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Paola-van-der-Hulst

Hi I’m Paola, and when I’m not designing fine jewelry or painting, odds are you’ll find me in the kitchen. I’m in charge of the cooking at home, which is what you see on the site (and what’s cooking over on instagram @gnom_gnom). I was born in Mexico City, to a Dutch father and a Mexican mother, and left Mexico City at 16 to study abroad. I lived abroad for a decade between the East Coast of the United States, Scotland (hey University of St Andrews!), and London.

For as long as I can remember I have been whipping up seven-course meals. No, no I’m totally kidding! I was definitely a late bloomer in the kitchen, and did not become fully emerged in the culinary world well into university (when I had to do all the cooking myself!). Yeah, yeah I know. Shame on me.

Nonetheless, there is something to be said about growing up immersed in such a rich culinary culture, as is the Mexican one. Como agua para chocolate (Like Water For Chocolate) by Laura Esquivel for me is a treasure of how life ought to be lived, and just like Tita I’m a believer that “smells have the power to evoke the past, bringing back sounds and even other smells that have no match in the present.”

It was also not until 2013 that I had to leave behind all the gluten grains (ahem, home made pasta and sourdough bread…!). As I was (shall we say formally?) diagnosed with coeliac disease. It has been a year of experimentation and drastic changes, and while I was already dabbling before in the art of ‘gluten-free’ cooking, I suddenly became fully restricted.

The options nowadays, however, are truly fantastic. And this is what Gnom-Gnom is about. Sharing with you the wonderful recipes I have cooked up, and the ones that are still to come.

Using fresh and unprocessed ingredients. Organic whenever possible, and of course staying seasonal as much as possible. Although in Mexico I must say we are blessed, and even as late as December we get local organic strawberries (which I of course, do not let go to waste!). Gnom-Gnom is all about getting back in touch with traditional cooking and ingredients, and not seeing being gluten free as a restriction. Also do note, that most recipes here can be made with traditional flours, and I will also give instruction in many cases.

I write Gnom-Gnom at the moment from Mexico City (or as we fondly refer to it, DF). Mexico is one of the richest culinary lands, and a great inspiration (both in the kitchen and in my artwork and jewelry). I hope you will also enjoy snippets here and there of my homeland, which I have only come to love even more after living abroad for almost a decade.

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