In Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley’s new book, The Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsley, the It-Brits and sisters behind the food blog Hemsley + Hemsley, dish out their favorite recipes, all made from whole foods and unprocessed ingredients. (High-quality saturated fats? Good. Refined sugars, grains, and gluten? Bad.) But the trick to their rainbow-bright-and-beautiful fare is that you won’t even notice what’s missing. That’s because it all tastes so good. Here, they share the tips they turn to for serving healthy—and delicious—food when they are entertaining or catering parties for their fashionable friends. Apply the advice to your wedding, then to planning your married-life meals.
If you’re wondering how you can still delight your guests (especially your family, who may or may not be contributing financially to the meal) by swapping a flour-filled wedding confection for an avocado and lime cheesecake? “You don’t tell people!” says Melissa. “Our food is really, really good, and people won’t even know that it’s gluten free. It’s like if you don’t tell a kid that there’s broccoli in a fritter. No one will know.”
Food Should Look As Good As It Tastes
Even a simple dish like crudités can wow. “If you do lots of color, you can get purple carrots or red leaves and then do lots of colorful dips—that always amazes people,” Melissa says. The proof? The Bagna Carda dip (translation: “hot bath”) they made at a party they catered for their friend, British designer Matthew Williamson. “You can’t pass up the opportunity to dip a crudité in it because it’s cream, anchovies, garlic, and butter,” Jasmine says. “It’s just so delicious. We kept the little pot warm in the middle of the table, and it was just completely destroyed.”
That goes for cocktails, too. “Our lime and lavender cocktail uses frozen blueberries as ice cubes,” Melissa says of their tipple that combines blueberries, raw honey, dried lavender, coconut water, lime juice, and vodka. Bonus? “It looks great in a big bowl served like a punch,” she says, “which also helps with staff if your guests serve themselves.”
Melissa knows: “People don’t want to feel heavy and lethargic after they’ve eaten because they want to dance. So that’s another thing—you don’t want food that makes you bloat.” Or anything that will cause a sugar crash pre-dance party. “Because I’ve got a sweet tooth, we had to develop recipes that would satisfy me but keep it wholesome and deliver some fat along with the sweetness,” Jasmine says of their cannellini bean, cashew, and coconut cream cheesecake. Another great dessert option? Their BB Brownies, made from—amazingly and deliciously—black beans.