I’m excited to share a chat with Salad for President’s Julia Sherman about her work, and life. Her brightly colored, seasonal and local salad dishes always inspire me to make a good salad. I also love that she shares so much about where the food she’s making comes from. Her dishes highlight the intrinsic beauty of the ingredients.
Thanks for taking time to chat with us. Your instagram is so fun to watch, I love your love for food, it comes through so beautifully. I remember when Salad for President was a blog. Was it your plan to have it become a full career or did this take you by surprise?
My thing is to always take whatever I am doing to the nth degree, so while I try not to be too strategic and to follow my intuition, I don't really do anything casually. My brain only has two speeds, complete disinterest and total captivation. When I started this project, it was clear that there were infinite permutations possible, and that I could bring together my love of art, food, writing, photography and books under one moniker, so it felt like something worth investing in for the long haul.
I think there’s a strong connection between food and clothing that, most people are only starting to understand. There was a time when farming and where our food came from was as much of a mystery as clothing is right now. Is it important for you to see how your food is grown and do you feel this way about other products besides food?
I have always been really interested in process -- no matter the medium. I like to visit factories on vacation, food production facilities, textile manufacturers. I am constantly in awe of how people perfect their craft and problem solve their way through a given material. I will admit, I am not very informed in any way when it comes to fashion, so my move has been to buy everything used or secondhand. Like, everything, especially for my kids.
Has your relationship to food changed at all in moving from nyc to la?
Yes! We eat out very rarely here, whereas in New York we were out often. My house is sandwiched between my vegetable garden and my fruit orchard, and the local farmers market is my social event of the week. So I am really just trying to keep up with the volume of produce I have at any given time. I have a phobia of food waste.
Tell us about your personal style, what are you most comfortable in?
It has changed so much over the years, especially since having two kids in 4 years, my body has taken on so many shapes and required different clothing for different times. I used to dress very over the top feminine in college, actually, very much like what we see happening now -- puffy sleeves, lace, patterns, baby doll dresses, and now I want nothing to do with that. I need to feel put together and sharp, especially when my day to day can feel pretty chaotic with my kids. I also favor prints because they show less of the traces of dirty toddler hands, and I never want to feel like I am paying more attention to my clothing than my children.
Has having kids changed the way you dress? Both in terms of comfort or versatility and any desire to know more about where your clothes are from and how thery're made. With a toddler, I find myself wearing sneakers more than I ever thought I would lol.
I need to be able to move, to crouch, to pick up a gigantic baby at any moment, so practicality reigns supreme unless it's a night out without the kids. I also know by now what silhouettes work for my body now, so I don't experiment too much on that front. I am always cooking, so I prefer natural fibers that aren't a fire hazard, and I buy things that will last. No fast fashion over here. I am so aware of how our footprint has increased by having kids (diapers, wipes, snack packs, baby gear), I try to shop ethically when it comes to clothing.
Julia wears the California grown, Climate Beneficial Wide Rib Cardigan & Shorts