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Photo of SuzanneI was 16 years old when I proclaimed, “I want to be a chef”.  Luckily, I am blessed with amazing parents who encouraged me to live and build my dreams.  Fast forward to college…by a stroke of luck and cutting in the right keg line at the right time, I met my future husband, whose family also believed in encouraging us to live and build our dreams.  After years of amazing schooling, apprenticeship and leadership I was able to tag my dream at 23, as chef of a five star restaurant.

As we continue to grow, our dreams morph into new creative spaces. When Anthony and I moved, pregnant, to Western Springs, 26 years ago, I knew there was a new dream;  to build a neighborhood-gathering place with something for all, serving amazing food and wine. This dream brewed as my career took a turn toward Salty Fig eBooks and then culinary innovation consulting. Life was crazy while we raised our boys. Yet, the dream continued to take shape at every amazing place we ate whether we were traveling or cooking with our families. The dream became a finalized decision in a wine bar in Spain when we were visiting our boys. Wine has a way of making decisions happen. Not only were we ecstatic about building our dream, but we were thrilled to give back to our town.

Salty Fig Kitchen and Pantry was our creation, it was amazing!I loved it more than I could have imagined. I am proud beyond belief of our concept and the reality that we created in our rehabbed building. We made excellent food, poured amazing wines at reasonable prices. Served three meals a day plus our proprietary “bring back dinners” and catered parties. Our coffee was outstanding; it even had raisin and fig notes. My relationships with employees, purveyors, designers, architects, and equipment vendors gave me life long friends and educated me in a new light.  I not only learned how to own a business but also run one, and I learned how very different those things were. The experience gave me wisdom, self-confidence and elevated my creativity to a new level.

Life evolves and so do our careers, personal lives and dreams. I look forward in this next chapter of our dream, to share the fabulous recipes SFKP created.  Salty Fig has returned to a written space where we encourage people to create rustic, soulful meals that bring people together at their kitchen tables to share their dreams and conversations.  That is the only way I know how to make the world a better place. It’s about the friends you make, the family you love, and how you keep them at your kitchen table.



The Salty Fig Manifesto

We published our Manifesto on SFKP’s website.  If you haven’t read it before I encourage you to read it here as it is still what I stand for today

We believe in bare feet.
We believe that all of your problems can go away over a warm meal with family and friends.
We believe in asking questions.
We believe spending 10 minutes with your face in direct sunlight every day.
We believe in dinner parties.
We believe in mismatched…everything. (Chaos has a certain charm, don’t you think?)
We believe in trying new things.
We believe in good meals that aren’t hard to make.
We believe in open doors and letting in the breeze.
We believe in keeping an open mind and learning something new.
We believe in always having something yummy to snack on.
We believe in surrounding yourself with loved ones and laughter.
And finally, we believe in balance in all things.
A life well lived is a little bit salty and a little bit sweet.



Get in Touch

When I’m not publishing my work on Salty Fig, I’m running my innovation business.  If you are interested in working on a project that needs culinary innovation, operational excellence and creative strategy,  you can reach me at suz(at) or find me on LinkedIn.