10 minutes with: Stacie Stewart

The  Staff Canteen

MasterChef UK 2010 finalist and expert from the panel of Channel 4’s ‘How To Lose Weight Well’ talks to The Staff Canteen about Eat Naked, her clean eating deli in Brighton.

With a strong focus on 'clean eating' chef and TV presenter, Stacie Stewart has turned her dreams into a reality with her Brighton-based deli Eat Naked.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Stacie to find to find out more about her clean eating concept and how her new deli has been received locally.

beehive black cake
Stacie Stewart

When she isn’t running Eat Naked, Stacie is also a television presenter, author and columnist. She has always been passionate about cooking, but only recently realised that she’s good at it. “I come from a big family and we’ve always cooked, my Nana’s been teaching me since I was four or five,”

Stacie explained. “We made bread before school and we made pies and cakes after school. Cooking has always been something that I’ve done, I just never knew I had a talent for it until MasterChef UK.”

Locally sourced produce

Stacie has taken her talent to a whole new level by making delicious treats that are full of healthy ingredients. All of the food in Eat Naked is locally sourced, organic produce. Stacie explained: “You know when you walk through these doors everything is free from chemicals, free from processing, there’s no refined sugar, there’s no gluten and it's mostly vegan-friendly.”

Desserts recipes

She added: “We do a full desserts menu too, for example, today I’ve made a healthy version of apple and cinnamon cupcakes. We do a healthy version of the Snickers bar, a healthy version of the Bounty bar and we do a clean, vegan brownie. “People want to come in to have something naughty but that is also packed with anti-oxidants and foods that are really good for you.”

Now it’s just Stacie and Ryan working at Eat Naked and, despite only being open for six weeks, a lot of the products are already selling out daily. Stacie commented: “The main rush is between 12:30 and 1:30 because people know we sell out.”

Food Glorious Food

Transcending from baking unhealthy treats to producing healthy, naked, food is quite a big transformation. So, what made Stacie alter the food that she bakes? “When I was on Food Glorious Food I was quite overweight,” Stacie explained. “I didn’t realise how unhealthy I was until I saw myself on that show, on TV.” She added: “I don’t miss the food I used to eat. If I want to have something I can make a clean version of it.” It took Stacie a few years to develop the recipes for the food that is now on offer at Eat Naked.

eat naked choc cups
Chocolate treats

She said: “I invented them over the space of a couple of years by researching, reading books and learning about eating naked and what it means. I’ve always had a gift for food so it came quite naturally.”

Eating clean

One of the most significant things Stacie has learned over the past few years is that many ‘unhealthy’ foods are only bad for our bodies because of the way the foods are processed. She explained: “Raw cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich products in the world, it’s anti-depressant it’s so good for you, it’s packed full of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. “The corporate companies buy raw cacao, process the shit out of it and then make it into chocolate bars and sell it to you. That’s why people think of crap when they think of chocolate.”

I should cacao!

She said: “If you want to have chocolate, switch to raw cacao, it costs more, but it depends on the price you are willing to put on your health.” Relocating to Brighton has proven to be a good move for Stacie and Ryan and an ideal location to set up a clean eating deli. Stacie said: “I’ve always wanted to live in Brighton. It has such a great vibe, everybody’s really friendly, there’s a real community feel and it’s by the sea - I’ve got to be by the sea.”

Brighton rocks

She added: “I feel so lucky every time I leave the house in the morning.” Despite obviously enjoying her new life in Brighton, Stacie can’t help but miss Sunderland, the city she used to call home. She said: “I love Sunderland, I never wanted to leave, I miss my mum and my family. But, the kind of thing that I’m doing in Brighton wouldn’t work in Sunderland. “I’m more inspired down here, there’s a strong vegan community in Brighton and I’m constantly being inspired by what other people are doing and customer recommendations.”

Stacie is enthusiastic about the future, both of the business and the standard of food that she provides. She said: “The dream is to have a small chain across the south coast of England.” Stacie added: “We will also maintain the quality of our products– that’s really important to us.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th July 2015

10 minutes with: Stacie Stewart