Camilla Fayed is a revolutionary.
Initially, she adopted a plant-based diet as a way to improve her health and energy levels. But, once she began to research, she recognized the possibilities for the greater good—and a greater taste.
Ultimately, she launched Farmacy, bringing playful plant-based food to London—and, hopefully, not just to the already converted. Since then, the Notting Hill restaurant—which prioritizes serious sustainability—has garnered tons of attention and praise and inspired the creation of a Selfridges pop-up, a biodynamic garden, a CBD-inspired afternoon tea and a brand new Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook.
Here, Fayed explains why conscious eating can be the first step towards a better world for us all:
Live The Process: What first motivated you to embrace a plant-based diet?
Camilla Fayed: I was inspired to turn vegetarian after the birth of my daughter and then later began to follow a plant-based diet after the birth of my son. I had heard that a plant-based diet could lead to increased energy levels, improved digestion, radiant skin and even weight loss. Since I began following a 100% plant-based diet, I feel much more energized!
LTP: What inspired the concept for Farmacy and how has it evolved and grown since then?
CF: Prior to launching Farmacy, I worked in fashion. I had always had a passion for food and was surrounded by foodies growing up. Food—and the traditions surrounding it—had always played a big part in my family life.
Over several years, I gathered research on various elements of conscious eating, from nutrition to sustainability. Following this, I decided to open Farmacy, a place where I could share my philosophy on nutrition and help bring the conscious eating revolution to London.
My aim with Farmacy was to make healthy eating fun in a beautiful setting. I wanted to create a welcoming space that would appeal to everyone, not just those already living a plant-based lifestyle. It is for this reason that our menu is so diverse, featuring many choice comfort foods such as our Farmacy Burger, Nachos and Nice Cream Sundae—some of which are indeed our best sellers. At Farmacy, we champion the notion that “food is medicine” and, as such, we count chemicals, not calories.
A lot of people expect plant-based food to be boring, but Farmacy is an opportunity to show people that it can be delicious and exciting. Many of the dishes on our menu have surprised customers, showing how tasty and indulgent plant-based food can be by using lesser-known ingredients such as macadamia nuts to create a “cheese.” We are now often referred to as the “friendly face” of plant-based eating in London, which is great!
All of the food that we serve at Farmacy is 100% plant-based, organic, GMO-, refined sugar- and chemical-free. We have always supported sustainable and local farming and have recently also cultivated our own Farmacy Kitchen Garden, a biodynamic plot of land in Kent that grows vegetables and herbs for the restaurant.
The garden initiative has been hugely educational for the whole Farmacy team. Having harnessed their understanding of provenance and biodynamics, there are now many ingredients on the menu that have been replaced with more sustainable alternatives. Every element is carefully considered to ensure maximum sustainability, even the electric van that makes the deliveries!
Aside from the Farmacy Kitchen Garden and our new Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook, we are also looking to launch a second Farmacy Kitchen site. We eventually plan to expand worldwide—so watch this space!
LTP: Tell us about your new book! What makes it unique?
CF: I decided to create the Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook as I was keen to share our philosophy and ethos with a wider audience. We are often asked by clients for recipes for dishes that they have tried in the restaurant, and we loved the idea that, with a book, we would be able to make some of our favorites (as well as some exciting new ones) more easily accessible for everyone to enjoy.
The philosophy behind the book and what we feel makes it unique is that it not provides inspirational ideas for plant-based eating, but also teaches you to live and eat in a more conscious way, whilst incorporating nature’s best ingredients.
We are supporters and promoters of recipes that are good for both us and the planet. As such, the introduction to the book includes both important information on how to best prepare meals and individual ingredients, so that you are able to harness the most nutritional value from them, but also from where to source them and how to store them etc. (There is a whole section on “becoming a conscious consumer.”)
Taking better care of the land and the people who grow ingredients is part of the ethos of Farmacy, bringing attention back to nature, simplicity and balance. We follow the concept of “simple abundance,” using fresh, colorful and whole foods in innovative combinations for maximum taste, digestion and enjoyment.
The book was released in the U.S. on August 7th!
LTP: Aside from eating a plant-based diet, what are some of your current beauty and/or wellness obsessions? What rituals keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
CF: I love being surrounded by nature; I find it relaxing and energizing. As a result of this, I try to spend as much time as possible outside and get most of my exercise from walking and working on the land at the Farmacy Kitchen Garden, which I love and find really therapeutic.
In terms of rituals, I practice fasting. Fasting helps the body to naturally rest, rejuvenate and recharge. It is, in fact, part of the cultural and spiritual heritage of many countries around the world. Fasting has a powerful impact on how I feel, helps me deal with stress and boosts my energy levels.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CF: Happiness is a quiet mind.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CF: To me, to “Live The Process” means to take a 360-degree approach to leading a more conscious lifestyle.
It means being mindful of your decisions as a consumer, from the food you choose to eat and what you put on your skin, to the clothes you choose to buy. It means thinking about how each decision affects not just yourself, but the health of the planet and others that live on it—animal or human!
People are finally becoming more environmentally conscious and recognizing the vast health benefits of a plant-based diet for both us and the planet. There is a conscious revolution taking place, and, at Farmacy, we are supporters of using education and information to create conversations surrounding this and helping to grow this movement.