We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy Marcellino Aubert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracy, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Design, fashion, fine art, film and literature as well as food (of course). The good thing about food is that as a multi-dimensional medium, if we lived 400 years, we would not feel like we knew everything.
We love cohorts in our field pushing boundaries like Laila Gohar and Imogen Kwok or floral artist, Doan Ly. Our latest muse has been self-titled “artisan cheese activist” Clara Diaz, owner of Spanish cheese store, Formaje. In general, we most admire those elevating the notion of what food can do to delight, educate, and surprise. In the end, the most important thing is that we throw a good party. We love the look of a table toward the end of the night— the stained tablecloth, the loose conversation, the half-eaten plates. We always work backwards aiming to end in that place of ease and pleasure.
We come by catering through unconventional channels. Neither of us went to cooking school and we don’t necessarily feel like we embody the word “chef” in the way that it is conventionally understood, perhaps because the kitchen has long been such a male driven and often toxic environment. Blood, Sweat and Butter is the latest iteration of our creative pursuits.
What should our readers know about your business?
BS+B was meant to be. We started out 7 years ago in Tiffany’s kitchen. I was pregnant and we thought we’d make some cakes together. Serendipitously, our first client, Mollika, was searching for chef, Gabrielle Hamilton, who had written her memoir which was called Blood, Bones and Butter. She put the wrong title into instagram and found us by mistake. She liked the look of our cakes and hired us to do the lunch for 220 people at her wedding. We used the deposit to buy our first gear, and the rest is history. Looking back, we had zero idea what we were doing but we somehow pulled it off.
The idea of having a catering company didn’t exactly come from nowhere. While I was playing in bands, my jobs were always around food. I catered, private cheffed, waited tables in restaurants, and tore through cookbooks as a hobby. I took cooking classes for fun. My favorite jobs were catering because I loved the rag tag assemblage of people I worked with. Meanwhile, Tiffany was living in Barcelona where she threw a monthly supper club in her apartment.
We are most proud that we have built BS+B from the ground up without outside help or investors. This allowed us to be authentically ourselves and to go with our gut rather than an outside committee. Seven years in, we have a dream team in the kitchen that we love so much. It is so fulfilling to constantly evolve and grow together and stretch what we are capable of.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eszett in Silver Lake
It reminds me of a small restaurant somewhere in the Marais in Paris. They have great food and stellar wines. The dishes are simple in presentation but have complexity in the flavors with bits of surprises (purslane with nectarines, lemon basil with charred eggplant)
We are mamas so we aren’t often at a bar these days. Tiffany’s husband, Segundo fancies himself a part-time mixologist so we always get to try his concoctions. My favorite place to drink is in her backyard in the late afternoon with friends. Tunes are playing and our kids are around.
If I do go out, I love Goldline in Highland park. It’s owned by Peanut Butterwolf. The walls are lined with his records and different djs come and play records from his collection.
South Pasadena Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons
Rose Bowl Flea Market for great vintage dishes
The Broad for visual inspiration
Lodge Room in Highland Park for concerts. The last show we saw there was composer, Anna Meridith which was brilliant
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
George Marcellino (RIP)- our dad, who ran his own company with unbending integrity. He was creative, endlessly curious and talented. We are our best selves in our business when we channel him.
Denise Ruff (RIP) – the most generous catering road dog who never made us feel like the green babies we were and shared her knowledge with love and a sense of humor.
Elayne Sawaya- Catering concierge. She found us when we were quite new on instagram and insisted that we were capable of far more than we thought
Our amazing team in the kitchen who help make all of this happen everyday.
Jorge Pallares Tracy Aubert