Modern Muse, our series celebrating accomplished, stylish, real women. In other words, women just like you.
Between a decade in the fashion industry, starting a handbag line, running a food blog and now overseeing a boutique catering company, she’s virtually done it all. The LA-based chef is sharing work-life balance tips, secrets to success and her go-to Memorial Day weekend recipe. Meet Valleybrink Road founder Barrett Pendergast, our Modern Muse.
[Bailey44:] What gave you the push to start Valleybrink Road and how has the company evolved over time?
[Barrett:] Well, I had just closed the handbag line I had with my husband for two years and needed a job. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of going back and working in an office for someone else. So, I decided to rethink what I wanted to do. I went to work in a restaurant, then for some catering companies, and then started a food blog. From there, Valleybrink Road was born.
What does the future look like for VBR?
We are growing every year and looking forward launching our own products and expanding our gifting and floral design services.
What are your tips as an entrepreneur and mom for maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
Take one day at a time and don’t beat yourself up too much. And remember to take time for a little self care–a mani/pedi or a blow-dry can do wonders for your overall mood and wellbeing.
Biggest sources of creative inspiration?
The farmers market, flower mart, my family, and Los Angeles.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
What is one piece of advice you give most?
Take one day at a time. Being a parent is really hard, give your self a little credit along the way.
Do you have any mentors?
Chef Corina Weibel of Canelé. She really helped set me on a new path, which eventually led me to Valleybrink Road.
What is fashion’s current role in your life?
I still love pretty dresses, they just now tend to be a little more functional and comfortable!
Who is your style icon?
Jane Birkin, her style is super effortless but still makes a statement.
How are you spending Memorial Day this year?
Memorial Day is one of our calmer holidays businesswise, and I’ll be taking full advantage of that this year. I’m planning to relax at home with my husband and two-year-old son, Costa. Oh, and pizza will definitely be involved. This recipe’s super easy and great to make with kids–one of our favorites!
Pizza Margherita Makes 1 (10-12 inch pizza)
Ingredients 1 individual pizza dough ball 1/3 cup organic strained tomatoes 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano 3 ounces of fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces fresh basil leaves
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes, if not longer.
- Roll or stretch the dough out into a round shape on a floured surface.
- With a measuring cup, scoop 1/3 cup sauce onto the the center surface of the pizza base. In a circular motion, slowly spread the sauce out, leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered at the edge.
- Evenly sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano over the tomato sauce.
- Next, place the fresh mozzarella on top of the parmigiano reggiano.
- Place the pizza on a floured pizza peel and transfer it to the pizza stone in the oven.
- Cook for around 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, top with fresh basil, and serve immediately.
Check out more of Barrett’s recipes here.