Julia Sherman: Tell me how you started your clothing line, what it was called, and what your inspiration was.
Mina Stone: I started my clothing line as soon as I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2004. It was simply named Mina Stone, and it was a line of hand dyed dresses. The inspiration, if I am to be honest, was designing clothes I wanted to wear myself, although at the time I would have told you differently.
JS: You go to Greece twice a year. Is this pure family time and fun for you? I know you mentioned cooking in Athens last time you were there. What was that project about?
MS: It is family time, inspirational time, and now, work time as well. The last time I was in Athens I was cooking at Breeder Feeder with my partner, Alex, which is a little restaurant on the top floor of Breeder Gallery in Athens. They often have guest chefs cook at the space and it was, all in all, a really awesome experience.
JS: What do you love about Greek cooking?
MS: The food is so delicious and so simple. I am all about four ingredients.
JS: How did you start cooking and how did you become the go to art world chef?
MS: I started cooking because I always loved it, but it was also to support myself while I designed my clothing line — because who makes money in fashion? I eventually stopped designing completely because I enjoyed cooking much more and it was happily taking over my life.
JS: Why is cooking for artists different than cooking for laymen?
MS: What’s different is that artists tend to respect the creative process and as a result I’ve enjoyed a lot of freedom in my cooking. I think cooking for artists has provided support and allowed me to develop my own style and really enjoy my job.
JS: How has your cooking evolved since you became a “professional”?
MS: Experience. At some point, you realize you have acquired a lot more information than you had before.
JS: What inspired you to make your cookbook, Cooking For Artists, and what was that process like? Is there anything you would have done differently?
MS: Well, Urs Fischer asked me if I wanted to write a cookbook together and I said: YES! The process of making the book was one of the happiest times in my life. It involved keeping track of what I was cooking, writing recipes, taking photographs and then putting it all together into the book that you see today. I learned a lot and, to be honest, I would not have done anything differently because I recognize the importance of the learning process. Next time — next book!? — I’ll know more about the process and can apply what I learned from the first one to the next.
JS: What’s next for you?
MS: Vacation! And then another book, and I’d love to start writing about Greek food and contributing to magazines.