ANDI & MIQUITA OLIVER
Meet Andi and Miquita Oliver, our August YOLKE Girl’s. This firecracker of a duo share with us their exciting projects they have been working on throughout lockdown. With the girls being the first of our Mother and Daughter Yolke Girl Series, they discuss the joys of working together as a team and turning their dreams into reality.
Photographs shot by Alicia Waite Barlow.
How has lockdown been for you girls? Have you been living together?
M: We began lockdown isolating together and then I returned to my flat on the other side of the park, combining our households. We made sure our time together was filled with training, music, food and love as much as possible.
A: Lockdown has been surprisingly good, oddly positive in lots of ways (world anxiety notwithstanding) We have been weirdly busy with work together too! I think in some ways the pace was quite good for us we lead very busy lives so the slowing down was quite welcome.
You have been working on lots of exciting things – how has lockdown got your creative juices flowing?
We learnt that we could create anything we really wanted to during that time - the incredible boredom drove us in a very new way and will continue to inform our decisions and the way we work from here on out. Creating, without waiting, has been eye opening.
Cooking is a way of bringing family and friends together around a table. Sadly, over the last few months we have been unable to do this – have you both found a way to keeping that magic alive and staying in touch with your loved ones?
A: We've cooked a LOT. It was definitely part of our lockdown staying in good mental health formula. Where we live in hackney the big Turkish shops have everything you will ever need so shopping was not a problem at all.
M: I got into a lovely new rhythm with my cousins and friends of simply FaceTiming most mornings and evenings. I loved that. For me it has been important to surround myself with my core group of people that I’ve known since day one, and realise they’re all I really need
We have been loving watching your Instagram TV’s of ‘What's for Dinner Mummy?’ - Tell us about the inspiration behind it.
M: 'Whats for dinner Mummy?' started very naturally - mum cooking and me being so bored that I was filming it most days. We would play music loudly and would dance around the kitchen. We were filming our normal life that was heightened by this very odd reality all around us. People wanted to see love and laughter. I think it looked like most kitchens during lockdown - and if it didn’t, we hoped that it would bring a little light in to those rooms.
Miquita – tell us something you admire most about your mother?
I admire watching my mother make things happen - she does not procrastinate. she puts things into action. Everything she does is filled with her passion and love. That’s why people smile when they eat her chicken… it’s her heart running through it all
Andi – what do you admire most about Miquita?
I admire her absolute determination to get things done! Miquita has been in the public eye since she was so young and at times that has been really challenging but she always comes through. She is a warrior and I love that about her.
Congratulations on ‘Andi’s WADADLI Kitchen’! How exciting! Tell us about starting a business during a pandemic and what inspired you to start it.
A: Starting Andi’s Wadadli Kitchen was one of those nutty ideas that was suddenly a reality! From the moment Miquita and I were in the park and decided I wanted to do it, to opening the doors, was 10 days! To be honest, the day before we opened, I did question my own sanity but it's been great! So uplifting and joyful.
Do you think opening WADALI has brought your community together?
A: It brought the community together in ways we hadn't even envisaged! We got 15 people working again and brought an unexpected joyful focus to our neighbourhood. I've never seen people so happy to get in a queue! I think people were just so happy to have someplace new to come get food and from a pub garden where they could get beer on tap, even if they had to take it home to drink it!
What is your families favourite recipe? To eat or make.
A: It's got to be honey baked chicken! We get asked this a lot and I’m always trying to work out if it’s moved on, but no its always chicken! We make it when we're happy, sad or anything in between. At carnival we make about 20 kilos and it ALL gets eaten every single time
Do you have any exciting things planned for the future?
M: There is a lot going on but as a family we like it like that. I am starting a business, mum is expanding Waddadli in incredibly exciting new ways. We’re trying to breath, be prepared for the crazy things that each day brings and enjoy it. This is a moment, and we are not going to miss it.
A: We are about to open Andi’s wadadli kitchen meets Fred Siriex - One Love. It’s another Wadadli popup this time a restaurant with a little French accent from Fred. Some of his family dishes are on the menu. It’s exciting that this time people will be able to sit down and eat! We’re proud of it already and we haven’t even opened the doors yet!
We have a whole load of incredibly exciting TV projects coming up together, but we are not allowed to tell anyone about yet. Watch this space because it’s going to be amazing!
Thank you Andi & Miquita!
Visit Andi's restaurant @andis_wadadli_kitchen