How Anna Polonsky and Teddy Wolff Keep it Super Simple How Anna Polonsky and Teddy Wolff Keep it Super Simple

How Anna Polonsky and Teddy Wolff Keep it Super Simple

Author Doré

Have you heard that Doré likes to keep things Super Simple? ;) In honor of our life philosophy, we are introducing you to a new franchise where we ask people we admire how they keep it Super Simple and why.

First up, Anna Polonsky and Teddy Wolff. They are the phenomenal duo behind The Deligram, which is a love letter (in the form of a newsletter) to the artisanal food makers that have kept the home chef inspired during Covid and beyond. As they describe it, “[The Deligram] is an imaginary storefront spotlighting New York’s best food makers.”

Much like beauty, we find simplicity in food to be our favorite way to eat. A perfect poached egg, or homemade sourdough with salted butter is what we crave. So we thought we would branch out and ask some of our favorite foodies, how they bring a Super Simple philosophy to their kitchen (okay, and their bathrooms).

1. Why should everyone have a Super Simple approach to life?

Anna Polansky: In Hans Hofmann's words: "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak". Life is complex enough - declutter and prioritize as much as possible so you can be fulfilled by the essential, what really matters.

Teddy Wolff: Simplification allows you to pay attention and become more deeply engaged with the things that matter.

2. What is a Super Simple hack that you incorporate into your daily life?

AP: WALKING! I discipline myself to walk as much as possible, rather than taking the train or taxis everywhere. It is a super simple key to mental health and staying in shape for me, and it is free!

TW: I really only wash my face when I’m at home and in the shower. Otherwise, I just use Bioderma micellar water on a cotton round. It’s faster and gentler while still feeling deeply clean. It's also extremely convenient when traveling, as well!

3. How do people typically over complicate their cooking and what can they do to keep it Super Simple?

AP: I think many people feel pressured to follow a recipe to the T or, more and more, to cook intricate things that are instagrammable. I highly recommend repeating recipes a few times so one feels confident and ultimately relaxed enough to get out of the recipe and improvise / simplify as wanted. I have also come to the conclusion that some of my favorite foods (stews, for instance) are just not the prettiest and that's fine; I like to keep things super simple by braising veggies or proteins in one pot the night before a big dinner, and just finishing them before serving.

TW: Following a recipe. It isn't very fun for me--I find it stressful, trying to get all of the ingredients and follow along while cooking. There are endless meals that can be made out of great ingredients cooked (or not) on their own, just adding the basics: salt, pepper, garlic, shallots, olive oil, butter, etc. If you have quality ingredients and can cook them well--that's all you need to make something special and satisfying. It’s also why I like good bread so much. You don’t need to develop your dishes or recipes into more complex forms if you pair them with bread. I bake a lot, but through the newsletter I publish with Anna, The Deligram, I’ve found a lot of other great bakers including Anticonquest Bread, Apt. 2 Bread, and L’Appartement 4F. Buying a great loaf of bread means the meal is half done already.

4. What is your definition of beauty and what products have you found not necessary in your beauty routine?

AP: Beauty is managing to find and show your inner self with confidence. For some, it comes from having fun with make-up or experimenting with sophisticated wellness techniques, for others, it's just about drinking less alcohol and sleeping more. I'm more of the latter school, and was very influenced by my dermatologist mom's philosophy when it comes to beauty: purposeful common sense in the day to day lifestyle, and a less-is-more approach to skin care. So when it comes to my routine, I don't really use masks, serums, or anything other than a good skin cleaner and day cream.

TW: To me, beauty is living well and feeling good in your skin. I think looking healthy is beautiful. I mean that in every sense of the word, not just the cheap ones. To really look healthy I think you need to be healthy. There are no shortcuts. You have to give your body what it needs. Water, sleep, joy, physical activity, grooming, great food, people who love you. I use all sorts of products frequently and I love them (I have a real soft spot for eye cream), but the only product I really need is a lightweight facial moisturizer. Everything else is just bonus. And I think drinking a lot of water is much more important than using any products at all.

5. A three to five ingredient Super Simple recipe that you love?

AP: Inspired by my dad's recipe of *saumon à l'huile (*his riff on the classic French preserved herrings in oil), I love to make preserved salmon, a perfect appetizer that can be made ahead.

1- Get 2 raw salmon fillet(s), remove the skin and cut in 1/8 in slices.

2- In a bowl, toss salmon slices with 4 tbps of sugar and 8 of Kosher salt. Cover and cure in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

3- Rince the salmon well under running water. In a jar or terrine dish, layer: salmon pieces, garlic cloves, thinly slices shallots, wine vinegar, herbs (such as thyme, bay leaves, sage...) and spices (simple ones like black peppercorn, coriander seeds ... or have fun with your pantry - I always love to use spice mixes from Pastiche or add a kick with Pith' green chili vinegar, incredible makers we discovered with Teddy at The Deligram). Cover with olive oil.

4- Seal the jar and store in the fridge for another 24 hours or more, so the flavors infuse. I love to eat it with bread and sour cream, or with a mustardy potato salad!

TW: If you’ve never baked a loaf of bread, you are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures. The process of turning wheat into bread is alchemy. Naturally fermented bread uses only flour, salt, water, and a yeast culture. But I think you could argue that it’s really only one ingredient - Wheat flour. Salt and water aren’t really “ingredients” and the yeast culture is just flour and water. The secret is understanding how time (fermentation) and technique (mixing/kneading/shaping) become ingredients. There are guides and formulas and many things to learn but you can't read a recipe and immediately understand how to bake. You have to jump in and try, learning from your (delicious) mistakes. I just love it!

Subscribe to The Deligram here and follow along on Instagram, here!