Behind Closed Doors: Rachel Saunders


With a deep respect for minimalism in all areas of her life, Rachel’s refrigerator is another lesson in the power in surrounding yourself with only that which you love. Sparse and considered, her approach to food is one of immense appreciation for the growers, the land and the traditions that surround the act of eating. Connect and cook, Rachel style.

What is your food philosophy? 

I see food as a medium for connection, healing, and expression. Like anything else it is an energetic exchange, one deserving of the utmost love and respect while grown, prepared and consumed. I like how we are returning to what we once knew, finding our way back to an ancient wisdom rooted in natural simplicity. I also see deep value in the ceremony and ritual around creating and communing through meals with others and think it’s especially important these days. 

What foods make you feel your best? 

Light and colourful foods from gardens, foods that were prepared by and shared with friends, foods that I get to eat with my hands. 

What foods support your mind, body and spirit? 

Simple foods have always had a deep way of romancing my entire being, and it’s always nice when my mind craves what my body wants— things like ice cold oysters, plump and vibrant Cerignolas, pastel coloured melons, honey drizzled on fresh baked whole wheat, crushed mint tea. The thought, creation and consumption of beautiful simple foods nourish me on all levels. 

What’s always in your fridge? 

A rotation of fermented veggies, about 4 types of grainy mustard, miso, grassfed butter, citrus fruits, leafy greens to juice or sauté, soaked beans, like cannellini or chickpeas, homemade oat milk, sparkling water and sometimes some nice orange wine. 

Who do you look to for food inspiration? 

I like to fantasize about different places and dream up what I imagine the beautiful people eat there. Places like Okinawa, Tangier, Hydra, Istanbul, Sardinia etc. And I always love to see what people like René Redzepi, Laila Gohar, Angela Dimayuga, Lexie Smith and Sharona Franklin are up to, it’s always something mind blowing. 

What would your last meal be? 

A glittering seafood tower at a little beachside restaurant off the coast of Italy, ideally. 

Please give us a breakdown of each shelf. 

Umeboshi from my friend’s family in Japan, spicy kimchi from Salt Spring Island, pickled white strawberries from a chef friend on Galiano Island, some limes.

Black Kale, celery, washed green beans, cauliflower.

White onions, organic blueberries. 

I try not to stock my fridge so I always have fresh produce and to limit food waste. I love going to the market every second day or so. 

And a recipe you’d like to share! 

Rachel’s Quick and Magical Morning Soup

In a bowl, whisk together a spoonful of organic miso paste, splash of sesame oil, and a squeeze of lemon. 

In a pot, bring to boil a single portion of buckwheat soba, kelp or rice noodles. 

Throw in a couple sliced shiitakes or other mushrooms and let simmer until noodles are done. Optional to also toss in a piece of kombu if you have it. 

Transfer mushrooms, noodles, and appropriate amount of hot water to the miso paste and gently mix. 

Top with crumbled nori, chickpeas, kimchi, and/or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. 

*This my go-to for a warming and satiating meal on cold winter days and it’s so simple and nourishing.

1 comment

  • just a fun fact comment, orange wine is actually skin contact wine. it does not come from an orange grape but is a type of fermentation where the skins of a grape get left on creating a hue in the wine. for example, if you leave the skins of a pino grigio on a grape during fermentation for close to a month you will have a beautiful dark orange wine left behind. orange wine isn’t a category of wine, however skin contact is!

    Natalie Ott

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