Design

Five Questions...

…for Peregrine Honig on renovating an old Baptist church into her home

Local artist and business-woman (she owns Birdie’s, a lingerie shop in the Crossroads), Peregrine Honig recently began renovating a former Baptist church on the Westside. The building serves as her home, but also a gathering space for private events.

Was there an existing kitchen?

No, the space was totally raw and I knew that it needed to work for me personally and accommodate events.

So, where did you start?

Well, like everyone, I was beholden to plumbing, so that drove where the kitchen needed to be in the building. And, I’m attracted to symmetry, so when I started working with Jamie Paul Jeffries, we began there.

Are you a cook? Or a fixer?

I’m a huge cook. Growing up we had big family dinners for Passover and community meals, but my dad usually made smaller things that were better for snacking. I still eat like that. I buy local. I go to the River Market with friends early every Saturday and buy from the farmers market. I buy local duck eggs. It’s how I want to eat.

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There’s not a lot of space for prepping and you’re sometimes cooking for a crowd. Does it work out?

It does. I don’t like other people being with me in the kitchen when I’m prepping. I like to keep that away from my guests. My step-grandmother has been a huge influence. She’s always said, “No labels on the table. My dining room table is not a billboard.” She’s given me some of her china and serving pieces. How it feels for the people who are here is important.

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How do you manage to store what you need to entertain larger crowds?

I only keep the necessities. I’d accumulated ten years of stuff before I moved here, but I only brought the best knives, my copper pots and china from my family’s company. I don’t use disposables. Most of my storage is glass and Mason jars. And I would never use bottled water. One of my favorite new finds is this beautiful carafe from the old Golden Ox. I fill it up and it’s great for a crowd.

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