My friend Sophie Buhai is one half of the design genius behind Vena Cava, a women’s fashion line that launched in 2004 and has been rocking the fashion world ever since. The duo (which also includes my pal Lisa Mayock) won runner-up honors in last year’s prestigious CDFA Fund Awards and have garnered countless accolades from the fashion world and their loyal fans. If you’ve read a fashion magazine in the last few years you have undoubtedly heard about Vena Cava. Their clothing is consistently beautiful, relevant and smart and always has a sense of humor. The only problem I see with Vena Cava is that they don’t make men’s clothing—yet. I keep begging and hopefully one day I’ll be spending my paychecks on VC menswear.
I thought Sophie would be the perfect first guest for Lottie + Doof. She loves good food and makes a mean guacamole. Vena Cava also has had a bit of a history incorporating food into their work. A few seasons ago they presented their clothes on models who were lounging around on AstroTurf lawns, some even picnicking (lots of jokes about models eating were made). The following season there was a pretty pink fabric covered in a beer can print which got a lot of press and is featured in the photos at the top of this post. I’m a huge fan of everything they do and was happy that Sophie shared the recipe for her famous guacamole and answered the Lottie + Doof Food Quiz.
Sophie Buhai + Lottie + Doof Food Quiz
Sweet or salty?
Both! I always need both extremes- I over-salt everything. I love sweet things that have sea salt on them too. And that great Bacon chocolate bar that Vosges makes. Or a spicy chicken curry sandwich with fig jam.
Chocolate or vanilla?
What won’t you eat?
Most memorable meal?
Any meal at the Palm with the family. Oh…and a meal Lisa and I had in Udaipur, India. The food was Northern Indian and we ate on a floating palace.
Favorite restaurant in New York?
I’m a steak eater so Peter Luger is the absolute best. You can get bacon as an appetizer and it’s an inch thick. I also love The Good Fork in Redhook for local food with friends.
If you could invite any five people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be?
I’d go with all dead people. Coco Chanel, Luis Bunuel, Townes Van Zandt, Norman Mailer, Cleopatra.
Favorite object in your kitchen?
A framed print Tini made of her Grandma’s dentures.
Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
What are you scared of in the kitchen?
Making a roux!
What country would you move to for the food?
Italy. I love all sorts of exotic foods, but I always go back to Italian. I love the simplicity and simple fresh ingredients. I could be happy eating Bolognese and arugula salads forever.
If you were to come back as a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
A hot date.
How is cooking like designing clothes?
It’s very similar, you have many different styles in both cooking and fashion that represent your mood for the day… minimalist, conceptualist, avante-garde, organic-purist, punk-vegan, and mainstream.
Now, on to the recipe. Sophie is originally from Los Angeles and so this recipe for Guacamole, LA Style is a perfect choice. You can play with the ingredients and adjust to your liking. There are only too things you need to remember to get right: it should be a little chunky, not too smooth and it should be spicy, but not too hot. I really, really loved this guacamole. I liked that all superfluous ingredients are eliminated- no tomatoes, no garlic, nothing fancy. This relies mostly on the beauty of avocados. So, with summer quickly approaching this is the perfect way to usher in outdoor dining. Serve this with some tortilla chips and a beer (or a beer-print dress!).
Guacamole. LA style.
- 4 haas avocados
- 1/4-1/2 red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup diced red onion)
- Bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes
- 1/2 habanero/serrano chile, stemmed and seeded (depending on how hot you want it you can add seeds)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper
Put pitted avocados in bowl. Add red onion, the juice of one lime, cilantro, and chile. Mash contents with fork. Taste, and add salt, pepper and more lime juice until is tastes good to you.