Ashley Madden is a smart, talented entrepreneur. She is a jane-of-all-trades in the health & food world. From vibrant
twowildtides: Please tell our readers about yourself and your business.
Ashley Madden: I am a plant-based chef, freelance food photographer, recipe developer, and wellness writer. I also have my own food blog RiseShineCook.ca where I share my plant-based, health inspired recipes! I just finished my biggest photography project which was the food photography for Epic Vegan – an over-the-top, fun and creative cookbook out this summer! I do photography and recipe development for magazines and restaurants as well as plant-based demos and cooking classes. This is still one of my
twt: How did Rise Shine Cook get started?
AM: After culinary school I wanted an outlet to share my plant-based recipes and to experiment with photography. I wanted to get my ideas out there, back then plant-based wasn’t trending and barely anyone knew about green smoothies or even quinoa! Everything plant-based way foreign to most people and I really felt like I had the opportunity to share and educate people. I still do!
AM: Lately, everything inspires me 🙂 When it comes to creating recipes, my friends and family inspire me. I think about what they need or what could help them and then that often turns into a recipe! When it comes to photography, I have a list of food photographers that inspire me to push to myself! When it comes to life, my husband inspires me to keep going after what I want (no matter how out of the box it seems!).
AM: Not having
AM: Getting up and going back at it even when I felt like I sucked or no one cared about my work. The process, the work itself will be the only rewarding part sometimes and that has to be enough. Creating alone, drumming up ideas and pitching yourself to other people can often make you question your own value or your skill. But everyone feels this way sometimes. It’s working when it’s not glamorous. It’s making that cake for the seventh time because the first six failed 🙂
AM: Sure! I’ve had an interesting path! Coming out of high school I was very academic. I went to pharmacy school and worked as a clinical pharmacist for 3-4 years. While I was still working as a pharmacist I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This really flipped my world and made me think about my life and what I wanted to do and how I was going to take care of myself. My interests and priorities shifted. I studied to be a holistic nutritionist then I made the very scary decision to move to NYC to go to culinary school. I eventually stepped away from
AM: It’s been challenging! The rules and regulations are different here. I’m still trying to figure it out while I keep myself busy doing side projects. It’s been fun and inspiring to connect with other people in the plant-based realm on this side of the world. It’s like an instant connection because if you’re in this industry, you’re passionate about it!
AM: I love this city! There is so much to do and see. But I would say my
AM: This sounds cliché, but I find adventure in my kitchen. It’s a place where I experiment, I use unfamiliar ingredients, I take something I’ve seen or experienced somewhere else and try to integrate it into a recipe (or a photo). In a way, my kitchen is my home but also where I explore.
My dream travel destination would have to be in Italy. Even though I’ve already been there several times I always want to go back. The food, the landscape, the wine! Every time I go it feels as though time stops! I would list Hawaii as a close second! I’ve never been there, but those iconic beach sunsets are something I’ll have to experience!
AM: SO MANY! “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsche (I’ve had this quote stuck to my fridge everywhere I go), “Success lies in being true to yourself—and living life on your own terms.” – Robyn Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari), “How you do one thing- is how you do everything” – unknown?, and “Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be” – Eckhart Tolle
Okay— rapid fire:
AM: Dead To Me, Bodyguard, The Patriot Act
AM: Instagram and Googe Maps (I’d get lost in a box)
AM: Eat Pray Love (this finding-yourself journey showed up just at the right time for me!)
AM: Braving The Wilderness By Brene Brown
AM: Nonstop by Drake
AM: Is a Vitamix a gadget? My favourite thing of all time!
AM: Leaving my career as a pharmacist 100%.
AM: In Taipei, Plants Restaurant. In North America, Cafe Gratitude in California!
AM: Meet for after work drinks on Friday then home for cauliflower wings and a movie. Saturday starts at home with my blender oat pancakes (these have become a Saturday staple). Then we head for oat milk lattes at a hip coffee spot while I read or work on some photo editing. Followed by roaming a new neighbourhood and eating at one of our fav plant-based spots. Sunday is PJs until the late afternoon surrounded by books or listening to podcasts then making a plan for the week to come and ends with a good Netflix binge!
AM: Sometimes I feel quasi psychic! So many times I know about things right before they happen! I sound
We want to send the biggest thank-you to Ashley for taking the time to answer these questions! She is such an inspiring human and we are so grateful to her for sharing some of her personal stories with us. Check her out at www.RiseShineCook.ca and @RiseShineCook on Instagram.