Over the years I have known Lauren she is always coming up with new business ideas for the two of us in hopes that one day we can both get out of the production world and do something we love. Usually the ideas involve us in the kitchen and cooking. Something we do amazingly well together and are constantly inspiring one another. When I am with Lauren in the kitchen I have more confidence and take more risks with my cooking. She believes in me and is so supportive that it gives me the courage to do things I would not do on my own. And that expands past the kitchen. I have done things with her I would have never done. She pushes me in ways that make me uncomfortable though in the end Im eternally grateful. I have memories that I hold so close to my heart and so many of them are because she pushed me just that little something extra and then poof, there we are, in Turkey, staring at the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia with a beautiful cup of Turkish tea and meze, or making a fabulous Mexican dish in the middle of Mexico after a day of hiking or me waiting for her to get out of her scuba gear while I sit in the sun with a book.
Some of my favorite memories were spent in Lauren’s kitchen in San Francisco. We had a solid year of bliss living around the corner from one another and after a long day at work I would drag my tired body 4 blocks to her house with a bottle of wine that I would attempt to impress her palate with and a bag of veg from the local corner store that always carried everything fresh. Ahhh.. the days of living in California where everything is fresh and organic without even thinking about it. In the kitchen we would find ourselves laughing, crying, fighting, or maybe we accidentally drank a little too much wine while cooking only to find our meals were an absolute success or a total train wreak. We loved dinner parties and had them at least once a week. I look back now and have no idea how we found the time with our 12 hour work days. But we loved it and we made it happen and we are both better cooks and best friends for it.
Well… we are still in production but life has given us both an amazing twist and somehow, in the course of one year we went from being two girls that lived around the corner from each other in San Francisco working our asses off at Apple, to me finding myself married to a Brit and living in England and her shacked up with a hot Belgian who she now lives with in Amsterdam. I can’t walk to her house anymore but at least now she is only an hour away by plane and we do our best to see one another at least once every couple of months. Our itineraries always consist of the things we both love the most. Wondering the local outdoor markets and planning our meals with loads of site seeing in between. Always planned by my favorite tour guide and producer extraordinaire, Lauren.
Explosive. My friendship with Hilary is explosive, exhilarating, and intoxicating. From the time we met, we just couldn’t get seem to get enough of each other. We were drawn to each other for whatever reason (and I do believe there is a reason we meet the people in our lives) and we played with that. At Apple, on the weekends, and especially in the kitchen. I loved my kitchen in SF but I loved it even more when Hilary was in it with me and we were creating these amazing meals that we never would have had the confidence of cooking on our own. And all with a glass of wine in hand.
What I love about Hilary and I together is the undeniable energy we have around each other. It’s insidious, enigmatic, and addictive. I see it when we are on our girls’ weekends and the people that we attract without trying, and could never do by ourselves, or with other people, and I see it when we’re in the kitchen. We tend to push each other and challenge each other, all the while uncovering and learning new things about ourselves, but through each other.
My cooking style is a vegetarian one heavily influenced by the years I spent as a vegan macrobiotic. Eating whole foods, organic and local as much as I can. These days I spend half my week in London working and the other living in our beautiful home in the English country side. Being in England does have it’s challenges and I have to surrender to a plastic bag of rocket for my salad on occasion but I don’t feel good about what I am cooking or eating or feeding others if its not organic and healthy and cooked from scratch. Im no longer macro, or vegan for that matter and will include some eggs and cheese on occasion in my cooking. Though keeping it vegan as much as possible and always vegetarian.
I never really had a distinctive cooking style, but as I’ve been learning more about the environment, about where our food comes from, and how it effects our bodies, I’ve come to adopt a lot of Hilary’s sensibilities about wholesome grains, a balanced plate, and utilizing vegetables in a new and unique way. From her i’ve tried and liked so many vegetables I’ve never tasted before (ie Kale, brussel sprouts, beets, chard, etc). As I do eat meat, I try and eat it an ethically sound way, and take meat away from the center of the plate and instead use it to add subtlety and be more backstage. I like to let whole foods shine rather than covering them up, I strive for organic but I’ll always choose local. I’m more aware about how much oil it takes to produce a pound of meat and how many air miles a banana needs to fly to be at my breakfast. Oh, and I think cheese should be its own food group.
This blog is a way for Lauren and I to inspire one another from a distance and also to do something together. Surely Lauren will find a way to turn this into some amazing social networking thing while I sit back and watch and agree with whatever it is she wants to do! It’s also a way to log our travels separately and together and to express our experiences in our new worlds through food.
For me this blog is a great way to keep up my travel writing and my food photography (which I promise will be better than the first few pics taken from the iphone!). Also, living in Amsterdam, I wanted to be able to give insights into the food and culture of being an American in Amsterdam. And Hilary and I have the amazing opportunity to travel and have some weekends together and create some delicious dishes. So please join as we share with you our lives through food.
Lauren Becker and Hilary Beckrich:
For more of Lauren’s writing clips and photography www.laurenbecker.net
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