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- Photos by Jarda Brych
- Nicole in her apron by Matt Dick of Small Trade Co.
- State Bird's new interior.
- Art by Terry Chastain
- Wrangling Jasper in the kitchen...
- Peg board art by Leah Rosenberg
- Watch out behind you!
- Nicole in her home hood, Hayes Valley
- Nicole in the Valley when you could still see the mural
You may have heard of a little San Francisco establishment called State Bird Provisions? If you're one of the few individuals in the Bay Area (or the entire country, really) who has not, let us get you up to speed: this year, the Fillmore restaurant was named America's best new restaurant by Bon Apetit, it received a Michelin star, won a James Beard award, owners and chefs (and husband and wife) Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza were named SF's best chefs by San Francisco magazine—the accolades go on and on. The restaurant serves up its California-inspired food on dim sum carts, and the space just underwent a gorgeous expansion and renovation.
So we wanted to know, where does Nicole Krasinski, one of the most celebrated pastry chefs in the country, shop? How does she keep her hair that amazing red color? And how does she handle the insanity of running a restaurant with a many-months-long reservation wait while working on opening a second restaurant, and still find time to spend with her adorable three-year-old Jasper?
We found that the key is remaining low-key: Krasinski is mellow soul who relies on tried and true Dansko clogs and has a well-curated list of go-to brands and shopping haunts. And it doesn't hurt that Jasper has learned how to navigate a busy kitchen—not to mention a fleet of dim sum carts—without hindering State Bird's well-oiled machine.
Read on to find out about Krasinski's go-to apron, her favorite boutiques, her family's holiday traditions and more.
You're a mom, plus you're on your feet constantly for work. How do you approach getting dressed every day?
"I recently streamlined my work wardrobe at Uniqlo... they have great cords and simple t-shirts I can work in, i.e., cover in flour and chocolate and not worry about."
In general how would you describe your style?
"It has evolved, although even before I became a mom, comfortable was always high on the list. Just like in cooking, I have never followed trends and tend to mish mash funky with classic. I guess you could say SF urban casual... pretty much always have a scarf and I am a big fan of color, especially blue, green and orange in all their shades."
You've had a lot of attention from the press lately, has the increased public attention affected how you dress… or how you shop?
"As a small business owner I tend to shop at other small businesses and am especially keen on places with great customer service! The accolades certainly have given me an excuse to ramp up on some dressy pieces I wouldn't necessarily have added. But when I have time I am still a fan of thrift shopping, for example for the James Beard Awards I picked up a great all purpose black dress from MAC, but my shoes were $30 from a thrift store. I love the juxtaposition of the two."
Any favorite designers?
"When I was pregnant with Jasper I was desperate to buy a cute dress. Lemon Twist was still in Hayes Valley at the time and I found an amazing blue and white striped dress that they promised to alter when I didn't have the belly! The owners have such a unique aesthetic and I loved that they were sewing the dresses right in the store. I also love the African textiles of Petel."
Your hair is such a great color, care to share your stylist or any favorite products?
"Erica Carr & Lulu Magdangal work together and own The Specialists Salon in downtown SF. I usually give them a general idea of the direction, like 1940's superhero, and they come up with the perfect red to match."
Any favorite spots to find cute duds for Jasper?
I usually hit Chloe's Closet in Bernal Heights, but if I am feeling like he needs something extra fancy or specific I go to Fiddlesticks in Hayes Valley."
The new interior at the restaurant looks amazing, did you guys create it yourself or have help?
"Wylie Price is our designer, he also fabricated all of the metal work and Kelly Best did all the wood work. We took a trip out to NYC with Wylie for inspiration and spent countless hours together talking design. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to take our exciting space and make it even better. We are working with Wylie on our upcoming restaurant The Progress, which will have a completely different feel from State Bird Provisions."
Do you have any annual Christmas traditions?
"On Christmas eve we make Zuni ricotta gnocchi, wassal and some friends stop by throughout the evening. X-mas day it's all about Russ & Daughters smoked sable fish, our house cured trout roe and some family time."
How about for New Year's Eve or Day?
"We used to have a crab feast at our apartment for all our friends that we couldn't spend NYE with since we were all working! We would get 20+ crabs from our fish purveyor and then fill the bath tub with ice & crab & cook all day. It was the best. Now we are doing a NYE crab tasting menu at SBP...keeping the tradition going in a new way."
· 20th Century Cafe's Michelle Polzine: Vintage Maven Since 14 [Racked SF]
· All One on One Posts [Racked SF]
· State Bird Provisions [Official Site]