A few pages in Artistic festivals, Salad for President’s second cookbook Julia Sherman, it is clear that this is no ordinary manual for entertainment. The blanket was already a clue: instead of the expected genre setup – a gracious host presiding over a well-set table like a domestic fairy godmother – there is a psychedelic still life created in collaboration with the artist. Daniel Gordon. But that’s the section of the introduction called “Tag, You’re It!” it fits like something new, like a rupture of the fourth wall. In what Sherman calls “Volunteer Behavior Therapy,” she asks friends about the delicate subject of reciprocity: namely, why they don’t invite her. It’s less confrontational, more a matter of real-world troubleshooting, as Sherman has an optimistic solution for every excuse. Table too small? Sit down on the floor. Messy house? Head to a park. Discouraged by dinner? Host a pancake brunch where everyone flips their own. For the occasion, it even has a recipe for the general public: gluten-free buckwheat porridge pancakes that manage to come out of the junk food category. “Borrow it from your friends to bring the toppings,” she wrote.
“It’s a cookbook that wants you to worry less about food, and an entertaining book that wants you to use your imagination and be ready to throw that party,” Sherman said, speaking by phone from the Northern California on this fall book tour. The fact that Artistic festivals ticking multiple boxes at once is to be expected from someone like Sherman: a RISD graduate with an MFA from Columbia, whose editorial project located it at the intersection of art and food. His first book, Salad for the president, leaned into this titular dish. This highlights a kind of strong point of the household. “I feel like it’s always been this Adam and I do better as a couple, it’s fun, ”she said. “He’s the child of a wedding and bar mitzvah planner, and I can’t help but want to organize people.” The beauty of Artistic festivals is that there are so many ways to do it. Multimedia artist Susan ciancolo hosts afternoon tea with blueberry muffins and handmade wreaths; staff at Lil ‘Deb’s Oasis, a restaurant in Hudson, New York, fuel an evening of eerie performance with herbal infused water and spicy fish soup. Some gatherings, like the pizza party featured in Sherman’s Three-Day Wellness Diary, below, are a production in their own right. But she also tells of a fun night out with friends, where the menu was a delivery of pizzas topped with green salad: lo-fi entertainment before a big task (her own Cesarean).
For a woman whose work is mixed with salad – a quintessential ’80s health food – Sherman is wary of the word well-being. “If taking a supplement, doing something for yourself, or using a skin care product really makes you feel good, then I totally agree,” she says. “But I try not to put so much false hope in one aspect of my routine.” When we talk to each other, Sherman, based in Los Angeles, relishes this geographical break with the usual. This is his first trip away from four months Dov; There is also Red, 2, with a seasoned palate that you would expect from a child raised among fermentation projects and canned fish. “I have a masseuse coming to my friend’s house today, and we have a hotel room tonight at this cute new resort in Santa Rosa,” she says, conceding that her internal alarm clock woke her up anyway. at 5:50 a.m. , a new baby, everything else — it’s a lot of chaotic things to juggle. “I think wellness, in fact, for me right now means accepting limits and accepting the fact that there are definitely days when I feel like I’m screwing everything up,” she says. “But that’s only part of it.”