…for Peregrine Honig on renovating an old Baptist church into her home
Local artist and business-woman (she owns Birdie’s, a lingerie shop in the Crossroads), Peregrine Honig recently began renovating a former Baptist church on the Westside. The building serves as her home, but also a gathering space for private events.
Was there an existing kitchen?
No, the space was totally raw and I knew that it needed to work for me personally and accommodate events.
So, where did you start?
Well, like everyone, I was beholden to plumbing, so that drove where the kitchen needed to be in the building. And, I’m attracted to symmetry, so when I started working with Jamie Paul Jeffries, we began there.
Are you a cook? Or a fixer?
I’m a huge cook. Growing up we had big family dinners for Passover and community meals, but my dad usually made smaller things that were better for snacking. I still eat like that. I buy local. I go to the River Market with friends early every Saturday and buy from the farmers market. I buy local duck eggs. It’s how I want to eat.
There’s not a lot of space for prepping and you’re sometimes cooking for a crowd. Does it work out?
It does. I don’t like other people being with me in the kitchen when I’m prepping. I like to keep that away from my guests. My step-grandmother has been a huge influence. She’s always said, “No labels on the table. My dining room table is not a billboard.” She’s given me some of her china and serving pieces. How it feels for the people who are here is important.
How do you manage to store what you need to entertain larger crowds?
I only keep the necessities. I’d accumulated ten years of stuff before I moved here, but I only brought the best knives, my copper pots and china from my family’s company. I don’t use disposables. Most of my storage is glass and Mason jars. And I would never use bottled water. One of my favorite new finds is this beautiful carafe from the old Golden Ox. I fill it up and it’s great for a crowd.