If you’ve been a follower of Doré, then today’s feature will be a familiar face. We’re longtime fans of Christine Muhlke. Christine is the founder of Bureau X food consultancy (she works with some of the biggest chefs in the world, casual), and has a newsletter we love, xtine. She’s also the author of many food books, two recent titles are Wine Simple and Signature Dishes That Matter. If her book titles are any indication, we admire Christine for her Super Simple approach to life. As a mom, frequent traveler and food world luminary, she’s taught us a thing or two about the beauty of quality and simplicity, and about how to get out the door in the morning swiftly and in style.
1. Why should everyone have a Super Simple approach to life? Because life is so complicated! It helps to make whatever room we can so that we can truly experience the beautiful moments when they do arrive.
2. What is a Super Simple hack that you incorporate into your daily life? I’m writing this in the morning, so I’ll say that I try to set out everything my son and I will need for the day the night before so that I can breeze through the (naturally chaotic) morning — and also buy myself a bit of extra sleep.
3. What is something about your house that you like to keep Super Simple? I only have two kitchen drawers, so I make sure that one of them only contains things that I use every day (silverware, peeler, measuring tools, scrap-paper notepad, matcha sieve, masking tape and Sharpie). Once a month or so, I go through the drawers and remove anything I haven’t used.
4. Super Simple travel hack? I only travel with carry on and always buy tons of presents, so I try to pack light and drop ballast along the way. That means making sure that each piece of clothing works with everything else (usually 1 or 2 pairs of pants, 3 shirts and a sweater, wearing the bulkiest items on the plane), sometimes leaving behind t-shirts and underthings that have given out; bringing stubby ends of toiletries that I’ve set aside for travel; and working my way through that stack of New Yorkers and the New York Review of Books. Oh, and like everyone else, I pack a Uniqlo down vest, which turns any jacket into a winter coat and is essential to flight survival — yet weighs ounces and packs into nothing.
5. What is your definition of beauty and what products have you found not necessary in your beauty routine? Beauty comes from confidence and knowing what works for you. I never take the time to use masks — though my friend Abbye gave me a natural rose glycolic gel that I leave on overnight whenever I remember (every few months).
6. A three to five ingredient Super Simple recipe that you love? From Joshua McFadden’s essential “Six Seasons,” I love his celery salad, the ingredients for which are always in the fridge: Thinly sliced celery + chopped dates + shaved Parmesan + chopped almonds. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and — if you have — chili flakes, like my favorite smoky ones from Daphnis & Chloe.
OR: It’s fig season, reminding me how much I love vanilla ice cream and figs drizzled with honey — maybe sprinkled with toasted buckwheat from one of my favorite tea shops.