2 minutes with Thomasina Miers
Occupation: Food writer, Author, Restaurateur, Sustainability Warrior, Mother
Restaurants: Wahaca Group
Lives: London, UK
Co-founder of the Wahaca group of restaurants across England, Tommi is making a huge impact with her vibrant Mexican food and sustainable ethos. Juggling 20+ restaurants would be challenging enough but she also writes for The Guardian, does the odd TV spot and loves nothing more than hanging with her three gorgeous girls and husband Mark in their veggie garden.
When did you discover your passion for food?
Very early on. Toys left me cold but pans and sauces really fired me up. I would sit up on a stool next to my mother and learn as much as I could about what she was doing.
How did you come up with the idea for Wahaca?
I went to Mexico on my gap year expecting I don’t know what, only to discover this wonderful country full of the most exciting, delicious regional food. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know anything about it, about the biodiversity, the wealthy of amazing ingredients, and the sheer flavours.
What's a normal day in the life of Tommi?
I wake up at about 6am and normally do a bit of writing and emails before the girls wake up at 7am. I then shower and get them dressed and we all have breakfast together. I take them to school then scoot off to Wahaca for meetings or menu development. I work from home two days a week when I write my column in the Guardian or work on other projects, like the Open Air Classroom Project, a charitable project involving building a large garden classroom in my local primary school. I normally lunch at one of my restaurants, trying to keep an eye on our food standards and in the evenings I will either be out trying a new restaurant with friends or in, testing new recipes for my latest book.
You have 3 kids, how do you engage them with food and your sustainable ethics?
Having a third was real dilemma for us in terms of the world population! In the end it happened all by itself. But we grow our own vegetables in our small backyard garden, we shop at the local market for food and we spend quite a lot of time in the outdoors. We eat a lot of vegetables and treat meat and fish as treats for the weekends. I don’t browbeat them – they are too young – I guess I hope they will pick up a love for food, ingredients and the planet intravenously through the way we live our lives.
What do you do as a family on your days off?
We do a lot of hanging out, being quite spontaneous with what we are doing – we might suddenly decide to go and see an exhibition, or go swimming, or for a bicycle ride. We might go away to the countryside for the weekend, invite some friends round for lunch or go to Hampstead Heath. My husband and I both work quite hard so we try not to book our weekends up too heavily – it is good to have some space and free time to let life just flow…
You can follow Thomasina on Instagram @thomasinamiers