Meet Mariana Velásquez

Meet Mariana Velásquez

Talented food stylist Mariana Velásquez has more than a decade of experience amongst New York's thriving culinary circles with features in publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, Food + Wine, Gourmet, O Magazine and many others. Finding inspiration in her Latin American roots, her work explores the juxtaposition of food, fashion and art - a feast for all the senses. Below, Mariana shares more about her newest cookbook, a new line of 'hosting-ware,' and a perfect autumn recipe to try!

 
 

Tell us about your newest cookbook "Colombiana" - what were the highlights of working on this project?  

Colombiana was a book that poured out of me. When I sat down to write the first outline and imagined what it would be like it all started to come together as the words formed on the page— I tend to write by hand when I'm conceptualising a project. And very quickly I thought of the chapters as the progression of light in a day in the Andes, the flatlands, the northern desert and the Pacific coast wild beaches.This book, now more than ever, feels like a full circle of my life in food.

 

Harvest Floral Carys Dress

 

Your cooking and entertaining style seems to be so much more than just about taste - there's colours, textures, attention to detail and synergy with art and fashion. How would you describe your approach to cooking and entertaining?  

More is more… I love generous meals and ample invitations, lots of harmony in the colour palette and florals. When planning and menu, my inspiration comes first from the farmers market, full flavours and seasonal ingredients. I like to keep it simple for myself by serving family style, setting wines in a large enamel bucket with ice, and curating playlists to make sure we all end up dancing. 

  

Congratulations on the launch of Casa Velasquez - your new collection of hosting ware! What was the inspiration behind the collection?  

Thank you! I created a line to reimagine hosting essentials, from aprons , to tableware to table stationery, with prints and silhouettes inspired by the exotic town Santa Cruz de Lorica on the Sinu River basin. The colours, architecture and  history of migration, music and Caribbean magic realism inspired this collection.
 
 

New York City is your home base - what are some of your favourite culinary spots around the city? 

On a steamy summer night I make my way to OStudio at night— where my dear Friend Fernando Aciar has brought together a collaborative artist’s studio, a natural wine bar, exquisitely curated food pantry and chef residencies who make fabulous unpretentious food.
 
For a sweet something I'll stop by Seed+Mill at Chelsea Market for their decadent tahini soft serve ice cream. For a breakfast on the go- Win Son Bakery rice rolls filled with pork belly and egg are do die for— not to mention a perfect hangover antidote For a night to remember at the chicest Piano bar- the Nines. 

 

Crimson Meadow Vera BlouseCrimson Perfume Polka Rah Rah Skirt

 

You've worked on some pretty amazing projects around the world - what is one experience that stands out as a favourite?  

Going to Hong Kong for the first time to host a creative workshop changed my life forever. Exploring in a city that stole my heart (sorry NYC)  and entering a culture with such a different aesthetic was sublime. I had the best meals, endless walks and  unexpected city hikes.
 
 

How do you unwind when not creating/cooking? Do you have a favourite film? 

Only one? Impossible! Here are my top three films of all time (not in order); Talk to Her- by Pedro Almodovar, I am love by Lucca Guadagnino and In the mood for love by Won Kar wai.
 
 

And last but not least – What is one of your favourite recipes? 

 

Follow Mariana on Instagram: @marianavelasquezv
Photo credit Gentl & Hyers and Image from Colombiana Cookbook courtesy of Harper Wave
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