STYLING | How to Dine with Simplicity

STYLING | How to Dine with Simplicity

14 MAR


How to Dine with Simplicity at Easter

Sydney-based chef and food stylist Sian Redgrave is one of those people that oozes creativity, her enthusiasm for what she does is contagious and frankly, she’s just got the best taste. Ahead of Easter, we commissioned her and photographer Ben Murphy to capture a conceptual dining scene for CULTIVER, inspired by the simplicity of pure white linen. We spoke with the tastemaker about what she loves to make at Easter time, her tips for hosting and her daily rituals.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

My name is Sian. I am a chef and food stylist, endeavouring to blend design, food and art into all of my projects. These range from events for brands, residencies, editorial work and recipe development. I started out in design and then found myself in food. Now I like to muddy the waters, immersing myself and taking inspiration from many creative disciplines. Having recently done a project for Chanel and The Australian Ballet, I’m really inspired to continue to work with brands who are at the forefront of fashion, art, design and culture. Every project I do is different, which pushes me to evolve as a creative. In the future, I would love to explore product and furniture design and collaborations, art installations and more obscure dining experiences for people to enjoy.

What does creativity mean to you and where do you find inspiration?

Creativity for me is a wonderful amalgamation of problem solving, self expression and collaboration. I believe most moments in life possess the ability to be creative, from cooking dinner, to conversation to choosing an outfit in the morning. Endless inspiration comes from people who are curious, connected and gracious in life. There is nothing more magnetic than someone who is unapologetically passionate about their chosen interests, it’s contagious. This extends to people who are expressive through music, design, architecture, music, food and the arts. I’m also a complete and utter other-thinker, sometimes to my detriment but on a good day my imagination does a fine job of keeping me inspired.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Classic, considered, artful and minimalistic. I’ve always been drawn to brutalist and modern design of the past. 90’s fashion, music and architecture (with that undeniable melancholic and moody feeling), Japanese refinement and sophistication and Italian eras such as the Renaissance. It depends on my mood but harmony, balance, beauty and restraint are what I am always seeking.

What is your inspiration behind this setting?

I love white linen, for me a white tablecloth is the epitome of sophistication and timeless elegance. I really wanted to celebrate this classic item and convey a pared back setting, free from over styled or busy decorations. Calm and ethereal, how I hope I will be feeling at Easter, (although it’s going to be busy so I highly doubt it). I’m also a huge admirer of Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work, Wrapped Coast. It was such an iconic installation, so this is my small homage to that piece.

“I love white linen, for me a white tablecloth is the epitome of sophistication and timeless elegance.”


How do you like to style the table at Easter? What's your favourite Easter dish?

Easter always seems to come around so quickly, with Christmas feeling like it was only last week. After the grandiose indulgence of December I love to approach Easter with simplicity and ease. It’s a nice time in the year to pause, restore and revitalise. With the change of season - the beginning of Autumn here in Australia - I love to cook with produce that starts to appear such as pine mushrooms, leeks, quinces and buttery potatoes. I learn into the cooler change and welcome all things comforting. A lover of food traditions, I always make torta pasqualina, an Italian Easter pie filled with eggs, cheese and spinach.

What color palatte are you drawn to most?

Deep, rich and complex tones of brown, navy, green and beige. Never without black and white. A magpie with stainless steel and polished metals. Always in search of the perfect shade of red.

What's your secret to making guests feel at ease?

Warmth and generosity. Everyone needs someone to make them feel safe and cared for. Cliched to say but we always remember how people and situations made us feel. Focus on that and it won’t really matter how you roasted a chicken or iced a cake.

What makes a house feel like a home to you?

Speakers, I am listening to music practically from the moment I wake up to when I’m cooking dinner at night. Uplifting scents, burning incense grounds me. Fresh flowers, fresh linen and an oven, cooking something delightful with its aroma wafting through the house.

What are your daily rituals?

Coffee, meditation, calling my mum, music to match my mood and at the very least one homemade meal. Oh and Wordle, safe to say I’m addicted.

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