Heather Sperling

This week, we caught up with Heather Sperling, co-owner of our favorite new spot to eat in Los Angeles, Botanica restaurant. In the wake of her Silver Lake eatery's first birthday festivities last week, we talked about the objects we most cherish...

Permanent Collection: We've been to your house, and dined in your beautiful (and delicious!) restaurant. We know that you invest a lot of time and energy in getting the look and feel of the spaces you create just right, and that collections of objects are chosen with tremendous care. If you had to select something personal to place in your so-called 'Permanent Collection,' what would it be?

Heather Sperling: It was hard for me to decide. I was torn between a collection of handwritten recipe cards from my grandmother's recipe box and this set of five Italian ceramic vases with a mirrored silver glaze, also from my grandmother – as you can see, the vases won out!

P.C.: What about the vases moved you?

H.S.: Well, for one, the vases are beautiful, with a glaze that’s varied and patinated from years of handling. I love them for their form and finish, and even more so for what they represent: her taste for minimal, modern style; her devotion to the creation of an artful home; her innate and ceaseless instinct for hospitality.

P.C.: Do these vessels have a story?

H.S.: I know only the most general details of their origin – one declares "Creazioni La Bottega Milano" in stylish mid-century typeface on its underside. But I knew them as essential parts of the landscape of my grandmother's home, a home-away-from-home for me until she passed away, five years ago. They were never treated as precious, they were simply there; the two round ones rested on her marble coffee table, forever adjacent to a bowl of whole nuts with an ornate metal cracker, and the cylinders lived on a table in another room. But now that the person and the place that I cherished are gone, they've taken on more meaning – they feel almost totemic in nature.

Heather Sperling

Heather Sperling is the co-owner of Botanica, a Silver Lake, Los Angeles-based restaurant, market and publication devoted to creative, colorful, healthful food and cooking. Before Botanica opened in 2017, she was a food writer and editor in New York and Chicago, including stints as Editor of Tasting Table and Features Editor at StarChefs.com. (Here she is wearing our Sturtevant jacket!)

Botanica Restaurant, L.A.

“You could probably spend hours people-watching at the aspirational all-day restaurant and marketplace that Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer opened in a remodeled Silver Lake liquor store, but better to focus on the vibrant, produce-driven artistry happening in the kitchen. The two food-writing veterans excel at creating dishes that are both effortless and craveable.” – Los Angeles Magazine, 10 Best New Restaurants of 2017