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Elysian Exchange: Sunday Suppers

Written by Jessica Comingore Photography by Jessica Comingore

I can’t remember precisely when Sunday Suppers landed on my radar, but suffice to say it was a time long ago when the internet was a much smaller place. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of following along and being inspired by Karen’s journey from at-home supper host to a published author and owner of one beautiful event space.

Karen’s background in photography shines through in her beautiful images and her infectious warmth is palpable in her recipes. Five years in the making, Sunday Suppers now boasts a worldwide community of people who celebrate the traditions of food and gathering through communal cooking and shared meals.

Winding up my trip in New York a few weeks ago I had the chance to stop by Karen’s studio and meet her in person for the first time, which was a treat beyond words. We spent the morning chatting, munching and photographing away as Karen and Lara worked their magic with a view of the Hudson River as a backdrop. Read on for an interview with Karen and to see a few shots from the morning…

1. Where did you grow up?
Karen Mordechai: I was raised in New York almost my entire life. I was born in Israel and my parents immigrated when I was very young. Growing up in Brooklyn was a fond memory of fire hydrants, milk deliveries, bike riding and friendly neighbors — we spent summers in Israel visiting family and traveling.

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2. What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
KM: A cup of coffee! Ha, but all jokes aside, I have about an hour of quiet time when I meditate on the day and have a cup of coffee. It’s a great time for me — the rest of my days are usually very busy NYC days.

3. What does a typical day look like?
KM: First and foremost I am a mama, so I make lunch and get my daughter Sophia to school. After that, I have some quiet planning time, a workout of cardio or yoga, then at the studio we’ll have a shoot or source for a shoot, recipe develop or take meetings. Each day is very different. The evenings I spend with my daughter and husband — we try to eat a homemade meal together and catch up on the day.

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4. Motto you live by.
KM: “Never touch anything with half of your heart.”

5. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?
KM: So many, truly. My grandmother’s cooking as a way to bring people together has always been an inspiration to me; she cooked simply and with love.

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6. Favorite winter recipe.
KM: A hearty, wintery soup is my very favorite, made with what you have in your fridge. Lots of greens, served with some crusty bread and parmesan — that is my dream wintery meal. A bowl of warmth.

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7. Your dream travel destination.
KM: We frequently visit a small town called Xpu Ha in Mexico. It’s where my husband and I got married, and it is our happiest place. But beyond that I’d really love to go to Japan right now. Their hand-thrown ceramics are very inspiring to me at the moment.

8. Book currently on your nightstand.
KM: Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke, and Between Heaven and Earth, A Guide to Chinese Medicine.

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9. Something you collect.
KM: Handmade ceramics. Too many ceramics and one too many mugs.

10. Soundtrack for a productive day.
KM: You will laugh, but I love some good old feminine rock. I won’t subject others to it, but if I am alone at the studio, it’s Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco — that kind of thing.

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Thanks so much for the visit, Karen!

Visit: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Comments (3)

  • Shivani

    “You will laugh, but I love some good old feminine rock. I won’t subject others to it, but if I am alone at the studio, it’s Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco — that kind of thing.”

    would never laugh — good old feminine rock is the best!

  • Shivani

    also, that charcuterie board looks amazing.

  • julia

    karen is one of my biggest inspirations! what a lovely feature, too – beautifully written and photographed!

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