Table + Teaspoon could not be more thrilled to be featured in today’s Style Studio Blogette! Thank you so much, Keylee and Style Studio!! xx tt
Liz Curtis is not just a gal about town, attorney, and philanthropist - she is also a sexy blonde who can cook, arrange flowers, and host a party that would make Martha Stewart green- oh, and she is the author of the latest hot foodie blog Table + Teaspoon! Liz is also one of the Style Studio go-to experts on entertaining and cooking, she recently shared her fav’s for Thanksgiving- in case you missed it : A VERY Fancy Thanksgiving. This time I wanted to get a little more personal….enjoy my chat with Liz!
Keylee: How long have you been entertaining and cooking?
Liz: I’ve always been interested in creating beautiful things – luxe tablescapes, chic interior design, plush floral arrangements… But never had the creation of anything remotely culinary tempted me. Five years ago, a dinner party meant an impromptu potluck, where my contribution was delivery pizza. Literally, Dominos. Then miraculously, while studying for the bar exam, I developed an obsession with cooking. It’s not immediately obvious, but preparing food combines two elements that appeal to me: creativity and precision. I’ve been told that cooking is like chemistry – all of the ingredients have to come together to create a perfect dish. As a lawyer who is used to working with rules, it is attractive to follow guidelines in an imaginative atmosphere. Best of all, I get to share the fruits of my obsession with friends and family!
Keylee: What is your favorite thing to make?
Liz: Generally speaking, my cuisine caters to savory tastes – roast lemon chicken with croutons, steak tartare, and truffle mac n’cheese. Without a doubt, though, my favorite thing to make is ice cream. I recently created a pink mint sorbet palate cleanser to serve between courses for my best friend’s birthday. I love dreaming up unusual flavors, watching the fluid mixture churn into creamy frozen deliciousness, and taking in the look on guests’ faces when they learn that their icy dessert is a homemade confection.
Keylee: What is something you want to learn to make that you haven’t yet?
Liz: Two recipes are at the top of my to-make list: Princess Cake, and Warm Lobster Tacos with Yellow Tomato Salsa and Jicama Salad. I want to experiment with finding ways to make these dishes more approachable. For example, I will skip the tedious process of boiling live lobsters in favor of buying fresh meat from New England Lobster Company. This easy substitution will make the recipe infinitely easier for those who are less comfortable in the kitchen, or don’t have the extra time – accessibility is always at the forefront of my mind.
Keylee: What is your idea of a perfect meal?
Liz: I am partial to French influences - a running joke among my circle of friends is that “Parisian Chic” is forever the recurring theme! If I were designing my perfect meal, it would be the following: parmesan popovers with herbed fleur de sel butter, soupe a l’oignon gratinee, basil-lime sorbet palate cleanser, boeuf bourguignon with pomme puree, and salted caramel macarons.
Keylee: Where did you learn to cook?
Liz: I am completely self-taught. Most of my kitchen-prowess is derived from countless hours spent watching Ina Garten on Barefoot Contessa, and my chef friend Scott Spencer of Spencer’s Pantry, who generously answers all of my technical questions.
Keylee: How did you name your blog?
Liz: Naming my blog was much more arduous a task than one would imagine. I wanted something elegant, simple, and not overtly girlish. I hoped that the name would signify my combination of recipes, hostessing tips, floral design, and entertaining ideas. I also faced the problem of finding a name that was not already registered as a website. After brainstorming with my friends Kiki and Jean, I narrowed the choices down to “Good Taste” and “Table + Teaspoon,” finally deciding on the latter.
Perhaps the most important facet of the naming process is calling attention to what differentiates my blog from the multitude of cooking blogs out there. Table + Teaspoon represents entertaining in high style, while being mindful of budgetary concerns and varying levels of kitchen-comfort. The “table” symbolizes the vital elements of the culinary experience, such as thematic concepts, place settings, and floral arrangements. While the “teaspoon” signifies the fare itself, with that little something extra - the unexpected detail that surprises and delights the guest.
Keylee: You are a woman of many talents, what made you want to write a blog?
Liz: Over the past year, I have chronicled my dinner parties on facebook with picture posts and status updates. A couple of months ago, a friend suggested that I turn my facebook reports into an actual website. While I initially brushed off the idea (who wants to learn about cooking and hostessing from a lawyer?!), I quickly realized that with the rise of feminism, many successful young women are either clueless in the kitchen, or lack the time and motivation to tackle difficult recipes on their own. I want to give my readers confidence to entertain, and share with them what precedes a dinner party – which guests are not often privy to. As I’ve been writing these past weeks, my passion to do so has only increased.
Keylee: Do you consider yourself a chef?
Liz: I wish. The fact that my profession is so far removed from the realm of the epicurious allows me a freedom and capriciousness that I might not otherwise enjoy.
Keylee: In a city known for its food, what is your favorite San Francisco restaurant?
Liz: While my go-to San Francisco eatery is the bar at Spruce, where I always order the white corn soup with sorrel emulsion and a glass of prosecco - my absolute favorite restaurant is Farmstead in St. Helena. Executive Chef Sheamus Feeley created a decadent farm-to-table menu well suited to the stylishly rustic indoor/outdoor space. The unique burger and caramelized beets with goat cheese are must tries. Trust me, it’s well worth the drive up to Napa.
Keylee: Favorite thing you have ever eaten?
Liz: The steak frites at La Cour Jardin, in the Hotel Palza Anthenee, served medium rare with an ambrosial bearnaise. Perhaps it’s time to plan another Parisian getaway… For research purposes of course!
Keylee: So Liz is a load of fun and my only question she didn’t answer was, “When do I get invited over for dinner!!”
Liz: Anytime, my dear.