Forget the New York Times articles or the barrage of “Goodbye To All That” essays documenting the recent wave of East Coasters trading SoHo for Southern California. Pay no heed to the well-worn arguments about better weather and bigger apartments. Those familiar cliches in favor of Los Angeles are too easy, too vague, too porous a reasoning for a die-hard New Yorker to admit defeat. Where LA really shines, however, is in the details: the vibrant green of sliced avocado over eggs, a robust bouquet of freshly picked peonies, the amaranthine bounty of a local farmers market. Now that’s harder to argue with. Making the LA > NYC position that much more difficult to defend against is Barrett Prendergast, founder of LA’s Valleybrink Road, a boutique catering and gifting company whose images of the good life will have you packing your bags in no time.
In just a few short years, Prendergast has become one of the go-tos for thoughtfully prepared and beautifully executed events with food fit for modern day royalty. With roots in the fashion industry, Prendergast’s well-honed aesthetic–from the flowers on the table to the cakes in their tins–is simple but elegant, made with a sense of love and ease that is the backbone of the California lifestyle. Therein lies the real reason people trade the New York hustle for Los Angeles: It’s the taste of the good life, and, in LA, it’s always ripe and ready for the picking. Here, we talk to the ever-charming and talented Prendergast about the best pasta in Rome, finding inspiration in Texas, and why you’ll never find her wearing sunglasses indoors.
Place of residence:
Chef, Caterer, and Gifter of Valleybrink Road
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Is it weird to say I’m happy being me?
Quote to live by:
“You know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and assholes.”
First job you ever had:
Ballet teacher to toddlers.
Least favorite part of your day:
When I have to leave my little love Costa. He is growing so fast, already crawling and pulling himself up. It really was no joke when your parents told you “time flies.”
Windows down, the song you’re playing is:
Fleetwood Mac – “Second Hand News”
Three guilty pleasures:
Ice cream, pasta, wine.
If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?
Can’t Buy Me Love.
You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…
I’d let my husband pick something out. He has the expensive taste.
Plane, train or automobile for a road trip?
What IS your favorite road trip?
Driving up the California coast to Point Reyes.
Personal travel ethos:
Just go, and make sure to stop along the way.
Drink of choice:
Wine. Red, white, rosé. Whatever.
Beach house or tree house:
Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?
All meals in Italy. But specifically, every bowl of Cacio e Pepe I ate in Rome.
What is the best news you ever received?
That my husband and I were having a healthy baby boy.
Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.
Without naming names, a lot of food in LA. I think a lot of “trendy” places get away with serving mediocre food because people just keep coming back for more. It’s a real bummer.
Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.
Surprise birthday present from the hubby. Florence and the Machine at the Hollywood Bowl. INCREDIBLE.
Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?
Restaurants. Marfa. Point Reyes. Korean spa.
Photo by Andre Vippolis.