David Standridge, Athena Calderone

I’m a naturally shy person. I’d never call myself witty (or a wordsmith) and I’m certainly not someone who can enter a room and know how to easily chat up strangers. Nope, that’s not me. I’m quiet and socially awkward and nervous. Maybe that makes me insecure or maybe it makes me endearing? Either way it’s me and I’ve gotta to work with what I’ve got. That’s not to say I don’t push myself to step outside my comfort zone. I can recall a specific time when a dear friend (who is equally shy) and I made a pact before entering an event: We would not stand behind a glass wall all night. Today I can proudly say EyeSwoon has shattered my glass wall. So even though I still get butterflies in my belly every time I have the opportunity to cook with a designer, chef or influencer who I admire, I remind myself to use what I love, FOOD, as they grand unifier. It’s the thing that levels the playing field and it’s something I always approach with passion and confidence.

Words by Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon

[Photos by Masha Maltsava]