Eva Gaillot or TheFrenchCoconut on Instagram, transmits Beauty through her colourful, tasty cuisine and her energetic recipes. Positive, sunny, sweet, Eva manages to capture the good in every object, art or landscape… In other words, her philosophy of life is a bit like the one we all dream of having: thinking positive. Her newly published book, “My vegan cuisine”, is the perfect illustration of this. Does happiness start on the plate ?
Can you tell us about the last time Beauty helped you or healed you?
Ever since I’ve been living in the south of France, Beauty has helped me a little bit every morning, from the moment I open my shutters. I can look outside and see the horizon, and this has a very soothing effect on me. I think that’s one interpretation of Beauty – the feeling you have when you gaze at a landscape, look at a photo, hear a song, contemplate a painting, etc.
How do you bring more Beauty to the world?
I love this quote from Proust: “It has been said that beauty brings a promise of happiness.” Every day, when I put together my recipes and present a dish, the first thing that matters is how that dish looks. Then you see how it appeals to the other senses. It must be pleasing to the eye, then pleasing to the taste buds. I’m always trying to create this link between visual and gustatory pleasure. (Discover Eva’s grain-free superfood Coconut Granola recipe)
So for the English, I went with the official existing translation (just the start of it).
If I say Beauty, what do you think of?
In the year 2000, in the French town of Avignon, a huge exhibition was organized, bringing together lots of artists. Part of the exhibition was held in the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and then there was an additional trail of exhibits. You could see works from very different artists, such as Bill Viola and Annette Messager, and there was a monumental plant sculpture by Jeff Koons. I’d been enthralled by the multitude of artists and their works of art, all of which were based on the theme of “La Beauté.” It showed me that there are so many different interpretations of Beauty, what it brings out. It was so interesting to see how some of these works touched people, and how they perceived them. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Do you believe that Beauty will save us? How?
I think we need to have a real awareness of the Beauty in Nature and the things around us, the Beauty of our planet. That’s what could save us. Everyone needs to be more aware of the Beauty in things that we take for granted. I think it’s so important to see the Beauty in all these things around us, beyond our material world and immediate environment.
It’s a form of optimism, this ability to see the Beauty in little everyday things, like a bunch of flowers from the garden, which you see every day. It’s a different perspective, and a wonderful quality.Eva Gaillot
Do you remember the first thing that amazed you as a child?
My mom is a painter, and the first time I saw her painting in her workshop, seeing how she mixed the pigments to create colors and then painted on huge canvases, I remember I was filled with wonder. I loved the colors, and the ocher in particular.
Where does Beauty hide? Can it be found in the most ordinary things?
Yes, I think that Beauty can be found in ordinary, everyday things. And I think that some people have this amazing capacity to translate Beauty into their daily lives. It’s a form of optimism, this ability to see the Beauty in little everyday things, like a bunch of flowers from the garden, which you see every day. It’s a different perspective, and a wonderful quality.
What is your motto or philosophy in life to make you feel beautiful and fulfilled?
Everything comes from within, as long as you take care of your inner light. The most beautiful women I have ever seen are women who glow with confidence. For me, it really is a question of confidence. It’s about recognizing who you are and nurturing your inner light.
What feeling does Beauty arouse in you? Could you describe it?
I see Beauty as something that elicits an emotional response. The sun setting, a painting, a work of art. I’ve been just as moved by Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” as I have been by a work by Pierre Soulages. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everything is subjective. And it’s often a powerful emotion and a deep feeling of reflection.