5 for Friday :: Lidia Bastianich

about_lidia-2I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Today we feature graceful celebrity, Lidia Bastianich. She needs no introduction for anyone who loves food. Lidia has hosted several cookings shows on PBS, including Lidia's Italy which is produced by Tavola Productions, an entertainment company she founded and oversees. She owns four restaurants, is a partner at Eataly in NYC, owns a B&B and winery in Friuli (see #3 below) and has authored MANY award-winning books.

Lidia Bastianich is a business powerhouse that shouldbe studied, I think particularly by woman who own their own business. She has a lot of irons in the fire. As her site notes, "Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya." She runs restaurants, builds cooking shows, and would seem to continually be on the lookout for the next great endeavor. (See #3, below.)

Despite her clear successes, Lidia's appeal to me is more personal. Firstly, she was born in Pula, Istria. While this peninsula is now part of Croatia (Lidia's parents lived there when it was a province of Italy), I can't help but feel personal kinship as my family is from the north of Croatia, Krk. There is cross over between our culinary histories, and while visiting Pula several years ago I couldn't help but think, 'Lidia grew up here.' Additionally, I've had the fortune to meet Lidia on several occasions over the years and she has always been calm, kind and interested. I used to produce Tom Douglas' radio show, and she was often our guest. After each visit, she would send me (little old me, Tom's assistant) a thank you card on personalized stationary. That nod to formality always struck me as a very considerate manner, and I quickly adopted the habit. Recently, I saw her at an event for KCTS9 and I introduced myself. Lidia totally lacked any air of celebrity status and stood and chatted awhile - a really cool lady.

This week, YOU get a chance to meet her at an upcoming Gala on November 1st to support Saint Martin's University. Go talk to her! Go eat delicious food! Tickets are available here. And for anyone that can't make the gala, meet Lidia Bastianich…...

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? This morning, I had some fresh pineapple, whole wheat toast and a cappuccino.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I love to always read the New York Times as I drink my coffee.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? There are two projects that I would love to work on:  1) I have always been interested in setting up a table of peace, where a group of both men and women from places of conflict can come together and actually cook in the kitchen and eventually sit down at a “peace table” where they will enjoy each other’s ethnic foods and negotiate.    I think the table is a natural place for communication and serious discussions, and I love the idea of having both men and women cooking together in the kitchen AND sitting at the table negotiating.  2)  I would love to develop and produce an animated children’s series that instructs children about where their food comes from, how it grows, how to take care of it and ultimately how to create nourishing meals with it.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? My happy place is in the region of Friuli, Italy at Orsone, our Italian home and B & B at our winery.  It is where I find peace, especially as I walk the rows of vines in the vineyard.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  I love making risotto.  All of my family members love it, and I can whip it up with any ingredient that we have in the house.  Even salad leaves, when not at their prime, make a delicious risotto.

5 for Friday :: Brandon Gillespie

Brandon GillespieI have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Today we feature Italian-food loving, NYU business school graduate and Capitol Hill resident Brandon Gillespie. I came to know Brandon many moons ago when I was producing the radio show for Tom Douglas. Tom ate at Brandon's restaurant in West Seattle (the now-closed Beato) and LOVED it. When Tom Douglas loves something, that's saying a lot! From there, Brandon popped around in food - Mighty O Donuts, Oola Distillery - and all along we kept in touch and kept up. Brandon is charming and sincere. He's smart and hospitable. He's true and nice - I love this man! And even better? He has three little girls that fall at his feet and a lovely wife to match.

Today, Brandon works at Lifelong Aids Alliance as the Senior Director of Programs, no surprise given his generosity and easy demeanor. Lifelong's mission is to empower people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and/or other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives. You should check them out and check in with Brandon to see how you can help. And be sure to read his response to #3 below - you heard it here first, Seattle. Meet Brandon Gillespie…...

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A protein shake with fruit, yogurt, protein powder and milk.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Give each of my kids a kiss.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? I would run for City Council.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? In my basement on my big chair. Sounds strange to say that as it was the same for my Grandfather.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Flank steak - my marinade is off the hook yo!

5 for FRIDAY :: Cle Franklin with Half Pint Ice Cream

Cle FranklinI have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

I ran into my old pal Cle at the Urban Craft Uprising event a few weekends ago. I was there signing copies of Fresh Pantry and nearly EVERYONE was walking by with a cone or cup of ice cream. I needed one. Turns out HALF PINT ICE CREAM was there scooping and by the end of the day had run out of over half her flavors! (If you've never been to this event, mark your calendar for next time - it was awesome.)

Cle started her farmers market-based ice cream business several years ago. She makes all of her ice creams by hand, offers fresh seasonal flavors and is available for private events! Hire her and her team to come scoop! Meet Cle Franklin……..

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A smoothie with blueberries, bananas, almond milk, oats, yogurt and maple syrup.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Drink coffee.  I can't remember the last time I went a day without it.  I don't drink a ton, but I always have one or two cups in the morning.  I go to bed at night excited for that steamy cup of coffee the next morning.  I almost always share that time with my fiance, Ben.  It's a really nice quiet moment in the morning before we go our separate ways for our respectively crazy days.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? I just bought my first home. If time and money were no object, I would spend my days making it into the most perfect house I can imagine!

4.Where is your 'happy place'? Either curled up on my couch, with a knitting project, a bowl of popcorn and a TV show or in my home kitchen, baking.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  Pizza.  In our house we have homemade pizza probably once every week and a half or so.  I've got my dough recipe down and we've got our favorite topping combos figured out pretty well.  I just started grilling my pizzas and I don't think I'll go back to oven-baking them!  Grilling makes the BEST crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 for Friday :: Farmer D aka Daron Joffe

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

missionI met Farmer D several years ago at a friend's wedding. I knew in advance we had SO much in common (us being urban farmers and all) that I offered to pick him up from the airport and drive him to the wedding venue out in Carnation. We'd never met before, but I was stoked to connect with a kindred spirit. So, there we were, two strangers who dig on urban farming, hanging out like old friends, and it's pretty much been the same ever since. The love I have for this man is deep and feels old; I am pretty certain we've crossed paths in other lives. D is my hero, truly. Check this out………

Farmer D is an urban farmer (and rural farmer!) extraordinaire. He owns Farmer D Organics - "an environmentally friendly, socially conscious business that creates farms and products for the earth and its people." I mean….come on. He has been farming biodynamically since the mid-90s and is a figurehead for living a green life. Several years ago he created biodynamic compost (which, BTW, you can have shipped to your garden!) in his then-hometown of Atlanta and opened a handful of small retail stores to support budding urban farmers in Georgia. He also works with his lovely father to create signature veggie boxes, also for sale in their online shop. They are beautifully constructed and an excellent investment, as they'll last for years.

In his spare time (as if) Farmer D consults on large-scale projects like the amazing Natirar Farm at Virgin Spa in NJ. And when I say "Virgin", I mean Richard Branson i.e. Virgin Records, Virgin Air - you feelin' me on this?? Truly, there is too much to tell you here, so if you'd like to poke around, check out this mans amazing gallery.

In short, he's a one-man dynamo who seems never to lose steam. (Check out #3 below, to see what I mean.) I'm so honored to call him a friend and I'm so excited to be ever-learning from him. And, OF COURSE, he's now written a book about his mission - Citizen Farmers! The book is illustrated with photographs of gardens designed by Farmer D as well as line drawings and advice on establishing a biodynamic garden, composting, soil composition and replenishment, control­ling pests and disease, cooperative gardening practices, and more. A mouthful! I can't wait to read it, and you should too. Order direct from D here. And meet him here………

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? I ate poached eggs on millet with arugula, avocado, and hot sauce.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I spend time in the garden with my two year old son Tilden.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would set up demonstration farms in communities around the world to teach people best practices in sustainable and biodynamic agriculture and social enterprise. These demonstration farms would help foster healthier, more resilient communities around the world.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? In the garden or on the tractor

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Collard Burritos. Instead of a tortilla, I slightly braise whole collard green leaves and then stuff them with all kinds of fillings: from mexican rice and beans to indian curry. I always have a grain (brown rice or quinoa), farm-fresh veggies, and a protein (like black beans, free-range chicken or quinoa). It's fresh and delicious every time.

 

5 for Friday - Sheri Wetherell, Co-Founder & CEO Foodista.com

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Sheri WetherellOh, where to start with this one?? I met Sheri Wetherell in the late 90's - she was on the team I joined after being hired by Amazon.com. We only worked together a year or so before getting canned, but as working in group office and traveling for work will do, we became fast friends. Plus, we're both Geminis (our birthdays only 3 days apart) so how could I not love her? Sheri was with me in the days after my house burned down and rather then try and put band aids on things and make them sunny, she embraced the gravity of the experience and just let me cry when I burst into sudden tears remembering things I'd lost. I'd be talking and laughing one minute, and then frozen in a fit of panic the next. I'd bawl, wipe my face and she'd just keep talking - like a little anchor of normalcy that I so needed then. We're the kind of friends who've been through fires, divorce, new loves, big moves, the sadness of death and the joy of new children (hers, not mine!) together - a real gem of a friendship.

Outside of being one of my oldest 'Seattle' friends, I've had the great fortune of watching Sheri (and her partner Barnaby & friend Colin) build up a food company from scratch. (Get it…scratch?!) They started building Foodista, envisioning an online cooking encyclopedia, and launched the site in December of 2008. It's an amazing thing to watch a person take an idea from concept to inception. The passion and dedication behind starting your own business is immense and I remember long conversations over red one and rad dinners discussing features and tossing out ideas. How cool is that? This woman I met under TOTALLY different circumstances started building a food business, just as I was building mine. Good stuff.

And what a whirlwind it has been since Foodista's launch! Foodista is now one of the worlds largest online food communities and is a vast encyclopedia of recipes and information on all things food. Sheri essentially runs it on her own now - she oversees all of the editorial, works on marketing & PR and comes up with fresh ideas for the site.  AND she's the mom of a toddler! Foodista also created a premiere food blogging conference that is hosted annually. The International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) is a must for anyone interested in food, hosting a food blog, book editors, PR reps and anyone in the food biz, really. Lucky for me, it is being held in Seattle this year, and I encourage you to sign up early because it always sells out.

Meet Sheri Wetherll……...

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Egg whites with tarragon and a teeny bit of sharp Cheddar cheese "scrambled" in the microwave for 1 minute.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Tell my family I love them. Wear my FitBit to make sure I'm getting at least 10K steps a day!

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? I'd love to take cooking classes in all my favorite countries and want-to-visit countries. I'd also love to build my dream ranch/vineyard in Argentina.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? In the bath tub with my Kindle and a glass of wine. But also any time my toddler daughter crawls into my lap with her blankie to get "toasty toasty."

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? I would have to say my signature dish is Crab Cioppino. I make it every Christmas Eve (as we've done in my family for generations) but I add my own little secret ingredient that my grandma never did. I also make a pretty darn good risotto and a perfect poached egg.

5 for Friday - Kari Gran, eco-Skincare Product Developer & Entrepreneur

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. our-story1

I met Kari Gran (pictured left) through my dear friend Carilyn, who was hired to do PR for her then-new skincare line. She co-founded her company, aptly named Kari Gran, with her friend, Lisa Strain - two ladies moving' and shakin' to introduce their line of products. On the top floor of a gorgeous and airy loft overlooking Lake Union, Kari showed me how to wash my face with oils, talked to me about the benefit of using oil-based cleansers and moisturizers, and in general charmed me with her easy going yet educated approach to daily skincare. After sending me home with a small sample size of the line, I was hooked. Within two weeks, I received compliments from friends on how great I looked. How refreshed. My friend Nga actually said to me "Brooky, your skin is glowing." I was hooked.

Kari created her skincare products as a result of an auto-immune diagnosis. She found traditional ingredients in off-the-shelf cleansers to be irritants. After much research, she decided to create her own personal products using only simple, organic ingredients. After years of passing homemade concoctions out as small hostess gifts to friends, she launched the business. [I'm oversimplifying, but you can read the story here.] And isn't that always how the coolest companies start?!! It's almost as if she didn't mean to do it - one thing led to another and BOOM - she has a successful and growing business.

From the moment I met Kari she has been a shining light. She has AMAZING skin herself and is always so well put together, that I make a mental note every time I see her. (Ditto for Lisa - they are a force.) I go to the studio directly to buy their products, as I love the social catch up. We have often mused over event ideas, gardening plans and life's interesting twists and turns. One day we'll organize enough to have a dual herbal event of some kind - stay tuned. And of course, the products are available online. And as I learned late last year when I forgot to pack my products on an extended trip to NY - they ship. Meet Kari Gran…..

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Leftover black bean chili and basmati rice with a fruit smoothie chaser. And coffee, of course.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Meditate. Learned TM this summer and haven't looked back.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would love to simply have the time, in the crazy swirl of a start-up, to sit and think about it (all). But something that touched me recently in a very profound way, was the opportunity to meet with the founders of Wonderwork while in NYC on a business trip in April and get a peek at what they are doing with miracle surgeries. Many of (the surgeries) are so incredibly quick and inexpensive, but life altering for the children who receive them.  We made our first donation from the company of our gross (revenue) and as we grow, the money we donate will increase, as well.  At the end of the day, it really doesn't take much to make a big difference, every little bit counts.  It's our vision of real beauty.  I wish I could add another 24 hours to my day so that I could work for them in all my spare time!

4. Where is your 'happy place'? The last five minutes of yoga class, laid out flat on my back in Savasana with an eye pillow and blanket. My 45 year old version of the kindergarten nap.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I've been doing it since the late 80's and it's got a bit of a cult following!

[amyp note - Lest you leave here thinking I'm a high roller, I'll be the first to warn you that these products are not cheap. In fact, the first time I bought them I felt a little sick. BUT……..they  changed my skin, they last a long time (I only buy 3 to 4 times a year) and I'm almost 40 and consider it an investment. This is ONE of a very-few products I believe to be very-much worth the splurge.]

5 for Friday with Justine Ashbee, Artist & Weaver

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Justine Ashbee

This week I'm actually WITH my friend Justine Ashbee at her flat in Brighton, England. I've been wanting to spotlight her for some time and spending time with her the last several days gave me a lucky peak into her work and life. Justine, in the simplest term, is an artist. Quirky and gorgeous, she is always creating amazing items and has a sense of style that is profound and unique. I'm in love with all of her creative pieces, but to be honest, I even love seeing how she pulls an outfit together.

I met Justine several years ago, back in Seattle, at a dinner with mutual friends. She was bright and sunny and made a healthy, delicious seaweed salad - I liked her immediately. Justine attended the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and honed her artistic craft there. The below pic is of her earlier work, though (like me!) you can purchase one of these whimsical prints for your home.

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Today, she can be found weaving at her farm-side studio in East Sussex, England with her business Native Line. Having moved here for love (she is recently engaged), she is settling into a new space. In her studio she makes gorgeous metallic fiber wall hangings (many of which were just picked up and purchased by the new Ace Hotel in London) and hanging light pendants by hand. This fine craft demands an eye to detail and a steady hand. Her studio is at once pristine and blowsy - clips of inspiration pages piled throughout the room and random found objects displayed. I spied a birds nest, smooth curves of a thin wooden rod and several of her prints waiting to be hung on my recent visit.

Justine Ashbee weave

Ashbee sells her work in the UK and state side. You'd be lucky to pick up one of her pieces via her online shop. For custom orders, you can find her directly on her site, Native Line. Personally, I'm in love with her woven talisman bracelets and I wear mine non-stop. Finally, I strongly suggest you follow her Instagram feed, which offers both new projects and her inspiration boards - all good stuff!

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Delicious sprouts & cabbage with incredible leftovers of lentils & kale.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I make a vegetable-fruit juice.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would go down the Nile and see all the ancient Egyptian sacred sites from a house boat.

4. Where is your happy place? I would say feeling physically healthy is my happy place, amidst efficient productivity. When I am producing a lot of work and I feel like it's a job well done AND I'm healthy, that's my happy place.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? It would either be pulled pork - I wake up really early and make it with hardy cider from the local country and I put loads of fennel, thyme, garlic, paprika, cumin, chili peppers and onions as a base and then dry rub the pork and stuff it full of thyme and garlic. Then, I sear it and put it in a pan and pour in local hard cider (and maybe some beer) and I braise it for hours.

[Editors note. Her finance adds……..."And then you do that amazing slaw and that fucking bazang-bazang," which turns out to be a jerk BBQ sauce that she makes on the side. "A little witches brew with my wizard assistant," she says, "and a sesame-cabbage slaw."]

5 for Friday, Brian Cartenuto - Southern Chef & Entrepreneur

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. briancThis week, I'm sending long distance love to my pal, Brian Cartenuto. I met Brian several years ago when the then-new Seattle restaurant, Cantinetta opened. He was a young and confident chef then and frankly, remains that way today! Full of piss and vigor, I was instantly struck as he both worked the room and hustled in the kitchen with ease. Charming as they come, Brian is a pro at front and back of the house - a rare trait in a chef. You may recall his savvy one-liners, as he appeared on (and WON!) Foodnetwork's Cuthroat Kitchen earlier this year.

Today, Brian can be found continually striving to build and improve upon his burgeoning restaurant empire, back home on the Florida panhandle. Moving back home to be closer to family, he owns and operates Tucker Duke's Lunchbox & Market - a southern style restaurant that turns out award-winning burgers in NW Florida and uses local, seasonal and sustainable food sources. While that's no big whoop in Seattle, home of the backyard farm, it is a very big deal in the south! After the brick and mortar, he launched a sister-mobile restaurant and now runs a Tucker Duke food truck, as well. I expect big things from Tucker Duke'sBrian in the future - his work brain is always on and he's full of big ideas. If you're in the panhandle, be sure to schedule a trip by one of his joints - pop in and say hello! And to keep track of Brian and all of his foodie adventures, follow him on Twitter or Instagram, where he posts regular eye-candy.

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Today's breakfast was cheese steak omelet, with Texas toast, and hash browns and bacon, but this is not my normal, I normally don't have anything.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I take a nap everyday, I come home after lunch service and take a good hour to two hour nap

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would write, have a few houses and places that would be my muse and write, and write a lot about  nothing, not to be published but just to get all the thoughts out in my head and on to parchment

4. Where is your 'happy place'? Sundays... After a long work week my happy place would be Sundays, cooking or ordering in dinner, and then watching TV and laughing about the weeks ongoing and the week to come, then off to bed and waking up to start the new week off.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? The tucker duke burger, 1/2 lbs burger on a toasted onion bun, house made American cheese, onion rings with tucker duke sauce, Roma tomatoes spring mix and celery salt. It is the burger that started my restaurant to go on the rise.

5 for Friday, Katie Okumura - Marketing Manager & radio Co-Host

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. 536796_426697254007552_1639940695_nI was fated to meet Katie Okumura - she is my soul sister in many ways. Many years ago, at a mutual friends wedding, I was the day-of coordinator while Katie was the Maid of Honor. Little did I know this PYT would soon become a big part of my life. KatieO now works in marketing and merriment at Tom Douglas Restaurants, my professional alma mater of sorts. She is in charge of creating and implementing the events, marketing strategies, web copy, etc for several of the restaurants. A pretty cool job, right?! KatieO-On-The-Go is also a weekly contributor (and frankly the charming glue that holds two wayward chefs together in lively conversation!) to Seattle Kitchen on KIRO, Chefs Tom Douglas & Thierry Rautureau's food radio program.

Not only does Katie have a great job, but she has a major finger on the art-y-music pulse and is an excellent go to source for both visual and listening candy. Ten years my junior, I look to her for suggestions and trends. And for all of you ladies out there, she also happens to be a pro on the home manicure - check out some of her lacquer combos via her Instagram feed, KatieOonTheGo, where you can also follow her fashion and food finds. This gorgeous little thing is one to watch!

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Flax Plus instant oatmeal with toasted hazelnuts, dried apricots and cherries. Black coffee.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Be grateful.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc). I'd ask each one of the closest people in my life where they'd most like to travel to in the world and spend a year (or more) taking those special trips with each of them.

4. Where is your happy place? My "happy place" is being at the beach on a hot day getting my tan on with a book and a drink near by!

5. What is your signature dish – something you make well and consistently? My roasted chicken is pretty solid (so says I)

5 for Friday - with amyp!

HI! I decided to interview myself for 5 for Friday this week, as I've just released my 11th eBook, Fresh Pantry - BEETS! Annnnddd......maybe I forgot it was Friday. It happens. Fresh Pantry - BEETSBEETS is the eleventh volume in the 12-month series and features fun and inspired recipes for onions that will liven up your kitchen, without boring your palate or relying on processed foods. Fresh Pantry: Beets features: 16 creative & easy recipes spanning every meal of the day, including morning noshes -  Corn Crepes with Beet Sauce, afternoon snacks/apps like Beet-pickled Eggs (these are so gorgeous) & a KILLER Fennel-Beet Borscht that will warm your soul and keep you healthy all winter long.

I hope you check it out, post it to your Pinterest, share it with friends and sing this book series from the mountaintops! I wrote Fresh Pantry eBooks as a means to help people eat seasonally and it's been a labor of love that I'm thrilled to share.

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A cup of Detox tea and a bowl of yogurt with oats, pumpkin seed granola (from Apartment Gardening) and maple syrup.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice?  Drink a boat load of water.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc)  I would make UrbanGardenShare a urban farming hub full of information and great resources. (But in a good way, not in a yahoo communities sort of way.)

4. Where is your ‘happy place’?  Nature. Could be a trail in the woods (with the sun shining through the tree tops) or a beach where I can swim.

5. What is your signature dish – something you make well and consistently?  Perfect Roast Chicken - it's always a winner.

5 for Friday - Sarah Littlefield, Curator of Vintage Wares

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Sarah & LarisaOk, you guys ready for this? Get your bookmarking fingers ready or grab a pen and paper - you're going to want to take notes. Meet the fabulous, cheerful and adorable Sarah Littlefield. I don't have any recollection about how Sarah and I first met. We have many mutual friends and have found each other at parties, dinners and events over the years, always saying hello, but never digging deep. It wasn't until I found Sarah on Instagram & Facebook that I really fell in love. She calls herself a "picker of vintage wares", but "picker" doesn't do her justice. Sarah is a consummate curator, as far as I'm concerned. With her business, Seattle Junk Loveshe roves all over the Pacific Northwest (and well beyond) on the hunt for utilitarian items, objects, furniture & lighting from the early 1900's thru the 50's. There is a skill and expertise in her work, regardless of her humility, and she has an incredible eye for gorgeous and well-constructed pieces.

Sarah Littlefiled interior Lest you think she simply a brilliant shopper, she also concepts, designs and constructs interiors - from her own home to businesses near and far. Check out the interior of her house - all hand picked, dirt cheap and stunning. You must also go right now and check out the vet clinic Urban Animal NW. Sarah designed the space and collected the pieces. (I hear this is a rad vet, for all you animal lovers.) She also collected for the ice cream shop Salt & Straw in Portland. (If you haven't heard of them, you should read a food mag once in awhile, ya know.) Sarah explained her involvement with that shop, "I picked furniture and fixtures and vintage wares for Kim's shops. Also designed a wallpaper for the restroom of her Alberta shop. it's a collage of vintage postcards all addressed to the same woman who lived at various addresses around pdx. postmarks date from about 1906 thru the 60's." You guys - she designed one-of-a-kind wallpaper with vintage postcards that she collected. Shut the front door.

Sarah is now selling her wares retail at District, a collective of vendors in Georgetown. There, you'll find a distinctive selection of vintage americana, furniture, lighting, fixtures, blankets, and more. It's a MUST stop on your holiday rounds and (stop yelling at me) it's never a bad idea to get a jump on holiday gift giving.

Seattle Junk LoveAnd for any food lovers, check out these amazing signs. They're bound to go fast. They read "FOOD", "PRODUCE", "FROZEN", etc.

You can find Sarah selling her wares straight off Instagram via SeattleJunkLove (great for any out-of-towners), or at her shop District at 5527 Airport Way.

Finally, if anyone knows Julianne Moore can you connect these two?! Let's hook it up - I'm sure Julianne would be equally THRILLED.

 

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Coffee. Always coffee (with milk and a little sugar). And, toast with homemade apricot preserves from my dear friend Jason Erickson.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I keep my eyes open for interesting things to buy or simply for inspiration for projects. Every day. Weekends, holidays, vacations- there really isn't a time when i'm not picking or hunting.

(like This and This.)

Seattle Juke Love IMG_9851

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would take the longest, open-ended, free-range road trip EVER with my wife Larisa around the country in a 1971 ford truck. We'd hit every flea market, auction, antique mall and out of the way place and ship all of our finds back in containers so we wouldn't have to worry about quantity. I'm not sure a road trip qualifies as a project, but if so, that particular situation would be my dream project. Or, I'd like to design and outfit a rustic ranch home in Montana for Julianne Moore, and then live in the guest house on the back 40.

4. Where is your ‘happy place’? Being first in line at a highly coveted estate sale very early on a cold morning. With a cup of coffee in hand.

5. What is your signature dish – something you make well and consistently? I consistently make a really outstanding Manhattan and a decent Negroni, if booze counts as a dish. If not, I'd say I struggle with dish-making. Do ribs count? I make pretty good rack of ribs when I put my mind to it, I suppose.

5 for Friday - Jameson Fink, wine writer/editor & podcast host

6534627839_76f069349aI have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. I have so many things to tell you about Jameson Fink, that I need to slow down my thoughts and focus as I write. First of all, how awesome is that name? It was love at first sound bite.

I met Jameson many years ago at the inaugural International Food Bloggers Conference, where he was helping Foodista, the website that created, sponsors & puts on the event every year. While he worked for his registration, I snuck in under the title of 'friend' (I am not a blogger, nor have I ever been), abusing my priveledges in an attempt to glean some free information about the wonderful world of websites. (Side note: The conference is an absolute MUST for anyone interested in food, writing, blogging or web work and is coming back to Seattle in September of 2014.) On the very first night of the conference, Foodista hosts a launch party that rivals Food & Wine Aspen, I swear. It is full of awesome food, awesome people and there is a general air of conviviality dashed with a wee bit of debauchery - a perfect blend. Long story short, we met, we drank, we ate, we drank and I've called him a friend ever since.

Jameson is a wine guru like none other I've met before. I apologize to all of my wine friends in advance, but he's the bomb. Jameson has this amazing ability to break down the somewhat alienating language and culture of wine to people that aren't in the habit of brushing up on their knowledge of terroir. Frankly, I don't give a shit where Gascogne is - I just like crispy white wine - and Jameson is my faithful go-to for advice on what to pour for any occasion. Additionally, he has an absolute mastery of the english language and listening to him speak about wine is similar to being read to - like poetry. He's quick, informative, humble and adorable. (I might add SINGLE for anyone looking - drop me a line and I'll play Yenta.)

While professionally he's popped around to different wine shops in Seattle (and can currently be found on the floor at Bottlehouse in Madrona), he now dedicates a fair amount of time to blogging about wine and chronicling his international adventures in pursuit of the perfect sip. Hint: it involves bubbly. You MUST read his blog and you MUST subscribe to his informative podcast, Wine Without Worry.

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A mix of two high fiber cereals akin to tree bark, with raisins and soy milk. A small glass of OJ. Coffee.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Go for a walk to either clear my head or cloudy it up further in an attempt to nurture my "everybody in the pool" cast of ideas that permeate my waking thoughts.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc).   I'd spend a year wandering Tasmania, with a focus on food, wine, and beaches. Then start a winery that exclusively made sparkling wine.

4. Where is your 'happy place'?   Often located at the intersection of whimsy, absurdity, and discovery.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? A melange of ever-changing vegetables with tofu in a spicy tomato sauce. Served over couscous.

5 for Friday - Emma Schwartzman, Creator

Emma SchwartzmanI have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

I met Miss Emma Schwartman through our ever-evolving restaurant connections. Once you work in a few restaurants around town, and eat out a lot, and hang out with people in the service industry, you start to criss cross paths with people you know, but don't know. Interestingly, the first time I really spent any time with Emma was while we both helped develop an event for the Henry Art Gallery - she as an event designer, me as the food curator for their annual fundraising event, Spring Sprung. It was love at first sight - she was composed, calm and funny in the face of pre-event stress and chaos. Her get-it-done, but chill nature stuck with me.

Emma is a genuine creative soul - one who is always full of good ideas. Years ago, she left UW and moved to Ireland to attend cooking school. Two summers ago she created and launched Summer Dog with her boyfriend. Summer Dog is a floating and mobile hotdoggrill - a food 'boat' for water adventurers. She also recently created Imperfect, a design and style consultancy wherein she offers her unique blend of style and vision to projects of all shapes and sizes. Currently, she is working on a new bar/club concept along with 5 amazing friends. Located on 11th and Pine in Cap Hill, Emma brings her design aesthic (and co-ownership) to a well-rounded team of industrial builders, past restaurant owners and hospitality gurus. I can't wait to sit down and have a drink - god knows this girl is going to make that interior one of the most compelling in town.

When not on a surfboard, Summer Dog, the snow, a paddle board, walking through leaf-filled side streets or laying next to a pool, you can find Emma around Capitol Hill in the coming months. Go grab a drink at Big Fun (the new bars tentative name) and be sure to say hello!

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? coffee with chocolate and cinnamon

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? kiss my boyfriend many many times

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc).   would devote all of my time to surfing and developing the greatest line of swimwear the world has ever known. Can I do two of these? Because I ALSO would develop a funny/stylish/effective exercise craze for non morons.

4. Where is your 'happy place'?   with my friends, laughing my ass off.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? green juice

5 for Friday - Marcel Boulanger, manager Cafe Presse

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Marcel BoulangerMarcel Boulanger and I met many years ago - too many to have counted or made note - through mutual friends. One of my first memories was that of Marcel hosting a small friends Thanksgiving dinner at his home. He set a side table with gorgeously plated hor d'oeuvres, had the dinner table set in full serviceware and greeted us all with a cocktail. His apartment was (and still is) impeccably designed and the Thanksgiving was a most excellent meal - moist turkey and delicious side dishes. What a fete! (Incidentally, this is also the meal wherein I learned the secret to AMAZING gravy is a splash of Madiera - Thanks, Jimmy! and that Kurt Timmermeister is an AMAZING pastry chef.)

Through twists and turns of life, Marcel can now be found working the floor and playing host once more at the bistro Cafe Presse in Capitol Hill. This small french cafe boasts a simple menu and affordable wine list and Marcel presides over the entire house with grace and hospitality. He is an excellent source of historical and design information on antiques, a fabulous cocktail maker with a gentle pour and a subtle fashionista who is always superbly dressed, without a thought spent composing his wardrobe.

Ladies and gentlemen, Monsieur Boulanger.......

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Cold roast chicken from Le Pichet, watermelon juice that I made & a banana

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Crossword puzzle...NYTimes

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) Open my own antique store, filled with all sorts of useful, beautifully made objets d'art...& let Iris (my dog) hangout with me...

4. Where is your 'happy place'? The beach: any beach

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Roast pork is the first thing that comes to mind, with roast potatoes (or mashed), pan sauce & hopefully some kind of fruit galette to finish...

5 for Friday - Elizabeth Meyer, Business Matchmaking Entrepreneur

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Elizabeth MeyerYou need to know Elizabeth Meyer - she is a mover and a shaker. Elizabeth is a rare breed of person who is so well-intended and sincere that magic trails her at every turn. I met Ms. Meyer through an email; She was living in NYC, and I, in Seattle, was looking for a book tour intern. From her city environs she reached out to offer help via a Craigslist posting and the rest, as they say, is history. When Meyer finally made her way to Seattle many months later, we connected over a cocktail at Poppy, meeting face-to-face for the first time. She has since easily morphed from a colleague into a dear friend - the best kind of relationship to foster.

Elizabeth used to work with celebrities in NYC (you may have heard of her pal, Star Jones) and has recently launched a niche business in Seattle. The Meyer Suite places personal assistants and house managers in homes across the country. As an entrepreneur, she has just spread her wings to build an empire, doing what she loves. We should all be so lucky, right? If you know of anyone looking for household support, or an executive looking for a perfect professional-match, please do keep Elizabeth in mind. She'll happily return the favor.

It needs to be said, as well, that Meyer is a FORCE in terms of well-being and health. She eats well, exercises daily, works out in a boxing ring, runs marathons and takes care of her skin. She is always making good choices!

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? I tend to eat mini meals.  Today: 5am - banana with peanut butter;  8:30am - two scrambled eggs with 1/2 avocado and some sprinkled parm. And coffee.  A lot of coffee!

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I put on eye cream every single day without fail.  And I make a big green smoothie in my Vitamix every single day!  And I eat an apple.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc). I would recreate the Mario Batali/ Gwyneth Paltrow/ Mark Bittman/ Claudia Bassols roadtrip of a lifetime through Spain.  The four of them would all come with me.  I would leave all technology behind and immerse myself in food, wine, and culture!

4. Where is your 'happy place'? 'Unplugged' times with my friends, doing whatever it is together that brought us together.  Sharing that initial common interest/bond - whether it's exercising, supper club, shopping, brunching, or just being lazy - with a great friend never fails to rejuvenate and inspire me, or, as I like to say, "fill my love bucket."

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Homemade banana bread.  The secret is what I do with the bananas ahead of time. ;-)

 

5 for Friday - Becky Selengut, cookbook author & chef

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc - all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. 26048_386426920613_5996018_nThis week, Mrs Becky Selengut, author, private chef & podcast host, gave my 5 questions a whirl. Becky and I met many years ago, both lovers of food, on a day hike and mushroom forage with Langdon Cook. None of us knew each other at the time - it was like an awesome blind date where no one got laid. There are several things I remember keenly about that trip, in regard to Becky's cool factor. I knew immediately we'd be friends.  Mainly, in an odd accident, I managed to impale myself with my foraging knife, launching it directly into the small of my back as I flung my canvas bag up and over my shoulders to wear as a back pack. It stopped me in my tracks, of course, but I played it cool. Becky, on the other hand, insisted she have a look and then promptly slammed her hand against the top of my butt crack to stop the bleeding. We've had many foibles since then (ask her about her 1st book) and I'm always impressed with her knowledge, passion, humor and productivity - she's fast at work on her 3rd book, 'Shroom, due out next fall. No one can throw an off-the-cuff comment like Becky. She's talented, hilarious and she's a keeper.

Becky is currently on the east coast spending time with her 'Gummy', who is in hospice. Please send your love and prayers for the whole family.

1.  What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Nectarine and pluot dutch baby with rose hip syrup, made by Ashlyn Forshner at her new bed and breakfast on Whidbey Island

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Kiss my wife and tell her I love her.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) Spend a few years based in Paris, but traveling all around the world, volunteering and writing.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? Fishing

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  Toss up between gazpacho and braised pork tacos

5 for Friday - Christopher Papagni, Exec VP of the International Culinary Center NYC

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc - all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. Christopher PapagniMeet Christopher Papagni. Chris and I met the way many of my food friends meet - through sheer luck of our fortunate circumstance. I was working for Tom Douglas at the time, and tagged along with Tom to NYC for his Iron Chef Competition and James Beard House Dinner. While Christopher has worked for many years at the International Culinary Center (formerly the famous French Culinary Institute), he was our James Beard 'host' that night - someone affiliated with the JBH who would introduce Tom to the diners who had paid to attend the dinner. Long story short, Chris ended up being my surprise date. I had no idea he'd be there, and he sat at the table with my mom, her partner, Jackie (Tom's wife) and Tom's sister - already part of the family.

Shortly after our NY meeting, the International Association of Food Professionals annual conference was in Seattle. Tom Douglas Restaurants had a big last-night party for everyone at the Palace Ballroom and I made sure Chris showed up.  With a packed house, Jacques Pepin took the stage that evening and sang La Vie En Rose. It was a magical time and "Christapha" & I have been friends ever since. I love him.

1.  What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A glazed donut from Smile to Go in Soho.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? Drink a strong cup of Joe about 10 minutes after getting out of bed.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would go to Spain for 6 months to learn Spanish.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? Sitting in front of the ocean on a sun drenched day.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  I make a seafood Paella that would knock your socks off!

5 for Friday - Molly Moon Nietzel, ice cream entrepreneur

anna-banana-milk-fundI'm starting a new (& weekly!) post on the website this week, 5 for Friday. The idea is simple and ripped off from Inside the Actors Studio's final interview questions - I have always loved those last minutes of the conversation.

I have the great fortune of being surrounded by inspiring people. These questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc - all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

This week, I asked Molly Moon of Molly Moon Ice Cream fame to weigh in and wax poetic. Molly founded and operates a small chain of organic ice cream shops here in Seattle, though I wouldn't be surprised if national expansion were on the horizon. I met Molly when I booked her on Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen radio program, back in 2008. She was so gracious and on opening day (with a line down the block) she actually paused for five minutes and spoke to us live, on air. From there, a foodie friendship was born. Molly is an awesome business owner and majorly involved community member. Her passion for politics is contagious and I am always amazed at the amount of work and dedication she produces. PLUS, her hot fudge is one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. No lie. Buy a jar here. And make sure to spend an extra $10 to provide a Seattle family-in-need with fresh milk for a month - it's the Anna Banana Fund & it's brilliant.

5 for Friday

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? oatmeal with cinnamon, milk, flax, dried blueberries & a chopped up nectarine.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice?  have a  cup of coffee on the couch with my husband, Zack.  the coffee is made by Zack every morning in an italian percolator in a bizarrely intricate and tweaky manner that is totally endearing.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) i haven't been many places outside of the US.  just mexico, canada, and Israel.  i've just never made time for it!  but long flights seem too daunting now with a 6-month old.  if there were no budget limitations, i would charter a jet that had a living room, kitchen, and king-size bed.  then i would fly all over the world with my family.

4. Where is your 'happy place'?

 by a lake, somewhere in idaho or montana.5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  does a hot fudge sundae count?

 

5 for Friday - Erin Gainey, design maven

I'm starting a new (& weekly!) post on the website this week, 5 for Friday. The idea is simple and ripped off from Inside the Actors Studio's final interview questions - I have always loved those last minutes of the conversation.

I have the great fortune of being surrounded by inspiring people. These questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc - all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

Seattle Design FoundationTo kick it off, I sent the 5 for Friday's to Erin Gainey, co-Founder of the Seattle Design Foundation (SDF). Erin and I met when we collaborated on an event for the Henry Art Gallery - me on food, Erin on design & execution. Her parents planted a hobby vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley (Julia Child cooked there in the 80s!) and in addition to having an impeccable sense of style, Miss Gainey is a food lover at heart.

SDF aims to "create a platform for local creatives, in both social and financial capacities," which basically means she is helping artists and visionaries raise capitol to support their projects. Pretty forward-thinking and community driven ideas for a young 20-something. Currently, they are looking to support a single creative project for a female resident in Seattle - a Ladies Design Grant.

5 for Friday

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Rye crackers with almond butter and homemade grape jam + green figs + fancy coffee made for me by my fisherman (he's the the jack of all joe's).

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice?  I spend a good amount of time rolling around on the ground with my dog, Pilot. We stay happy and keep the floors clean at the same time. Perfect.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) Start a snail farm.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? Those few minutes in the mornings when I'm able to lay in bed and just be.

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently?  Dishes come and go, but a good staple is my Martini. Dry, shaken extra, extra, extra hard (think Martini slushy) and served with a twist.