Trinity Mouzon Wofford Keeps It Simple in the Kitchen

“The best recipes are the ones you know by heart.”

Great Ones is a celebration of humans we admire — and an exploration of why they cook, not just how. Trinity Mouzon Wofford founded Golde, the superfood-powered health and beauty brand, with her partner, Issey, in 2017. We joined Trinity in her home upstate to make a Japanese pub-style potato salad and chat about her family’s approach to cooking together and how her grandmother inspired her understanding of food. Plus, we got to spend some time with her adorable daughter, Ruby — the cutest sous-chef!

My earliest food memories trace back to my grandmother. I grew up in upstate New York, and she lived on this plot of land that had two dozen apple trees — I always refer to it as my grandmother’s orchard. She was really ahead of her time, as far as eating well and being thoughtful about nutrition and natural food goes. She ate all organic. Her pantry always had sourdough bread, almond butter, and apple-cider vinegar. I grew up learning a lot from her about the importance of food and how it can nourish you.

I got into cooking through my now-husband, Issey. He’s a phenomenal home cook and has taught me so much about the essentials, like knife skills, but also his heritage, coming from a multiracial background of being half Jewish and half Japanese.

Eating at home is really important to me and my little family unit. Issey and I work on Golde from home, and our daughter Ruby is usually home with us. We make a point to have three meals a day at the family table. The secret to that — because I get the question “How do you do that with a family and business?” — is to make it really simple. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in this idea that cooking is an elaborate recipe with 12 different spices and all of this work. But the best recipes are the ones you know by heart and can be batch cooked so you’re assembling it for a quick lunch.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in this idea that cooking is an elaborate recipe with 12 different spices and all of this work. But the best recipes are the ones you know by heart.

 

Issey and I will do a lot of batch cooking over the weekend. We’ll do larger process cooks like making our own stock. It’s simple and it’s free because we just use whatever cooking scraps we’ve accumulated over the last couple of weeks. We’ll just pour water over it, simmer it for a few hours, salt it, and strain it. Homemade stock really changes any recipe. From there, you can use that stock to make a great pot of beans.

A lot of what I end up doing are slow, relaxed processes as a Sunday thing. When it comes to Wednesday lunch I’m just pulling out that pot of beans and throwing it over some rice. It’s a much more streamlined process of pulling food into your daily rhythm.

Cooking grounds me. I’m not a natural in the kitchen. I’m not the fastest at chopping vegetables, but I’ve come to love the process and allowing myself to take it easy and let the pressure off so I can enjoy it. It’s also an important opportunity to connect — especially if you bring family and friends into it to make it a communal experience.


Cooking grounds me.


I’m the co-founder and CEO of Golde, which is a superfood-powered health and beauty brand. I started the business when I was 23; I was always interested in natural health and wellness. I had intended to go to medical school and, inspired by mom’s journey battling a severe autoimmune disease, practice medicine through the lens of holistic health care. But I ultimately decided not to pursue that because I found going in that direction would mean practicing in a way that wasn’t covered by insurance or wasn’t acceptable to most people. I was graduating college andlike, I want to do something in wellness, but I want to do it for everybody, and I don’t know what that looks like. I also had this entrepreneurial itch.

I had the idea for Golde while I was working at my first job out of college, which was a marketing startup in New York, and made the jump to go for it. I started with my partner, Issey. I think we had a couple thousand dollars in savings that we put in for our first production run. We did everything ourselves. We taught ourselves the packaging design, how to do the photoshoots, and somehow we still do that in house today. We let it grow organically from there. We weren’t intending to build a brand with the amount of recognition it has today, but it’s been a fantastic journey to get there.

When Issey and I first started the business we didn’t have any outside investors, so the first few years we weren’t taking a salary. We would pull our $40 a week as our grocery money, and we quickly found that taking that to the farmers’ market was our best bet. Rather than spending it on packaged food, if we focused on root vegetables or leafy greens, we could pair it with rice from the rice cooker (an essential thing in our house). That definitely influences the way we eat and cook at home. It’s very much going with the seasons, seeing how we can support local growers. It’s important to me as the owner of a small business that I’m putting the dollars I have back into the systems I want to create.

It’s important to me as the owner of a small business that I’m putting the dollars I have back into the systems I want to create.


I made a potato salad today that is inspired by a Japanese pub-style potato salad. If you ever go to an izakaya there’s almost always a potato salad on the menu. It’s so drastically different in my eyes from what I think of as the potato salad at a barbecue, which tends to be a lot of mayo, drippy, and maybe some dill. The Japanese potato salad is light and fluffy; it uses Kewpie mayo, so it has a different structure. There’ll be corn and other vegetables, so there’s just more going on. We made it our own today. What I like about this recipe is you can cook the potatoes in advance, and when you’re ready you can assemble it in a few minutes.It also keeps very well in the fridge.

This was my first time using Dutch Baby, and the size was really great, very easy to work with, but it still had that nice, heavy-bottomed feeling. I love the glossy enamel look from the Glossies. It looks very beautiful and vibrant in my kitchen and like the kind of cookware I will be displaying on the stove to keep the vibes going. 

Photos by Jason LeCras

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