Where did you buy your ingredients for this dish—a chain grocery store, a local grocer’s, a farmer’s market, a deli?
I make this crostata in the summer, when I can buy fresh plums in the Union Square Greenmarket. For this article I needed to prepare it ahead of the season, so I bought the plums at Garden of Eden, a gourmet market in the neighborhood, along with the other ingredients.
The ginger gelato was courtesy of my client, L’Arte del Gelato. They make amazing Sicilian artisan gelato.
Is Garden of Eden the place you usually buy food?
I buy some things there, or at Whole Foods. But I try to cook only with fresh, seasonal ingredients and therefore limit most of my shopping to the Greenmarket.
I really hate the Garden of Eden logo! I have offered to redesign it and am still waiting to hear from them.
Were the ingredients you used cheap?
Out-of-season plums are expensive!
Is this a dish you often make? If so, why? If it’s something you’re trying for the first time, why did you decide to give it a shot?
I make it almost every weekend in the summer, once the plums are readily available.
Did you have any mishaps while making this dish, or did it go smoothly?
I always make a big mess with the flour. Pastry is not my forte.
After you prepared this meal for our photo shoot, did you share it with guests or anyone else?
The photographer had two helpings. My staff devoured the rest for breakfast the next morning.
Do you draw any connection between the food you like to make and the kind of design you do? Is your approach to one similar at all to your approach to the other?
Most of the cooking I do is Italian-inspired, as is my design work.
How important is presentation to you? Are there certain types of dishware you favor, or ways of arranging food?
I focus more on the food itself.
Do you think your relationship with food has changed much over the years? In what ways?
I’ve become much more conscious of organic produce, sustainability and local farming.
Do you listen to music while you cook?
No. I like to cook in silence. It is my own form of meditation.