Julie Kloss opened the Dutch Bike Company in Ballard with her husband six years ago after inspiration struck during a trip to Amsterdam where people relied on cute little bikes for functionality--and relied on their morning cafes for coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. But it was just last August that the couple moved into the Kolstrand building and realized their dream for making their bike shop part cafe.
Photo courtesy of Dutch Bike Co.
The addition allows Kloss to sell her homemade pastries (find out which treat she sold more than 2,000 of last year in part one of Grillaxin) and offer some of the best coffee in town: "We use Lighthouse. We've known Ed Leebrick, who owns Lighthouse, for a long time, and his coffee has always been one of my favorites in the city, so I didn't have to do a lot of research!"
In this week's Lightning Round, Kloss shares the cooking flop that nearly landed a group of industry folks on their asses, her food aversions, and why the Dutch Bike Co. probably won't be a vegan hangout anytime soon . . . after the jump!
SW: Any food you don't eat or don't like?
Kloss: Walnuts (you will never find them in my baked goods) and green bell peppers.
Do you cook at home? If so, what is your favorite at-home meal?
Yes! Every day we have family dinner and I put on a good spread, we talk about our day and just spend that short time together. Some days I get rather elaborate, but my favorite at-home meal is the throw-together that ends up tasting amazing. If the Top "Leftover" Chef show existed, I would win.
You're throwing a small dinner party. What's a 'must have' for the occasion?
Cheese gougeres as an appetizer with a sparkling wine. They are easy to make, the texture is perfect, and I always have the ingredients.
What are five items we will always see in your fridge?
Butter, milk, buttermilk, Asian hot sauces, and greens.
What was your biggest baking flop?
A rum cheesecake I made for a bunch of restaurant people for a holiday gathering. I was really into making cheesecake at that point, and did not have enough experience to know it was a bad recipe. It called for one cup of rum in the cake. It was disgusting and I threw the whole thing away.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Guilt? I have none. I eat what I want (sometimes within reason) and feel good about it all. And then I exercise.
What would your last meal be?
A fresh baked baguette, Humboldt Fog cheese, a perfect pear, and a glass of rose. Oh, and a salted dark-chocolate caramel.
Seriously, don't you get sick of food?
NO! I think about it all day and then read cookbooks in bed at night. It drove my husband crazy at first that I would try to discuss what I was going to make for the next meal, while we were eating a current one.
What kind of customers annoy you/delight you the most?
It doesn't annoy me, but I have no desire to bake vegan anything. Sorry. Delight? The ones who come back day after day in anticipation of what they will enjoy.
If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be?
Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, David Sedaris, and Pee-wee Herman.
What is your food philosophy?
It's the same as my life philosophy: Life is short and fast, so enjoy the little things. Make the most of what comes your way. Work hard to better what you already know. Maintain a sense of humor. Don't be wasteful. Make good choices. Eat a cookie every day.