Playing with your food has never looked so good. Julie Lee, the veggie-whispering goddess behind her namesake blog, Julie’s Kitchen, has turned the food prep so many home chefs dread – the slicing, chopping and general mise en place – into works of culinary art. We get our regular fix of Julie’s kitchen skills via Instagram where Julie famously arranges anything that catches her eye at the farmer’s market into beautiful and imaginative collages.

We wanted to see Julie’s frenzy of foodie activity ourselves and joined her for a little behind-the-scenes action to capture the creation of one of her collages. To make things even more fun, the collage in this time-lapse video from Julie is made from the fruits and veggies in one of our favorite juices: Pressed Juicery’s Greens 3 – a gingery blend of sweet and dark greens.

Drool over Julie’s food inspirations below (this woman can cook!) and enjoy our time-lapse video above of Julie in action!

The ChalkBOARD MAG: How did you begin with the classic Julie’s Kitchen layouts?
JULIE LEE: The Julie’s Kitchen food collages started out as a way to share seasonal produce and has evolved into the study of intricate shapes, vibrant colors, and patterns in nature. I’m always looking for that surprising element, which can transform something from mundane to beautiful – whether it’s the striped detail of a chiogga beet, the contrast between skin and flesh of a blood orange, or the fractal shape of a Romanesco.

TCM: Why is eating seasonally so important to you?
JL: Eating seasonally is the most delicious way to eat! By eating seasonally and shopping at farmers markets, you’re getting the freshest, most nutritious, and most environmentally-responsible produce possible. Good for you and for Mother Earth.

TCM: Favorite ingredient this season:
JL: Cherimoya (aka ice cream fruit) is my current fruit crush. Don’t let the green alien-like exterior fool you. They are sweet, creamy, and custard-like inside. Just cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. Also, the variety of citrus is pretty off the charts right now. I’m eating, juicing, and jamming as many Meyer lemons as possible.

TCM: Inspiration behind this layout:
JL: Healthy living. I love the vibrant greens in the Greens 3, and ginger is one of my favorite things to juice. It’s so good for inflammation and digestion.

TCM: Fave collage you’ve ever made:
JL: My favorite collage is the one that’s hanging in somebody else’s home. I have the very best, most genuine clients and it’s really special to be a part of their homes.

TCM: Fave ingredient to play with:
JL: Flowering herbs are particularly interesting to play with and collage. You have the sturdy leaves, the delicate flowers and the seeds, with each element of the plant representing a different part of its life cycle.

TCM: Ingredients you’re looking forward to for spring:
JL: Asparagus! I grew up in a city that has an asparagus festival every year, so that answer’s a given. It’s an all-time favorite and the vendor at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market has all the varieties – purple, white, green, jumbo, skinny. I love it any way, but especially shaved raw into a salad, roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper, or pureed into a velvety vegan soup with a cashew base.

TCM: How would you describe your style in the kitchen (cooking):
JL: Produce-driven with an ethnic twist. Healthy, but flavorful. I love to experiment by buying new ingredients and cooking different cuisines. And even though I’m not a strict vegetarian/vegan, I do believe in eating responsibly.

TCM: Essential tools/elements:
JL: For collaging, Shun knives, X-Actos, and a mandoline allow me to get exact cuts and slices. For everyday, I couldn’t live without my Vitamix or my Moka Pot. I love my green smoothies and morning Americanos.

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