Meet Restaurants Brighton Reviewer & Food Photographer Emma Harrel
I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I started baking with my gran, and if I remember rightly my favourite recipe to make was rock cakes, which came from her old cookbook that she got with her first oven! My mum is also an excellent cook, so I grew up with beautiful homemade food. So when I was making the decision at school with what field to further study, it was between the catering industry and the arts. I decided on the arts but it’s no surprise I’ve ended up combining the two and becoming a photographer who loves taking pictures of food! I cook and bake all the time at home, with many of those creations snapped and shared on my food photography blog. When I’m eating a dish I love to deconstruct the flavours, trying to list all of the ingredients in my head, which gives me ideas for my home cooking.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Brighton, Hove or Sussex and why?
Silo – I love its ethos of no-waste, the food is unique, and everything has been sourced with minimal impact on the environment.
Not only is the food incredible but there are some innovative designs and interesting systems in place at the restaurant such as the ionised tap water so you don’t need soap to wash your hands, their no-waste plates made from recycled plastic packaging, and their wine-matching scheme, where the waiters recommend the perfect wines to go with each dish.
I went there for my birthday last year and had the wine/drink matching experience with my meal and it was absolutely incredible!
Which is your favourite food dish or genre of cuisine and why?
I always struggle when I’m asked what’s my favourite because I’m one of those people that constantly has a different favourite! At the moment, my favourite cuisine has to be Indian because I recently visited India for the first time and didn’t get bored of the food once! Indian food varies depending on the area of the country, and I was travelling around the South West where coconuts and fish are in abundance. I took a cookery class out there and learnt so much, since my return I haven’t stopped cooking South Indian inspired food.
What areas are of great importance to you when you visit a restaurant?
Good quality ingredients; I think as long as you have quality ingredients the food will deliver. I also like good music; I’m a big music fan so it’s really great to go somewhere to eat and enjoy what you’re hearing. Kooks is a good one for that!
What has inspired you to become a food reviewer – or how did the opportunity come about?
I’m a photographer who has always had a passion for food, so I love taking eye-catching food photos that make you want to eat right away. Be that taking photos for a restaurant or for my food blog. So when I asked Restaurant Brighton if they would have any use for my food photography skills, after chatting to Nick he offered me the opportunity to join the team as a food reviewer, where not only would I review my foodie experience but I would get the chance to take some tasty photos at the restaurant. Of course I didn’t turn that opportunity down!