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Daily Inspiration: Meet Tiffani Ortiz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffani Ortiz.

In 2017 Uprooted was formed by chef/ founders Andrew Doubrava and Tiffani Ortiz. With 24 years of combined professional experience in the hospitality industry, the two developed a long-time curiosity and appreciation of sustainable farming. With the help of WWOOF, an online forum dedicated to connecting volunteers with organic farms and ranches across the globe, Ortiz and Doubrava set off on a cross-country journey to familiarize themselves with biodynamic farming and closed-loop cooking practices.

Ortiz went on to expand on her newly gained experience as farm and hospitality manager at Malibu Orchards, where she held small to large scale dining experiences in the rolling canyons of Malibu, tucked amongst the Meyer Lemon orchard and gaerdens. Sadly the farm was lost later to the Woolsey wildfires in 2018. New to LA county she went on to later hold the position of Chef at acclaimed restaurants such as Native and Plant Food and wine, head of food fermentation at new West Hollywood hot spot Olivetta, all while still making time to work with organizations like “Out in the Field” and “Kiss the Ground”.

When the pandemic shook the world, Tiffani like many others was out of work and for the most part out of options. To pass the days, she often spent her time making flower arrangements to spruce up her apartment and took on the daunting task of attempting to go zero waste in this practice by preserving naturally dried flora in a plant-based resin. Fashioning them into kitchen items such as cheese boards, platters and coasters, she never knew that this would later expand into a small business supplying Angelinos and new restaurants with plastic-free housewares out of her tiny home studio. Thus Novella Curio was born, specializing in blooms, botanicals, and objects of interest. You can catch Ortiz hosting small pop-ups all over the city under the Novella Curio business title or fundraising with her ongoing sustainable chef/ farm work with Uprooted.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The pandemic was a huge struggle, causing me to shift my focus from predominately chef work to simply staying sane and afloat financially.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a chef, I am known for my environmental activism, fundraising projects, and gorilla dining experiences(Uprooted). As my work with my small business (Novella Curio) I’m known for eco-friendly hand crafted wares, floral commissions, and bath and body products.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I’ve always had a vivacious personality and willingness to dive into the unknown. When I say I want to do something, I simply do it and always follow through. I hate leaving projects and goals unaccomplished or half done so I rarely do.

Pricing:

  • Housewares $5-$100
  • Bouquet preservation $50+
  • Bath and Body goods $5-$15
  • Floral design $30 +
  • Chef experiences $100-$150 per person

Contact Info:

  • Email: novellacurio@gmail.com
  • Website: NovellaCurio.com
  • Instagram: @NovellaCurio. @UprootedCooking

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