Hi I’m Hetty,

Some of you will know me as ‘the salad lady’. That is a fair call. My unlikely start in food started with a salad box, which I delivered by bicycle around my former neighbourhood of Surry Hills in Sydney. This story is now fairly well-known. Within these boxes, brimming with vegetables, my love affair with food began. Over the exchange of a salad box, I realised the power of food to bring humans together. Along with falling hard for the primal joy of feeding people, I also became enamoured with stories, and how the narratives around food can build bridges between people from disparate backgrounds.

Over the years, cooking vegetables has not only been a way for me to connect with others, but it has become an important way for me to reconnect with my heritage, to understand my identity, to return to the flavours of my youth. Vegetables - cooking it and writing about it - has changed my life is profound ways. It has given me life and purpose. It has provided me with a language to unlock the pieces of my cultural background that didn’t make sense before.

This newsletter has the simple intention to share my love of cooking with vegetables. Over the years, my style of cooking has evolved, from the bold, multicultural salads of my Arthur Street Kitchen days, to the third-culture, boundary bending dishes of today, which are rooted in the Cantonese food of my youth, but flavoured by my upbringing in the west.

I think about vegetables a lot. I think about new ways of using them, to show their versatility, their adaptability, their spirit. This is a space for me to share exclusive new recipes, musings and news. It is playground for my community to connect over our mutual love of veg. Welcome and let’s cook together.   

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The recipes shared in this newsletter are original and new.

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A vegetable life less ordinary, with Hetty Lui McKinnon


A newsletter dedicated to vegetables, and how to cook them with care and creativity. Find my recipes on NYT Cooking. A former ‘salad lady’, I have written 5 vegetarian cookbooks including Community, To Asia, With Love & Tenderheart 💚