In our new series, Ladies Who Lunch, cook, co-founder of catering company bigLITTLE Get Together and Marc Jacobs' personal chef, Lauren Gerrie, will be whipping up lunch -- and conversation -- with some of our favorite New York City gals.

I live in the East Village and on any given day I ride my bike miles and miles through various boroughs. Through biking, I've become familiar with the city's street art, including work by  Swoon, Stik, ROA, Nychos, Hush, Invader or Mr. Brainwash. The artist CAKE, aka Jennifer Caviola, has always struck a cord with me. Her work, done with a watercolor-like application, touches on themes of fragility, femininity and rawness.

Caviola grew up in Connecticut and was introduced to art by her grandmother Olga who was a master in Chinese brushwork and watercolor. While attending Pratt for undergrad, she met street artist Swoon through her best friend and, soon after, she hit the streets. "After graduating I began taking photographs of street art and then I was consumed by the medium," Caviola says. "It was all around me -- it was everywhere." After initially making stickers and posting them throughout the city,  she transitioned to wheatpaste. The two of us sat down for lunch to talk about her career, her favorite condiment and what food freaks her out.

Art piece by CAKE



MENU:

Homemade Chicken Soup with Carrots, Turnips, Potatoes, and Dill (Chicken: Quattro's Game Farm, Vegetables & Herbs: Bodhitree Farm, Potatoes: Rick Bishop at Mountain Sweet Berry Farm)
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Radish Salad with Marcona Almonds & Soft Boiled Egg (Radish: Keith's Farm, Almonds: Murray's Cheese, Eggs: Quattor's Game Farm)
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Concord Grapes & Roxbury Mountain Maple Cotton Candy

Are you a breakfast person?

Yeah, but I don't like it in the morning. I'll eat cereal at night for dessert.

I'm a cereal-aholic...

I just found Count Chocula and I was like, "What the fuck! I haven't seen this in 20 years!!!" [My three siblings and I] used to each get one box for our birthday and we would all have to share.

So Count Chocula would be your perfect breakfast?

No, no. I'm not great with breakfast. I drink a lot of really strong coffee in the morning and then I'm not hungry. I'll have a croissant or something, but I'm really not a morning food person. But I will have a nice lunch. I love prosciutto sandwiches. I'll eat prosciutto four times a day for every meal.

If your fridge is virtually empty, what is the one condiment that you would eat like it was actually food?

Grey Poupon.

What dish reminds you most of home?

Both of my grandmothers make killer mashed potatoes and gravy, but their styles are totally different from one another.  I can make my Russian grandmother's version to the tee, and I can also make her latkes perfectly. I can eat like 20 of them in one sitting.

If money is no issue and you can go anywhere to eat, where would you go?

Italy. My sister just went there and she said she had the most incredible food. I've also heard good things about Le Bernardin -- I would absolutely have French or Italian food.

What do you think the biggest misconception/stereotype about who you are or what you do is?

As a street artist, I think the misconception is that I vandalize.

Art piece by CAKE


If you didn't live in New York where would be your home base?

I always want to live in New York...But I guess I would live in Berlin. My heart is there and people I love dearly live there. Berlin has really taken care of me over the years. I've never been to Paris, but I can imagine living there.

What food scares you?

Lobster freaks me out. Also, beets, I hate beets. I actually was fearful that you were going to go to the market and get beets and I was going to have to eat them. Hamburgers also freak me out. I love them and I'll eat them, but if I look at the ground meat inside I get totally skeeved out. I was living in Carroll Gardens and I was dying for a burger. It had just rained and as I was riding my bike to the burger joint, I rode past this freshly run over rat on the street. It was steaming and all over the pavement. I couldn't eat a burger for months because of that fucking rat.

Art piece by CAKE

What junk food could you eat non-stop?

I like Ben & Jerry's strawberry cheesecake ice cream and I also like mint chocolate chip. I'll also get the Neapolitan and mix everything together to make an ice cream soup like in Pee Wee's Playhouse and I put sprinkles on it and whipped cream and then watch crap TV.

Do you cook for other people?

I do. I make my grandmother's turkey meatloaf. I also like to cook roast chicken with fennel. I also make a really good lentil soup from scratch. It's very meditative, but I don't do it enough.

Other than cookies, what are your staple groceries?

Blood Orange Pellegrino, Smart Water...I like frozen pizzas. I have an entire drawer dedicated to chocolate. I have romaine lettuce.

If you could have lunch with one other lady who would it be and why?

Charlotte Gainsbourg. I am so in love with her style, her voice, her hair, how she dresses, how she acts. I love her parents, I love her sister.

More Ladies Who Lunch:

Valissa Yoe