In The Kitchen with Isabelle Truman

Journalist, editor and co-host of the podcast After Work Drinks, Issy is here to share her food philosophy, death row meal and more.

Who are you?

I’m Issy, a Kiwi living in London – and soon L.A. (because London winter). I met Nikki, one of Assortment’s founders, almost a decade ago (!) and we basically entered into an agreement wherein she’d cook for me in exchange for staying at my house in various cities around the world. I’m pretty sure she created Assortment after realising how much help some people could need in the kitchen through our short stints of co-habitating together.

What do you do?

I’m a journalist/editor living in London. I worked in the magazine industry in Sydney before moving to the UK and I now write freelance features on culture, lifestyle fashion for publications like DAZED, British Vogue and i-D. I also have a weekly pop culture podcast called After Work Drinks.

What’s your food philosophy?

I definitely live to eat. I’m never happier than when I’m sitting around a dinner table having food and wine with the people I love. When I travel, I’ve always got a hit-list of places I want to try – family-run, traditional, non-touristy spots, if possible. I’m in Athens currently and went for lunch today at this tiny local restaurant that has no menu: they just bring food and wine to your table until you motion to them that you’re full – it was ridiculously good and the total was £10 each.

Death row meal  - starter, main and dessert

- Filet-O-Fish, large fries, large coke (my DR meal my way)
- An Indian thali with an endless supply of paratha bread
- A perfect tiramisu or The Cow’s banoffee pie.

What has been your biggest cooking mishap?

I set my microwave on fire when I put two-minute noodles in while still in the plastic packet. I was 12, but I follow a similar ethos in the kitchen today.

What’s your go-to easy mid-week meal?

Pasta. My current fave is spaghetti alla nerano.

What’s always in your pantry/fridge?

Boring, but I love breakfast, so there’s always oats for overnight chia and oat pudding, smoothies, to make porridge, or for pancakes <3. In the fridge, there’s always kimchi, chocolate (Tony’s Chocolonely when I can’t get Whittakers), and grapefruit juice to make palomas for AWD recordings.

Most hated food?

Controversial but bacon. Gross.

How would you rate your cooking?

Like a 6.5 out of 10 :( I’m sad I’m not a better cook but I just don’t have the patience for it. I can follow a recipe when I need to fend for myself (ily Assortment) but can’t freestyle it at all. I did take up baking during the pandemic though and have been told on multiple occasions that I make a banging cake.

Pet peeve?

People’s stressful airport energy and loud eating.

How do you relax?

Reading or scrolling Depop lol.

Two things people don’t know about you?

I’m a crazy cat lady and I can make myself cry on command.


Tea or coffee - Coffee

Dine-in or takeaway - Dine-in

Wine or cocktails - Red wine

Mild or spicy - Spicy

Breakfast or dinner - Dinner  

Eggs or pancakes - Pancakes <3

Burger or pizza - Pizza

Vegetarian or meat-lovers - Vegetarian

Cheeseboard or straight to mains - Cheeseboard

Cook or clean - Make dessert <3

Crunchy or smooth peanut butter - Crunchy