The Vibrant Kitchen

What drives someone to blog? To dedicate time to craft something and put their heart and soul into different recipes & stories? Michelle Gerrard-Marriott is one of the most passionate women I have met in the health circles here in Southern California. When I read her posts, I can tell that she poured her heart into each and every word. Michelle is a big reader and an even bigger romantic. I love this about her. She has lived all over the world, and in married to her true love, with whom she wrote hundreds of letters while living apart (which she is now transcribing on her site).

Can we find true love with our creations, whether they are physical or digital? Where do we find the balance between the two? Michelle's site inspires me to get crafty and put those rose colored glasses back on. That is the power of digital when it is made from the soul. 

Images in slideshow above were taken by Michelle

Q&A with Michelle Gerrard-Marriott from The Vibrant Kitchen

Q: Tell us a little bit about your website and then why you decided to create a curated online shop?

A:   The Vibrant Kitchen & Home is my dream of all dreams. It is a platform for giving, a marketplace of holistic wellness and green beauty and a catalogue of my organic vegan cooking expeditions in the kitchen! It started as a small blog of recipes and grew, and continues to grow every day! It was an immense leap of faith to curate an online marketplace to accompany my recipes and inspiration blogs. But it was a dream I have had for many moons, and I decided I was done waiting for the right time. It is truly never the right time. It was time for me to jump in the deep and swim my heart out. I am enamored with my work. I love working with companies who are ethical, organic, fair trade, wild harvested, and artisan crafted. The creators are my friends, my family and I am so thankful for their art. My husband and I also craft some of the goodies on the site. When I started it the main goal was to have a shop that would allow me to give back to organizations around the globe, as well as supporting and carrying artisan crafted goods from around the word.  It is a creative venture that has endless possibilities and I am thrilled every morning to see where it takes me!

Q: How did you go about finding these companies?

A:  Instagram, google searching, word of mouth. I really hunkered down and reached out to many companies and asked many questions. One of the artisans was a good friend of mine and it is an absolute joy to work with her. The others have quickly become my friends. Part of how I like to work is I want to form relationships.  I do not want to simply buy and sell. I want to know their story, I want to know what drives them to produce their products, what inspires them, what their thoughts are on sustainability, fair trade, and organic certification. The people I work with I consider family. I want to lift them up as they lift me. So finding these companies is a long process but one I love deeply!

Q: Your recipes are absolutely divine, how do you make the time to get in the kitchen and cook these fabulous recipes?What are some of your favorite cookbooks or sources of inspiration?

A:  Thank you so much beautiful! I am blushing big time. The kitchen is my second home, I always make time to cook my meals, even if it’s a jam packed day I will throw some organic greens in a bowl with some carrots and bell peppers and a splash of balsamic and olive oil. I always say in must cultures around the world, and our own many moons ago, you did not make time for cooking, you made time for everything else. Cooking is essential to human life. Food is sustenance, nutrition, it is our fuel for getting through each day. I draw inspiration from nature, from the seasons, from farmers markets, from flavors and spices of my childhood. I also LOVE Adelasterfoodtextures on Instagram, Olivia is a constant source of magical inspiration. Kristin Dahl, Melissa Rosseaou, you my sweet Alexa, and I am 100% Vegan but I love Jamie Oliver. I own every book of his and I veganize all the recipes I can, not to mention he has an amazing vegan and gluten free space on his website and offers incredible recipes!

Q: What does a vibrant kitchen and home look like to you? 

A:  Bright, Airy, filled with color & life. I love walking into a home and seeing little muddy footprints from pups, kitties, babies. I love seeing drawings and paintings hanging on walls and the fridge. I love to see purple dish towels that have just wiped a counter. I think there is nothing more beautiful than a home that breaths energy and life. The smell of onions and garlic hitting the pan, fresh picked flowers from the garden. Laughter and a lot of it. Music, dancing, reading, conversation. Fair trade and or organic home goods, green beauty treats in the bathroom. Also, for me a Vibrant Kitchen & Home always has a gorgeous little library and a lovely little nook with cozy blankets to escape into other worlds! But more than anything a home that simply feels like falling in love.

Q: You have a pretty romantic love story between you and your beau, do you mind sharing some of the story with us? Also, tell us about your love letter transcription on your site!

A: Oh my. You are too sweet. Our love story is certainly a crazy one! In short my husband and I met when I was 15 and he was 17. It was a chance meeting, he was from England and I was a little town by the sea in California. We became fast friends and fell in love but I never thought it would continue after he went home. But it did! We wrote each other letters, and sent packages every chance we got. Phone calls until the wee hours of the morning, many fights, many break ups, many make ups. Many plane flights across an ocean. I ended up going to university in Liverpool when I was 17.  I then got very sick and had to come home, finished off college at LMU and then moved on to Australia to be with him in his new job 3 years later! We got engaged in Brisbane, Australia after living there for a year and then came back to the states. It has never been easy, but it has been worth every challenge. The love letter transcription on my site is very new. I entitled it The Vibrant Romance. It is a project very close to my heart, very intimate, a lesson for me in being vulnerable. I have heard so many people give up on love because of distance. And I know, distance is not for everyone. But I also know that you only get one shot in this life. And people, our lives are so delicate. We are not promised any more time than this very moment. And if you would only want to spend that moment with a person across the ocean, make it happen. Distance is not capable of stopping love. It’s only capable of making you think it isn’t possible.  And no couple is perfect. No love is without flaw. I am very open with how much my husband and I fought, and fight still. How many tears fell during the long process of getting to where we are now. My hope is that by sharing my story, others will tell me theirs, and The Vibrant Romance will continue with many peoples love stories, love letters and so on. A small space in a large world dedicated to love. 

Q: Could you share one of your favorite nutrient dense/ seasonal recipes with us?

A: Autumn & Winter are often seen as seasons of death. I do not agree with this mentality. Autumn & Winter are filled with vibrant life, rebirth, crisp air, and a lingering feeling of comfort and love. It is a time to get back to your roots, and the produce of the season allows you to just do that. This soup is incredibly simple, flavorful and grounding.

Roasted Carrot, Fennel & Thyme Soup

The Goods:

2 lbs Carrots

4 Bulbs of Fennel, Quartered

2 Sweet or yellow onions

5-6 cloves garlic

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

4-5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons pink salt

1 teaspoon pepper

96 ounces of Veggie Broth- Homemade or your favorite brand

Plain Almond or coconut yogurt whipped

Get Cooking:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

First wash and prep your veggies. I cut the carrots in half, fennel in quarters, onions in quarters.   Put carrots, fennel and onions in a large roasting pan and drizzle olive oil, turmeric, salt and pepper over the veggies. Roast for 15-20 minutes depending on oven and then add garlic cloves and thyme.

Put your broth in a large pot over heat. Add bay leaf and a tied bushel of thyme, sage, and rosemary. Allow broth to boil with these herbs while your veggies continue to roast. When your veggies are delightfully roasted, about 30- 35 minutes more or less depending on your oven, remove from oven and add all veggies to broth. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes to build the flavor. Once simmered, remove bay leaf and tied bushel of herbs. Add soup to vitamix in batches and blend until creamy.

To make almond cream. Simply whip plain almond yogurt until light and creamy! Top the soup with a dollop of this cream and sprinkle some more thyme leaves for garnish! Enjoy! xo

Q: What is your grand vision for The Vibrant Kitchen & Home?

A:  I have so many dreams for this company. So many projects, collaborations I want to do.  But mainly I want to grow my global connections and give back as much as I can. One day I would love a brick and mortar storefront. I would love to make it a wellness center that takes care of the whole person. Physically, emotionally, & spiritually. And I would like to expand my giving projects. Right now I give 10% of all profits to Maji Mazuri and Doctors without Borders. I also am going my first planned give in February with Plantmed.  For that month 10% of all proceeds will go to just Plantmed in a give that is aimed at helping them reach their goal for building a once in a lifetime research center in the Amazon to preserve Amazonian medicine.  I want to help people create a home that is filled with sustainable luxury while helping people raise themselves out of poverty.  My dreams are every growing, so always check into the website to see what new things are happening! 

When I was a wee one I remember smelling parsley all around me. The plants towered above me and the delicate vivid green leaves brushed my cheeks and made me giggle. The soaring stems seemed to go on forever, for a little girl walking across an acre is equivalent to sailing towards the never-ending horizon.  I always thrived in nature surrounded by color, sound, textures, and smells. I wanted to feel everything no matter if it was unpleasant or magnificent I wanted to experience it all. 

 I am Michelle Gerrard-Marriott creator of The Vibrant Kitchen & Home. My dream has always been to own a wellness center where I could spread my passion and love for Green luxury and healing. I have always needed to have a connection to the items that make up my home. I want to know that the items I love did not cause anyone harm.  The Vibrant Kitchen & Home is place where you can rest assured that all products come from artisans around the world who love their craft, and only use ingredients sourced with Fair Trade practices.  Within the pages of this website you will be taken on a journey into a brave new world.  Not only will you find products to covet, you can browse through organic vegan recipes, find interviews with your favorite brand owners, and be introduced to inspiring individuals who are changing the world around them.