Food as art. Sweetheart St Johns.
Happy holidays Art Fare! I can not think of a better present than to share with you the amazing Anna Henricks, the owner of Sweetheart St Johns. I had one of the most exciting conversations with Anna about her view of food as art. She truly thinks of food in a different way than most people. Have you guys seen Chef's Table on Netflix? Anna is EXACTLY like the chefs featured on that show. She is so incredibly passionate about what she creates. She is constantly trying combinations that most chefs would never dream of. She dislikes making recipes because she finds them so limiting. Why would she want to do the same thing over again?
For example, this stunner of a cake included lemon curd, pear syrup, feijoa (which is a tropical fruit if you are wondering, I certainly didn't know), orange blossom whip cream, and toasted rose meringue. See what I mean? Never in my wildest dreams would I come up with any of that! But for Anna it is truly a passion. And she will probably never make the same thing twice, which makes it all the more interesting. She likes to ask clients what foods and flavors they love, and then see how those tastes might come together. The challenge of it is what makes it fun every time.
Anna thinks of her creations as art and it is clear to me that they are. She wants the experience to include all of the senses. So taste is one part, but sight, smell and touch are all majorly involved too. I find it so inspiring to hear her talk about her goals for herself and her work. About how this is her way of connecting to other people and sharing what's good in the world and trying to create more of it. How much satisfaction she gets from working with other people who are small business owners and how they all share a common vision.
I have to use my voice and my art to create love and enrich the world in my own way.
Anna has close relationships with all the farmers who supply her ingredients. Her favorite day of the week is the day she drives out to Sauvie Island to collect the eggs, milk, flowers, and other treats.
I have a network of amazing business owners, growers & farmers that inspire me.
When she goes out there she feels more deeply connected to the earth and making food. She views her creations as her way of being a part of this strong community, and helping it to thrive.
As you might expect, Anna also grows ingredients at home in her own gardens. She has many rose bushes and other edible flowers which are a huge part of all of her creations. She also has a big beautiful fig tree which is a regular ingredient. One of my favorite parts of Anna's food-as-art experience is her Instagram feed. She photographs many of the ingredients she's using that particular day on their own. Making each piece of it special and showing the beauty of everything that goes into what she is creating. Then she will show the finished product which is so satisfying. It's insane to see how intricate her final creations are.
I am so blown away by all of these artists living among us and bolding creating new things every day to delight and enrich our lives and theirs. I am so grateful to Anna for letting me into her world and sharing it with all of us. I encourage anyone to reach out to Anna and have her create something for you during the holidays this year or anytime. Her creations will blow you away in their beauty and it will probably be the best thing you've ever tasted, no joke.
Be sure to share this with all of the foodies in your life!