Bite of Life on the West Coast

Food photographer and cookbook author Erin Scott lives life in tune with her body, her family, nature—and fresh, delicious food in Berkeley, California.

| March/April 2015

  • Erin Scott takes inspiration in the kitchen from her backyard food garden.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • In Erin’s home office, food inspiration is all around.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin’s cheery dining room makes a great spot for long meals shared with friends and family.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin and Paul also enjoy eating outdoors amid the rambling garden plants.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • A sweet collection of books and art makes a stylish vignette atop built-in cabinets.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Low-slung midcentury modern furniture complements Erin’s bungalow’s built-in woodwork and bright interior.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • The bright white kitchen serves as a perfect photography studio for Erin’s photos for her blog and books.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin’s kids love helping in the kitchen, and they helped inspire many of the recipes in her book, "Yummy Supper."
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Citrus is one of Erin’s favorite ingredients.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin says her daughter can sometimes get mesmerized in the backyard garden.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin and Paul bought their home for its large kitchen with wide doors that open to the backyard.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Because she has celiac disease and can’t eat gluten, Erin has developed many recipes for gluten-free doughs.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Perfect for early spring, Erin’s Spinach Galette with Wild Mushrooms includes 12 cups of spinach.
    Photo by Erin Scott
  • Erin’s kids are experienced bakers who love to contribute their own ideas to recipes.
    Photo by Erin Scott

For Erin Scott, home, family and happiness have always revolved around food. Erin was born in Wisconsin but moved to Seattle as a toddler and has been a true West Coaster ever since. Moving from Seattle to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, then to Berkeley, California, as a teenager, Erin fell in love with the beauty of nature all around her, and she incorporates that passion into her everyday life. Growing up, Erin says, “Cooking with my family was the anchor of our family life. Our happiness and fun revolved around food, cooking and eating.”

Yummy Supper Recipes

Bolinas Crab Pasta
Buckwheat Zucchini Muffins
Mixed Grains Recipe
Citrus, Fennel & Pistachio Salad

When Erin was diagnosed with celiac disease—a digestive disorder triggered by gluten, a bundle of proteins in wheat, barley and rye—in 2008, her world turned upside down. Worried this would dramatically change her eating habits, Erin thought, “My whole life revolves around food. What am I going to do without [gluten]?” It wasn’t until her husband, Paul, suggested they tear up the backyard and turn it into an edible garden that she found peace with her diagnosis. Looking out into her garden, she says, “I had an epiphany—this is all gluten-free!” While the idea of eating gluten-free seemed daunting at first, very few foods actually contain gluten, Erin says, listing wheat, barley and rye, and, of course, many processed foods (“but those are good to get rid of anyway”). “Just think of how many foods you have left!”

Erin’s successful blog, Yummy Supper, started as a happy accident. After her diagnosis, she wanted to find new food inspiration. “I didn’t know what I was getting into,” she says. “I just thought it would be a good forum for sharing recipes and food experiences with friends.” By surrounding herself with positive food experiences, her own and her friends’, Erin has been able to flourish as a gluten-free cook and food photographer. “I was inspired by my new dietary limitations and just wanted to cook things all my friends were going to want to eat regardless of whether it had gluten.” Forgoing gluten-based foods, Erin says, pushes her to be more creative. “In the end, it turned out to be this crazy gift. I cook for myself, my health and for pleasure.”

Years after being diagnosed with celiac disease, today Erin proudly says, “I have reclaimed my kitchen.”

The Reclaimed Kitchen

Erin describes her cooking style as loose, improvisational and simple. She calls herself an “ingredients-inspired cook”—even the recipes on her blog are organized by ingredient, not just type of meal. “I look out into my garden and say, ‘Oh, what’s sprouting today?’” she says. “Then I figure out what to do with it.”

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