DESIGNER & CHEF
Our connection to Anna
"Zu Tisch", or English: "dinner is served", was the first thing we heard from Anna. And this says a lot about her and her passion: cooking, food and everything that’s involved. Approaching the topic with a designer’s mind, her great love and respect for plants, animals and humans is clearly visible in the book with said title, which she published some years ago. Selling it in our Zurich Store made us curious to find out more about the person behind the wonderfully essential recipes based on local produce and seasons. Turns out it’s to Pearsons: Anna and her sister Catherine, a graphic designer.
As often in Zurich, you meet at some point, somewhere. Funny enough, Anna as well knew our products before getting to know the people behind; she’d been using the Daypack for some years, which made her the perfect test-pilot for our new Zip Pack made from banana fibers.
My first thought was actually: Isn't there a comparable, suitable raw material that grows here? I don't eat bananas because I want to eat locally, and now I have a banana backpack? But on the other hand, cotton doesn't grow in the Zurich Oberland either.
WHAT LED YOU TO WHAT YOU DO TODAY?
I always try to consistently do things that interest and satisfy me. I’m very patient, and am willing to invest a lot in an idea, or in a project. After five years of studying design, I decided to become a cook. Instead of predominantly sitting at the computer, I wanted to do meaningful, sensual, creative work, for which I needed my hands. After three years as a chef in the traditional gastronomy world, I started my own business at the intersection between cooking, writing and designing. With my current job as a cookbook author and publisher, I combine skills from my design studies with my passion for cooking, and after all these years of trying things out, I’ve found what I really want to do.
WHAT DO YOU CARE ABOUT IN LIFE?
I want to invest my time and energy in meaningful activities, and in people who inspire me. I am interested in the essence of things. I want to get to the bottom of them and understand them, regardless of what they are. Everything I do is always about the thing itself – making it as good as possible. It’s even better when I can do this together with other people who share my values and approach.
The side opening is a bit too tight for my taste. Please make it bigger on the next generation.
HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THESE WITH YOUR WORK?
Let's take the example of meat. If I want to eat meat, then for me the conversation doesn’t just begin in the kitchen. I want to know: What did the animal eat, of which breed and how old was it, who took care of it, how and where did it die, how was the meat stored? I also want to understand the chemical process involved in preparing meat – once I have understood all of that, I can really cook, instead of just reproducing recipes. I want to acquire this knowledge and share it with other people, so I’m currently writing a cookbook on meat.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN THE THINGS YOU BUY?
No matter whether it's meat or clothes, furniture or accessories, I'm interested in products that have a soul. After all, it's best to know how a product was created, and the people and places that are behind it. I’m fascinated by things, especially when it comes to everyday products that have been thought through down to the last detail – where someone has really asked themselves: "How can I design and implement this product as well as possible?"