We partner with some incredible local talents for our classes and some of our retail selections. In our ongoing Extended Family series, we want to showcase their work and provide a glimpse inside their personal story.
Amy Pennington is a Seattle based cook, author and urban farmer. She has hosted author talks for her cookbooks and also teaches classes here at Book Larder. Her latest book, Salad Days, livens up the simple salad into the highlight of the meal with creative additions brimming with flavor and texture.
Let’s start out with the basics, where are you from and what do you do?
East coast, best coast! I’m from Long Island, NY and I’m an author, writer, urban farmer & website founder
What do you love about your job/business?
I love that I have flexible hours and have an ever-changing work environment. I can be in a field, at a lumber store or at a computer at home – that is the best. I also love that I help to empower people through the encouragement that they CAN cook well, or grow food. A lot of people think they have brown thumbs, but I’ve found over time pretty much everyone has a green thumb and good instincts.
How long have you been in business?
10 years this year!
How did your business evolve since its beginning?
In the beginning, I didn’t have much of a plan – that took a few years to sort out. I have a diversified income stream because I run a seasonal business, so that’s always an evolution. Some of my income comes from freelance projects – from writing a book, to a magazine article or even doing copy writing for clients. It has really evolved such that the last few years I ONLY take on projects, clients or jobs that I love. I no longer have this long strategic plan – I’m operating more intuitively.
What cookbook do you reference most often (in general or just lately)?
I try not to read/reference cookbooks at all, as I know I’ll eventually steal ideas, but I do love Zuni Cafe from the late Judy Rogers, which has always been a resource for me. I also love everything Jerry Traunfeld has written – he’s truly brilliant and his herbaceous flavor profiles really speak to me.
If you could take any cooking class, what would it be?
Something way out of my wheel house like homemade fish sauce or tofu. It marries cuisine I’m technically unfamiliar with to a technique that requires some scientific thought.