Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chefs That Inspire Me: Kittee Bee Berns Of Cake Makers To The Stars

No inspiration chef series would be complete without Miss Kittee Bee Berns! Her amazing gluten free and vegan recipes astound me every time I take a peek at her beautiful blog! She is a very busy lady! As well as writing her Cake Makers To The Stars blog, she is a contributer to (a gluten free vegan resource site), a recipe zine writer (Papa Tofu, Paku Paku) and a fellow vegan MOFOer and organiser amongst other things! So if you are taking part in Vegan MOFO there is a good chance Kittee has had a hand in helping your blog be part of it! 

DBB: Hey Kittee! You're gluten free, vegan recipes always look and sound out of this world! Where do you get all your cooking inspiration from?

KBB: Well I'm just obsessed with food, so the inspiration comes from all over the place. I have a lot of friends who cook, my mom is also a whiz in the kitchen, plus I read magazines and listen to podcasts and I plow through cookbooks. I keep a huge pile by my bed at all times. I get a lot of ideas and information from the regular culinary world and then filter the information to help me me make better xgfx morsels!

DBB: You started off vegan and then found out that gluten was making you feel icky! What advice would you give to someone in the same situation? I know my mum felt pretty hopeless when she first found out she couldn't eat gluten any more!

KBB: There are so many great books coming out these days—specifically for xgfx diets, so I would definitely point someone in that direction, plus I think there's a ton of good resources over at I think baking is the hardest, and there's definitely a learning curve there, so I'd just suggest finding some good recipes instead of trying to convert stuff right away. I think it's much easier to veganize a recipe than to de-glutenize a recipe, and I wouldn't recommend for a newbie to try to do both at the same time.

DBB: I have seen much evidence that you are keen crafter! What is your favourite things to make?  

KBB: I like to make so much stuff, but especially anything I can wear or use regularly around the house
(I am a big nester). I really enjoy sewing vintage or vintage inspired dresses, scalloped hemmed skirts and knitting sweaters is particularly appealing. Although I'm mostly a selfish crafter, I also enjoy making things for good friends.

DBB: What meal or dessert evokes a special memory for you and why?
KBB: Whenever I make a big Ethiopian feast for my partner Dazee, I can't help but remember doing the same thing the night before everyone in New Orleans was meant to evacuate due to impending Katrina. I'd made a ton of food without knowing the storm was coming, then begged my friends to please come pick up plates before they left town. It was really spooky and stressful, we were all stressed out and scared, but had tons of food. It was pretty weird.
DBB: What are three ingredients you couldn't live without?
KBB: Obviously, I could make do without these, but they would be wholly missed:  nutritional yeast, pasta and tomatoes! Oh! and I couldn't live without olive oil, either!!! So maybe nooch, evoo and tomatoes!

BB: I give you a bag containing these ingredients, rice noodles, kale, coriander (cilantro) butternut squash, chilli, pineapple, coconut cream, what would you make?

KBB: Can I add ingredients, or is that cheating?  If I can add, I'd make giant salad rolls.  I'd grill the squash and pineapple with a maple chilli glaze and stuff them with the noodles and a chiffonade of fresh kale into rice papers.  Then I'd make a peanut butter dipping sauce with the coconut cream and cilantro.

DBB: What is your favourite recipe book?

KBB: Oh, I have SO MANY!  I could never narrow it down to one.  My favourites this month are Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese and Jennifer Katzinger's Gluten-Free Vegan Bread.  Both are amazing (the bread book is coming out the end of October).

DBB: What would be your perfect afternoon?

KBB: A beautiful sunny low stress day, a picnic with yummy xgfx goodies and cocktails, my friends and family and my dog being nice to everyone. And there would be a river with innertubes, too!

You can find out more about the fabulous Kittee Bee Berns and her yummy recipes here:


  1. Great interview. Good to know that other people have piles of cookbooks next to their beds!

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