Behind the Scenes

Where I Work

I once worked at a San Antonio newspaper where the office was so small that all we editors could hold hands and sing kumbaya without leaving our desks. At a tech PR firm in San Francisco, we all sat in the same room, in clumps they called pods, everyone stressed out and yelling all day. The company was based in the UK, so we sometimes drank beer in the middle of the afternoon, and then everyone would sing, and for a few minutes it was fun. Okay, it was super fun a lot of the time — smart, wildly creative people.

In a very organized, calm kitchen in Portland, I had my own prep table under a light well. The restaurant had a grocery and bookstore attached, so I could wander over and get a cookbook, whatever ingredients I needed — or maybe a bottle of Vermouth I wanted to try — and make something. That was the life.

Now I can work at home, where I have a nice, light-filled space. There’s plenty of room for my books, which a friend and I organized by color — so pretty and peaceful, so hard to find. I have a couch and two easy chairs in case people come to visit, but mostly it’s just me and Django the dog, so it’s as quiet or noisy as I am. And the coffee is good. But I do miss exchanging ideas, so I’m always glad to get out of here and talk with people about the food or creative projects they’re cooking up.