An afternoon spent sharing artichokes and crafting garlicky dips with Michelle Toney is something we wish we could do every weekend. Michelle is the co-founder of Morrow Soft Goods, a specialty textiles company based in Los Angeles. She is also mother to adorable baby boy Cosimo, who was a delightful guest for some elucidating conversation and indulgent Brightland snacks with us.
Q&A With Michelle
Brightland: How do you have fun in the kitchen?
Michelle: I like having music on in the kitchen and not taking myself or my cooking too seriously! (And a glass of wine for the chef never hurts).
Brightland: What do you cook for yourself when nobody’s looking?
Michelle: A quick bowl! Often I’ll sauté some veggies, add a protein, some frozen rice, and a sauce. The sauce really gives it some direction and flavor. Also, all the carbs - I make toast and pasta for sure.
Brightland: What does living in a golden state mean to you? How do you live in a golden state in your kitchen?
Michelle: I really try and catch the Sunday farmers market in our neighborhood. We are so lucky to have this year-round in California. It helps me cook with in-season, local produce and it starts off the week right. It also allows me to try and cut down on food packaging waste. I’m really trying to avoid single use plastics in our kitchen these days.
Brightland: What 3 words would you use to describe your cooking?
Michelle: Cook To Eat. (I cook to feed and nourish myself and my family, not because I love cooking or make anything gourmet, but because I get great satisfaction out of feeling good about what we are eating).
Michelle prepared pureed zucchini + ALIVE for Cosimo's 4pm dinner
Brightland: What is your night-time/wind-down routine?
Michelle: Actually, a clean kitchen! I hate going to sleep with any messes in the kitchen. The rest of the house can be in disarray (and often is, let’s be honest!) but going to sleep with a clean kitchen and the soothing purr of the dishwasher makes me feel ready for the morning. I also love getting out my computer and doing a little work at the dining room table after Cosimo is asleep with some music on, a cup of tea and some candles lit.
Brightland: What advice do you have for the aspiring-but-overwhelmed home chef?
Michelle: High quality ingredients, simple meals.