KARI MORRIS, NEW YORK
“One thing that always strikes me in New York City is the women. There is that certain kind of New York lady who has an impressively thick skin. The ones who have also managed to keep warmth in their hearts are the kind that truly inspire me.
I decided to do Bread Exchange in New York because I wanted to capture the spirit of what I love about the city and its women. I went in early October and invited the so-called good ladies of NYC. Since I do not know all of the good ladies personally, I asked some of my dearest friends around the world who they would invite if they were me. I wanted to have a nice mix of creative women who are not afraid to share their networks and who believe that helping others is not something you do to accrue karma, it is fun and rewarding. I would call them ladies with strong arms but not dirty elbows. In other words, ladies who enjoy life. And that includes ladies who know how to enjoy food. ” from the NYC Chapter in The Bread Exchange book
And this is how I met Kari, a friend of a friend who totally fits this description.
Q/A WITH KARI
M: Where are you from and what do you love most about this place?
K: I live in Brooklyn, its not where I was born but to me its home. What I love is the proximity to manhattan and the unique style and energy that is found all over Brooklyn.
M: With Morris Kitchen you became queen of Syrups. But how did that start?
K: HA! That’s so great. I don’t like desserts or sweets for that matter, but yet this is my name. I love to cook, mix and create. It’s almost impossible for me to follow a recipe, and I try. I think it all began when I was at art school, painting and developing a studio practice. Somedays in the studio/kitchen you go in and nail it, other days you end up with a big mess but from both you learn and grow. I never stopped creating and from all of it I ended up with a great product and a lot of good people all helping to form Morris Kitchen as it exists today.
M: Where do you buy your ingredients?
K: All over, some ingredients come from farmers upstate, some from the union square market, staple ingredients I can pick up in a pinch at http://www.kalustyans.com/ and some from people I only know from phone calls and emails.
M: What does quality mean to you?
K: Traceability and Transparency
M: What would you say was the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?
K: Starting a food business, although it happened pretty organically so the growth was slow and fairly manageable.
M: What made you contribute to the Bread Exchange book?
K: I love the idea of a gathering especially when the focal point is food. It was so fun sharing ideas especially from around the globe.
M: What has inspired you recently?
K: Lately I have been thinking a lot about the way we move product, shipping materials raw and finished around the world and teaching myself a bit more about the economics of it. At the end of the day it has a big impact on my business. I know it’s not glamorous at all!!
M: How and where do you relax in NY?
K: In the city we like to go to the Russian baths, or to Prospect Park with the dog. On the weekends we try and head to the beach or upstate to the country for a swim in the pond.
M: Where can I find Morris Kitchen?
K: Here are some of the places that carry our syrups, from NYC to JAPAN to CANADA.