Chef Culture

What Did You Do on Your Day Off, Chef?

The yacht-sailing, pig-roasting lifestyle of Lark’s John Sundstrom

By Kristin Cordova September 3, 2009

John Sundstrom, chef-owner of Lark and Licorous, has his Labor Day plans all set: He’s going to roast an 80-pound pig in his friend’s Chinese-style roaster for friends and family. What did you expect? Burgers and brats?

Here’s what he did on his last day off.

I’m going to tell you about Sunday night to Monday night—a good 24 hours off. On Sunday I did Incredible Feast, which is a farmer’s market fundraiser at the University Farmer’s Market. It was work, but fun work. I got to hang out with people from my staff and see lots of other chef friends, like Tamara Murphy from Brasa, Ethan Stowell ( Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies and Olives, and Union), Philip Mihalski from Nell’s Restaurant, and Maria Hines from Tilth. There were 30 restaurants there, so lots of pals.
We served what’s called “Rent Due Farm chilled vegetable salad," with crème fraiche dressing. It had lettuce, cauliflower, green beans, beets, potatoes, garlic, cucumber, tarragon and basil.

Afterwards, we ended up having some rosé and appetizers out on the patio at Bastille, which was really great. We had grilled beef tongue. We had a falafel sandwich. We had poached eggs on brioche with mushrooms. Umm, what else? We had a grilled octopus salad. It was all delicious. Peter Lewis, one of the owners, came by to say hi, so that was cool.
Then I went home and slept, but I got a call from some friends who were going out for a cruise on Lake Washington in their new yacht. We went over to Lake Washington and around Mercer Island and had margaritas. It was a great day, a great evening.

Read how other celebrity chefs spend their free time here.

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