Erika Lenkert – Friend of the Week
Erika’s What — “I guest edited a GFF version of theWhat List today featuring 8 of my favorite gluten-free go-to’s. Here’s to a tasty, healthy, happy 2016!”
Amy and I met Erika circa 2000 during the dot com boom/bust in San Francisco. She was a food and travel writer who, after years of reviewing some of the best restaurants in the world, discovered she had a serious allergy to gluten. To satisfy her palate she began to investigate the best gluten-free products and food available (there wasn’t much back then). GFF Magazine is a culmination of Erika’s continuing search for GF excellence and proof that gluten-free can look and taste as sophisticated as its classic culinary counterparts.
Friend Of The Week: 11 Questions
- Nickname(s) E, EZE, Mom … and Myrna. The latter is from my early twenties, when I used to call all my girlfriends Myrna. Twenty-plus years later, I’m the one left with the name, though to my old Myrna clan, my daughter is Mini Myrn.
- Where do you live? I live in a somewhat rural bedroom community in Marin County, California, that’s made up of a cluster of midcentury-modern Eichler homes. (I call them the prettiest of clapboard shacks.) Sometimes I complain it’s too secluded, but any yearnings for my hometown of San Francisco are trumped by the weather; I love to be warm and it’s not uncommon for the temperature to be 30 to 50 degrees colder in the city than in our little valley a mere 25 minutes to the north. Plus, there’s ALWAYS parking 😉
- What are you working on or how do you spend your days? Do you want the real answer? Since founding a magazine, I get up every day between 3:30am and 4:30am to write, edit and act as customer service, mail clerk, and accounts payable and receivable; get my daughter to or from school; hit the gym; and develop and test recipes (usually in dirty gym clothes) with fabulously generous and talented people who contribute to GFF. Three days a week I make a point of grabbing dinner and cocktails with friends. Every other night, I’m passed out before my 10-year-old. It’s a glamorous life, this editor stuff.
- What do you do for fun? I’m a travel addict. Whenever I see a hole in the schedule, I make a run for it, which is also what I do when there’s not.
- What do you wonder about? Where to travel to next.
- If you could wake up with any superpower, what would it be? Right now? The ability to live a vibrant, energized, joyful, and alert life without sleep!
- What qualities do your favorite people have in common? Fearless and generous honesty; a curious, open mind; playfulness; and the bravery to unapologetically be yourself.
- What’s the most awkward accidental text or email you’ve ever sent or received? Long ago, when I started using Facebook on my phone, I didn’t understand the nuances, so, while on the go, I thought I was having a private Facebook-message exchange with someone I’d just reconnected with from my past. When I got back to my desktop, I saw our discussion about how I’d lost my virginity to him was posted on my wall. That was fun.
- What is too serious to be joked about? Gun control. And rape.
- What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, watched, or read recently? I don’t have much time for seeing, watching, or reading anything at the moment. But my daughter recently read me an excerpt from the beginning of Malala’s autobiography that reminded me how immensely powerful simple, individual rebellions can be in affecting great change; It discussed how when Malala was born, her father shirked the tradition of only celebrating the birth of a son. Instead, he added his new baby girl’s name to his family’s generations-old, list of male-only family names—and then raised her to expect the same respect and rights as boys. What an incredibly noble act of bravery.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I’ve never been one to look too far ahead; for better and worse, I’m usually too busy in the moment.
Photo Credit: Erin Ng