Minka Kelly may have skipped filming pilot season last year to attend cooking school but she would have never missed the lunch at Spartina on Tuesday celebrating Emily Current and Meritt Elliott’s latest projects.
Current and Elliott, the stylists-turned-designers who run a women’s denim and sportswear line called The Great and collaborate with Pottery Barn on kids’ decor, have added bloggers and sale curators to their résumés. The longtime friends launched their blog, This Is Emily and Meritt, on Monday. On the morning of the L.A. lunch, which was attended by Kelly and the bloggers behind Le Catch and P.S. I Made This, they activated the sale of some 100 vintage pieces that they collected for Chairish, a web site that allows consumers to sell their home decor and furniture to each other.
In other words, Elliott explained, Chairish is “the world’s greatest flea market that you can sift through and you do it on your computer.” Among their finds are “a lot of indigo, black-and-white, grass, funny and whimsical icons like apples and horseheads,” Current said.
With the blog, they’ve found an outlet to show what inspires them, whether it’s a green Perrier bottle or the childhood Chutes and Ladders game that Elliott found at her parents’ house. Each daily post “isn’t necessarily hot off the runway or what celebrities are wearing at all,” Current said.
Considering that both Current and Elliott are mothers to two young children (with another due in two months for Elliott), they’ve learned to juggle all their projects. While they pick all the items for each blog post, they also delegate. “We’re not coding,” Elliott said with a laugh.
A lack of computer programming skills didn’t detract from how impressed Kelly is with her friends and stylists, whom she met during their years at Current/Elliot, which they have since left. “They were sending me sample jeans when they were starting the denim line,” she recalled.
Unlike other actresses such as Ashley Tisdale and Katie Cassidy, who have built their own style blogs, Kelly doesn’t feel compelled to jump into the blogosphere. “It’s such a competitive space. I don’t know if I have it in me,” she said.
Instead, she is channeling her energy into developing a food show with Gaby Dalkin, the creator of a food blog called What’s Gaby Cooking. Aspiring to be the female voice contrasting that of Anthony Bourdain and Michael Pollan on TV, she wants to interview anthropologists and historians on various food topics, such as the trajectory that lobsters took from being food served in prisons to costing a pretty penny as seafood delicacies.
Kelly has the chops for it. Last year, the star of “Friday Night Lights” and Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” chose to spend six months attending a cooking school in Culver City, Calif., rather than going through the grinder for Hollywood’s TV pilot season. “I grew up on junk food,” she said, before sitting down for Spartina’s family-style lunch of grilled avocado topped with tomato confit, fettuccine with fava beans and mint pesto, slow-roasted porchetta and sweet cream walnut pie. Her family also suffered from colon cancer. “That’s why learning about food and where it comes from and how it’s grown and sustainably farmed is important to me,” she said.
Still, a stint as a chef-in-training doesn’t mean Kelly will open her own restaurant. Acknowledging how much work is involved, she’s sticking with her own home kitchen. “The thing I cook the most is roast chicken and vegetables,” she said, before proudly adding: “I do a good lasagna.”