We partnered with Karen Mordechai, the founder of the communal cooking school Sunday Suppers, and her culinary community to host a spirited Friendsgiving dinner in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio. Guests feasted on a rustic menu featuring recipes from Karen’s new book, including a truffled turkey, luxurious mashed potatoes and a pumpkin creme brulee served family-style. Read more interviews with the guests and get the recipes here.
Suann Song is a Washington, D.C.-based graphic designer that worked with Karen to establish the simple, inviting aesthetic of Sunday Suppers. Read on to learn about her about her approach to design, her entertaining style and her favorite Thanksgiving rituals.
Tell us about your background and how you got started in design.
I worked in marketing and public relations for nearly 10 years at major Washington, DC institutions and agencies. But I’ve always had a creative side and for years designed “on the side.” After I had my son (now 8) I took that opportunity to explore making my side job a full-time reality. After years of refining my design skills, learning letterpress printing and slowing growing the business, I’ve now established a full-time creative studio in Washington, DC.
How did you become involved with Sunday Suppers?
Karen, the founder of Sunday Suppers, reached out to me about 4 years ago as a potential client. We hit it off immediately on a personal and professional level. It was so inspiring to meet such a creative, talented and kind force and I loved everything about the Sunday Suppers concept so much that I was eager to work with Karen and Sunday Suppers in any capacity. We’ve developed a great working relationship and over the years we’ve worked with Sunday Suppers in a number of design and creative capacities including a rebrand, product development, and print and web design.
How would you describe the Sunday Suppers aesthetic? How does it inform your designs?
The Sunday Suppers aesthetic is very consisted across the board — in Karen’s photography, in the food, the studio and Karen’s personal design aesthetic — it is minimalist, thoughtful, earthy and natural, all with the slightest modern influence. Whenever we are designing for Sunday Suppers we look at all the elements (materials, typography, colors, etc.) in their most basic and raw form and we build from there, one thoughtful step at a time. Every design element added always serves a purpose. The Sunday Suppers aesthetic is also sometimes inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese design and we often look there for inspiration.
Do you cook and entertain at home? If so, how would describe your entertaining style?
Yes, I love too — when I have time! I like easy and comfortable entertaining. Hearty, seasonal food and there’s always a kid-friendly element to accommodate my son and his friends.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving rituals? What are your favorite things to eat/cook during the holiday?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. Coming together around food to give thanks with my nearest and dearest — it doesn’t get much better then that. I love every part of Thanksgiving — developing the menu, the planning, the grocery shopping even, and of course, the cooking and eating. Some of my favorite things to both cook and eat are stuffing and I make a really great chocolate and cherry bread pudding. Regardless of how much I make, there are almost never any leftovers of that bread pudding.
Have you ever hosted or been to a Friendsgiving? What are the elements that make a memorable gathering?
I’ve been to a couple of Friendsgivings and I love them because its a little more laid back, everyone brings food and you’re there to just eat and enjoy everyone’s company. The people always make the most memorable gatherings.
What is your favorite Sunday Suppers dinner/menu?
Its really hard to choose just one or even a few. I love everything about the Sunday Suppers approach to cooking and eating. But if I had to choose one there’s a beautiful Italian family meal in the new Sunday Suppers book. Its a perfect, easy and hearty meal to enjoy with your family.
Do you have any upcoming design projects that you are excited about?
Yes! I love our work and clients because there is so much variety. From working with smaller, specialty brands to large-scale national organizations we’re able to stretch ourselves creatively. Right now we have a lot of fun projects going, including working on developing branded collateral for a lovely company, Silver Needle Tea, based in NY and designing event collateral for the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Gala.
You can have anyone in the world at your dinner table—who would you pick?
Of course I’d choose my nearest and dearest friends and family and then I’d throw in a couple of really amazing people like Malcolm Gladwell and Beyonce!
What’s for dinner tonight?
Tacos! I’m writing this on a Tuesday and from the Lego movie my son picked up Taco Tuesday.