ARTIST INTERVIEW: Morning Glory Confections
Morning Glory Confections handcrafts sweets in small batches at their Los Angeles kitchen. Drawing from a global pantry, master confectioner Max Lesser combines old school know-how with a contemporary sensibility to create flavors that range from classic to adventurous. Their brittle and other treats are a perennial favorite at the Echo Park Craft Fair and make perfect holiday gifts!
How are you inspired by the environment around you, how does living in Los Angeles affect your work?
There are so many stereotypes of LA, but our LA, the one I know and love inspired me to establish Morning Glory Confections and continues to inspire. It’s that unmistakable sea air and light. It’s food-obsessed. It’s family and community.
My family and I live and work in Echo Park, with its windy canyon roads, wild cacti, and bright fuchsia bougainvillea. The colors, textures, and scents surrounding us every day directly influence the look and feel of Morning Glory foods. And we’re surrounded by fellow artisans who know LA to be a magical place where one’s creativity can be nurtured and channeled into artistic endeavors. These friends and collaborators keep us energized and motivated.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now.
I started Morning Glory Confections as a way to combine my two passions, making food and making art. As a chef and artist, I started out by catering small dinner parties for art world friends which evolved into working as a personal chef for a family in Brentwood.
Working with food every day, I quickly realized that the experience of eating something delicious can be as transformative as viewing a piece of art on a gallery wall. This prompted me to perfect my core nut brittle recipe, dream up new flavors like Masala Chai & Cashew and New Mexico Chile & Pepita, taste-test with family and friends and launch Morning Glory Confections in 2008.
What is so special about making art NOW, in our hectic digital age?
As much as we try to slow down in meaningful ways, so much of our lives seems hectic and rushed. That’s why I feel so lucky to be able to make food that can only be made slowly and methodically. Making brittle is a labor intensive process, requiring patience and precision. And there are moments that are almost meditative – stirring the molten mixture until it’s ready to pour, watching as the addition of baking soda creates a voluminous foam. Making brittle forces me to slow down, and for that, I’m grateful.