Trotski and Ash

Recently Love.Hate.Bake. had the pleasure of speaking with and , better known as super talented food blogging duo .

Trotski and Ash are two girls from Melbourne, Australia, aka my hometown, Sarah is a published stylist (both food and fashion), while Romy is an award winning writer who has written for publications such as frankie magazine and The Big Issue. They can also be spotted regularly in

I found their site while looking for the perfect bannana bread, and while I am yet to test  their site captivated me, and made me homesick for a Melbourne homecooked meal with friends.

These girls are known for their unique and beautiful presentation of recipes, each told as a story of it’s own, whimsical and picturesque, accompanied by georgeous photography by friend .  They say of their own cooking journeys

“We’re eternally intrigued by recipes and the stories associated with them. I still have the handwritten recipes my mum gave me when I moved out of home and I love that the paper smells of the dish that’s written on it, that some pages are almost see-through from spilt butter, and that these recipes still speak to me of a time that was equally terrifying and exciting.”

These girls really care about food, everything you see on their site is a testament to thougthful cooking, and beautiful, local and fresh produce, the abundance of which I deeply miss from living in Melbourne.
Although there are many places here in Tokyo promoting fresh ingredients and that homemade care-in-cooking (and doing it with killer style, particularly within the cafe scene), there are just as many who really havent jumped on the “fresh and local” bandwagon. I got quite a shock the first time I saw a white-bread (think square, bleached, processed, preservative friendly and wholly unnattural looking) sandwhich at a fairly high end restaurant, with a side of McD style fries and equally processed mustard, ketchup and mayo, for 1500yen (about $15). BUT that is a post for another day…

These girls, for me, are what Melbourne food is all about. Cooking for friends at home, or being cooked for (while I do the washing up of course) was a common occurance of my Melbourne life, something that sadly is now a rarity in Tokyo. This blog reminds me of good food and beers on a Richmond balcony or in a Preston backyard, and East St Kilda jewish grocers… things that I think, are almost a staple of being a 20-something in Melbourne, and they are sorely missed.
Just read one or two of the story-come-recipes at , (I would highly recommend the cake section) and I promise, you will be hooked. This website, as well as their twitter page, serve as a constant source of inspiration, and an easy way to lose yourself for an hour or more as you ‘just one more’ your way through pages of goodness.

Romy and Sarah were kind enough to answer a few questions for us, their answers were honest and endearing, and if you are from Melbourne, keep reading for some awesome cafe shout outs…

ENTER…Romy and Sarah,…

Love. Hate. Bake. : As well as your fantastic recipes, Trotski and Ash are known for your beautiful photography and the stories behind each recipe- Is there an artist, photographer, writer or creative type you cant get enough of at the moment?

Ash: We are very lucky to work with our photographer Lauren Bamford, , I find her more documentary style of photography (as well as her food work) inspiring.
Trotski: Lately I have also been working with local artists and jewellers on my own art project which has been a wonderful experience. Dell Stewart is one of those artists.  Her use of colour and pattern always make me re-think my conservative palate!

LHB: Do you have a favourite food or recipe to cook?

T: I set myself some pretty specific challenges from season to season. Last year it was mastering custards and pastry, over summer it was more about preserves and jam. This Autumn I hope to be able to make a pretty mean Mascarpone.
A: This week it’s tomatoes and figs from the garden (figs stolen from the neighbour’s tree). It’s the height of their season and they’re so perfect at the moment they don’t even need cooking – simply eat straight from the vine or tree.

LHB: Who is your food related crush?

T: I have a few food crushes, not to say that I’m fickle or anything. One is Alice Waters. Her writing is concise and her recipes are fool proof. My first ever Buerre Blanc was courtesy of Alice. Ben Shewry of Attica is a local food crush. His approach to collecting and cooking food is really inspiring and beautiful.
A: MFK Fisher author of How to Cook a Wolf amongst others, and my favourite food writer. She makes such intelligent and beautifully written connections between food and life.

LHB: What do you think is the most underrated cooking ingredient?

T: Butter. Good butter is so delicious.
A: Salt is life – but I don’t know if it’s underrated, maybe just misunderstood.

LHB: Describe each others cooking style.

T: Romy is a very certain cook, she has a rhythm and grace to her cooking.
A: Sarah is very free-form, making something from nothing and it’s always so good.

LHB: When not enjoying your own creations, where is your favourite place to eat?

T: I like casual places that don’t fuss too much, we’re really lucky in Melbourne for the wealth of great places to eat. These are just a few! For Breakfast- New Day Rising (Brunswick) or Julio (North Fitzroy). For lunch- Beatrix (North Melbourne). For dinner I really like sitting at the bar at Long Play (North Fitzroy) or eating at the very pretty Bar Idda (East Brunswick).
A: I don’t often venture to high end restaurants – I mostly end up eating Lebanese, wrapped in grease paper, salty cheeses with fresh flavours. There is a very vibrant Lebanese community in Brunswick where we live. Mankoushe on Lygon Street, run by two brothers is delicious.

Thankyou both, it’s been a pleasure. Lastly, would you be so kind as to share one recipe with us?

Trotsky and Ash: Figs are so good at the moment we simply have to re-post this:
Brown supar pavolova with dark rum syrup and fresh figs.

All images are copyright and

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