The Coast News Group
Jolee Pink, author of Living Coastal: Inspirations for Entertaining, Decorating and Cooking California Style Photo courtesy of Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press
Jolee Pink, author of Living Coastal: Inspirations for Entertaining, Decorating and Cooking California Style Photo courtesy of Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press
A Brush with Art Arts Rancho Santa Fe

A Brush with Art: Celebrating ocean-inspired art and cuisine

Encinitas artist/designer Jolee Pink thrives on creative challenges — the bigger the better. In her innovative new book Living Coastal: Inspirations for Entertaining, Decorating and Cooking California Style, she masterfully elevates the dining experience and shapes trendsetting tablescapes by merging art and cuisine. 

The fusion of culinary and artistic talent brings San Diego’s community of artists and chefs together to celebrate the spirit of the Pacific Ocean.

Published by Chefs Press, the 112-page book presents 16 different ocean-inspired themes for special occasions. Pink comments, “Part art book, part cookbook, Living Coastal is a unique mix of tantalizing seafood recipes, extraordinary artistic creations, eco table linens and clever decorating tips to inspire your next celebration. Mike Pawlenty’s visually stunning photography brings the book to life.”

Pink adds, “It was fascinating interpreting what motivated the chefs and artists to pursue their passion – how life experiences and creative inspiration came into play.”

Eighteen featured chefs share enticing recipes using sustainable seafood and fresh local produce. Examples are Maine Diver Scallops and Baja Prawns by Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room, Sockeye Salmon Benedict on Cheese and Chive Biscuits by Matt Gordon of Solace & The Moonlight Lounge, and Lobster Ceviche by Tim Johnson of Zenbu.

Living Coastal’s decorating themes have a distinctly coastal vibe. In each case the ocean-evocative table linens are Pink’s own designs.

In selecting other elements for her book Pink approached the table as a composition balancing color, form and texture. She chose a diverse group of artists working in a wide range of mediums including ceramic, glass, metal, paints and succulents. The artists incorporated oceanic colors and imagery in their work created for the book.

Many of the artists are familiar to readers, such as Matthew Antichevich, sculptor of Cardiff’s iconic “Magic Carpet Ride” (a.k.a. “The Cardiff Kook”), and Mark Patterson of Surfing Madonna mosaic fame. Grace Swanson’s intricate gourds make a cameo appearance along with Lemongrass Center owner Tara Teipel’s appealing succulent design.

Other featured artists include Danny Salzhandler, Cheryl Tall, Elon Ebanks, Mike Totah Charles Bronson, Garry Cohen, James Stone, Lea de Wit; Donna Butnik, Kathleen McCord, Julie Ann Stricklin, Karen Athens and Britton Neubacher.

Jolee Pink is no stranger to creativity. Having grown up primarily on the West Coast in San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego, she had an innate appreciation of the ocean and environment. With a bachelor’s degree in art from UCLA and a master’s in telecommunications and Film from SDSU, she began her artistic career as a graphic designer and later added hand-sculpted clay to her creative repertoire. After relocating to Encinitas, in 2008 she started Wabisabi Green, an innovative artisanal quality, eco-friendly home decor and gifts company featuring graphically bold designs for green living.

The modern collection of brightly colored decorative throw pillows and table linens reflect the Southern California lifestyle and are a testament to Pink’s commitment to sustainability. The products are made of the best organic and sustainable materials sourced worldwide. Inspired by nature, these durable eco goods are created to bring art, color and comfort to living environments. The line is designed, printed and fabricated in San Diego.

Thriving on creative challenges, Pink conceived her most complex project to date: writing a book that combines her interests in art, food, entertaining, the environment, and the coastal California lifestyle.

Pink found the greatest challenges of the publishing process to be bringing all of the elements together in a way that captured the book’s theme in an impactful way and making sure that the writing was entertaining and easy to follow. Her dedication to the project is being rewarded by overwhelmingly positive response to Living Coastal’s beautiful photography, recipes, art and clear, concise writing.

After working on the multifaceted project for over a year, Pink says, “It feels wonderful to have seen the book through from concept to completion. I’m ready for my next creative challenge.”

Living Coastal is available at Lemongrass Center, Queen Eileen’s, Bamboo 2 U and Tikis Too, Sea Salt Candy Company, Warwick’s, and select Barnes & Noble and Whole Food stores, as well as online at,,, and