Barrett Prendergast // Valleybrink Road
Beauty and radiance exude from this glowing soul, who certainly knows her way around the kitchen. There's just something about foodies that we can't get enough of.
So as you can imagine, we were over the moon to hang out and cook with Barrett Prendergast, owner and executive chef of boutique catering/personal chef company Valleybrink Road. Barrett began in the fashion industry, cooking in her spare time merely as a hobby. After friends continually asked her to cook for them, she started her own blog documenting all of her vibrant deliciousness (www.ValleybrinkRoad.com) and well, the rest is history. Since then, Barrett's business has rightfully flourished, promoting simple yet delicious fare that is fresh, local, and organic. She also sells gorgeous custom gift boxes, filled with a lovely combination of personally hand-picked artisanal goods and stunning flowers.
We had the utmost pleasure of spending a day of healthy cooking with Barrett in her home kitchen, whose beautiful skin and hair glowed in the afternoon sunlight. Let us tell you, she is a true magnetic beauty! She told us her secrets are that she doesn't wear make-up or color her hair, and guzzles down water throughout the day. Whatever she's doing (or not doing) is most definitely working!
Aside from being a glowing beauty, Barrett is a true self-taught force in the kitchen, and her hands-on approach to cooking made us feel like we had stepped into a cozy cooking class. Together the three of us made two absolutely delicious and simple salads. The first was a shaved brussels sprout salad with in-season persimmons, toasted hazelnuts, freshly shaved pecorino cheese topped with a homemade sherry vinaigrette. The second was a kale and arugula based salad with thinly sliced shallots, toasted almonds, feta cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette. (You can find the recipes and more photos here). So simple and so heavenly, Barrett's approach to food is sophisticated yet approachable. As we gushed over her recent wedding photos, we couldn't help but admire her and her husband's fun love for each other. She has a way of not taking life too seriously--such a wonderful and inspiring quality we love.
HOW THEY GLOW QUESTIONNAIRE
NAME: Barrett Prendergast
NICKNAME: My husband calls me Boo....others include Bare, Burrito, B, Barrette
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Los Angeles, specifically the The Valley. Encino and Tarzana.
WHEN YOU ARE EATING HEALTHY, WHAT IS A TYPICAL…
BREAKFAST: Whole grain toast topped with avocado, chili flakes, Maldon salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.
LUNCH: Mixed greens salad with roasted chicken, chickpeas, pepitas, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and champagne vinaigrette.
DINNER: Grilled skirt steak with cauliflower purée and kale and arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.
SNACK: Apples, grapes, almonds, or Moon Juice.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO EAT HEALTHY? Moon Juice in Silverlake. I am obsessed with their Vanilla Fig Milk and Gingered Lemon Juice. Tere’s Mexican on Melrose for fresh fish tacos and homemade corn tortillas. Forage in Silverlake for some of their delicious salads.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE? Probably a big bowl of pasta or a big pizza. Something doughy and delicious.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES/RESTAURANTS TO INDULGE? Proof Bakery in Atwater Village. Their pastries are to die for, especially the Ham and Cheese Croissant and the Black Sesame Financier. Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. Always the best meal. Din Tai Fung in Arcadia for soup dumplings and lots of slurpy, fried noodles.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH? Lots of different pastas made by Mario Batali
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU COOK/ YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE? My favorite recipe is one that has been passed down through the family. It is probably the first thing I ever learned how to make--an Organic Toffee with Milk Chocolate and Slivered Almonds. It is so addictive. I make huge batches for the holidays as gifts for friends. Unfortunately, this recipe cannot be revealed!
WHERE DO YOU GROCERY SHOP IN LA? I try to get most of my produce from the farmers markets. I usually go to the South Pasadena market on Thursday night and the Atwater Village market on Sundays. I also go to Atwater Village Farm and Cookbook. For bread, I head downtown to Bread Lounge and for meat and fish I always go to McCalls Meat and Fish on Hillhurst. For any Italian specialty items, I head to Monte Carlo Italian Market in Burbank.
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS REGIME? (HOW OFTEN & WHAT DO YOU DO) I used to do a lot of yoga at Yogaworks and hiking up Bronson Canyon. I have been working so much recently, which is really a workout in itself, that my normal workout routine has been neglected a bit. Cooking is so physical that I am pretty exhausted at the end of a party. I am hoping to get back on track in the New Year!
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE? (PRODUCTS, FACIALS, ETC) I am pretty low key when it comes to my skin care routine. I wear little to no makeup unless we are going out or it is a special occasion. Morning and night, I use the Arcona Tea Toner Bar and finish with Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer and Mario Badescu Eye Cream. More importantly, I drink tons of water and eat a healthy balanced diet.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NATURAL MAKEUP/ BEAUTY PRODUCTS? I use a lot of Arcona and Josie Maran products for my face. For my body, I use Los Poblanos Lavender Lotion and Lavender Salve. To help repair my hands, I use Jurlique Rose Hand Cream and Weleda Skin Food
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
1. Los Poblanos Lavender Salve
WHAT PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY/FITNESS/HEALTH GURUS DO YOU SWEAR BY? Michael Pollan. Alice Waters - even though it is food related I think she is ultimately a huge advocate of healthy living.
TOP 3 FAVORITE SONGS? Way too hard to pick favorite songs. But I love all things...
1. Fleetwood Mac
2. Florence and the Machine
3. Joni Mitchell
MOST LIFE-CHANGING BOOK? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? My wedding ring. It was designed by Irene Neuwirth and is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY. Waking up late in Sardinia with my husband. Breakfast in bed. Laying by the beach. Swimming in the ocean. Eating lots of pasta for lunch. More relaxing. Eating lots of pasta for dinner. And, wine, wine, wine! Maybe a little something sweet for dessert...Fun day!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE BEAUTY TIP/SECRET? Eat a healthy balanced diet and drink lots of water. I think hydration is such huge component of how your skin looks and ages
WHAT MAKES YOU GLOW? Food, family, and friends. And I really glow, when I get to have all three of those things at once!
Photography by: Emily Knecht