Andrea Lott, author
Reading: The second Hunger Games book, “Catching Fire,” and a lot of magazines.
Inspiration: “People who are passionate about [something] and acting on it.”
If you are a foodie, or even if you just like food, you will probably envy Andrea Lott. The author of “Dining In Seattle: Past and Present,” co-written with Andrea Umbach and Elliott Wolf, is working on a second book about Vancouver, B.C. for the series.
The “Dining In” books are a revival of a series published by Classic Day/Peanut Butter Publishing, the oldest self-publishing business in the nation. The publisher, who happens to be co-author Wolf, and who also happens to be Lott’s dad, wanted to the update original 38 volumes and bring them into the 21st century.
“Dining In Seattle” features entire menus from Seattle’s best known restaurants, along with recipes for signature dishes from each.
“You can replicate an entire meal,” says Lott, “including wine pairings,” from notable food establishments like Canlis and El Gaucho.
Nineteen of these restaurants no longer exist, but Lott culled information about these “iconic” establishments from the original publication.
“If you had never been [to them] you could at least learn about it,” she says.
The book’s historic section reflects “the evolution of eating” over the past decades. Those who pine for The Other Place, The Adriatica or Gerard’s Relais de Lyon — or wish they could have been there — can create a little bit of those memories in their own kitchens.
“It was a cool learning experience,” says Lott of the project.
The first book took about two years to complete and involved talking to many chefs and eating out a lot. And cooking.
Getting to try the recipes was half the fun, and Lott says she made about half the dishes in the book.
Lott was lured away from a corporate job to write the series and says she was impressed by the dedication of the chefs with whom she worked.
“A lot of them were owner-chefs” giving “blood, sweat and tears,” she says. “They were really passionate.”
She also enjoyed seeing that “there were people who were truly enjoying their jobs,” something that she often found lacking in the corporate world.
Growing up in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood, Lott’s bio on Amazon.com tells us that she started in the food business selling chocolate chip cookies outside her house on Husky game days. She grew up attending Temple De Hirsch Sinai, where her family still belongs, and attended Lakeside School and Yale University.
Lott is an active Jewish Federation volunteer who co-chaired the Women’s Philanthropy Connections brunch this year and served on the grants committee. She is joined in her volunteer efforts by husband Jordan, who also sits on the Federation board. His family attends Herzl–Ner Tamid, so “we split our time” between the two synagogues, she says.
Not surprisingly, Lott says, “I like to cook, to spend time with friends.” The night before we spoke she had prepared homemade pizza for dinner. Jordan likes to barbecue.
A gymnast in college, she’s a runner now with “a few marathons” under her belt, including the New York Marathon, “all to support my eating habits,” she says. She confesses that these days, “my knees don’t love me so much,” so perhaps there is a triathlon in her future.