For you, more than many, life and livelihood is deeply interconnected with shared spaces and experiences and the transformative power of communal humanity. Has this past season shifted what you value about being together or being apart?
Yes, in a big way. It has taught us how to be more intentional in gathering and being social. Man, I love hosting people, we love feeding friends, but once you've been forced to stop the everyday interactions, you realize how exhausting it can be when it's hollow. During quarantine, we isolated as a family and hardly saw friends, even when we ventured out for a walk. It was so restorative to turn off the charm, the thoughtful question-asking, and just exist as three people. In terms of work, we restructured our hours and service, so that we are open for one seating, three nights a week, and those nights feel like the most fun, delicious and debaucherous dinner party you've ever been to. And then we close for the week, we really retreat—it's just us, at home for the most part, enjoying each other. That distinction—and not letting work or the social aspects of it—bleed into personal life, is a really tremendous revelation and all thanks to the forced downtime. Community is very important to us, and even more so maybe in a rural mountain town with so few people and resources, but bleeding it dry by oversaturating ourselves or overpacking our calendar, feels counterproductive. Being together now in this amended way, as in with friends or patrons, feels really special and our attention is undivided. And being apart is just deeply rejuvenating, how it should be.
Food is so deeply tied to the power of memory—both the sensual and tactile and that of tradition and ritual. What are your favorite memories to conjure?
Food is such a powerful vehicle for storytelling, and I find that even a simple breakfast spent eating at our kitchen island can elicit some intense feelings—I definitely process emotions and memories at and through meals, that's for sure. The ritual of gathering at mealtime was really sacred as I was growing up and my mom spent a lot of time and energy making dishes that she thought were exciting, as good food and feeding us well was so important to her. Pork and Sauerkraut, which was a P.A. Dutch New Years Eve tradition, and the chocolate cake with peanut butter icing she'd make for all of our birthdays, are dishes that even now, when I eat, I can't help but cry a little. I'm instantly 8 and I can picture my holiday dress and velvet scrunchie and all of the people that were there and I feel like my mom is in the room, suddenly. And lately, remaking meals with my husband that we cooked early on in our relationship - linguine clams when we lived on Martha's Vineyard - or ate while traveling - laarb in Bangkok - is a nice way to access the not-so-distant but tender memories of falling in love. It's amazing how memories bind to food, you take a bite years later and you're down this rabbit hole—for better or for worse.
How would you describe your personal style? Has there been any evolution (or revolution) with the transitions away from the city/in this past wild season/into motherhood?
I've always sought out comfort and utility in my clothing, preferring hardworking denim or a jumpsuit, before they were even cut in a beautiful fabric or tailored to be flattering (like yours!) but I counter those uniform basics with interesting old t-shirts of my dads or a sweater with a lot of texture. I also really do love a hat—a baseball cap or something woven in the summer, a good chunky beanie in the winter. Thankfully that translates well to country living and also motherhood, where precious doesn't quite jive. Don't get me wrong, I'm always down to put on a stacked heel boot or a great pair of silver hoops, but day to day I'm trying to be free of restrictive or fragile, because I'm in and out of the restaurant or playing outside with a toddler. I don't feel like I lost much in the way of style while moving upstate or becoming a mom, since I've always been drawn to durable fabrics and timeless shapes—which has helped so much with feeling like 'me' through so much change.