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As a part of our maudern people series, we asked Los Angeles-based chef and photographer Julia Sherman for insights on modern intimacy. She is the mind behind food site Salad for President and author of a book by the same name. Along with being creative director at Chopt, Julia released Ju's Jus a low ABV alcohol last year. She is married to Adam Katz. They have one daughter. 

What is your relationship status? 

With social distancing & quarantine, how has human contact changed for you?
I generally spend very little time on my phone, especially since I had a baby. Mostly because I want to be present, and to give people my undivided attention when I am with them IRL. Now, I find myself on the screen all day long. As guilty and uncomfortable as I am with that, I am also so grateful to be able to see my parents on the other side of the country, to let them into our daily lives. It makes some twisted version of "hanging out" possible. I have Facetimed with people I haven't spoken to in the 6 months since we left New York, people I miss so dearly. This is has made it easier to just pick up the phone and call someone, even if you have nothing in particular to say. That makes me feel reassured, as most of my life still exists on the East Coast. 

I think both partners have to make a pact with themselves to remember that intimacy is not expendable in stressful times.

How do you make time for intimacy? 
I think both partners have to make a pact with themselves to remember that intimacy is not expendable in stressful times. Without it, tough times are ten times worse, as you slowly float further and further away from the person who should be your anchor. Little things like keeping a regular sit down dinner time every night, and expressing gratitude for all the work we are both doing to keep our family functioning helps a lot. You can't have intimacy if you don't feel seen. 

How has your perspective on your home/space changed?
Well, all we do is make a mess and clean it up, on an infinite loop. We both know that the state of the home is a mirror of the state of mind, so we better put that laundry away and keep the floors clean, or shit is going to get ugly. 

What is a new activity you are planning to try?
We keep saying we are going to learn Spanish, but we have had a hard time committing. I have been doing a lot of urban foraging, which is something I always loved to do but has now become a therapeutic daily practice. Oh, and I learned to French braid my hair! 

How do you keep busy?
I would never complain about having a baby, she is the brightest part of every day, amidst fire and brimstone. But, if you have children, and no childcare, you do not have an issue with excess time. I am managing to do a lot of kitchen projects (kombucha, sourdough, sprouting legumes, growing vegetables) while I run after my 1-year-old, but I fantasize about having five minutes that I just can't figure out how to fill. 

Do you have a book or movie on your list while home?
I am not watching movies right now. Just reading and watching Ab Fab.