Table Talk: Beci Orpin

Table Talk: Beci Orpin

Beci is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and author based in Melbourne whose practice is united by a signature application of colour, shape and relentless optimism.

To celebrate our collaboration with Beci in our Artist Collection No.3, we spoke to her about her food memories and her pantry essentials.




Hey Beci, take us through an average day on your plate!

Breakfast, there is no rhyme or reason to this. Usually I do the fasting thing and skip breakfast, but not always. Sometimes eat eggs and rice at home, sometimes fruit, sometimes I grab a pastry on the way to work (thanks Wildlife) everyday is a mystery! I do always have lunch, could be leftovers, something from our restaurant Juanita Peaches (I have menu hacks), or from local eating places (our studio is in Brunswick so we are surrounded by good stuff). If I'm really lucky my partner Raph Rashid is testing a special and I get to eat that. Dinner we try to make it a family affair - our kids are big (16yrs & 20yrs) and independent but the start of the week we are usually all home. Again are blessed with Raph and his amazing cooking abilities, so generally he makes dinner. Rice, curries, pasta & tacos all make regular appearances, our kids our HUNGRY so what ever is wholesome and fills them up really.



What is one of your happiest food memories?

One time I was in Japan my friend Masami took me to visit a seaside town called Kamakura for the day. We caught the train there (the 'Romance Car'). The view of the ocean was a sight for sore eyes after a week or two in the heady urban Tokyo. We spent the day in the sweet town, looking at the bamboo forests and koi in streams, and for lunch she had booked a tofu specialty restaurant. It was a tiny place that maybe sat 6 people, with Obachan's making and cooking the tofu. Out came dish after dish of tofu in various forms. I didnt know tofu could be so fresh or have so many different tastes! The combination of the setting and food made it very special. 

If we were to peer into your pantry and fridge, what are 5 things we would always find?

Eggs, butter, cheese, tortillas, hot sauce (plus greens - I'm obsessed with greens)



What sort of food did you eat growing up?

My food experience growing up was one of contrasts. My mum was very healthy, minimal sugar, lots of fruit and veg, very little snacking / processed food. But she was also very experimental with food - she tried to give us laksa in the early 80's and we were horrified! My stepfather was Austrian so we also ate lots of schnitzel, goulash, dill pickles, rye bread and strudel, he was a great cook. There were lots of dinner parties in that house. On the weekends we went to our dad's house, he let us have Red Rooster or local chinese takeaway and bubblegum and coca cola - it was kid heaven! He also cooked for us sometimes, mango chicken or a taco kit. Both winners.


Favourite season for produce?

100% Spring! All my fav veg comes into season - broadbeans, asparagus, peas, zucchini etc, plus the best ricotta cheese, and starts of the summer stone fruit at the end of spring too.