Breaking Bread with: Lara Messer

17 May 2021

Meet award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate maker, proud Glaswegian and brilliantly clever chameleon, Lara Messer.

When Spaghetti Head first met Lara Messer, this Scottish doyenne was well on her way to becoming one of the UK’s best-known food photographers (and accidental stylists). Lara is one of these (annoyingly) intelligent people who can master just about any new skill they turn their hands to (coding, podcast production, graphic design, crafts, writing, cooking – you name it, she’s nailed it). Now, the unstoppable Lara and her equally talented partner Cam have become award-winning chocolate makers with their business Bare Bones chocolates. Here, La shares her tips for running a food business.

Your ultimate comfort dish:

Nothing beats a bowl of noodles and some stir fried veg! My go-to dressing is a soy sauce, sweet chilli and sesame oil number, topped with sesame seeds, a mountain of fresh coriander. And my secret ingredient (that most people find a bit weird) is creme fraiche. Oatly do an amazing one!

Your least favourite food-related word:

Yummy and scrummy!

Your favourite food-related word:

It’s probably not considered to be food-related, but I once heard someone describe a cup of coffee from a cafetière as being ‘viscous’ and now it’s one of my favourite food words! (haha)

The cook(s) who inspires you most:

We eat mostly vegan at our house and I find Gaz Oakley’s recipes so inspiring. His Youtube channel is brilliant and his books are really varied too.

Something you’ll never eat:

Meat!

What’s for dinner tonight?

Tonight we are having an amazing curried green lentil recipe from BBC Good Food. I substitute the salmon for grilled tofu which goes really beautifully with the hint of lemon!

A hot tip for those wanting to start a food business?

Fittingly, I’d say try and keep your business to the “bare bones”. Keep your offering small to start with, focus on creating efficient processes and hone your craft. It is better to do a few things really well than spread yourself too thinly. And without a doubt, make sure you start!