Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending some time with the charming Rosanna Bowles – legendary dish designer. Rosanna is a Northwest gal; raised in Portland, a graduate of U of Oregon (boo), and now a Seattle resident (she actually lives about five minutes from me). I love that she has built her business in the Pacific Northwest and continues to grow and expand internationally.
I had so much fun with her – it’s such a pleasure to speak with women who have grown a business, raised a family, and lived to tell about it – succeeded even. Plus, one of her daughters just graduated from Brown and my sister is at RISD, so we had Providence restaurants to bond over.
What are your favorite things to cook?
Pie. My dream retirement job, if I had to have a job, would be to open a pie shop and make my mom’s pies. I’d call it “Pat’s Pies.” Her pies were legend and it would be a way to pass on her legacy. (See After School Wild Blackberry Pie in Rosanna’s book, Coming Home. Page 134)
Do you craft?
Define craft… (laughs). Actually, I’m famous for my daughters birthday invitations. Every year I hand make their invitations, well everything really, the favors, decorations, everything, and they are all theme oriented. My oldest daughters birthday is in just a few days and I’ve been gathering photos of each year. We’ve done Marie Antoinette, “Project 43rd Street,” the Sound of Music. It’s so much fun.
Whom do you admire?
(I almost didn’t ask this because I already could guess the answer)
My mother. My mother was an amazing woman. She was part of the Greatest Generation; she went through World War II, the depression, she lost her brother in Korea, and was still a self made woman. She watched Julia Child religiously on PBS – even took notes in her journal. She grew up in the midwest and knew basic cooking, but my dad was a New Yorker, so she learned to cook Italian food too. She was my role model and the most nurturing woman. She nurtured through cooking and homemaking. This book is my way of keeping her alive.
What advice do you have for an entrepreneur?
If you follow your bliss then life will be balanced and you will be fine. If you aren’t, you’ll know. Something will suffer. Listen to your inner voice and find balance. Also, you can’t do everything so learn to delegate. Don’t be all things – don’t take on all things – there are people out there who can help you.
Thank you for your time Rosanna – a lovely afternoon with a lovely woman.