When I started this series, I knew I wanted to include folks I do not know well personally. People whose work, products or ethos I admire. When I first met Nicole Foster of Cajou Creamery, I was struck by her warmth and kindness. And then I had her vegan ice cream and was smitten. (The horchata is my favorite flavor.) Cajou is the first and only plant-based creamery in the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia), and the first to h use hand-crafted plant milks. That is impressive!
I learned so much about Nicole through her Baker’s Dozen answers and you will, too. Like, the fact that you can get Cajou delivered to you monthly!? Also, make sure you stop in to their shop on Howard Street. Sit, take a load off. You will be happy you did. It’s so good.
Cake or Pie? And what kind?
Warm pie. I like gooey, caramelized fruity centers with the contrast of a flaky, buttery, crispy crusts.
Your most prized possession?
What’s your favorite thing to order out at restaurants?
Anything I can’t make at home. If I can make it or anticipate the flavor based on the ingredients, then I’m disappointed. I love places with surprising, unique, exotic flavor explosions.
What’s your favorite to cook at home?
Misir wot – Ethiopian red lentils with berbere. Oh, and a tostada with avocado, tomatoes, colima salt, lime and cilantro. Yummm.
What’s your morning beverage and how do you take it?
An electrolyte tea – hot water with key lime, salt and raw honey. Also, I love to make a good dairy-free chai tea. Also, sometimes a fruit smoothie with maca and sea moss.
What’s your personal motto?
Live a bold, adventurous, story-worthy life.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
My birthday! I think it’s a holiday, and if not, it should be!
Seriously, Labor Day – because the kids finally go back to school . . .
Best advice you were ever given? And from whom?
Leap. The net will appear. – Spirit. (Because I can’t remember an actual person.)
Fear not. – A cherished friend told me this during a stressful period, but I use it all the time now as a self-affirmation.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
When I turned 50, I looked back on three successful careers – 1) in global public health working in health promotion in West Africa and Latin America, 2) as a prosecutor/criminal defense attorney, having tried 40 jury trials and 3) as co-founder with Dwight Campbell on a successful plant-based ice cream brand, Cajou. Although those periods were intellectually stimulating and deeply fulfilling, I feel most like my authentic self now – having gone from wearing designer suits to an apron in a kitchen, and I couldn’t be happier. The best part is, I’m not finished!
The last text you sent?
To a journalist thanking her for listening to my practice pitch for a tech platform I’m working on around intergenerational connection.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Feeling completely aligned with my purpose, eating fresh fruit, feeling earth under my feet, sun on my skin and sharing laughs with my two sons.
What do you love most about food?
How you can trace history through it. How you can learn culture from it. How you can share love with it. It’s everything.
What’s your favorite place in Baltimore?
Sherwood Gardens. Lush greenery is pure energy. If it were everywhere in Baltimore, not just affluent neighborhoods, the city would be very different. Green space in Baltimore should be prioritized and equitable to all.
Baker’s Dozen is an occasional column highlighting some very talented, hardworking and kind folks in the Baltimore food + beverage community. I hope you will make a point to support their businesses.