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Journal

Spotlight: Lilia

Spotlight: Lilia

Wish We Were There No. 01...It’s become clear that I’ve missed out. My once extensive wish-list of restaurants and travel destinations is being called into question. I thought there would be time to visit each and every one of them.

Things have turned upside down over these traumatic weeks and now it is unclear who will make it through 2020 and the pandemic. In turn, I will be featuring the chefs, cuisine and locales I wished I had met, eaten and visited in our feed, we’re calling it ‘Wish We Were There’; we will also be donating $25 to these establishments’ staff relief funds and praying for a positive outcome in the coming months as our hospitality friends look to reopen.

Our first spotlight is Lilia in Williamsburg. Please consider donating to their staff's Go Fund Me campaign and help them reach their goal.

Lilia brings the best of Italy to Brooklyn where wood-fired seafood, hand crafted pastas, classic Italian cocktails and warm hospitality come together to create a casual, yet exceptional dining experience.

Missy Robbins, head chef and owner, found her Italian soul in her five years as Executive Chef at Spiaggia from 2003-2008 in Chicago. Focusing her skills on Italian fine dining allowed Missy to find her true passion for cooking and to more fully understand regional Italian cooking.

Missy returned to New York in fall of 2008 to be the Executive Chef of A Voce. While there she maintained Michelin stars at both locations for the entirety of her tenure and also was honored to be one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2010. In 2016, she went solo, opened Lilia and became a beloved restaurateur and role model for chefs of all levels and backgrounds.

Photo: @lilianewyork

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Delightful Totes

Delightful Totes

Patagonia - Stand Up Bag
For anyone who shops across boroughs, it can be a pain in the butt when you can’t set your grocery bag on the subway floor without it sliding away or flopping over. This bag stands up on its own, so no need to hold on to it for dear life.

Russ & Daughters - Vintage Tote
Back in the 1940s, shoppers at this Lower East Side icon would take home their lox and schmears in a paper bag hand-printed with this “Queens of Lake Sturgeon” design. A few years ago, a Russ & Daughters regular came across one of them and the folks at Russ & Daughters decided to reprint it, albeit on environmentally friendly canvas.

Minna - Oaxaca Hand Woven Market Tote
If you want to shop and support makers around the world, these two bags fit the bill. This Minna Oaxacan bag is woven by Mexican artisans from dried palm leaves, making it extra sustainable.

Curated from 10 Reusable Shopping Bags You Need to Face New York’s Plastic Bag Ban by Nikita Richardson

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Lovely + Easy Bouquet

Lovely + Easy Bouquet

The amazing 70 degree weather has us feeling all the spring feels, so we're featuring this pretty and easy DIY bouquet tutorial from Christina of Farmgirl Flowers.

You will need:

  • 6-10 stems each of three different flower varieties in complementary tones
  • A mixed green bouquet
  • Gardening shears
  • A large vase
  • Optional: 2-3 stems of a whimsical accent flower, like scabiosa or veronica

Step 1: Select your flowers
“I usually pick one bright color to pair with a couple muted or neutral tones because it’s an easy recipe that’s hard to get wrong,” says Christina. “I also make sure that the flowers aren’t all the same shape.” Here, we paired bright pink peonies and orange pincushion protea with softer, more muted coral ranunculus and topped it off with a white scabiosa.

Step 2: Process the flowers and prepare your vase
“First, you need to process the flowers, which is just a fancy way of saying that you need to take the bottom half of the leaves off each stem,” says Christina. Use your shears to gently remove any leaves that will fall below the water line, leaving the top ones in place to help the flowers open. Then, select your vase and fill with cold water.

Step 3: Add greenery
“A mixed green bouquet—available in most grocery stores—will help you get that wild look without having to buy many different varieties,” says Christina. “If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place with lots of vegetation at your disposal, you can also forage from your backyard!” Split your mixed green bouquet in half. Place half of the stems in the vase resting on the left side, and place the other half resting on the right. Think of making an X with the stems.

Step 4: Add first flower variety
Take half of your first flower variety (we used peonies) and stagger them in your hand so there’s at least a 2-inch difference in their heights. Use your shears to trim the stems at a 70-degree angle, and place them in the vase on the right. The lowest flower should start about three inches above the lip of the vase. Turn the vase around and do the same thing with the remaining half of your stems on the other side of the vase (placing them again on the right).

Step 5: Add second flower variety
Take half of your second flower variety (we used pincushion protea) and stagger and cut the stems in the same manner as Step 4. Place them in the vase on the left side. Now turn the vase around and repeat on the other side with the remaining stems (again, on the left).

Step 6: Add third flower variety, plus optional accent
Last, take your third flower variety (we used ranunculus), trim the stems in the same manner as steps 4 and 5, and add them to the middle of the vase. You can fan them out to the sides as well to blend them in with the other flowers. If you selected an accent flower to add, pepper it throughout the bouquet—we used white scabiosa. “We like to add it on the top left, an inch or two above the highest bloom, and then lower on the right side, as if it’s spilling out of the bouquet,” says Christina. “It adds all the whimsy, and makes your eye travel throughout the arrangement.”

Copy and photo credit: Etsy and Josh Gruetzmacher

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WiHU + ListenUp

WiHU + ListenUp

On October 28th, I spent the day working side-by-side with Women in Hospitality United (WiHU) for a sprint session to affect change in the hospitality industry. It was a robust, fulfilling and inspiring day with the WiHU founders, host committee members, Preeti Mistry and Reem Assil, and 40 other womxn.

We flowcharted and brainstormed to help develop the 2025 Hospitality Industry Equity Goals, a blueprint and action plan to address the industry’s most pressing issues, including those related to a safer, harassment free workplace, ending the gender and racial wage gaps, and supporting a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline. A lot was accomplished and I walked away from the event hopeful, with a handful of fledgling friendships, which was a welcome added bonus! 

What is WiHU?

Women in Hospitality United’s mission is to build community by creating safer spaces to gather; to foster leadership and champion the equitable advancement of all people through connection, mentorship, and resource sharing; to empower our members by providing tools, training, advocacy, and support; and to develop solutions and provide policies that set new standards for equity, accountability, and transparency in the industry. Born in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the non-profit was founded on the belief that there is an urgent need to revolutionize the industry and to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced. 

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Spotlight | Food In Focus

Spotlight | Food In Focus

Taylor Gillespie is a Sacramento based food photographer and entrepreneur. Nothing in this world brings her more fulfillment than witnessing the joy someone experiences when she prepares them a delicious, nourishing and wholesome meal. Her love for food and photography began at a young age, inspired by her mother. Capturing these moments of beautiful food allows Taylor to share her passion with the world.

For the last 10 weeks, Taylor has been repping our kitchen linens as a Loyale Ambassador and we've loved seeing her creative recipes and ways of styling. Give her a follow on Instagram!

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Grazing at the Kitchen Table

Grazing at the Kitchen Table

Kitchen Table Advisors supports a new generation of small-scale, sustainable farms that produce healthy food and form the foundation of regional food systems. As you may know, we donate a portion of our sales to this fine 501c3.

Their annual fundraiser, Grazing at the Kitchen Table, will be held on October 18th evening at AirBnB headquarters in San Francisco. Buy your tickets today!

This year's event celebrates our shared roots in agriculture, and those connections to family, place and culture which drive us. KTA looks forward to celebrating small farm viability, and the powerful ties of family – in all its forms – that weave together our food system. Featured purveyors include Bi-Rite, Bluma Farm, Cowgirl Creamery, Nopa, Skyelark Ranch and more.

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Spotlight | Kristina Cho

Spotlight | Kristina Cho

We’re all about spreading the love for some of our favorite Instagram accounts this week and one of our top three super stars is Kristina Cho, also known as @eatchofood.

She is an architect turned home chef and I can’t get enough of her dumpling posts with mouth watering photos. Granted she does a whole lot more than dumplings, but as a dim sum fanatic, I lean towards her savory Chinese-inspired recipes and am aiming to participate in one of her workshops soon. 

Kristina and I officially met at a Pineapple Collaborative SF event several months ago, when the kitchen essentials collection was just a pipe dream. I pretty much geeked out when I saw her and introduced myself; just as I hoped, she is a humble, kind person following her heart and passions. I’m pleased to report she is now a Loyale partner and you’ll be seeing our goods sprinkled throughout her photo shoots! 

If you scoped out our social platforms, you probably saw the stunning Rose Siu Mai pic we featured. Pop over to Kristina’s blog for the full delicious recipe...plus, there’s a giveaway underway with her now on Instagram - enter now for a chance to win one of our SF-made aprons

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Let's Talk About Burfi

Let's Talk About Burfi

Not sure what Burfi is? They’re Indian confections made of milk, ghee, nuts and sugar. 

We’re getting a crash course on flavorful Indian-inspired desserts due to our wonderfully talented model, Hetal Vasavada otherwise known as @milkandcardamom on Instagram.

Aimee, our Community Manager came across her feed in early 2019 and we’ve been smitten ever since.

Read more about Hetal’s background, Burfi sweets and her new cookbook via this fab NYT feature, where you can also spot our sunflower apron in a few shots.

Milk & Cardamom: Spectacular Cakes, Custards and More, Inspired by the Flavors of India is available now and if you live in the Bay Area, there are several book signing events in the coming weeks.

We hope you’ll support this rising star...we’re certainly thrilled to have her in our corner!

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Spotlight | Pons

Spotlight | Pons

Fresh back from some time off and I'd love to share a little about my fave new summer sandals, Pons I purchased from a lovely local Sunset district shop, Establish.

Made since 1945 on the Spanish island of Menorca, Pons are ethically made by hand with sustainability and longevity in mind. The raw materials are all sourced locally in Spain, including the rubber sole (the classic style features a sole made from 10% recycled tires) and the high-quality natural vecchio leather— which is sourced from ethically raised livestock. Available in 40+ different color ways, Pons are chrome dyed to strict EU REACH standards. The Pons workshop in Ciutadella is owned and operated by the third-generation of the Pons family and employs about a dozen local craftspeople, some who have spent their entire adult lives honing their shoemaking craft.

I snagged the black wedges before they sold out, but they still have these saucy animal print ones.

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Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Miracle Plum is the dream job and full time hangout of Santa Rosa natives Sallie Miller and Gwen Gunheim. They offer delicious pantry items, responsibly grown staples from local farms, beautiful kitchen wares, cookbooks, food centric magazines (hi Cherry Bombe), grab-and-go lunches, natural wines and craft beer.

The space is so dreamy, like a retrofitted barn, with white washed walls and all the sundries you could ever want, creatively strewn about in a cozy way that feels akin to home. Basically I want to move in...

Sallie and Gwen started hosting a book club/potluck a bit ago and when I heard the next book was Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, I RSVP’d immediately. I decided on her Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli and took it to the umami heavens with a few anchovies. While I was preparing it, I realized that this was first time I was following a recipe to the letter in four years; it was comforting to just be led along, knowing I would achieve amazing results. There were a lot of instructions in what on the face of it is a pretty basic recipe. Each and every one was completely worth it. And I love the way that Samin has a poetic way of writing recipes, like when boiling the pasta water, “salt until it tastes like the summer sea.” These simple instructions encourage you to be intimately involved in the process thus bringing your senses to life.

I was excited to experience the bounteous spread that awaited us, but was also looking forward to seeing Megan, a new friend I’d made while volunteering with La Cocina. I’d roped her into attending since she is a huge Samin fan and an accomplished cooking instructor; we had a grand time gabbing over the buffet of our dreams.

It was such an enchanting evening and inevitably, my eyes were so much bigger than my stomach! Faves included focaccia, chicken pot pie, fennel and radish salad, and almond cardamom oil cake...I can’t deny I also really enjoyed my Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli. The crowd was friendly and convivial and Sallie and Gwen were consummate hosts; all in all it was it was a lovely night...strangers sharing their handiwork and bonding over thoughtfully made food gave way to a warm and wonderful time.

MP’s next book club/potluck is on June 23rd for Yasmin Khan's latest release Zaitoun, email hi@miracleplum.com to sign up for it! Or if you're in Sonoma county, pop by the store and enjoy...

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