From Toronto to Dubai and to London, Adria Wu is a talented chef and founder of the food brand Maple&Co, whose aim is to give easier access to fresh, healthy, and delicious food every day. Read the whole interview here.
Tell us your story - from where you grew up to your most exciting phase (is it now)?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I worked in the USA for a while until I moved to Dubai and, I currently live in London. The most exciting phase of my life has been ever since I quit my job as a consultant and re-trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu and the College of Naturopathic Medicine and I founded and opened Maple & Co in 2015. The rollercoaster of ups and downs never stops… and I am addicted to it.
What is your London? What is it about?
London is one of the greatest cities in the world filled with vibrancy, opportunities, and beauty. I even love the weather compared to Toronto, too cold, and Dubai, too hot.
What is your morning routine?
Before having my two amazing children, I used to love waking up at 4 am to start work. But with the kids now, they wake me up so I can help get them ready for the day. No more “me time”.
Coffee or tea when you wake up?
English Breakfast with a lot of hot milk. I don’t drink coffee.
What do you do to switch up your energy throughout the day?
Walk whenever I can when I’m moving around London, but if I’m meeting, cooking, working at the desk, pull my shoulders down and back and do some shoulder rolls, and take a break to get a hot tea, herbal teas and tisanes, caffeine free if it’s after 1 pm!
With a demanding work life, how do you keep your focus?
Eating highly nutritious and balanced meals during the day and intermittent fasting. Good nutrition keeps me healthy and supports my concentration, while fasting gives my digestive system a break to allow me to direct my energy to my work.
What is a relaxing evening like for you?
Undistracted quality time with people I love and care for and a glass of wine.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Stuff You Should know podcast on the fine world of Truffles. Yummmm truffles…
What are you reading at the moment?
Restaurant contracts, media contracts, employment contracts (no this is not a joke)…
Where in your home have you created your haven?
My bedroom – it’s a super king bed with Egyptian cotton sheets and toys/ clutter-free!
Sleeping is one of our clients’ main goals. How do you sleep better?
I usually take a hot shower at night, do 5 steps face routine, apply essential oils on me and my pillow and no screen time once I’m ready for sleep.
What is your self-care routine?
Working out! Running, yoga or HIIT.
What are your 5 top tips for living well?
1. "Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants". (Michael Pollan).
2. Eat the Rainbow to get all the minerals and vitamins we need.
3. Always stay hydrated.
4. Any amount of working out is better than nothing.
5.Remind me every day what I am thankful for and live life without regrets.
What is your go-to meal?
What is your favourite recipe and why?
5 ingredients bowls: 2 veggies, 1 protein, 1 complex carb, 1 dressing and some fresh herbs.
Easy, balanced, and delicious!
Who in life has inspired you the most? How?
My husband, who is continually trying to be a better person, my mom, unwavering love and my mother in law, always helping other people.
Where do you go to find space, or to be with yourself when you’re not at work?
Parks. I’ve never lived in a city with more parks than London.
Can you tell us a bit more about Maple&Co? Where does your passion for food come from? What do you think is the recipe for a balanced life?
Growing up we always had a garden and when my mom became sick with cancer, she helped heal herself through food. I believe that eating well should be accessible to everyone so we can live healthier and happier lives! This is why I started Maple & Co.
What is the mantra or philosophy to face life’s challenges?
Every day is a new day so take it one day at a time, we never know what the next day will bring!