Max and Justine were lured to Red Hook by the sea and say they fell in love with the quiet, friendly character of our unique neighborhood. Justine has been here since 2008; Max moved here in 2009. Both hope to stay for many years to come.
Max is an academic administrator with Columbia Law School and is starting a Master’s degree in history at the New School in the fall. He has a soft spot for maps and architecture, and hopes to teach college students about the history of human spatial practices one day.
Justine works with an international wild cat conservation organization, helping to save lions, tigers, jaguars and others while maintaining a view of the Empire State Building. She has a background and interest in community conservation and participatory community development.
They talk to the Collard Courier about their relationship with food and eating.
What was the food culture in your house growing up?
Max: There was lots of cooking, we had family meals often, and my parents were basically Midwestern foodies: sometimes stuffed pork tenderloin, sometimes tacos or meatloaf.
Justine: The food culture changed several times as we grew, but the early years were mostly a rotating schedule of traditional Chilean dishes like pastel de choclo and charquicán, and typical American dishes. I can’t say I didn’t find it mostly torturous but for the occasional pizza takeout.
One food you won’t you eat?
Max: Cole Slaw
Justine: Frog legs
Favorite food experience?
Max: The day I gave up vegetarianism (it had been 7 years), my coworkers took me to the best buffalo chicken wing stand in the midwest after a long day of landscaping. Wings have never tasted so good.
Justine: My brother and I were lost in the woods for two days on the northern tip of New Zealand. After being rescued by three shepherds and hitching a ride in a truck full of cows headed for the slaughter, we made an occasion of dining out fancy – I still remember the almond encrusted baked brie with blueberries.
What do you value about food or eating?
Max: The smells
Justine: The energy
Max: Ice cream maker
Justine: French press
Favorite food book or memoir:
Max: Love Soup
Justine: Love Soup
Most disastrous kitchen or garden experiment:
Max: When the feral cats of Red Hook got into our first garden. We didn’t know to use chicken wire. This is probably when I learned that slathering all of the plants in the garden with peppermint oil at noon on a hot summer day yields wilting, regret.
Why are you involved in the Red Hook CSA?
Max and Justine: There’s a farm in our Brooklyn neighborhood! And Added Value’s mission is the best.
What’s the best lunch option near you?
Max: P&W Sandwich Shop
Justine: Pret a Manger
What inspires you?
Max: Cooking for someone I love.
Justine: Max’s epicuriousity inspires me
Your opinion: Does talking to plants help them grow?
Max: Most likely
Do you sing to them?
Max: Well, they get a lot of NPR.
Justine: If they can hear me from the shower
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Max: Party on, Wayne.
Justine: Party on, Garth.
Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise us.
Max: When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a comedian.
Justine: I own a unicycle.