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Iolanda Bustos

Flowers are already part of our diet; we are all familiar with broccoli, artichokes, and cauliflower, rose petal jam or squash flowers tempura. But have you ever tried elderflower champagne or the highly energetic dill water? Iolanda Bustos prepares them at her restaurant La Calèndula, where she showed us some of her tips and favourites.

1.Calendula. Each plant has its own personality, and each person has his or her own flower. Mine, of course, is the calendula. This versatile plant is a symbol for me, as it has the potential to live everywhere and adapt to everything. It has so many therapeutic properties; it's good for the skin, it has digestive, antibiotic and antiseptic properties. When I don't feel well I make myself rice with calendula.

2. Elderflowers. For me, it is the good tree, as you can make natural remedies for the whole family, not to mention its use in the kitchen. My grandma's fried elderflowers, is one of the best memories I have from childhood and I still make them in the restaurant. The cough syrup that my parents used to prepare was so good that we wanted more. I also make xampanyet de saüc, a delicious sparkling drink.

3. Gala de flors is a home brewed rosé flower beer we make ourselves with hibiscus, calendula and elderflowers. We sell it through Vins i licors Grau in Palafrugell, and Set de vins and Gerunda in Girona.

4. My first book, Cuina fresca i natural (2008) brings together all the recipes I made during the cooking programme I used to present for TVGi.

5. La milllor cuina amb flors, plantes i fruits silvestres (La Columna). For my second book I talked to hundreds of country people to revive recipes with flowers and herbs used by our grandparents but which are completely forgotten nowadays, such as nettle omelette or dandelion salad.

6. Plantes medicinals by Pio Font Queris a complete guide of all the medicinal plants in Catalonia, My own 'vademecum'. This book taught me a lot and I always keep it at hand for consulting.

7. A photo of myself doing sports fishing. My ideal of peace and tranquility is the sea, such as this day's fishing on a boat with my husband and son, when we caught 200 kilos of tuna!

8. The ipad allows me to be connected with my clients and handle my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram at the same time. I am quite active on social networks and I like doing it myself.

9. Basket. I use it for when I pick flowers, going to the market... I wouldn't know what to do it without.

10. Tea. I start my day with green with stevia. I use infusions with seasonal herbs to drink, for the sauces in the restaurant, icecreams...,

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