Marissa Lippert loves food that’s good in more ways than one. She loves food that tastes good, that looks good, that’s good for you, and that makes you feel good. And for that, we love her. You’d most likely know her as the owner and founder of Nourish Kitchen + Table, the West Village café and food shop serving up goods just as delicious as they are healthy, but that’s only her most recent endeavor.
Along with café owner and chef, this Boss Babe has nutritionist, dietician and author on her delicious resume, and we can’t wait to see what she adds next. Marissa can often be found at the Union Square Greenmarket shopping or simply finding inspiration, so that’s where we met her last week to talk favorite foods and finding the balance between healthy and delicious. Here’s what she said:
Most underrated vegetable:
Ingredient that makes every recipe better:
Garlic or aleppo pepper
Weekday breakfast routine:
Coffee and a hard-boiled egg & a 1/2 avocado sprinkled with aleppo, sea salt and lime OR yogurt with fresh fruit and some of Nourish’s pecan-maple-sesame granola.
Meal that reminds you of home:
My mom’s lasagna.
Current food trend you can’t stand:
Going too extreme with the Paleo trend and too many people still thinking that all carbohydrates are evil and will cause weight gain. Good quality grains and complex carbs are awesome – our body’s best source of energy!
Thing you’re most excited to see at the Greenmarket right now:
Everything (we’re still waiting)! Green garlic, spring onion, asparagus, tristar strawberries, and of course, ramps.
5 things always in your fridge/pantry:
Lemons, sriracha, one of my fruit compotes/jams, a random assortment of vegetables, fresh farm eggs (often from my friend Laura’s family farm in Kinderhook NY)
Beauty product always in your purse:
A travel size of Olie Biologique’s argan oil, a Nars’ lip pencil and gloss, Rosebud lip salve, maybe some hand lotion if I’m lucky.
How did you find your passion for food, and specifically healthy food?
I think it started very young, surrounded by cooking magazines and cookbooks in my mom’s kitchen. I loved the visual aesthetic of food and how it speaks so vividly about cultures, times in history…sitting down to a meal brings people together in such a pure, beautiful way. My interest in healthy food likely grew out of growing up in a household that had balance. My mom cooked dinner most nights, there was always fresh fruit out in the kitchen, along with cookies or snacks in the pantry. My parents valued good quality non-processed foods and definitely passed that on to me. My focus later grew into wanting to focus on fresh, well-sourced ingredients themselves and change the perception that lighter/healthier fare can’t taste incredible, cause it can.
What’s the piece of advice you give your clients you find hardest to live by?
Taking time to really, really care for yourself and establishing a solid eating routine for yourself. Running a business makes that challenging at times!
You’ve been a nutritionist for a long time, but how did that turn into opening a cafe?
I had nearly 10 years of experience with nutrition clients and had hundreds of conversations that finding deliciously healthy food was hard in NYC, nothing like Nourish really existed. I saw a void in the market and wanted to bridge that gap between healthy, wholesome eating and amazingly delicious food.
Where do the recipes for Nourish Kitchen + Table come from? Any personal favorites?
Most recipes come from me, but as we’ve grown, we’ve really become a collaborative kitchen. Our pastry chef, Amelia Coulter, our chefs Mindy Ramirez and Diavanna Zarzuela, and myself…we all bounce ideas around and contribute. I love a good salad and we’ve got a lot of them, but I created one last summer that will come back again soon with mizuna, strawberries, feta, crispy capers and a curry leaf vinaigrette — simple, but really fresh and flavorful.
Who has inspired you most in your career? Any female chefs you’ve really admire?
My dad, who also has his own business, has always been a huge inspiration and reminds me constantly that tenacity and strong relationships keep things going. Female chefs – Alice Waters and Gabrielle Hamilton, and a lot of grandmothers who weren’t necessarily chefs, but cooked like them.
Where do you go for date night in NYC? What do you order, and what will you wear?
Probably somewhere pretty casual in my hood, like Café Mogador or Flinders Lane. I’m big on sharing, regardless of the menu. Likely some sort of appetizer, a salad and a main course or two. I’ll often want to order the oddest things on the menu just to try something new and unexpected. As for dress, jeans, a Morgan Carper silk printed top and cool flats or heels.
What do you do to get back on track after, say, a vacation or an indulgent weekend?
Some serious exercise to get my blood running – 30/60/90 at Equinox with Kristi Molinaro or Barry’s Bootcamp. Loads of water with lemon, Nourish’s signature Morning Green Juice (spinach, celery, pineapple, grapefruit, mint and jalapeño). Eating a bit more simply for a few days — lots of fresh, crisp salads, fruit, fresh fish, some grains or roasted purple potatoes.
What’s coming up in the future? For you and for Nourish Kitchen +Table?
To start, we’ll add outdoor seating any day now and will be adding new aspects to our menu for late spring and summer. Beyond that…stay tuned. 😉
Words of advice for aspiring Boss Babes?
Follow your gut and KEEP GOING. There will always be down dips in your business, your concept and your confidence. Clear your head, refocus on your original idea, assess what’s working and what’s not, and keep going.
Nourish Kitchen + Table is located at 95 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014. They’re open every day from breakfast through dinner and they’ll even deliver to your door via Caviar. Follow Marissa on Instagram here & Nourish Kitchen + Table and here.