Dearna Bond grew up in an Italian family and food was central to her way of life. “My favourite way to spend the school holidays was in the kitchen with my Nonna shelling beans, bottling tomato sauce and making pasta from scratch,” she says. “There was something so honest and intrinsic about the way she cooked, never looking at a recipe but instead cooking by sight, feel and taste. It instilled in me a desire to learn about food and how to create food that was simple yet exciting.” Since growing up in the small rural town of Scottsdale in North-East Tasmania, and completing an arts degree in Hobart, Dearna started a food blog with a focus on wholefoods in 2013 after a few years of travelling and living overseas. After starting To Her Core, she decided she needed to learn how to style and photograph the food too. “I spent hours trawling the internet working out how to shoot in manual, and mostly just practising. And practising and practising,” she says. “Nowadays, I enjoy the creative process of styling and photographing my dishes as much as I actually do cooking them.”

Recently Dearna has just launched a series of food styling and photography workshops with Rebecca Wiggins. The first event sold out within days, however, new dates have been announced. 

Which five words best describe you? Loyal, quirky, independent, passionate, motivated.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started a blog back in late 2013, and since then my readership has grown and with it my reach. My original focus was primarily cooking and recipe development, but I’ve more recently started to delve into discussing food styling and photography after realising I was receiving more emails with questions about that than my food. This has lead me to create a series of food styling and photography workshops here in Hobart.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? It’s impossible to please everyone, so don’t try to.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing myself in print. And also selling out our first workshop in just a few days - Hobart is a small community and it’s always hard to tell how new ventures will be received, so this was very unexpected.

What’s been your best decision? To spend a few years travelling after university. Travelling - with no set timelines or expectations, as opposed to simply going on a holiday - is such an amazing way to not just see and experience the world, but to also learn more about yourself.

Who inspires you? Confident, passionate people who aren’t afraid to follow their own goals.

What are you passionate about? I’m extremely passionate about healthy eating and wellbeing - the food we eat and the way we treat our bodies has such a big impact on our overall health and I’d love to help educate people on how they can eat and live a little healthier, which is what I try to do through my site. I’m also very passionate about gender equality, and also my pup Maggie.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would love to invite Stephen Fry and Nigella Lawson around for dinner - Nigella can be responsible for bringing the sweets! I think both such interesting, passionate people and I could listen to them talk for hours. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I’d love to live abroad again.

What are you reading? The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley.

images courtesy of dearna bond