Local Creative: Nahvae Frost
A true Renaissance women with an appétite for culture, community and simple, nourishing fare is always a friend you need. Nahvae Frost is the owner of Eleven36 café and catering and L’Atelier Vert rentals and props, and her knowledge and zest for life exactly fits the description. Her experience in the kitchen is extensive and melds effortlessly in her interests of design, objects, bringing together the best kind of people and travel.
Through her gentle air she strives to introduce people to incorporating seasonal vegetable-forward meals into their daily routine. Nahvae’s mindful and nurturing nature encourages an accessible approach to maintaining a well-rounded diet. The café in Eleven 36 offers some delectable dishes and pastries to-go, but Nahvae also offers cooking classes and private catering to make it even easier to have her local sourced meals at home. If you are looking for some thoughtful plating to accompany your new approach to healthy eating look no further than L’atelier Vert for your next gathering or to add to your own personal collection.
Nahvae’s grounded and positive outlook for a more bountiful life, resonates deep with us. She was gracious enough to share a bit of her process and her favorite things to cook for herself. You’re going to want to take notes!
We know you’re going to be traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico this winter with p o c o a p o c o, can you tell us a little bit about what you have planned?
There’ll be a lot of exploration, both of the unique Oaxacan culture and landscape – we have trips planned to botanical gardens, an afternoon at a temazcal and another at the ruins - but more importantly it’s extraordinary opportunity to reflect and res-set. The purpose is to unearth some inspiration, and leave seeing things a little differently. I think when we do what we love for a living we often get caught in a cycle that can subvert inspiration and creative growth - things can become unintentionally stagnant; so what I’m hoping to do while I’m there, and what I’m hoping the residents do as well, is to allow myself to be curious, acknowledge my habits and knee-jerk reactions, release any expectations I have of myself or my process and create some space for something new to evolve.
When you are home alone what's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?
Generally I keep it fairly simple!
It really varies for me according to season…and I tend to eat the same thing over and over again. This Summer, it was avocado, tomato stuffed bread, saucisson sec, mustard, and olive oil – so, less cooking, more assembling!
In the Spring it was a lot of popcorn doused with butter and brewer’s yeast and an unreasonable amount of vegetable or fish curry with coconut milk.
This Fall – I’ve been obsessed with fish sauce. Twice this week I made short-grain brown rice with ginger, garlic and shallot, shitake mushroom and kale (which I thought I’d be over by now, but it seems to have a withstood the test of time) topped with a fried egg and a dash of fish sauce. Last night I had sautéed cabbage with roasted carrots, garlic and leeks, over toasted jasmine rice with mint, chive, a ton of cilantro and chiles - all doused with fish sauce and I’ll likely eat that again tonight! There’s just something about the funk for me at the moment!
Whatever it is, it usually takes less than a half hour to put together and I almost always eat more of it than I should!
What objects have been most significant to you lately?
I just moved out the apartment I’ve lived in for the last ten years – and am generally incredibly sentimental about ‘things’. I’m a bit of a collector and have been trying hard to streamline; to release a few of the things that historically held some significance to create a bit of space both physically and psychically/emotionally.
That said, change has an extraordinary way of drawing nostalgia and sentimentality right to the surface!
Photographs are highest on the list, this one lonely coffee mug I use every morning that feels especially perfect in my hand, postcards and notes from old friends, sweaters that I’ve had since high school… things that have history are most significant to me now and always.
New York can become a bit of an energy drain at times, do you have a quiet place where you can re-energize?
I bike a lot when it’s warm enough and that feels quiet, and solitary. And the ocean. There’s almost nothing a dip in the ocean can’t fix for me
What do you make for dinner with friends?
It’s been so long since I’ve done that! I usually forage through the walk-in, draw some inspiration from what we have and pull something together as quickly as possible! That sounds terrible! But work has kept me busy for the last few years, and my time with my friends has been less frequent than I’d like for it to be – and as a result, especially important. So, I try to spend less time cooking and more time talking, lounging, and just being with them instead.
Do you have a personal ritual to share?
I try to ride to the beach in the Summer once a week if I can on my own – it’s usually a five or six hour round-trip endeavor (with ocean dips and naps and whatnot), but it's so rejuvenating!
One long term goal, one short term goal.
Short term, I’d like to be more patient. In all things.
Long term, I’d like to travel for a spell; immerse myself somewhere else for a while, learn another language. Or two.