. Read our interview with Kaity to learn more about the incredible women who raised her, the inspiration behind her work, and what she has planned for Mother’s Day! We also linked to a few of Kaity’s recipes to inspire your own Mother’s Day festivities, enjoy!
Kaity of Fare Isle at home in Nantucket.
First, tell us a little about yourself and Fare Isle!
I'm a private chef, photographer, food stylist, and recipe developer. My partner, Jacob, and I work together as private chefs on the island of Nantucket, MA, where we live with our son Iley and our pup Blueberry. I find joy in creating new recipes and styling them for my food blog and for my amazing clients. My love of nature, gardening and foraging seeps its way into my work and I especially love using edible flowers in my recipes.
Most of the recipes you create are plant-based, which is one of the many things we love about what you do! When and why did you start focusing on plant-based recipes?
Thank you! I think I was about 19 or 20 when I started eating more vegetarian meals which evolved to eating mostly plant-based or vegan meals over the next 10-15 years of my life. When I turned 35 I started adding some animal protein back into my diet. At this point in my life (I turn 39 this month) I just try to listen to my body and not limit myself. I guess I now follow what is coined as "intuitive eating". So, yes, most of the recipes in my blog archives are plant-based but more recently I have been and will continue to share a mix of everything.
Kaity's homemade apple cider doughnuts styled with Coral & Tusk Feather table linens.
“Every time I get in the kitchen and cook I hope I'm honoring my ancestors and the women in my family who shaped who I am.”
On your blog you mention your maternal grandmother and her knack for cooking for large gatherings along with your talented mother. What did you learn from your grandmother and mother that has helped you with your business?
Oh both of my grandmothers were such amazing women and role models. As is my mother, Susan, who taught me how to cook and bake. I loved helping her and learning from her in the kitchen. My maternal grandmother, Mary, had 10 children and could make a meal out of nothing. She was a force. She taught me that women can and should claim their power in this world and go for their dreams. She successfully ran for mayor of her town while raising her large family and was in office for multiple terms. She didn't take any BS from anyone. As a kid, I was simultaneously in awe of her and knew not to cross her. My very large extended family would gather at Grandma Mary's home for Thanksgiving every year and, oh my, the feasts we had. I think at the largest gathering there were around 50 of us. Lots of pies! Lots of everything and all so delicious. There are so many great cooks in my mother's family.
My father's mom, my Grandma Bridge (Bridget), may not have been known for her cooking (although she always made the best salad dressing), but she taught me so much. She was truly the kindest person, no seriously, like THE nicest person, and everyone who knew her agrees. She taught me empathy and fairness and unconditional love. She lived through 100 years on this earth and we were so lucky to have her in our lives for the time we did. She had the best stories. I loved hearing about her parents' homestead, where they grew their own food in their huge garden, made wine, raised animals, and how my great-grandmother made everything from scratch and preserved food to keep them fed throughout the year. They were Italian immigrants with a large family to feed and were able to live comfortably through the Great Depression because of their garden and larder. Every time I get in the kitchen and cook I hope I'm honoring my ancestors and the women in my family who shaped who I am.
Fare Isle Elderflower Lemon Drizzle Cake, the perfect treat for Mother’s Day!
Which of your recipes would you recommend for celebrating Mother’s Day this year. What’s the inspiration behind this recipe?
The Elderflower Lemon Drizzle Cake has all the flavors I love. It has plenty of lemon flavor (the more the merrier for me) and a fragrant floral note from the addition of wild elderflower blossoms. Elderflower season is so short and actually doesn't start until the very end of June/early July on Nantucket. I love making this simple loaf cake to celebrate the start of summer. If you can't find elderflowers or they are not in season yet where you live they can be swapped with something like chamomile flowers or the leaves of lemon verbena or lemon balm. This cake would be perfect for a Mother's Day tea party!
Hot Cross Bunny Buns styled with Coral & Tusk Baby Chicken tea towel.
What’s one of your favorite Mother’s Day memories?
When my son was in preschool at The Nantucket Lighthouse School they would have a Mother's Day Café, where all the moms would come and the kids and their teacher would serve us the sweetest lunch in their classroom. They made special invitations, menus, decorations and everything. It was the cutest thing.
How do you plan on spending this Mother’s Day?
We usually do a low-key day at home. Jake will cook us an amazing meal, we'll go for a long walk, and work in the garden. Iley always makes me the most beautiful handmade gifts at his school and I treasure them.
Kaity’s Vegan Squash Blossom recipe featuring a Coral & Tusk Lemons & Butterfly tea towel.
To keep up with Kaity follow her on Instagram at @fareisle and bookmark her blog at www.fareisle.com. Should you find yourself in Nantucket this summer, you can experience Kaity’s seasonal meals firsthand! Find more information about her private chef offering here.
All photography courtesy of Fare Isle.