HUMANS WE HEART: CHEFS DANIELA SOTO-INNES AND BLAINE WETZEL
Our latest collaboration with Hedley & Bennett—a high-quality kitchen-wear brand, dreamed up by former line cook Ellen Bennett—features superfunctional pieces for makers of all kinds. The perfect couple to test out the goods? Chefs (and, ahem, really cute couple) Daniela Soto-Innes and Blaine Wetzel. We stopped by their apartment in Brooklyn to chat about everyday faves, advice for aspiring cooks and more.
Hi Daniela, hi Blaine! Let’s start with the basics: what do you do and where do you live?
Daniela: I’m chef/partner at Cosme and ATLA in New York City. I live in Brooklyn, though I travel often for work and to see Blaine on Lummi Island in Washington State, where he lives.
Blaine: Yup, and I’m chef/owner of The Willows Inn on the island—it’s near Seattle.
Will you share a few go-tos?
Daniela: Cortado with oat milk
Daniela: Black leggings, a black tee and sneakers is my staple uniform. It’s important for me to be able to move while I’m cooking or to hit a spin class between shifts. All the women in the kitchens at Cosme and ATLA wear leggings to work—we like to dance or do squats to keep us going through long shifts.
Blaine: I’m the same—I always look for clothes that I can run ten blocks in if I’m late.
Daniela: Fortunato Brothers bakery in Williamsburg is our favorite. The cheesecake is to die for.
What are some of your favorite comfort foods to make now that the weather’s cooling down?
Blaine: I have to admit, my comfort food is Daniela's lasagna—it’s the absolute best and always makes me feel warm even if it’s freezing outside.
Daniela: Yeah, I definitely do more cooking at home. But last year, Blaine and I made a Thai Christmas dinner and it was the most delicious holiday meal.
That sounds amazing. Do you have any advice for aspiring cooks out there?
Daniela: Take the time to hone your craft rather than rushing to the top and burning out. Treat each person as an individual, not as a machine, and embrace the different personalities that make restaurant life more vibrant.
Blaine: Surround yourself with people who share your passion and encourage you to be your best.
And finally, since this is our Humans We Heart series, do you have someone you’d like to pass the torch to? Could be someone you know personally, or just someone you admire.
Blaine: I get so much inspiration from music. The right song can give me a boost of energy or spark a new idea—I love that Pharrell has such a positive vibe and creative touch with anything he works on.
Daniela: I’d say my mentor Chris Shepherd, who I worked for at Underbelly in Houston. He taught me how to become a leader in the kitchen and to set an example for your team.
Thanks, Daniela and Blaine. Shop the Madewell x Hedley & Bennett essentials they’re wearing right here.