Leeds fresher has 150k Insta followers because of her sick baking skills
Izy’s also published a cookbook
Hailed as “Teen Queen of Cuisine” by the Evening Standard, Izy Hossack, 19, has amassed a following of over 157,000 on Instagram capturing her delicious baked treats, travel and lifestyle.
Chatting with Izy, she comes across as relaxed without taking herself too seriously. She says her passion for cooking came from her American mother, who brought with her humble comfort food-style recipes when she moved to London.
“She taught me loads of these recipes while I was growing up. I was taught how to bake things like chocolate chip cookies and brownies, which I feel has only recently become more popular in British culture.”
Her blog, TopWithCinnamon.com, was born out of an intrigue in internet-based recipes, which made it extremely easy for her to search for any recipe she wanted.
Initially she didn’t tell her family about the blog but her friends would read it and she would comment on other people’s blogs. The popularity of her online work began to snowball rapidly.
“Two years after the blog started I got an iPhone and I started instagramming in sixth form and it just grew from there, as a result of being mentioned by other bloggers and Instagrams and just generally joining in the food community.”
Instagram seemed to come at an opportune time for Izy, engineering a fashion for chic food photography which users both young and old love to gorge their eyes upon.
That crusty Valencia-filtered pic of your chicken ramen from Waga’s is nothing compared to Izy’s chocolate dipped oatcakes which she captured with her Canon 5D Mark III in signature rustic, home-grown style.
But TV shows like the Great British Bake-Off, which everyone seem to be maniacally obsessed with, make clear that baking doesn’t have to be about perfection and always getting it right: it’s actually a joyful art.
In a recent blog post Izy describes a waffle error worthy of one of Paul Hollywood’s icy glares: “disaster ensued: the batter stuck in the intricately patterned iron wrenching my waffle dreams away from me.”
But she doesn’t give up, “Instead of breaking down, I fought on, ditching the waffle iron and grabbing my trusty little skillet. I used the rest of the batter to fry up a short stack of pancakes!”
Izy says her instafame increased over time, “I remember getting to 5000 followers in the first year, and I was like, oh my god this is so cool, and it’s the kind of thing that grows exponentially as a result of being active on it quite a lot.”
On a low day she’ll only get maybe a hundred new followers, no biggy.
Having practically mastered the art of food photography and an impressive arsenal of recipes, she was approached by a publisher in the summer of 2013 who wanted her to channel her wisdom into a book of 75 recipes.
“It wasn’t too hard doing it alongside A-levels,” she insists, “I had six months to do it and a lot of free periods.”
Her book, Top With Cinnamon, is now on sale at Amazon, Foyles and other major retailers.
Not that you have any hope of getting on her level, Izy says that quirkiness and uniqueness are her main tips for standing out: “Only do what you can be truly invested in, and definitely show your character through what you do.”
“You can’t just always have a boring picture of, say, pancakes, and just label it ‘Pancakes’. More people will want to interact with you if you interact with them.”
That will explain the green dip-dyed plaits and the t-shirt hand-painted with a pair of avocado halves, which she soon hopes to get printed and on sale.
Soon to be a fresher at Leeds studying nutrition, Izy is prepared to face her imminent foodie reputation and is actually happy to share her creations with her future flatmates – lucky sods.
“I actually think it’ll be alright because if I cook a dish I can be like ‘Guys please help me eat this cake because if I eat it all I will just die,’ so that’s the good aspect of it.”
“I just don’t want people to be stealing my food, that’s the worst thing.”
Izy insists she does not know exactly what she wants to do as a career.
“Everyone thinks, ‘Oh yeah you must know exactly what you’re gonna do’ but I don’t know at all. I’m doing nutrition, so something in the food industry hopefully, but I don’t know what that will turn into.”
“I’d like to maybe do some food photography, because I’ve been doing some freelance on my year out and I really enjoyed that.”