Meet the nutrition firm helping Hollywood stars prepare for the silver screen

Food & Drink | Interview

Founded in 2017 by Victoria Knight and Annabel Wray, Hakuna Foods has prepared nutritionally-balanced meals for celebrities, by travelling the world to support actors, directors, athletes, and singers with their nutrient-dense, bespoke food. BLM spoke to the duo about their success, Hollywood and the future of the company.

Can you give our readers an overview of the company?

Hakuna Foods travels the world providing nutritional support on set and in private homes for clients. As female co-founders are deeply passionate about nutrition and using the very best produce for our clients. We work with many household names in the film, fashion and music industry and are firm believers in consuming innovative and exciting foods that makes you both look and feel amazing. By following the 80/20 rule, clients can consume both nutrient-dense fuel and their favourite treats.

If an actor is bulking for a role in a superhero movie, training for a high-intensity stunt role, getting ready for the red carpet, or simply wants to live a healthier lifestyle, Hakuna foods will work closely with nutritionists, personal trainers, and directors to meet these goals.

In addition to keeping our favourite celebrities functioning at full capacity, Hakuna provides the actual food that is seen on-screen during scenes. They work closely with art departments and production teams to create food that aligns with each brief. Hakuna has worked on projects of varying sizes from distinct eras, ranging from space canapés to medieval banquets.

What was the inspiration behind setting up the company?

We had worked in the industry for a number of years, building up great client relationships, to the point where we realised that we could do the best possible job if we had complete autonomy in terms of the level of service and our expertise as nutritional advisors. We loved our jobs, and wanted to take the next step running something of our own, so we set up Hakuna Foods in 2017 to do just that.

How did you get involved in the world of Hollywood?

Due to our success after leaving Leiths School of Food and Wine, we were in high demand by many high profile clients. Over time, our network grew and we were introduced to a company providing freelance chefs to the film industry. From there, clients repeatedly requested us to cook for them on set, which led to us setting up Hakuna Foods. We are now incredibly proud to work for so many talented individuals in the film, fashion and music industry.

What was it like being on set with Star Wars and other major movies?

We always say that being on a film set is one of the most amazing places to work, surrounded by so many talented people. It’s fast-paced, demanding and always exciting, one day you can be working in a car park in West London, the next you’re in the desert in the Middle East. There is always a buzz on set, and everyone is working towards the same fundamental goal which encourages a huge sense of camaraderie and support. It’s really interesting seeing first hand how movies are made, and the hard work that goes into every element.

What feedback did you get from the stars of those movies?

We always welcome feedback and it’s key to our growth and continued success. We encourage strong relationships with our clients and strive to create new and exciting menus daily in line with their specific requirements. Thanks to the great dialogue we have with our clients, we have a collection of signature dishes that clients request time and time again.

Most importantly our client always love our food, and we think this comes from our passion for the best ingredients. We put our heart and soul into every box of food both in terms of taste and presentation. We incorporate nutrient-dense power foods, fermentations, wild herbs, activated nuts, whole grains, organic fruit and vegetables, legumes, and modest intakes of meat and fish. Essentially, our clients love eating our food but it also makes them look and feel fantastic.

What sets your food apart from others within your industry?

We provide a seamless service and this is what keeps us in demand. We aim to provide exactly the same quality of food wherever we are in the world. We have a continuing passion for food, the very best seasonal ingredients and a collection of tried and tested recipes. Our inspiration comes from our travels as we are fortunate to eat at the best restaurants, street food vendors and markets around the world. These experiences bring constant new influences into our kitchen, and improve our culinary knowledge, whilst inspiring our creativity.

What does the future hold for the business?

We can’t wait to see where our business takes us and we have some really exciting projects for 2020! We are exploring some new cities on our upcoming productions and can’t wait to uncover new culinary treasures! We are also really looking forward to writing a cookbook where we can share our recipes and share our Hakuna philosophy.

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