Table Talk: Nicole Nelius

Table Talk: Nicole Nelius

Nicole is an award-winning artist who is known for her colourful and sculptural paintings. Her works are inherently playful and based on her own still-life photographs of uniquely balanced objects. We spoke to Nicki about how she painted a recipe for us that comprises almost entirely of white/beige ingredients and her pantry essentials. 




Can you tell us about your approach to portraying Charlotte Ree's Burnt Basque Cheesecake recipe?

I found the lack colour and shape with these ingredients to be quite intimidating initially, but it pushed me to think outside the box with my approach. I usually set-up my composition and photograph it first; I had some very messy moments with cream cheese, eggs and my camera during this process! I was grateful to have Charlotte’s favourite flower to include as a pop of colour and instead of an eggshell, I added a seashell as a playful nod to her love of the beach and a little bit just for me, as a signature. 


Take us through an average day on your plate. What does breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert look like for you? 

I prefer savoury meals mostly breakfast or lunch would be an omelette or toast with marinated goat’s feta, tomato, basil, salt & pepper. Dinner, I love pasta - a simple pesto with bocconcini is a favourite. Dessert - watermelon ‘pizza’ - slice of watermelon, greek yogurt, berries, nuts, seeds, coconut and mint. So refreshing!

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

Fresh ground coffee, pure cream, eggs, parmesan, pickles

What do you cook for the people you love? 

I’ve been enjoying making a ratatouille at home. The slicing, stirring and placing the vegetables in the dish can be a fun family activity or quite therapeutic solo.


What is one of your happiest food memories?

One of my happiest food memories is from a date at a small family run restaurant in Provence. I ordered a simple baked stuffed vegetables Provençal and it was the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. This trip is a fond memory from before marriage and kids and my husband and I still giggle at our impression of the adorable and nervous 12 year old waiter.



What sort of food did you eat growing up? 

My favourite meal was spaghetti bolognese or a simple spaghetti with canned diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese. For my birthday, I would always ask for banana cream pie!
You can follow Nicole on Instagram here.

Burnt Basque Cheesecake by Charlotte Ree and Nicole Nelius