All is Fare in Love & Food: Gillian + Jake
We met up with Venice-based couple, Gillian Ferguson, producer of KCRW’s Good Food, and husband, painter Jake Kean Mayman. The happy couple talked to us about their blossoming romance, favorite foodie destinations and love of food…all this and more in this week’s All is Fare in Love and Food!
What was the first meal you shared?
Gillian: Our first date was at La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel in Manhattan. I was living in New York at the time and Jake was there for work. I was such a food snob back then and was horrified when he took me to the restaurant in his hotel.
He was equally horrified when I ordered the beet salad. We both liked the prosciutto and arugula pizza though. I like to think I'm less of a food snob now, and Jake is no longer scared of beets.
Who cooks and who cleans?
Jake: I cook and I clean.
Gillian: He's kidding! It depends, we each have our specialties and generally whoever cooks doesn't clean. I am all about the dishwasher though, and Jake prefers to hand wash.
Favorite dish the other makes?
Gillian: Jake makes the best sandwiches. The bread is always perfectly toasted and he can cram so much arugula in between the pieces of bread without it all falling apart. It's amazing. He always gets the proportions just right.
Local artisanal treat of choice?
Jake: Dried Mirza Melon from melon farmer Ruben Mkrtchyan. He sells at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Gillian: Almonds from Fat Uncle Farms - raw, blistered, honey-coconut, cinnamon-sugar, sprouted, sliced, slivered - I'm pretty obsessed.
Favorite foodie destination?
Jake: In LA, Mariscos Chente. In the country, Portland, OR.
Gillian: In LA, Sqirl. If I could go anywhere, Tokyo. Even the 7-11 has great food in Tokyo.
Create recipes with an item from the box. Check out the ingredients and each choose one and tell us what you would make!
Jake: I would make a bean and tapenade crostini. We get this really good bread from Roan Mills at the farmers market. You want to cut it into thin slices and toast it until it's sturdy enough to hold the beans, but not so crunchy that it cuts your mouth when you bite into it.
If the tapenade is in the fridge, allow it to come up closer to room temperature. (No one wants cold tapenade on warm bread.) Spread it on the crostini and top with cooked seasoned beans. I would make a salad too, and serve the crostini next to it as a meal.
Gillian: I use Rancho Gordo beans a lot. Some friends gave us a Le Creuset bean pot for our wedding and it changed my life.
I just put the beans in the pot, cover with a good 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water and add aromatics like carrots, onion, celery, thyme and a good glug of olive oil, then I just throw the whole pot in the oven for a few hours while I'm doing other things.
I add a healthy amount of sea salt to the pot when the beans are about 3/4 of the way done.
The whole pot can become a base for minestrone soup, but my favorite thing to do is gently strain the beans, make a vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon, mustard and dash of sherry vinegar, dress the warm beans with the vinaigrette, add a tangle of arugula and top it with a poached egg.
Finish the dish with some good quality olive oil, Maldon sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. I could eat that every day.