C California Style

An assortment of fresh vegetables and dips. PHOTO: Courtesy of Botanica.
EMILY FIFFER (left) and HEATHER SPERLING. PHOTO: Alan Gastelum.
Turkish eggs. PHOTO: Courtesy of Botanica.

Planting Roots

by C California Style

Think of Botanica as your favorite new magazine, market and restaurant crush.

The duo behind the ambitious new Silver Lake concept, Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer, have harnessed their combined experience as food editors and cooks (Fiffer interned in Ottolenghi’s Nopi restaurant in London, and Sperling was an editor at Tasting Table in Chicago) to launch a digital publication in November that showcases recipes and how-to techniques straight from their brick-and-mortar restaurant and marketplace, set to open in spring 2017. “Botanica Mag is designed to help us connect with home cooks beyond the restaurant’s four walls,” says Fiffer, who met Sperling in Chicago, where they co-founded pop-up food and design markets. While considering locations for their next venture, they were drawn to Los Angeles for its year-round growing season. “Everything—the restaurant, market and website—is intertwined and designed to make cooking sustainable, healthy food more accessible, whether you’re a Silver Lake resident buying produce at our market, or a Swedish home cook who loves vegetables and looks to Botanica for inspiration.”

Botanica focuses on sustainability, creativity and vegetable-centric food such as Turkish eggs with Aleppo-infused butter, lemon- and garlic-spiked sheep’s milk yogurt, and caramelized leeks, a riff on plateau de fruits de mer with raw and cooked vegetables alongside dipping sauces, and a seriously decadent chocolate olive oil mousse—all recipes that readers will be able to find on their site or potentially order from the Silver Lake restaurant’s evolving menu. The website also features an online market and travel guide. And while Botanica’s ethos is plant-based, Sperling says, “We aren’t strictly vegan or vegetarian. Our only rule is that it’s got to be delicious, and you have to feel good after.” botanicamag.com.

Written by Heather John Fogarty, Melissa Goldstein and Kiki Georgiou.