Pretty much everyone has a vibe. If you spend enough time with someone or pay enough attention, you can usually sort out the type of person someone is.
Jon Woodroof's vibe, very simply, is that he's a guy who gets it.
Despite the fragility of paper, Mandy Smith, the Papersmith, is determined to create something powerful out of it. Or perhaps it's because of its fragility that she's so inspired to challenge the way people thing about it, and in turn about the world.
"I'm interested in creating experiences that show paper in a different way and play with people's preconception of it," she says.
Lauren and I met in New York while modelling. Despite both being from Cape Town, South Africa we had never connected back home. Finding ourselves in the city that never sleeps, together we embarked on the challenging journey of trying to make it in the big apple. A couple of days after meeting we realised that we both were really into food. We just loved to eat! And drink! Since then we lived in Paris together for a while, toured Sri Lanka together and became neighbours in our home town.
All it takes is a quick glance at the menu for Skinny Legs Cafe in Cape Town to get a sense of who co-owner Donnet Dumas is.
Let’s take a look:
PORRIDGE OF THE GODS: oats, cinnamon, aniseed, seasonal fruit
COCONUT QUINOA: coconut milk porridge, cinnamon, baked seasonal fruit
TOKYO BOWL: brown rice, radish, cucumber, mushroom, miso citrus dressing
SWEET POTATO: kale, beluga lentils, greek yoghurt dressing
GOAT’S CHEESE: chevre melted on bread, slow roasted tomatoes, walnuts, vinaigrette
If you guessed she’s: conscious, gentle, thoughtful, balanced, elegant and healthy with a touch of luxury, then you’re right on track.
Matthias van den Berg is like a proper boy next door: popping by every now and again for an afternoon visit, ready with a friendly wave on the sidewalk as you leave for the night and even willing to help you fashion a crude hook from his materials to try and fish your bike out of a canal.
Chef and concept creator Edwin Sander is seemingly infinitely inspired by an assortment things. Everything from Mother Nature, his Dutch and Indonesian roots, his Michelin-starred training, and even Pharrell Williams.
With such a variety of muses, it's no wonder he began his own successful pop-up company soon after finishing culinary training and later Food Creativ - a restaurant consultancy and collaboration business responsible for such projects as The Morning (an amazing breakfast pop-up and collaboration event) and Food Creative Kitchen, coming this year.
When you meet Christine Gioia Nel, you immediately feel like she cares intimately about you. Not in a fake or fleeting way, but in a way that feels like you've just encountered someone special.
That's likely what Dominique felt when they first met in high school in South Africa. And if you want to know why they lovingly call each other "Burn" you'll have to take it up with Dom.
The name Geertje is a diminutive of the Dutch version of the name Gertrude. Gertrude comes from the German words meaning "Spear of Strength."
Though the initial essence we captured of Geertje van Odijk was that of a lovely blossom, fresh and springlike in it's gentleness, it's not surprising that she's also represented by such a strong name.
Spunky, talkative and full of ideas, Megan Vasco of Pinch Sum Dumplings has a personality to match her (currently) spirited red hair. While she has auburn locks at the moment, she playfully described herself as the "hair of many colours pony," and it's clear Megan has a taste for adventure and a willingness to try new things.
There’s no doubt that Elissa Singstock radiates. With a halo of fine blond hair, smooth skin and what can only be described as an aura about her, she’s the type of person that inspires honest thinking, speaking and feeling.
Not only that, she’s cool. In fact, the first text Dom received after Elissa's interview was: “Elissa is fucking rad.”
The first thing someone might notice about Martijn Rijven is that he has a very Dutch name but also a pronounced cockney English accent, reminiscent of Bert from Mary Poppins. No telling if he gets the same ribbing Dick Van Dyke did for years about his accent for that role, but it seems to have similarly ambiguous roots.
Martijn was born in Rotterdam to Dutch parents but his dad's job moved them to St. Lucia when Martijn was less than a year old. His formative language years were spent with West Indian nannies and listening to BBC World News, which is his theory behind his distinct way of speaking. It's unclear if BBC World News also gave him his colorful vocabulary of curse words, but likely not.
Let de Jong is the kind of person you want to sit down next to at a breakfast pop-up event when you're solo because your date ditched you and a little bit hungover because that same date poured too many tequilas the night before. She's quick to laugh her bubbling-over laugh, curious and outgoing, not to mention she clearly understands how good coffee and fresh juice can help the self-inflicted wounds of an over-imbiber.
The first time we met Victoria Koblenko for lunch, we spent a good majority of it talking about dicks.
It's not exactly what you'd expect to discuss when you first meet her. She's a famous actress, presenter and columnist, beautiful and slight, with porcelain skin and a fashionable mole a-la Cindy Crawford. But what we love about this Edible Stories project and the people that we've come in contact with because of it, is that it's a daily reminder that no one is just a pretty face. There is so much more to devour about someone than what we might initially think. People have stories, past and present, that open up the world to you in impossible ways.
Jeff Flink, proprietor of the cozy neighborhood coffee hangout Toki, is quietly brimming with relaxed, positive, can-do vibes. Careful with his words and considered with his choices, Jeff embodies the very motto that gives Toki its tranquil charm: "Go slow."
It's clear than another key element in Jeff's formula is happiness. His motivation behind opening Toki and thereby taking a dramatic 90 degree turn in his life was not only the pursuit of his own happiness but the creation of a space that would allow others to find theirs as well.
With a friendly face and a wave for everyone in the neighborhood we think if Jeff could add anything else to Toki's clear and concise instruction-cum-motto, it would be: "And do it with a smile while you're at it."
A Californian through and through, embroidery artist Alice Wiese is nevertheless a global spirit, traveling the world and bringing pieces of it back with her. Her intricate hand-embroidered, monochromatic artwork is geometric and repetitive but at the same time abstract and varied. With titles like "Tell Me Why You're Feeling Down," "Seabird" and "Never Forever," Alice's pieces are inspired by her experiences with love, loss and the process of rebuilding oneself. You can see more of her work here.
While she works with white thread on white canvases, she lives her life in full color and is never afraid to share that great big smile of hers.
Here she tells us more about the inspiration behind her artwork, why being a dairy-free, gluten-free vegetarian is easier in Australia and all about her van-turned-home, appropriately named Ghost.