I’m pleased to introduce you to Nic and Pascal – a husband and wife powerhouse duo and generally delightful people.
I can’t remember exactly how I first met them – I had spotted flyers for their business in Studio Bomba, some of my friends had attended their fitness classes, they frequent my market and just generally overlap in the foodie community. But in a way that can only be described as serendipitous, there they were.
Nic and Pascal are always just so wonderful to talk to, grounded and knowledgeable, but not in a way that’s preachy or obnoxious – there’s nothing worse than someone who’s so focused on their message that there’s no room for anything else, and that is decidedly not the van Kans. They know that some times you just need wine, or cake or time out, and that is a truly wonderful thing.
So, team, say hello!
What I Love – Équilibre Edition
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Pascal and Nicole van Kan – a husband and wife team who juggle bringing up our young children with working and building our heart-centred business, Équilibre – Fitness for Foodies.
Pascal is a fully qualified exercise professional with 2 decades of experience in the fitness industry. He is a keen tri-athlete and has a passion for all things bikes (including managing Reid Cycles in Perth).
Nic works for UWA Publishing and has always cultivated her love for good food, cooking, baking and aesthetics. With a little help from Pascal, she is also a reformed exercise-phobic!
Balancing exercise and eating well with the realities of a busy family life is not always easy – we know this! That’s why our aim for Équilibre is to take away the fear and confusion, to inspire clients to be kinder to their bodies and to help them reclaim a sense of equilibrium. We’d like to think that our approach to food and fitness is balanced, down-to-earth and filled with joy.
Nic has lived in Perth since moving from the UK as a young girl, but Pascal is a relative newcomer. Although Dutch-born, he came from Melbourne around 18 years ago for a brief working holiday and decided never to leave!
Perth is the perfect place to bring up kids and supports the kind of lifestyle we love. We like the fact that we are (somewhat) insulated from the rest of the world, but also feel a sense of pride that Perth seems to be growing up of late – supporting a blossoming food scene and a host of creative entrepreneurs. It’s an exciting place to be!
What (or who) inspires you?
Nic: I find authenticity inspiring. I’m also attracted to people who understand what they’re passionate about and are unafraid to pursue their dreams.
I’m a huge fan of Jude Blereau and her contribution to the world of whole-food cooking. It’s an approach that has always resonated with me, long before organic and ‘clean eating’ (gag!) became trendy. The idea that food needs to have an element of deliciousness and integrity, as well as being a very individual thing makes so much sense to me.
Pascal: It’s pretty simple for me. Getting out and riding my bike always provides inspiration, any time I need it!
Your dream food day?
Would have to begin with a breakfast at Sayers – the Potato Rosti with Poached Egg is a sentimental favourite of ours.
The rest of the day we would happily hand over to Sophie Zalokar at Foragers. Her thoughtful, creative approach to cooking and sourcing the best in local produce would mean that whatever the season, we could be confident that our taste buds would be satisfied and our souls well-nourished. (There’s a reason why we choose to run our Équilibre Retreats at Foragers!)
What ingredient makes everything better?
Can we be cheeky and say a glass of wine?
Otherwise, it would have to be Nic’s salsa verde. Packed with fresh herbs, lemon and a salty hit of capers and anchovy, we make a weekly batch to use on just about everything – salads, eggs, fish, soup. It’s our not-so fashionable version of the green smoothie and it really does make everything better.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Nic: The Emperor with pickled tomato, basil, chilli and fennel at Bread in Common. The flavours were fresh, simple and delicious. Accompanied by a glass of Flowstone Gewürztraminer, it made for a truly enjoyable birthday treat.
Pascal: Nic’s Quince and Hazelnut Crumble Cake – tastes like autumn (based on an old Gourmet Traveller recipe, with a bit of a whole-food makeover.)
Where do you love to go to eat?
Honestly? Although we appreciate good food, we rarely get the chance to ‘go out’ to eat unless you count our local pizza shop, Pizzaca (which is good, by the way!)
These days, you’re more likely to find us hanging out at coffee shops. In fact, our kids have been well-trained in café etiquette from birth!
Favourites include Yelo, The Daily, Humblebee, Hobart Street Deli and Voyage. We also really enjoyed a visit to Gordon Street Garage and are keen to try Hylin in West Leederville. The Tenth State is keeping Nic happy since moving in to UWA next door for work.
Where do you love to hang out?
When we’re not at a café, you’re likely to find us at the local park, or riding our bikes (Perry Lakes Reserve is a great spot).
Family outings often involve a weekend farmer’s market. Subi Farmer’s Market has the best atmosphere and arguably the best stalls. Our favourites include Wild Bakery, Macabee Dorper Lamb and Spring Valley Orchard. It’s also worth adding that our daughter is quite taken with Mr Drummond’s crumpets!
We’re big fans of City Beach, too. Whether it’s fish and chips at sunset, a morning walk or simply watching the kids in the playground, it’s one of those special places that always reminds us how lucky we are to live where we do.
What’s your favourite thing right now?
Nic: (can I have more than one?)
– Meditation (i’m so excited to be doing the Mindful in May challenge.)
– My Baker’s Drawer.
– Cooking autumn comfort food in my new French blue cast-iron enameled pot.
– Dunn and Walton (organic shopping heaven!)
– Autumn in Perth (perfect training conditions!)
– Wines from the Adelaide hills (in particular pinot noir).
– Thursday night food shows on SBS
What are you looking forward to?
Nic: I’ve just turned 40 so I’m very much looking forward to embracing a new decade, losing the fears and becoming the kind of confident, creative person i’m so inspired by.
Pascal: I’m looking forward to developing new coaching programs for Équilibre and writing for our blog. It still excites me to be able to help clients discover a love for exercise, and gain energy and confidence in the process.
We’re also looking forward to winter and watching the Tour de France (preferably accompanied by some good red wine!)