Saturday Jan 19

TE1 This December I have a tasty treat for you, another form of edible art, which seems to be a trend that I am forming at the end of every year. Last Christmas we took a look at Chef Cantu, a molecular gastronomist. This year, we’re going vegan!

Tasha Edwards hails from Atlanta, Georgia, where she works as a food stylist. I came across her work during my perusing through YouTube, where I waste most of my free time away by searching for recipes or other foodie goodies. When I found her channel, adorably named Heart of Tarts, I was hooked. Edwards got her Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan, and now she spends some of her time making food that’s both healthy and presentable in her own little corner of YouTube. I have provided a few videos below so you can check out what she does first-hand.

Making YouTube videos is a great way for artists and people of all walks of life to get information out there. In Edwards’ case, she wants to teach people to eat healthier while adding a fun touch to food preparation. In this particular channel, she focuses on making both sweet and savory tarts, as well as healthy, edible garnishes.

Her channel is both hilarious and intriguing, with saucy humor and educational bits throughout. I found myself learning a lot. What I didn’t learn was covered in the awesome little interview that I present to you below. Edwards is a master of making healthy food fun, so I hope you take a moment to check out her YouTube channel and drop her a line if you feel so inclined!

Tasha Edwards interview with Brittany Connolly

What is your favorite fruit to eat, and what is your favorite tart to make?

Apples are my favorite fruit. My favorite tart is the Mango-Cream Tart (Like the Sponge Bob inspired tart).

Which fruits are the most difficult to work with?

TE3 Avocado is the most difficult fruit to work with. While it is versatile, is oxidizes/browns very fast and is slow to ripen, yet quick to rot. 

What is one fact about any fruit that you consider to be widely unknown?

Bananas make great "ice cream.” Fact.

What prompted your decision to start making baking videos on YouTube, and how has the experience been thus far?

TE2 At the time that I discovered YouTube, I also discovered vegan baking. There were very few "vegan/vegetarian" channels on YouTube and none were dedicated to sweets. My experience has been great. My first channel, TheSweetestVegan, was successful with about 45,000 subscribers. I decided to take a different direction with Heart of Tarts because I thought people were distracted by the vegan branding. I just want people to eat more whole fruits and vegetables.

Obviously you are very creative in making your tarts, giving them each a unique and delicious design. In your opinion, in which ways can baking be seen as an art? Do you consider your work to be art?

I do consider my work art. I really don't consider myself a baker, but a food stylist or fruit artist. Food is a medium for art just like pencil, paint, fabric, and words. My mission is to make "healthy food" and the health food message TE4 more palatable. Since we eat with our eyes first, why not show people how awesome whole fruit is through art.

What’s some advice that you’d give to someone who is looking to buy farm fresh local produce?

It can be a different shopping experience, even overwhelming. My advice is to talk to the farmer. The people selling goods at farmers markets love to talk about their products. They will tell you when it is ripe and how to prepare it. And if price is an issue start small at first and some farmers markets double/match government food assistance.

What is your guilty pleasure food?

My guilty pleasure is fried food. I think it is a southern thing, but it is so bad. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a nurse growing up. I even applied to all my colleges as a nursing major. Looking back, I should have went as a dietetics major. Life isn't over, I may still pursue dietetics or health education.

Besides YouTube, what other hobbies do you enjoy? Is your YouTube work your current career?

I enjoy running and have a goal to run a marathon next year. YouTube is a part of my current work, but food stylist is my career. Maybe there will be classes, books, or shows on other platforms in the future.