Who better to tour through Nespresso’s new boutique on Madison Avenue with than Cherry Bombe’s Kerry Diamond? The boutique is most definitely our new favorite #EyesUp space. It’s no secret that we’re major coffee addicts; seriously, we even keep a Nespresso VertuoPlus in our office. So it should come as no surprise that we fell in love with the Boutique design and décor, from the tabletops made of used coffee grounds to the interactive artwork made from recycled Nespresso aluminum. Suffice to say, it’s a coffee lover’s dream come true.
The new spot highlights coffee tastings and discovering your personal coffee preference, something you bet we took full advantage of while grabbing a cup of coffee with Kerry. With the new Cherry Bombe Cookbook out, we could think of no better time to chat about all things concerning Kerry’s morning routine, feminism and Calvin Klein’s penchant for coffee the same color as a certain Pantone…
Laura Kosann: How do you like your coffee, whether you’re making it or ordering it?
Kerry Diamond: It’s very temperature dependent. If it’s warm, I like it iced. If it is cold, I like it warm. I always take it with a little bit of milk. Sometimes almond milk, if I’ve made some. One of the interesting things about coffee is you can tell by the color whether the coffee is perfect or not. Calvin Klein had a private chef – I’m sure he still does – and he supposedly wanted his coffee exactly like that, so he gave the chef a Pantone chip to replicate. In an early issue of Cherry Bombe, we asked a few fashion designers where they got their daily coffee and what the matching Pantone color was.
LK: So can you tell us a bit about the rest of your morning routine?
KD: Sleeping as late as possible. I’m not a morning person. I’ll stay in bed as long as possible and hit the snooze button a few times. I always listen to WNYC. I love radio and I love podcasts, so before I even get out of bed I’ve probably put the radio on.
LK: Do you have any rules about not checking your email or iPhone right when you wake up?
KD: You can’t avoid seeing your texts, and my best girlfriends text me either the night before or that morning. But I don’t check email. I’m really bad at email and feel very oppressed by all my emails.
LK: What about a morning or nightly beauty routine?
KD: I always try to take my makeup off before I go to bed. It’s a 99% success rate, except when I’m really tired and just pass out. I brush my teeth. I never wash my face in the morning…ever.
LK: Not even a splash of water?
KD: I mean in the shower, yes, I’ll splash water on my face. I also dry brush sometimes. When you say that out loud, it’s weird. So, I do the occasional dry brush.
LK: The chill dry brush.
LK: Are there any secrets to starting your morning off on a good note, even though you’re not a morning person?
KD: Listening to the news is my big morning thing. If I have to start the day without hearing what’s going on in the world, it feels like something’s amiss.
LK: Even when you’re on vacation?
KD: Even if I go on vacation. I have the WNYC app on my phone, and I like to hear the New York news no matter where I am in the world.
LK: What about breakfast? Any staple go-to’s?
KD: I kind of go through phases with breakfast. I’ll have a three-month period where I have to have avocado toast and then a three-month period where I have to make these fancy yogurt parfaits. Yogurt, granola, fruit, bee pollen, you name it.
LK: What’s your favorite morning recipe from The Cherry Bombe Cookbook?
KD: That is a good question. Lexi Smith has a savory oatmeal recipe. With the exception of fruit, I don’t like sweet breakfasts, which is funny, because I grew up eating Sugar Smacks and Fruity Pebbles, which I now think should be outlawed. Children should not be able to have things like that for breakfast anymore.
LK: Tell us a little bit about the new cookbook!
KD: The book is super exciting. I never had a plan to do a Cherry Bombe cookbook, ever. You two know, the whole reason we launched Cherry Bombe was to celebrate the women we felt weren’t getting enough attention in the food world. When somebody came to us and said, “We think you should do a cookbook,” we were like, “Ok, wow, we never really thought about that.” What the cookbook needed to be was pretty obvious: Get all the women we love and ask them to contribute a recipe.
Online recipes make me crazy. You’ve got all these websites now that have a million recipes, but they’re so random. You don’t know if it’s a good recipe, you don’t know where it’s from, and I love when recipes are written in a really personal way. I love when there’s a story with a recipe. So we were like, “Ok, let’s not get just recipes, but a recipe and story.” The recipe has to have some kind of significance. That’s what’s fun about your [upcoming, The New Potato] cookbook; every part of it seems to have a great story that goes with it.
The really tough part was figuring out the one hundred people to be in the cookbook. We decided one hundred was a doable number, but it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. Choosing the hundred was really tough because literally every day we’d meet a new amazing person. We wanted it to stay true to the different kind of people that Cherry Bombe celebrates: the chef, the pastry chef, the blogger, the photographer, the artist, women who found their way into the food world through different avenues. We’ve got Jennifer Rubell, who’s an amazing contemporary artist who uses food as a medium. You two are in there. We’ve got Victoria Granof, who’s one of the most talented food stylists around. Jessica from Sqirl, who’s one of the hottest chefs at the moment. It’s a really fun mix.
LK: Who is the cookbook for?
KD: I really wanted anybody to be able to cook from the cookbook. It’s not a cookbook filled with one hundred easy recipes you can make for dinner tonight. Some of the recipes are involved and very thoughtful. I have a tiny apartment; I do not have a big kitchen. Anybody, as long as you’ve got a nice sharp knife, can do a lot that’s in the cookbook.
LK: We’ve been friends for a while now. Is there something you could tell us over this cup of coffee that we don’t know about you?
KD: Oh, I’m an excellent bowler. No one knows that about me. Bowling is poised for a comeback. You heard it here first.
LK: What else don’t we know about you?
KD: I started a school newspaper in third grade. I was just obsessed with media, writing, and journalism since third grade. I think I was born a feminist because when I look back at all the things I did – even when I was little and didn’t even know what I was doing – I believed in things being equal. I wrote a letter to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church in New York because I was angry that girls couldn’t be altar servers or altar boys. I sent a letter saying, “God doesn’t care if you’re a boy or a girl, God loves everyone.” I still have his response letter. Then in eighth grade, I lobbied really hard to make sure that boys and girls were eligible to be captains of the crossing guards, the older kids who would literally help the little kids cross the street. It had been very bro-y, like the food world!
LK: Fairness is big for you, right?
KD: Yes. Even as a little kid, the idea of things being unfair upset me greatly. It still does. There’s a lot that’s unfair about this world and it breaks my heart on a daily basis.
LK: What’s something that you’ve always been insecure about and how did you overcome it?
KD: When I was younger I was really insecure about my height. My nickname was “Stork Legs.” The “Stork Legs” thing was hard because I was really tall, really young, and I towered over almost everyone in my class.
LK: If you could relay one message to women about self-confidence, what would you say?
KD: I would say don’t be overly focused on what’s on the outside. I spent a long time in the beauty and fashion industry, and I don’t regret a minute of it, but I helped celebrate a lot that’s superficial. I hope today I’m celebrating things that are way more substantial. I still love those industries, but everyone should take the time to look around and really focus on what’s important. It’s a weird, tough world right now, and I feel for everyone who is young because I hate to think the younger generation has been robbed of this sense of optimism that I had growing up. Don’t lose your optimism, and focus on what’s real and important.
LK: What issue do you feel most passionate about right now?
KD: It’s still female empowerment, 100%. We’ve been doing a lot of interviews for the cookbook, and this one question has come up a lot. People are like, “Is Cherry Bombe really a good thing? Aren’t you just putting female chefs in this pink ghetto?” And I’ve been like, “No!” There are still events that feature an overwhelming majority of male chefs. There are still guest chef series that are all guys. Women still have a lot of work to do to get to the point where we are truly equal, not just in the food world. You’ve got entire countries where it’s a struggle for girls to go to school. Women just got to drive in Saudi Arabia. Cherry Bombe was launched to help women in the food world get more attention, but now it’s also about, what are the issues that are really particular to women? Things like a living wage and quality of life. The restaurant industry is awful if you’re trying to have a family.
But there has been progress; we’ve made a lot of strides in terms of women getting the recognition they are due in this industry. If you look at New York, there are so many incredible young female chefs now. Ten years ago, you would’ve been hard pressed to name a great female chef in the city outside of April Bloomfield or Anita Lo and a few others. Today, there are so many. Everyone from Daniela Soto-Innes at Cosme to Alissa Wagner at Dimes, to Emma Bengsston at Aquavit, to Angela Dimayuga at Mission Chinese Food, Missy Robbins at Lilia, Victoria Blamey at Chumley’s, Angie Mar who’s kicking ass at The Beatrice…I mean, there’s so much incredible talent out there now. That makes me really happy, but I also realize how much we still have to do.
LK: If you could choose one person to sit over coffee with for an hour, who would it be?
KD: An Obama.
LK: Which one?
KD: Whichever one’s available.
*In partnership with Nespresso