Snacks That Fuel Fashion Week

Marc Jacobs's chef divulges the food that the designer and his team have on-hand.

When we talk to Lauren Gerrie, a New York-based chef/owner of bigLITTLE Get Together, she's in the midst of replenishing Marc Jacobs's refrigerator. As his chef (and grocery stocker), she keeps the eponymous fashion line going right along with the pattern makers and stylists. For a nutritional take on New York Fashion Week, we asked Gerrie to recreate some of her favorite recipes that keep everyone happy and energized (well, at least energized).

One advantage of having healthy foods on-hand is that it cancels out the bad stuff. “The most distressing thing to me is how much diet soda people consume during fashion week,” she says. “I always tell people to try to stay away from processed sugar because it ends up making you feel terrible.” Not only that, but people tend to become dehydrated from running around during the day, the dry cold weather and evenings spent downing bubbly. As a defense, she arms Jacobs with a canteen filled with celeriac and watercress soup. “It’s really an energy boost that’s good for the immune system,” Gerrie explains. “The watercress has a ton of vitamins and nutrients, the coconut offers good fat and you can serve it warm or cold.”

But not all the late night activities are quite so fun. Marc Jacobs’s design team and other support crews can work into the wee hours, when comfort food reigns. For them, she makes tahini tea biscuits. “They’re an English tea biscuit that’s really yummy with soup, coffee, tea or warm milk,” Gerrie recommends. The recipe also anticipates the unique inner-workings of the week. Food will be put out in the morning and left out all day. An advantage of these not-too-sweet biscuits is they tend to stay fresh longer than the normal cookie.

But Gerrie gets most excited when she talks about her life-changing trail mix. Each nut gets a different treatment, so the pecans get a master-cleanse-like flavor with the maple and cayenne, while the pepitas undergo a tropical treatment. She makes really big batches of this and tells friends and clients attending the show to bring a few bags of it along, not only to stave off hunger. “The trail mix has a beautiful aroma and the minute you open the bag it’s a contagious desire,” Gerrie admits. “It’s an ice-breaker and that’s a good thing—it’s like crack and probably better that you share.”

Photography: Headshot by Heidi Solander; Recipes by Julia Garland