Sara Zin started her unique food blog, Starving Artist, as a starving artist living in New York City. Proof that good things happen by pursuing what you love, the LA-based illustrator, designer and foodie is now working on her first cookbook, due for release next year.
We had a chat with Sara about her wonderful creations and her artistic and culinary journey.
What inspired you to start your blog?
There were many events leading up to creating the Starving Artist cookblog, but the main thing that inspired me was the desire to share the food I was making with the people I love. I didn’t know how to cook for the longest time, and after a year of experimenting in the kitchen, I thought it would be fun to make a little cookbook as a Christmas present for my family and friends. So I started painting a few much-loved recipes, and when Christmas came and went without getting through half of them, I decided to post them online and share that way.
What is it about taking the time to recreate dishes through art that makes you appreciate them more?
Being able to express my love for cooking through my art is rewarding in itself. These are my two favorite things to do – aside from eating. As a whole, creating this cookblog has been an unexpectedly circular journey – from being a literal starving artist in New York City, struggling with not knowing what to paint, to trying something totally new like cooking, and bringing those things together. It’s all been a truly fulfilling experience.
“Being able to express my love for cooking through my art is rewarding in itself. These are my two favorite things to do – aside from eating.”
Do you have a favourite recipe/watercolour combo?
My mother’s chocolate walnut cake is one of the most amazing cakes I have ever tasted and it was a real challenge to paint too! I wanted to get in all the wonderful texture and had to seriously restrain myself from eating that cake before I was finished painting, but the harder the challenge the more rewarding it is in the end.
What role do the seasons play in your recipes?
I post the recipes I cook at home, which are typically the foods I crave, and those cravings definitely reflect the moods of the seasons and food available at my local farmers’ markets. Since I’ve moved to California, there are farms all around me and I’ve gained a new appreciation for the cycles of crops and how important it is to cook seasonal foods.
It takes an enormous amount of energy and thought to get food from nature to our kitchens, and living in such a techno-modern world makes it very easy to forget that we are a part of nature too. The more I cook, the more I realize just how dependent we are upon the seasons, and being aware of this connection (in my opinion) makes food all the more delicious.