Who: Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson What: Handlebar Coffee Where: Santa Barbara, California
It's no accident former competitive cyclists Aaron Olson and Kim Andersen are running a wonderful micro roaster in Santa Barbara: they're used to training hard, crazy physical demands, and diehard determination. In fact, the qualities that made them star athletes have helped turn them into the star small business owners of Handlebar Coffee.
Who cooks and eats here: Shawna Mullarkey, her husband, and their three children. Where: Novato, CA
When I walked into Shawna Mullarkey’s kitchen, I think I audibly gasped. The light floods into the space, illuminating the clean, white walls and custom cabinetry. The chandeliers sparkle (yes, I said chandeliers, plural). A single beam made of reclaimed barn wood punctuates the space with rustic warmth. Antique flea market finds, succulents, and an enviable cutting-board collection, oh my! Can you tell I have a crush on this kitchen? Because, I totally do. A big, fat, dream-kitchen crush.
As a person who loves cooking and exploring new ingredients, I'm a little ashamed to admit that this city girl can’t tell her daylilly from her damsons or her meadowsweet from her mugwort. (Apparently that’s a plant and not the name of Harry Potter’s school!) Preferring to entrust local farmers markets with sourcing my fresh herbs and interesting greens, I was totally unaware of the plentiful edible plants waiting to be plucked and cooked in many urban areas around Amsterdam.
Curious to know more, I asked Lynn Shore — teacher, permaculturist and master of public heath, otherwise known as the Urban Herbologist — to take me foraging around Amsterdam. The plan was to harvest whatever was on offer that day and then put our ingredients to good use back in the kitchen.
Who cooks and eats here: Justina Blakeney, her husband, and their 1-year-old daughter Ida. Location: Los Angeles, California Type: Rental kitchen
Justina Blakeney is a designer, maker, mother and all-around style maven. She cooks much like she decorates, with a wild sense of color, flavor, freshness and authenticity — and she does it all in a small space with a whole bunch of stylish tips and takeaways for those us in awkward, imperfect kitchens!
Who: Mike Bancroft of Co-op Sauce What: Hot sauce on a mission! Fifty percent of Co-op Sauce proceeds go to fund nonprofit arts and culinary education programs around Chicago. Where: Chicago, Illinois
As someone who likes her chilaquiles soggy with salsa and needs more than cheese on my enchiladas, I was interested when Co-op Hot Sauce starting popping up all over Chicago. I first encountered the small red and green bottles as wedding favors and then in my neighborhood grocery store, The Dill Pickle. When I saw the Co-op Hot Sauce stand at the Logan Square Farmer's Market, I had to know more. As it turns out, Co-Op Hot Sauce started as a way to raise money for local arts and culinary education programs in Chicago — and the story just gets better from there.
Who: Joy Wilson, otherwise known as Joy the Baker Where: Venice Beach, California
Today on The Kitchn we are joined by a special guest, Joy the Baker! After years of following her blog, laughing at her podcast (co-hosted with Tracy Benjamin), and devouring her last cookbook, I had the privilege of touring her approachable and exceedingly organized kitchen in Venice Beach, California. Guys, this is where all that butter, sugar, flour, magic and alchemy happens!
Who: Peggy Smith and Sue Conley, owners of Cowgirl Creamery Where: Petaluma, California
On a sunny Thursday morning I got in my car and headed out to the quiet back roads of Petaluma, California. I was on my way to talk to some gals about cheese. Not just any gals, but Peggy Smith and Sue Conley, the well-respected owners of Cowgirl Creamery. You may have heard of Cowgirl Creamery before. Maybe you've slathered their popular Mt. Tam cheese onto crackers, or hidden the last nub of Red Hawk somewhere deep in the fridge so your husband couldn't find it. (Or is that just me?) If not, you should. Their cheese is pure, rich, and worthy of a happy dance.
The first time I met Julia and Brian I was a friend's guest at a brunch of over 20 people. The two kept everyone's glass full, while all the guests got to work in every corner of the spacious kitchen preparing their own entrees to share. Both talented photographers based in Chicago, this couple's visual inclinations don't stop at photography; much of their creativity is visible in their beautifully decorated loft.
If you want to catch a lot of salmon in one go, this is the way to do it. While in Alaska two weeks ago, I watched skipper Scott McAllister and his crew onboard the Owyhee pull in 20,000 lbs of chum salmon, all in under an hour. That is a pretty phenomenal set, I'm told, and it was also spectacular to watch. Here's how it happened:
Take two avid cooks from California and put them in a craftsman
cottage in Seattle and what do you get? A kitchen full of personality and color,
designed to combat the long grey Northwestern winters. Mari and Adam have
renovation plans, but in the meantime they're created a cheerful and cozy spot
for themselves and the three dogs that make up their family.