Interview: Wild by Tart founders Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison talk foodie inspiration and New Year's resolutions

By Rebecca Field Hopkins | 22 Dec 2020 | Indulge
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Taking the term "multi-purpose" to dizzying new heights, the team at Wild by Tart have become the talk of Belgravia by launching a restaurant, bar, deli, retail store, events space and photography studio all in one bustling west London space. We talked to founders Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison about how their creation came to be.

How did you both start in the business?

"We met in New York whilst we both living in the city working on both sides of the camera photographer/model. We bonded over our love of good food, which was often hard to find on shoots and that's where Tart was born. When we moved back to the UK we set up Tart London, we began catering for shoots and everything has just built from there."

Where does your inspiration come from in your cooking? 

"Our inspiration comes down to seasonality and the ingredients that come with each season. We are all about exploring colours, tastes and textures with ingredients and the presentation of the dish itself. Eating with the seasons makes it easier to keep to our ‘buying local’ mantra.  We love working with suppliers who have unique stories of sustainability or craftsmanship. We cook food that excites us, using ingredients we know work well together."

Food staples in kitchen at home? 

"A good chilli oil, honey and pickling ingredients (vinegars, salts and spices). They're all great to have to hand to use in so many different recipes."

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Favourite interior items? 

"Lately we've been developing The Wild Store, our shop which can be found hidden behind our Belgravia restaurant, it's a treasure trove packed full of our favourite interior items. We love throwing dinner parties and always ensure we have bright and beautiful tablescapes. So, we'd have to say some our favourite interior items would be our hand-engraved star cut glasses, alongside some Issy Granger candlesticks (mixed and matched to get different heights), our Zig Zag crockery collection which was made in Morocco, and lastly a Molly Mahon table cloth really brings it all to life!"

Best lockdown recipe?

"There have been so many! The first lockdown we were lucky to have glorious weather which saw us cooking outside over a grill, which we love, and is a huge part of our menu at Wild by Tart. More recently, it would be a hearty chicken soup packed full of flavour and goodness – a real immune booster for this time of year."

What are your favourite unusual food combinations?

"There was a place in New York where you could buy chocolate-covered crisps, it sounds strange but they were so delicious. We also have a recipe for thyme ice cream which is great."

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Do you have any plans for 2021 New Year’s Resolutions?

"Hopefully to travel more, if and when we're allowed! We love to travel together and get inspired by new places, flavours and cultures."

Any new ingredients you’ve discovered recently?

"We have been loving using our new spice suppliers, Ren’s kitchen. Her spices are so amazing; she has some fantastic blends and we have loved coming up with our own blends as well."

Tell us about the cookbook. Would you ever do another one?

"A Love of Eating is a reflection on our approach to cooking and eating - creating colourful, fresh and wholesome meals to share and enjoy, always with a fun and fuss-free attitude. We'd love to do another one and this is very much a goal for us next year."

What’s your favourite Christmas food and are there any traditional foods you aren’t a fan of?

"We find a traditional Christmas pudding is always very rich especially after Turkey and all the trimmings, so we tend throw in a few different options when it comes to pudding on Christmas day. A go-to is our Hazelnut Pavlova with Spiced Fruit and Chai cream which is always a hit."