If you have been following the powerhouse that is Cherie Tu @thrivingonplants for a while, you will know that she is one of Australia’s most influential plant-based foodies on IG and her recipes always hit the spot. This month she created an exclusive Blackberry & Lemon Chia Pudding recipe especially for our newsletter subscribers and while she was at it, we chatted to her to find out some of the secrets to her success. We chatted food, family, perfect pancakes, TikTok and more…
First things first.. your pancakes. How do you make them all exactly the same size for an epic stack every time???
Because I have made SO many pancakes in the past 6 years or so (and because I’m such a perfectionist), I find it pretty easy to pour out an even amount of batter onto the pan every time! However, something that you can do to help create similar sized pancakes is to use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop up the batter before pouring it into the pan to create a pancake. Also, when combining all of the pancakes to create a stack, choose the “prettiest” or most round and even edge to face the front of the stack.
You are one of Australia’s most well-known plant-based influencers on IG. Was there a turning point for you in this space? A moment that you think led to your success?
Thank you so much! Things definitely picked up quite quickly in the first two years of starting up my Instagram account, but my growth has always been fairly consistent and I have hit many milestones along the way – all of which have contributed to what my platform is today. When I first started uploading recipes onto Instagram, I did it purely out of it being a hobby and passion and have always being genuine and open since day one. Till this day, nothing has changed except for the fact that I’ve been able to turn my passion into a full-time job. What I’m saying is (aside from the fact that people obviously follow me for my food posts and recipes) I’ve always stayed true to my values and the message/lifestyle I promote, which I think people truly appreciate and it’s why a lot of my audience stick around. Food is such a big part of everyone’s daily lives, people are always searching for ways to incorporate healthy, fun and tasty ways to enjoy it, which is what I have aimed to do from day one.
What do you do when you are not in the kitchen, doing socials or working out?
Definitely spending quality time with friends and family, whilst also giving myself enough alone time to practice self-care and simply relax. I’m not going to lie, I do find it extremely hard to switch off from my socials, so productivity is something I have been trying to work on this year. While I have to be on social media often due to work purposes, it often paves way for endless hours of scrolling (which I’m sure all of us do) but I’m trying to limit it as much as possible! But yes, aside from cooking, managing my socials and training, I’d say spending time with those I love is high up in my priority list.
Who inspires you both on social media and otherwise?
I follow the journey of so many talented individuals on social. I love that within this community everyone has their own style/theme, speciality and message so it’s super inspiring to see us all contribute in our own unique ways! In life however, my mum has and always will be my #1 inspiration! She actually sparked my initial interest in cooking early on in my life and has always been so supportive of everything I do (she keeps up with my Instagram on a daily basis haha!) so I’ve always looked up to her as my role model/source of inspiration.
Do you think TikTok is the next big thing? Will we see you on there soon?
I’m sure all of us know what TikTok is by now, I won’t lie I’ve definitely been thinking about jumping on board, but it’s still just talk for now. The way I would approach TikTok would be extremely different to the way I create content for Instagram though, so this would require a bit more planning before I decide to start filming or posting anything. If you do eventually see me on Tik Tok though, expect to see lots of recipe videos that are more casual and super fun/entertaining to watch!
Congratulations on the book deal earlier this year. Do you feel you can reach a larger audience now?
Aw thank you! It has truly been a dream come true and I’m so pleased with how it all came together! The cookbook has been able to reach a much wider audience of people who either don’t use Instagram or don’t follow me and have stumbled across my cookbook in stores. And I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to appear on Channel 10 for a little cooking segment to promote my cookbook when it came out last year which was an incredible experience!
What’s next for Cherie Tu?
Aside from always uploading great content for my audience, I have a tonne of projects in store for Thriving on Plants but I shall keep these a secret for now and reveal them throughout the year as I get closer to my launch dates. Stay tuned!
Check out Cherie Tu @thrivingonplants