Let us introduce you to Silja Danielsen, a Norwegian, New-York based model and food blogger.
Silja describes herself on her food and travel website as a ‘model with a fork in one hand and a camera in the other’. We chatted about NYC, bucket lists and her own television show (which we reckon should be in the works!).
You create recipe and travel posts for your website, Silja from Scratch, what inspired you to create your blog?
I grew up with a passion for cooking alongside my mom and have always loved experimenting in the kitchen. As I moved abroad for work as a model to different markets I was constantly inspired by the different cultures and way of eating I started to recreate and create new recipes. I kept having friends ask me for recipes, and realized there was a need out there for sharing simple, healthy, and vibrant recipes so I started the blog.
What’s on your travel bucket list? Where would you love to go?
I would love to spend some time in Japan or India because I think each place has a very different food pallet and I would love to experiment with a fusion of flavours from each part of the world with a healthy focus. There is so much colour and culture in these places that I have yet to absorb, I can’t wait to take everything in and learn what ingredients and health mean to the people there.
You’re in the modelling world and based in NY. Tell us about how you got into modelling and how you’re finding life in the big Apple?
I was scouted when I was a senior in high school at my summer job on a lake putting people in paddle boats! I wasn’t sure what to think at the time but did a few jobs in Seattle and really felt myself come to life. I loved putting on clothes that I wouldn’t necessarily pick out myself and becoming a new character – plus it took me around the world to places like Paris, Australia, and Germany. Living in the Big Apple has been a really nice change of pace, it’s quick in NYC and everyone around you is a doer so it is fuel for building a strong career and keeps you on your toes. I also love that you can pretty much get anywhere in 15 minutes in NYC so having a bunch of coffee dates, lunch dates, or meetings isn’t uncommon.
What does your daily schedule involve?
I am a fitness freak so my day always starts with a cardio class, a run or pilates work out. I am also big on breakfast and usually cook for both myself and boyfriend. His favourite is banana paleo pancakes and I love soft scramble on crispy sourdough so we have either of those at least once a week. While eating breakfast I usually spend an hour on emails, browsing recipes on Food52 and planning my meetings for the rest of the day. If I am not shooting or heading to the airport on a job, I am meeting with clients in the city. My other favourite thing to do on my day off is meet up with foodies at my favourite spot Market Ipanema in Nolita for a healthy bite. I also try and hit the farmers market a few times a week to see whats in season and come up for something for dinner and a food experiment to keep in mind for blogging as well.
What are the best perks?
The jobs takes to you to places in the world you probably would never think to go. I got a call once that I would be on a job in the alps in Austria the following week, I will never forget the ride to the top of the mountain and the roaming cows crossing the road along the way. I also love that I don’t have a routine and that my experience is different with every job I do, I get to work with a new team and put on a new face every time.
What’s the hardest part?
I think it can be lonely sometime’s getting to see these amazing places but not knowing anyone or having anyone to share it with while on the job. Paris just isn’t the same with out someone to share your experience with you know… Also, auditions and meetings are very personal, they are judging you on something that most other jobs don’t – your appearance and confidence. So having a strong sense of self worth and a strong community of friends and family is really important.
What’s your favourite quote?
A wise woman once said to me “You get more of what you are grateful for.” That has to be my favourite motto.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
My mom always told me “You get more bees with honey”.
Where would you like to see yourself in a year? 5 years?
In 5 years I hope have a show with my scientist boyfriend where we travel the world and he covers the science and discovery part of our travels and I cover the food, markets, and culture. We both adventure and dive into each others passions naturally on our trips so we think an audience would love it and learn from it as much as we learn from each other. We also hope to start an online market place curated to my food and design taste; where I’ll of course sell the healthy Norwegian cookbook I’m working on with my mom, too ;-).