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Holiday Q&A with Ellen Bennett

December 11, 2012|By Betty Hallock
  • Ellen Bennett is the co-founder of apron maker Hedley & Bennett.
Ellen Bennett is the co-founder of apron maker Hedley & Bennett. (David Gilbert )

Ellen Bennett is taking over the world one apron at a time. She co-founded custom apron business Hedley & Bennett this year, and you might already have noticed her aprons at restaurants all over Los Angeles, worn by both cooks and servers: Animal, Baco Mercat and Bestia, to name a few.

A Mexico native, the 25-year-old Bennett also works in the kitchen at Michael Cimarusti's Providence, where, of course, staff members wear her aprons too.

Tired of pedestrian kitchenwear, she started designing aprons with the idea of making something comfortable and stylish. They're handmade with fabrics such as selvedge Japanese denim, Italian chambray, American canvas and Japanese bull denim and herringbone. 

Bennett talked to us about the holidays, her gift ideas, Mexican fruit cider and who's doing the cooking....

What do you love about the winter holidays in L.A.? That you can wear you favorite coat in the evening but wear your favorite shorts that same day!

What's your favorite holiday dish? Hot Mexican fruit cider. My aunt always makes it at Christmas, fresh guavas, sugar cane, pineapple rind, cinnamon sticks and apple juice boiled with Mexican piloncillo, sooo good!!! It leaves other ciders looking like bologna!

How do you make a table festive? I take fall leaves from outside and steal all the white candles from everywhere in the house and put them on the table. That way it looks more organic and natural as opposed to every candle is the same height and color. Everyone likes to be different, even the candles!

What are you planning for your next holiday meal? Hopefully, my family is planning it because I plan on eating everything they cook! Ironically, when you cook all the time, the last thing you want to do at home is cook some more.

Name three things on your gift wish list. 1) Getting to visit my grandma in Mexico. 2) A Kate Spade bag (I loveee her). 3) A new pair of pearl stud earrings (I lost mine!).

Name three gift-giving ideas. 1) An outing of some kind, like two tickets to see their favorite band or two tickets to Catalina Island. You're giving them an experience, not just something they can buy at the store. 2) A beautiful picture of someone and you, frame it in an awesome black and white picture frame, wrap it in Kraft paper and put twill tape around it. A gift like that has so much meaning to anyone who receives it. It means you really do care about that person and took the time to do something nice like that. 3) A basket full of favorite snacks, but really favorite, like Payday, Gatorade, apples -- be random, that's half the cuteness of it! Try to remember anything that person ever mentioned they love in regard to food and try to get a lot of those items. Get a basket and throw a bow on it and that, my friend, is a great gift.

What's your favorite holiday memory? When I was like 7, my entire gigantic Mexican family got together at my abuelita's house, and I remember there were so many gifts piled up you could only see the upper half of the tree and I was in shock every time I looked at it. I still remember how in awe I was, I had never seen that many presents, ever!! It took our whole family almost an hour to open them all up. Best day ever.

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