Everything about Teresa Abalde is stylish. From her natural platinum hair to her photographic eye and the point of view of her blog (Marquesa in da house) to her personal organization of objects and flavors in the kitchen, nothing in it seems to lack that “je ne sais quoi” that is the signature that sets her above the rest.
While when it comes to fashion, interior design and photography her name was already known, her ultimate rise to fame came with her participation in the 7th edition of MasterChef in Spain. Abalde, originally from the region of Compostela, not only exuded “savoir faire” in each episode of the show, but also stole the hearts of viewers and fans around the world, despite ending up in second place.
This new kitchen celebrity has a look that reminds us of Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada,” but that has nothing to do with Teresa’s essence. Friendly, empathetic, and restless, she can either stand in front of a camera offering her best angle or melt with love with a girl who was excited to earn her MasterChef apron. Therefore, we were not surprised that she took time off from her diverse projects to give an exclusive interview to Inspiringgoodliving.
When the arts come together
Teresa Abalde is a self-taught and experimental chef, whose relationship with the kitchen began at her grandparents’ house in Rianxo, Galicia. She says that the experience taught her a lot about nurturing parenting through food and the importance of harnessing cuisine.
Likewise, she confesses that one thing that helped her find her own touch before the stove was the dare to replicate her mother’s traditional dishes (which she states she can never manage to reproduce to perfection) and venturing out to prepare the recipes of any book that landed into her hands. The fact is that she is one of those who believe that you can learn how to cook by cooking.
-What do you think this media boom over cooking has given to a trade that was once considered as “a woman thing“?
-Traditionally, women have been in charge of the kitchen at home, and in terms of haute cuisine, the Michelin Stars have been in the hands of men. This visibility of the art of cooking will tip the scales so that these trends change.
Throughout the seventh season of MasterChef Spain, the plating of Teresa Abalde got the most praise. Her secret? “My taste for aesthetics, which is obviously reflected in the way I present a dish, in the dinnerware I use and even in the colors of the ingredients I choose.”
-So, is this what the Teresa photographer and interior designer has given to the chef?
-I believe that the three professions have similarities. The attention to detail, the precision and the search for an aesthetic, as well as making people happy, are among them.
-We have seen in your Instagram account that you also prepare healthy dishes. Do you think it’s possible to eat delicious and healthy food?
– Healthy cooking and tasty cooking are not opposite concepts at all. The trick is to use good-quality basic products and season well.
A kitchen with design
-Something all your fans may be wondering is how does the kitchen of someone who is an interior designer and chef looks like?
– Luckily, I have been able to design my own kitchen, and it’s a very spacious and bright, with natural light, which I think is essential. I have a central island to cook, because to work facing the wall makes me feel as if I were grounded. If you like to cook, the stove must have the best place in the kitchen. On the other side of the island I have stools to enjoy the company while I’m cooking.
-In your opinion, which elements would describe the ideal space in a kitchen and why?
–For me an ideal kitchen is spacious and bright, with specific areas designed to make it work. That is, well designed when it comes to organization. When I design for a client, I organize everything, and I think: Where do I need support areas? Where do I need water outlets? Where would the cooking area be? The cold area? The area for dirty items? I picture it all as a mini restaurant at the planning level. In terms of colors and materials, I believe anything can be attractive with a good design. From a super clean and minimalist proposal in light colors, to darker and baroque kitchens. I believe that success comes from designing something that identifies with the person who will use it. My kitchen, for example, has a lot of natural light, and that allows me to have black furniture and dark walls.
-Do you think that open kitchens and tv exposure has taken away the grandeur (magic) from the act of cooking?
-I don’t think it takes away its magic. Actually, I believe that today there is more interest than ever to get to know the process behind the dishes people serve you in restaurants. Therefore, nowadays there are many who offer the possibility to visit and try an item of their menu being prepared in their kitchen as part of the experience.
-If you could cook something for a famous character, who would it be, what would you cook and how would you present it?
-I’ve never thought about that. I think I could prepare a delicious cochinita for Salma Hayek, and since I also make some amazing margaritas, I think success is guaranteed.