Before pulling open the door of her faux-wood-paneled refrigerator, Linda Derschang sheepishly apologizes for how clean and organized it is inside. Just three weeks before, the chic restaurateur (Linda's Tavern, Smith, Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, Bait Shop, Tallulah's, King's Hardware) and her white terrier, Jack, moved from her Capitol Hill house, built in the 1930s, into a sleek, sparkling, brand-new downtown condo. She put a good chunk of her 31-piece taxidermy collection into storage and cleaned out her eclectic fridge. "There were many condiments, and as I was preparing to put them in a box, I started checking the dates. I realized some were not a few months out of date, but a few years past expiration!" The good news is that Linda uncovered a boatload of champagne in the move, and several bottles line the door of the refrigerator.
You have a fridge like a lot of the rappers on MTV Cribs: so many beverages. Ten bottles of champagne, three SodaStream bottles, two bottles of lemonade, Rachel's Ginger Beer, a six-pack of Tecate, a gallon of milk, almond milk...
I don't really like to cook! [Laughs] I sort of plate food. So I slice some tomatoes with a little bit of cheese—therefore all the [fresh] basil sitting on the counter. I mostly just eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. And lots of beverages!
Do you mostly eat at your restaurants?
Yes. I'm out four nights a week, so [I eat] at my restaurants, at friends' restaurants, going to an art opening or something. But when I do eat at home, I tend to snack, make salads and vegetables.
So what actual food do you have in here?
Well, we have some organic carrots, multicolored, lots of lettuce, a lot of Parmesan cheese next to the eggs for scrambled eggs. Let's see, we have the Ellenos [Real Greek] Yogurt, which is the most amazing yogurt. It's insane; it's so good. I often buy plain, and I buy the lemon curd frequently.
What's this interesting-looking plate?
That's Jack's food! He eats raw food, so it's in the fridge, looking like pâté.
What is your secret midnight-splurge snack?
A little peanut butter, and I dip [the spoon] in raw sugar. It's that kinda quick, I-just-want-something-sweet. I can't even keep chocolate in the house. There's no chocolate in this house.
Okay, let's look in your freezer!
Well, I do have some chocolate in my freezer! From the Goodship [marijuana edibles made in Seattle]. But that chocolate... we wouldn't want to eat it on a workday. It's a special chocolate.
Chocolate for adults! How often do you eat that?
Not very often. I mean, I don't know. It's too new to know what my consumption habit is going to be. Could be once a week, could be once a month. The dose is really low, and they're very careful about the way they're prepared. There's quite a lot of Jack's dog food in here. And there's a little bit of ice cream. There was a lot more. I had a lot of Molly Moon's ice cream last week. It seems to have disappeared! Molly brought it over here, and I was eating ice cream every night.
Do you ever make a dish that you love from one of your restaurants?
No! I would just go pick it up at the restaurant and bring it home! I pick up burgers from Smith sometimes and roast chicken from Tallulah's. I'm constantly grabbing cookies from Oddfellows.
So I see lemons and tomatoes and fruit on the counter. Do you have any junk food in this place? Do you have a bag of chips or something?
No! Is that weird? I don't! Because my office is above Oddfellows. Our baker brought a huge cake up to our office yesterday, a caramel apple cake. So I'm around so much amazing food that at home I just kinda try to keep it clean.
This article appeared in the fall 2015 issue of The Sauce.