OREGON

OREGON

OREGON - Pie #37 of 50 - Joe Lipski & Leah Maghini
State Fruit: Pear
State Mushroom: Pacific Golden Chanterelle
State Nut: Hazelnut

I have never been to Oregon.
Oregon is home to one of my bucket list must sees, Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and is formed more than 6500 in the remains of an ancient volcano. It’s crystal blue waters are some of the cleanest in the continental US.
Oregon is full of beautiful natural sites like Hell’s Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America at 8000ft deep. It is also home to Mount Hood the tallest peak in the state a dormant volcano that sits at 11239ft.
For OR the pie is a marionberry and pear pie served with Salt & Straw olive oil ice cream and topped with salty hazelnut crumble.
The marionberry was developed by the USDA breeding program in cooperation with the Oregon State University. It is a cross between Chehalem & Olallie blackberries. The pear is the state fruit of OR. 84% of the US’s pear crop comes from the Pacific Northwest due to the regions unique climate. The hazelnut is the official state nut of OR and OR is the only state that has an official state nut! Nearly 100% of all hazelnuts grown in the US are grown in the Willamette Valley.

This pie took a travel across the country via the USPS to a couple of sweet gems in the night Joe Lipski and Leah Maghini!
I met Joe & Leah in CT one 4th of July. I was introduced to them by Kyle & Julia recipients of the CT pie. We all spent a weekend at Dan & Shanel’s house playing beer pong and listening to Bruce Springsteen.
Joe recently moved out to Portland, Oregon for a job and Leah followed suit a little while later. I am counting down the days and the funds till I can head out to Portland to visit them. I just wanna eat salmon and drink fun beers and see crater lake with a couple of the best people.
FUN FACT! Joe and I are both allergic to melons. Berry only fruit salads for us!
I am so happy that Joe and Leah get to be a part of my project and I can wait to eat a pie with them soon.
Oregon I was told things look different there, you’re a wonderland I can’t wait to be in.
37 down 13 to go 🇺🇸🏼🇺🇸

OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA - Pie #36 of 50 - Bob & Reta Wagner

State Meal: BBQ Pork, Chicken fried steak, sausages and gravy, fried okra, squash, grits
State Bean: Black eyed peas
State Treat: Cornbread
State Dessert: Pecan Pie
State Fruit: Strawberry

I have never been to Oklahoma.
I discovered Oklahoma because of the musical Oklahoma.
Oklahoma was originally Indian Territory, the state was opened to settlers in a “Land Rush” in 1889 (I learnt about this on an episode of Drunk History). Oklahoma is one of only two states who’s capital cities include the states name. It is bordered by 6 states: Texas to the south and west, Arkansas & Missouri to the east, Kansas to the north and Colorado and New Mexico at the top of the northwestern panhandle. It is home to four mountain ranges and its state wildflower is the Indian Blanket.
It is home to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame located in Oklahoma City.
It is home to the world record for the largest pecan pie. I thought about obliging and maybe making the second largest BUT alas I read about Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies in Davis, Oklahoma! I was inspired by their beautiful fried pies I had to try my hand at making my own! Blueberry fried pies fried in Crisco and showered in powdered sugar. 

This pie is dedicated to Bob and Reta Wagner. My Uncle Bob and Auntie Reta hail from Gore, OK. I met the Wagner’s in 1995 in Hawaii when I was 7 years old. Uncle Bob worked with my dad as the Chief Engineer at the former Kahala Hilton on Oahu that my dad working for the Mandarin Oriental was taking over. My dad decided to hire him. In 1998 my dad hired him once again as the chief engineer in Miami when they built the Mandarin Oriental there on Brickell Key. 
While in Hawaii and Miami we would always go to their house for lovely dinners and so I could cuddle their sweet chihuahua Taz. Who would litter my face with kisses. 
I am very blessed that my dad’s job allowed me to meet and have such wonderful people in my life. My auntie Reta has since passed but I think of her fondly and often. They were a lovely addition to my American family and filled my childhood with many happy memories. 
This pie is also dedicated to my sweet friend Colin Bright from Oklahoma City and to my gal pal Lauren Neal who calls Oklahoma home right now!
The pies were received and eaten by my lovely friends Emily Pool, Adam Porter, Greg Radcliff and Becca Synder on a lovely weekend away in Woodstock, NY. 
Emily received the pie because she is from the neighboring state of Texas! I couldn’t think of anyone lovelier to receive this lovely treat! 
36 down 14 to go 🇺🇸🏼🇺🇸

OHIO

OHIO

OHIO - Pie #35 of 50 - Kristen Kyle Ginn & Meredith Passaro

State Fruit: Tomato

I have never been to Ohio.
I first discovered Ohio when I started watching the Drew Carey show after school in Hong Kong.
Ohio is the 17th state, is ranked 34th in size and 50% of the US population lives within 500 miles of it. 
Ohio is known for a few things like it is home to the world’s largest basket. I don’t know why I love this so much and can’t wait to visit  Dresden to see it in person. It is home to not only the inventors of the first airplane the Wright Brothers but also the home state of Neil Armstrong the first man to walk on the moon. 
In my opinion the most important thing Ohio has given us is the Hot Dog. It was created by Harry M. Stevens in 1900.
Ohio is known as the buckeye state so I had to oblige. The pie is a buckeye pie with a chocolate graham cracker crust, crunchy and creamy peanut butter filling topped with chocolate shell and buck eyes made from a recipe given to me by Meredith’s grandma. 

This pie is dedicated to Kristen Kyle Ginn. Most lovely Ginny is from Troy, OH. I met this sweet baby angel when I was 19 years old in college at SCAD. We meet in an accessory design class and have been friends every since. Kristen is one of the most talented designers I know. There literally isn’t anything she can’t do from handbags, illustrations to making the most badass cookies @cultcookies she constantly blows me away. I am in awe of her talents. 
She is a ride or die friend. She has been with me through most if not all my milestones of my adult life and I couldn’t be more thankful. She has taught me so many things about life and also about Arby’s cause she took me to my first one and I’ve never looked back. 
My life in America wouldn’t be the same without her! To all our nights listen to basically the Lilith Fair playlist and drinking Mike’s Harder Lemonade in college (we have since graduated to more sophisticated beverages, Michelada in a can). I love my sweet sweet friend Kristen. 
Kristen shared her pie with her lovely boyfriend Matt.
This pie is also dedicated to Meredith Passaro. Meredith hails from Bellefontaine, OH. I was introduced to Meredith by my friend Kate at a garden party. One following weekend Kate and Meredith asked me if I wanted to go climb a mountain with them in the Catskills. Many peaks bagged, many nights spent sleeping in a tent and shooting the shit by the fire Meredith has become one of my favorite people to tackle miles with. You know you’ve reach a whole new level of friendship when you have yelled at each other after 8 miles uphill with 7 miles to go and made up by the time you get to the summit. 
Meredith like me always wants a large plate of onion rings and a cold beer after a grueling hike.
In 20ish days we’ll be hiking 35 miles in Iceland and I couldn’t think of anyone else I would wanna do this with. 
Meredith pushes me and encourages me to no end and I couldn’t be more thankful for such a good friend. 
Like Ohio, there is so much to discover with Meredith by my side. 
Meredith shared her pie with her cousin visiting from Ohio, her boyfriend Tadas and her Mom on Mother’s Day. My friend Julia Came along for the ride and they all dressed for the occasion!

The buckeye state there truly is so much to discover!
35 down 15 to go 🇺🇸🏼🇺🇸 

NORTH DAKOTA

NORTH DAKOTA

NORTH DAKOTA - Pie #34 of 50 - Jane from North Dakota received by Stephani Stilwell & Brandon Springer

State Fruit: Chokecherry 

I have never been to North Dakota.
North Dakota is named for the Sioux people. The Sioux call themselves Dakota which means allies or friends.
North Dakota is the 19th largest state and is the geographic center of the North American Continent with a stone marker in Rugby,ND. It is home to the sprawling Great Plains which are the northern part of Badlands national park. Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota has more shoreline than California’s Pacific Coast. This beautiful land is home to some beautiful flora and fauna. It is filled with more sunflowers than any other state and its state tree is the American Elm grows to an epic 120ft or more! It is also home to the elusive rare white buffalo, the Dakota miracle which can be seen at the National Buffalo Museum.
For North Dakota I made a tater tot hot dish pie. Filled with ground beef, mixed veggies, Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and topped with tater tots! Hot dishes are not a type of food THEY ARE THE FOOD! The invention of this mid western fave was in an effort to turn any left overs in the fridge into a single baking dish meal served hot. Tater tots became the staple topping in 1953 when the were invented and not one has looked back.

This pie is dedicated to Jane from North Dakota. I met Jane in a Lyft Share in LA when I was there for my sisters wedding in 2017. 
Jane now lives in Louisville, CO where she runs a pie contest in her free time where she boasted 60 kinds of pies are on display! Once during her time in 4H she won a blue ribbon at the North Dakota state fair for her blueberry muffins.
Of course when we chatted in our long drive to our destinations I asked her what her favorite kind of pie was. She said “Sour Cream Raisin” which is a South Dakota staple which her Grandmother originally from Germany would make. So I guess y’all know what’s coming for South Dakota!
My roommates Steph, Bran and doggo Jake received the pie. We are a funny bunch on Ocean Ave. Full of laughs and our weekly sushi order to sliver rice. We all enjoyed the pie while watching another Marvel movie. We’ve been burning through them in an effort to catch up to the premiere of Avengers End Game. Living with them is the best! Steph is the only other person i know that has watched Top Chef as much/ as many times all the way through as I have AND we met cause I started this project! Bran & Jake are two yellow roses of Texas that have blessed New York with their lovely selves. 
This pie also goes out to a couple “Hot Tots” I know Matt McInerney (Massachusetts pie recipient) & Mark Johnson (Nevada pie recipient). The three of us have had the most extensive and in-depth conversations about the food that has reached its full potential, the tater tot.
Till I come to visit North Dakota! You will always be my great white buffalo! Legendary!

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA - Pie #33 of 50 - Susannah Dusch, Olivia Bullock, Gigi Nyguen

State blue berry : blueberry 
State red berry : strawberry 
State fruit : scuppernong grape
State vegetable : sweet potato 

I LOVE NORTH CAROLINA!!!!! 
North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, brick and textile production. It was the first state in the nation to establish a state museum of art. It is home to 1500 lakes of 10 acres or more in size and 37,000 miles of fresh water streams. That sure is a lot of babblin brooks!
The first time I ever went to NC was for Christmas a few years ago! I spent it in Hayesville with my friend Patrick’s family! I had so much fun on a little brewery tour his dad Tony took us on, I napped with his parents sweet pups and woke up to a little Racheff tradition of pigs in a blanket for breakfast. That’s luxury living. 
The next time I went down was for a girls trip with my lovely friends Suzy, Anne, Val and Katie who all hail from this great state. Val lives in Asheville and we invaded her home to all see one of all our favorite bands The Avett Brothers and to boop her puppo Winston on the snoot. I fell in love! The breweries, the music, the art, THE BISCUITS! 
Two of my most favorite bands hail from North Carolina! The Avett Brothers from Concord and Sylvan Esso. Both of which have written tunes that have been the soundtracks of my life so far. 
For NC I made a pulled pork pie with Cheerwine barbecue sauce in a corn meal crust topped with red slaw and hushpuppies. 
I was determined to include Cheerwine is from Salisbury, NC someway and what better way to do so in a sweet savory sauce that hugs and lightly coats some sweet smoked meats! 
When brainstorming for this pie and who to give it to I realized that so many of my close girlfriends all hail from this great state. What a blessing! 
I made two pies and two mini pies to share the wealth for a state I love so much.

The first of four pies I made for NC goes to Susannah Dusch. This fine queen of the mountains hails from Asheville. 
I met Suzy in college at SCAD but our friendship didn’t full bloom till we moved to NY and spent our first two years in the city dancing the nights away and saving money for Katy Perry concert tickets. I spent my first thanksgiving in New York with Suzy where her mom sent us the most wonderful edible arrangement (my first edible arrangement ever!) and she introduced me to the wonders of broccoli casserole and cool whip. 
Suzy lives in philly now with Massachusetts pie recipient Matt, sweet baby cotton ball paw kitten Ridley and honey roasted peanut Arlo pup!
Suzy is one of my greatest friends. I couldn’t imagine life without her. She is an amazing artist, designer, florist, cat mom, pup mom, food moment maker and friend! The list goes on. My favorite times with Suzy are when we go on adventures like the one we are about to go on to Dollywood! And when we are in soft clothes in the morning drinking coffee chit chatting. Nothing makes me happier then being around her good vibes. 
Suzy has made many of my dreams come true for me like my aforementioned trip to Dollywood, arranging a studio tour with one of my favorite potters, sending me my first protea (my favorite flower). Saying Suzy is a good friend to me is an understatement.
If our friendship were a song it would be the good kind that makes the center of your chest swell and the kind that makes your feet bee bop around. 
FUN FACT! Suzy’s pup Arlo is also from Asheville!
The second of four pies I made for NC goes to Olivia Bullock. This sweet angel hails from Raleigh!
Olivia and I both went to the same college but didn’t meet till a sunny afternoon in prospect park here in NYC. 
From the moment I her I knew we were gonna be gal pals for life.
No one plans a better vacation, party, girlie night than Olivia. She gives Martha Stewart a run for her money! 
Also if you ever need tips of what to buy from Zara each season this is your girl! 
To all the adventures we’ve been on and all the adventures we’ll go on! I’ll always have gummi bears and cheez it’s and a bevy if podcasts queues up for the journey!
Two mini versions of the pie go to Gigi Nguyen & Yuri Martinez! I made two mini versions cause Gigi will admit she is terrible at sharing food. Gigi hails from Raleigh! 
I met this small but mighty spit fire through the lovely Sara! Sara and Gigi used to be co workers and invited Sara and whoever she wanted to bring to her then boyfriend and now husbands birthday party (Yuri!) and the rest is history!
I am Gigi and Yuri’s unofficial pet sitter! And one of their corgi’s Molly and I share a birthday! We’re Virgos.
Gigi is a talented illustrator, pattern pioneer and seeker of the best canned goods one person can get. Gigi’s dream is to open a purely canned goods store based on her travels to Spain and Portugal where the can is king. 
Gigi is my neighbor and my CSA farm share partner! Even though she eats most of the produce while working at the farm share I love her anyway. 
NC is also for some very special ladies in my life Anne Mallet, Katie Bell, Valerie Mooney and Katie Peeler. Y’all inspire me every day. 
North Carolina you were “First in Flight” and I was told you were “A Better Place to Be”. I whole heartedly agree. I often feel my heart is a blue ridge mountain. 
See you soon for biscuits, beer, sweet tunes and life long friendships.

NEW YORK

NEW YORK

NEW YORK - Pie #32 of 50 - My New York Family, R&D Foods, East River Tattoo, JC Penney SoHo, Yoga Tribe Brooklyn & Fish's Eddy

State Muffin: Apple Muffin
State Fruit: Apple
State Snack: Yogurt

New York is the second longest place I have ever lived! This year is my 8th anniversary of moving to New York.
As a 15 year old I wrote a letter to myself where I said I would move to NYC go to Parson’s and buy one of those lofts where the elevator opens into your apartment. I also imagine I would wear a really fancy camel peacoat while doing all of this.
I love New York City but I also love New York State. I love the Catskills where I like to camp and hike with my girls of @trails_to_ales, I love the Adirondack’s where Tupperlake is. I also love the 55 miles of the Appalachian Trail that I’ve hiked in NY. 
New York has the world’s best bagels. This is not an argument this is a statement of truth. I once had a bagel in LA. Never again.
New York is known as The Big Apple so I had to oblige.
For New York I made 150 mini Apple pies with coffee cake crumble. I had to go big or go home.

So instead of making one pie I decided to make 150 mini ones so I could share them with all the fine folks that make this city a home for me.
4 went to Sara & Ilene at R&D Foods
4 went to the lovely Rachel Hauer at East River Tattoo
4 went to Julie, Susanne, Noah and Teddy at Fish’s Eddy’s
4 went to my yoga teacher Robbin Farrell
24 went to my co workers and work family at JC Penney
The final 110 pies went to my New York family! I had a little pie-ty to honor these fine folks at Berg’n in Crown Heights. Without these folks I couldn’t survive the tumultuousness of this city. These people bring me constant laughs, constant support and are always there for me when i call. I showed them my love for them the best way I know how throwing a party and serving them pie!
I love these people, I love this city. Even though sometimes it gives me reasons to hate it, two seconds later a little New York magic happens and I fall in love all over again.
New York is my bad boyfriend.
I am blessed and I am thankful to call one of the greatest cities in the world home.
Honestly I still get goosebumps every time “Empire State of Mind” comes on and I realize I live here.

NEW MEXICO

NEW MEXICO

NEW MEXICO - Pie #31 of 50 - Viridiana Liberman

State Cookie: Bizcochito
State Vegetable(s): New Mexico Chili & Pinto Bean

I have been to New Mexico! I visited Santa Fe with my dad & sisters. We watched sunsets and I gained a deep appreciation for turquoise jewelry.

New Mexico is a corner state boarding Colorado, Utah & Arizona.
The state was named by a 18th century Spanish explorer who hoped to find gold and wealth equal to Mexico’s Aztec treasures. This state is a real gem so I’m sure his wealth cup overfloweth.
New Mexico is home to more sheep and cattle than people at 12 people pre square mile. Denver may be the Mile High City but it ain’t got nothing on Santa Fe. At 7199ft above sea level it’s the highest capital city in the nation. Not only is the state home to the high capital city but also the longer river! The Rio Grande! Which runs the entire length of NM.
A gem (literally) I hope to see sometime in my near future is the White Sands Monument which is a desert made of gleaming white gypsum crystals not sand.

Hatch, NM is known as the “Green chili capital of the world”. This pie is a beef and pork green chili stew pie with a blue corn crust. A real simple pie on the outside with complex robust flavors on the inside. The green chili’s were brought to me by Viri from Albuquerque for the low and slow stew that cooked for 8 hours.

This pie is for Viridiana Liberman! I call her Viri or Mom cause I love her and when I rest my head on her shoulder all my troubles melt away!

I met Viri at Haley & Bryce’s old apartment in Hell’s Kitchen while watching an episode of Game of Thrones.

Viri grew up in Albuquerque, NM. Her family still lives there in the same house. Viri is New Mexico proud she loves the food, she loves the music, she loves waking up to a sky littered with hot air balloons. Her smile will light up the darkest of nights.
Viri is an extremely talented Sundance award winning editor and film maker. She is my golden globe of a friend, my academy award but one that’s made out of chocolate cause she is so god damn sweet.

New Mexico you sure are the land of enchantment “crescit eundo” it grows as it goes like my love for you. You’re New Mexico true.

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY - Pie #30 of 50 - Alex & Sean Flannery

State Fruit: Northern High Bush Blueberry

I am a frequent visitor of this great state!

In New Jersey, I hiked 20 miles of the AT with Jeffrey & Cliff over one 4th of July weekend. I visited Dave when he was doing caricatures on the boardwalk one summer with Mallory where we drank many cocktails, got henna tattoos and saw where Snooki got punched that one time.
I’ve spent lovely days with Jill at her Lake house on Lake Hopatcong where she fed me my first ever meatloaf & my first ever Jersey breakfast sandwich.

The Garden state is home to the most diners in one state in the world. (One of my most favorite things about America is diners).

NJ has gifted me things I love like Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Sinatra & the setting for arguably one of the best HBO shows ever The Sopranos.

The pie is a “Jersey Breakfast Sandwich” pie. A poppy seed crust with a divide down the middle. 1 side case’s pork roll & the other Taylor Ham. Both sides baked with melted American cheese, topped with fried eggs and served with salt pepper ketchup.

Pork roll was created by John Taylor of Trenton. He has named it Taylor Ham but due to some changes in regulations in the 1900’s he began calling it pork roll. I know better than to get in the middle of the debate on if it’s called Taylor Ham or pork roll so I kept em separate from each other like the divided state.

This pie is for Alex & Sean Flannery.

I went to college with Alex in Savannah.
Alex & I used to sit on the front porch of his house in Savannah, smoke many cigarettes, drink many beers, crank the tunes & shoot the shit.
I met Sean when he came down to visit Savannah fir St Patrick’s Day. We partied hard & watched many hours of Cash Cab where we got 85% of the questions right.
NJ is also dedicated too Jill, Lynsey, Kyle, Liz, Katie and Amy. The garden state sure has grown some of my most beautiful blooms of friends.
Also Bruce Springsteen for 1 of my top 10 favorite songs (Dancing in the dark).

Liberty & Prosperity for all.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE - Pie #29 of 50 - Charles & Kelsie Woodbury

State Fruit: Pumpkin
State Vegetable: White Potato

I have been to New Hampshire! I went a couple summers ago for Kelsie & Chuck's wedding in Hebron, NH by Newfound Lake and fell in love with the state. I had a grand old time, dancing bare foot in the grass, swimming in lakes & swimming holes and soaking in the summer sun with all my favorite people.

New Hampshire was named after the town of Hampshire in England. It is 1 of the original 13 colonies and the 1st to declare its independence from England. New Hampshire did this a full 6 months before the declaration of Independence was signed. 

The 1st potato planted in the US was in Londonderry, NH and the 1st free public library was opened in 1833 in Peterborough, NH. 

The state slogan “Live Free or Die” comes from a statement written by the revolutionary General John Stark. 

New Hampshire is beautiful from the white mountains to the lakes the band PWR BTTM said it best “When I die please bury me in New Hampshire I really like the leaves”. One of the most famous natural landmarks in the state was the granite profile “Old Man of the Mountains” (RIP) which was carved by nature. 

The pie for New Hampshire is a maple pumpkin pie! The maple syrup I used in the pie is from Middle Branch Farm in New Boston, NH. Maple syrup fact 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of maple syrup. (Lotta sap, little full).

New Hampshire is for a couple of my two favorite people Charles & Kelsie Woodbury from New Boston, NH. The friendship & adventures we’ve been on & the ones to come. Life is better with these guys in it. Kelsie is my favorite person to listen sad cowgirl songs with & Chuck is my favorite person to shoot the shit with on a Sunday afternoon. 

The pie is also dedicated to everyone I know from New Hampshire which is a hell of a lot of people for a girl that grew up 9000 miles away. I love all of you with my whole heart. There must be something in the water up north cause you guys are some of the most handsome, beautiful & loveliest people I’ve ever met.

Thank you all so much for loving me so well. 

LIVE FREE OR DIE. 

NEVADA

NEVADA

NEVADA - Pie #28 of 50 - Mark Johnson

Nevada has no state foods.

I have been to Las Vegas, NV! I went when I was at the height of my emo scene kid phase with my dad & my sisters. I remember very vividly that my dad took us to m&m world and I only got red, black and white m&m’s cause emo kid HA!

The state of Nevada takes its name from a Spanish word meaning “snow-clad”. It is the 7th largest state with 110,540 square miles 85% of which is federally owned including Area 51.
Most of the state is desert but the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Reno & the Ruby mountains near Elko has snow for half the year. Alongside this NV is home to 50,000 miles of paved roads.

The first casino “pair-o-dise club” opened in 1931 on highway 91 which would become the future Las Vegas strip. The strip is home to more hotel rooms than any other place on earth. In 1960 there were 16,067 slot machines and at its last count in 1999 there were 205,726 machines that’s one slot machine for every 10 residents. Not only can you win big on the strip but you can also win big in gold! Since it’s the largest gold producing state in the nation.

Nevada is home to the largest state public works project in the history of the US, the Hoover Dam. The dam contains enough concrete to pave a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York!

The pie for Nevada is an All You Can Eat! Buffet pie with 4 savory components and 4 sweet components! what says Nevada like having everything you want in one pie in excess! It’s the state where you can have your cake and eat it too.
Going around clockwise:
Slice 1: Caesar Salad
Slice 2: Shrimp Cocktail
Slice 3: Alaskan King Crab with Herbed Butter
Slice 4: New York Strip Steak with Caramelized Onions and Mash Potatoes
Slice 5: Fig Jam Glazed Custard Fruit Tart
Slice 6: Chocolate Mousse
Slice 7: Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze
Slice 8: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sundae

Nevada is for my lovely friend Mark Johnson who was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Mark & I both went to SCAD but didn’t meet each other till our buddy Matt introduced us when we were all living in NYC.

Mark puts up with me rolling my eyes at him a lot with every single dad joke he tells.
I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of an all you can eat buffet pie than him. He was even kind enough to share it with me while we watched Hot Ones on his couch on a snow day.
Some would say I rolled the dice but I think I hit the jackpot with this friendship.

Nevada belongs to Mark Johnson.

NEBRASKA

NEBRASKA

NEBRASKA - Pie #27 of 50 - Bryan Moreno

Nebraska has no state foods & I’ve never been there.

Nebraska though it produces some corn it’s nickname of “The Huskers” comes from early sports teams. In the state football is a religion, on game day Memorial stadium becomes the 3rd largest city.

It’s filled with long stretches of highways & the Omaha skyline is the perfect backdrop for the sunsets that spread across the rolling plains. Chimney Rock 300ft in the sky was a landmark for travelers throughout the history of America from the Oregon, California and Mormon trails.
Nebraska is home to Warren Buffet, Omaha steaks and the weird tradition of eating chilli with cinnamon rolls!

NE where the cows out number the residents 3.5 to 1 has given us many things like the 1st Arbor Day (April 10 1872 a million trees were planted), Kool-Aid (In 1927 Edwin Perkins of NE discovered how to take liquid out of flavored syrup, Kool-Aid was born) and most surprisingly the Reuben sandwich was created in 1930 by a Lithuanian grocer named of Reuben Kulakofsky in Omaha.

The pie is a Runza inspired pie! A rectangular pie with ground beef, cabbage, onions & sweet corn with a corn meal crust served with Dorothy Lynch dressing.
A Runza has German & Russian roots going back to the 18th century. The recipe was passed down from one generation to the next finding its way to the Midwest when it was originally served to field workers for lunch. The original is a yeast dough filled with beef, cabbage/sauerkraut, onions and seasons. The official Nebraska Runza is always baked in a rectangular shape.

Dorothy Lynch dressing is made exclusively in Duncan, NE a town of 359 people and is an all purpose condiment consisting of a blend of spices and orange coloring. IT’S DELICIOUS!
Nebraska is being received by Bryan Moreno. He is not from Nebraska but he did live on Lincoln st when we were in college. Lincoln is the state capital of Nebraska. It’s a stretch I know but Bryan deserves pie cause he is a lovely friend that lets me watch old sitcoms like Frasier on his couch while we chat about nothing in particular but everything important. That’s friendship.
To the state that’s all bout The Good Life”

MONTANA

MONTANA

MONTANA - Pie #26 of 50 - John Frederick

I have never been to Montana.
Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word for Mountain.
The first inhabitants of Montana were the Plain Indians and is now home to seven Indian reservations.
Elk, deer & antelope population out number the humans in Montana!
Which makes sense since 46/50 of Montana’s counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.
It is home to Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana which is the first National Park in the nation.
It is also home to Glacier National Park which has 250 lakes in its boundaries. The park is home to Triple Divide Peak which is the only triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic and Hudson Bay. This is the only state where this phenomenon occurs.

The pie for this state is a pasty inspired pie. It’s dinner and desert in one with a buffalo & root vegetable and cherry filling to finish and is served with a brown gravy in a crust with the state seal painted on.
The “Pasty” first arrived on the scene in Butte, MT with the tin & copper miners from Cornwall England in the late 1800’s. The pasty was an all in one dish that was a mainstay meal which was hearty and hardy and reference to as a “letter from home”.
The pie is for my sweet bud John Frederick. John is not from Montana but he has driven through it many a time on his cross country trips from his hometown of Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR where he went to college at Reed.
He’s been to Bozeman and Missoula and described it to me as vast and beautiful with sprawling mountains, skies, cowboy boots and lots of flannel.
John and I met when we were both 15 at summer camp at Yale. He took some Buddhism and slam poetry classes and I took found object art and painting.
We meet on the quad and have been friends ever since!

Big Sky Country I am charmed and hope to see the triple divide for myself soon.

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

MISSOURI - Pie #25 of 50 - Katie Glenn - HALF WAY!

State Dessert: Ice Cream

I have never been to Missouri.
Missouri is the “Show Me State” this came about around 1899 when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver said “I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me”.
Kansas City, MO has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.

We have Missouri to thank for many food inventions!

At the 1904 World’s Fair ice tea was invented by Richard Blechyden. At that same world’s fair the ice cream cone was also invented! This happened when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and a waffle vendor decided to help him out. Team work!
Aunt Jemima pancake flour was invented in St Joseph, MO and became the first self rising flour for pancakes and the first ready mixed food to be introduced commercially.
Most importantly St Louis, MO is home to Anheuser Busch brewery which is the largest beer producer in the nation. They do the lord’s work. I have drank a serious amount of bud heavy and bud lights in my life so far.

The pie is a Ted Drewes copy cat frozen custard pie with homemade ooey gooey butter cake mixed in with rainbow sprinkles. Ted Drewes is a MO staple and everyone I know from the state has told me about it! The frozen custard is so thick you can flip ya cup and it won’t fall out. Ooey Gooey butter cake is also a MO staple. Some families in MO have it instead of Pecan pie during thanksgiving!

This pie is for Katie Glenn. Katie was born in Hawaii but grew up in Columbia,MO! I met Katie in Savannah, GA at college. I have zero recollection of the time we first met because it was probably at a party where we had a hell of a good time. Katie is a very talented jewelry designer and lovely cat mom to Luna. You can take a gander at her beautiful jewels @marionwild

Missouri you may be the Show Me State but I’ll always know that your really where the rivers run.

MISSOURI IS MY HALF WAY POINT!
I’m half way through the 50!

MISSISSIPI

MISSISSIPI

MISSISSIPPI - Pie #24 of 50 - Rachel Sevin

State Cookie: Butter Cookie

I have never been to Mississippi.

Mississippi is home to the Mississippi River or "Old Man River" which is the largest river in the US and the nations chief waterway.
Root Beer or if your a Parks & Rec fan "super water" was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq Sr.

In 1902 Theodore Roosevelt during a hunting expedition refused to shoot a captured bear in Sharkey County deeming it unsportsmanlike. Toy maker Morris Michtom saw a drawing of this incident in The Washington Post and created a soft bear cub toy today popularly known as the Teddy Bear and sent it to Roosevelt asking for permission to use his name. The toys became an immediate success. Beary Wonderful!

The pie is a Mississippi Mud Pie! It is a chocolate teddy graham cracker crust, chocolate fudge filling with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The origins of the pie are muddy (HA! get it?!)  but the most popular story is that in 1927 Jenny Meyer lost her home in Greenville to flooding. Soon after this she moved to the Vicksburg Natchez area near Jackson & became a waitress. One day she decided to bake a dense pie with simple ingredients where she melted chocolate and made a filling that resembled the muddy banks of a Mississippi River.

This pie is for Rachel Sevin. Rachel wasn't born in MS but her Mom sure was! In the small town of Sebastopol, MS. Their family has spent many Christmas's there and will spend many more since her parents recently retired & moved to Biloxi!

I met Rachel the day I graduated college while singing karaoke at McDonough's in Savannah, GA. Rachel went to college at Auburn but was dating a friend of mine at the time. Rachel is one of the bravest people I know. she went to Auburn for fashion but somehow ended up in tech and during that time lived in Atlanta. She had always wanted to get back to fashion to she packed up all her things, took a huge chance and moved to NYC. For the past 4 years she has been running a small womenswear company. That's girl power.

Mississippi you sure are the south's warmest welcome and going to you always feels like coming home.

MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA - Pie #23 of 50 - Rebecca Schneider

State Fruit: Honey Crisp Apple
State Grain: Wild Rice
State Muffin: Blueberry Muffin
State Mushroom: Morel Mushrooms

I have never been to Minnesota but I have big dreams about entering a pie into the Minnesota State Fair which is the second biggest in the country.

The state of Minnesota has given us many things like PRINCE (dearly beloved), Andrew Zimmern, masking & scotch tape, Wheaties, the bundt pan (this cake has a hole in it!), Bisquick and most importantly from Austin, MN the Hormel company gave us Spam in 1937. Praise be without them we wouldn't have one of my favorite foods spam musubi!

Minnesota is home to not only the Mall of America which is the size of 78 football fields but also 90,000 miles of shore line which is more than CA, FL & HI combined! It is also home to the Skyway system which connects 52 blocks of downtown Minneapolis. You can live, eat work and shop without going outside which must be a blessing during the states frigid winters. The image I get in my head is of people but as ants shuffling through endless endless tunnels.

So I went a little off the state foods and decided to make my ode to the fried foods of the state fair since MN is home to the second largest state fair in the country. Mainly the two main state fair staples corn dogs and funnel cake. This pie is a corn dog casserole pie with a corn meal crust and savory funnel cake topper! Served with mustard and ketchup of course!

This pie is for my design director at work and friend Rebecca Schneider. Rebecca was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and goes back almost every year for the state fair which is the social event on every Minnesota natives calendar. Rebecca and I bonded on our love of all things food and our ability to drink and enjoy fine wines by the case. Our preferred unit of measure when drinking wine. I introduced Rebecca to the "team drink" while we were in Dallas so we drinks those too! I will hopefully get the chance to visit Minnesota and crash at her parents house so I can enter a pie in the state fair and get to meet Princess Kay of the Milky Way the Butter Queen of the state fair.

Honorable mention to Jak & Erin Horner and Billy French who all lived in MN. Jak and Billy in one tiny room together.

Minnesota I can't wait to explore your 10,000 lakes, eat everything on a stick and fulfilling my dream of winning a prize ribbon at the state fair!

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN - Pie #22 of 50 - Anne Patterson

I have never been to Michigan but not have I seen commercials for this state "Pure Michigan" visit the Great Lakes, fresh air, family! WAHHHH!

Michigan is known for many things. It is known as the Wolverine state even though there aren't any wolverines in Michigan anymore. It is the only state that touches 4/5 Great Lakes and apparently from anywhere you stand in the state you are 85 miles from a Great Lake. Pretty neat!

Michigan is also known for sand dunes. The Sleeping bear sand dunes flank the edges of Lake Michigan and living amongst the dunes are dwarf lake Iris's the official state wild flower. That must be some sight to see.

Detroit, MI or the car capital of the world gave us cars and the Industrial Age.
I have photos of when Ford's made it over to Singapore and my grandpa saved up and got one.
Battle Creek, MI or the cereal capital of the world is home to Kellogg's! The Kellogg's brothers discovered the process for producing cereal products accidentally and sparked the dry cereal industry. AP (Anne Patterson who the pie is for) told me that when Kellogg's burns the grape nuts the whole town knows! She also told me that Traverse City, MI is the cherry capital of the world. I found out that since Lake Michigan tempers attic winds in the winter and cools the orchards in the summer making it perfect for growing cherries!

Michigan has no state foods but from all the info I learned I decided to bake a cherry pie with a corn flake crust and corn flake crumble on top! a "breakfast" pie sorta!

This pie is for Anne Patterson or AP as we all like to call her! AP grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and is pure sunshine with a mega watt smile! She gives top ten best hugs I have ever received and is one half of the dynamic team that raises one of the sweetest baby buds I know, Cal! #mypalcal.

Shout out to the Women's softball team of the University of Michigan. I became a huge fan of there "making pizza" move they would do during games. I watched quite a number of games because my roommate at the time Patrick and his best friend Jeremy are huge fans of the team. I got them shirts for Christmas last year.

Michigan, you constantly remind me you are "Pure Michigan" but I'll never forget your Great Lakes, Great Times; More to see Water/Winter Wonderland. (The longest former state slogan ever)

MASSACHUSETTS

MASSACHUSETTS

MASSACHUSETTS - Pie #21 of 50 - Matthew McInerney

State Berry: Cranberry
State Muffin: Corn Muffin
State Bean: Baked Navy Bean
State Dessert: Boston Cream Pie
State Doughnut: Boston Cream Doughnut

I have been to Massachusetts! The first time I ever went was when I was at summer camp at Yale & we were doing college visits to Harvard to compare and contrast. I had a real Rory Gilmore moment. Both my sisters went to college in Boston! Stasia at Emerson and Seraphina is currently at North Eastern.
The Fong sisters love New England.

Massachusetts is home to the first public park in America, the Boston Commons 1634. Plymouth was also the the site of the first thanksgiving! 1621! One of my most favorite American holidays! Green bean casserole is everything. Massachusetts also makes me think of SPORTS!!!! From The Patriots, The Celtics, The Red Sox, to the Bruins. All my friends have ingrained the love of sports New England sports (thanks Viri and Mark Smarts for all the Tom Brady facts I know).

The state dessert is the Boston Cream Pie. So it isn't actually a pie but a cake so I did my pie-pretation of it! It's a chocolate fudge and vanilla custard swirl pie with homemade pound cake sprinkled on to with a chocolate drizzle.

This pie is for one of my bestest buds Matthew McInerney. Matt grew up in western mass in a town called Deerfield. Our friendship is based on us drinking and scream singing songs at each other. I had the honor of being one of the groomsman at his recent wedding to my heart's song Suzy! I delivered the pie to Matt at our woodland vacation away last weekend where he got to share the pie with his brother Mark widely known as "Mark Smart" and his childhood friend Jack Strong. Jack makes the best cup of coffee I've ever had.

Massachusetts has blessed me with many great friendships! This pie is also dedicated to Jared Zeizel (LPS) from Newton, MA, Nikhil Mehta (you is kind, you is smart, you is important) from Sudbury, MA and Vytenis Krukonis (the best Lithuanian I know and I know a bunch) from Milton, MA.

Massachusetts you truly are the spirit of America.

MARYLAND

MARYLAND

MARYLAND - Pie #20 of 50 - Peirce Kea & Jess Lord

State Food: Blue Crabs
State Dessert: Smith Island Cake

I have been to Maryland! Last year Kelly, Javi, Britney, 3 cases of La Croix and I went on a road trip to Salisbury, MA to see our sweet friends Peirce & Alex get married! Bonus points cause queen bee Jess Lord married them and Darren was there too! It was the most fun wedding and we all slept in Jess and Darren's RV we parked in Peirce's drive way. We even ordered a pizza to the RV! Shout out to Michael the delivery guy for coming into the RV to bring us late night dominos. We still talk and think about you to this day.

When I think of Maryland I think of three things Blue Crabs, John Waters & The Wire.
Maryland is often referred to as "American in Miniature" since it has the widest variety of terrains from mountains, farmland, beaches to sand dunes. Maryland also gave up some of its land to form Washington D.C.!
The Star Spangled Banner was written. T Francis Scott Key a Maryland Lawyer on Sept 14th 1814. O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The pie I chose to make is an old bay blue crab dip pie with a spicy old bay crust! Since Maryland is the national leader in the production of Blue crabs. I must say it was friggin delicious! Future party app old bay pie crust chips with crab dip.

Maryland is for Peirce Kea & Jess Lord. We all went to SCAD together and built our friendship on countless PBRs at The Rail. Peirce and Jess were in town for Kelly's roller skating 30th pizza party so I got to give them the pie then!
Maryland is also dedicated to John Waters. He was born in Baltimore and is responsible for making one of my favorite movies "Cry Baby" and writing on of the most interesting books I've ever read "Car Sick" about hitch hiking across America. I got the chance to meet him at a book signing in Dumbo with my friend Chuck. It was a dream come true!
Shout out also to my other Maryland loves Andy Mangold, Hillary Edwards and their sweet pup Sadie who I finally get to meet next week!

If you are looking for merry land, go to Maryland!

On to a state that's wicked smaaarrttttt

MAINE

MAINE

MAINE - Pie #19 of 50 - Aaron Ruff

State Fruit: Wild Blueberries
State Dessert: Wild Blueberry Pie
State Soft Drink: Moxie
State Treat: Whoopie Pie

Maine is at the tippy top of the east coast.
I have never been to Maine but I know a few things. It's beautiful and it's where L.L. Bean is from. All I wanted growing up was a red L.L. Bean backpack with my name on it . I got one but my dad got it with "FONG" on it instead of "STACEY" so my sisters and I could share it UGH! I didn't wanna share it but it was red & came in a package all the way from America to Hong Kong so that was exciting!
Maine was the 23rd state in the Union and it's said that Eastport, ME is considered the first place to get sunlight in the morning on the east coast. In 1 year Maine produces 90% of the nations lobster and 99% of all blueberries too.
Maine's pie is a wild Maine blueberry & moxie pie with a "lobster" decorated crust. I boiled down a bottle of moxie to make a syrup to sweeten the pie with.

Maine is for my fine jewel of a friend Aaron Ruff. Aaron is from Dresden, ME but lives in Brooklyn now where he makes the most beautiful fine jewelry. 3 out of the 4 pieces of jewelry I wear every day are his. We met cause I won a giveaway on his Instagram where I won my "don't give up the ship" signet ring and we have been friends ever since. Fun fact Aaron introduced me to my sweet friend Rachel Hauer who is responsible for 85% of the tattoos on my body! Aaron may make the finest jewelry in the North East but his friendship is the true gem.
Maine is also dedicated to straight dime Eric Hallworth. Eric has been working on a tiny house on and off for the past 2 and a half years in Maine. The tiny house is located on land in Gray, ME where his family has had a cottage since the 80's but that original house has since been torn down. He designed it along with everyone's day dream Laura West. Eric is also building all of the furniture. Cause he is just that badass. Hopefully I'll come see this beauty myself soon with a bottle of tequila & a pie in hand.

I mean it must be Maine, the way life should be. You truly are Vacationland, postcard perfection.

LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA - Pie #18 of 50 - Zachery James Kohler "Moses" / "Mo Mo"

State Fruit: Strawberry
State Jellies: Mayhaw & Sugar Cane Jelly
State Meat Pie: Natchioches meat pie
Straw Donut: Beignet
State Vegetable: Sweet Potato
State Dish: Gumbo

Oh boy do I love Louisiana and I sure do love New Orleans. The first time I went to NoLa my college roommate Jess called me after class told me to she was packing a bag and we were driving right after she picked me up from class to crash her parents vacation. It was the most fun spontaneous road trip. I drank one million hurricanes and ate so many oysters, po boys and alligator for the first time! Nothing like a Chavez family vacation.
The second time I went to NoLa I went with my baby dolls Kelsie and Mallory to meet my childhood bff Holly Booth who at the time was working on a cruise ship and her only over night in America was in NoLa. We hit up all the sweet spots cause Kels is literally the best trip planner in the world.
We crashed with sweet baby boy Moses and upon arriving he served us home made red beans and rice, and we danced to the song "I can't wait" by nu shooz and got unlimited cuddles from his sweet pup Kosch dog.

New Orleans is where I bought a dozen Dolly Parton records. It's where I drank the most daiquiris. It's where Moses the girls and I danced to a live jazz band for eight hours straight to the point we were unable to walk the next day.
I can't say enough lovely things about this state.

Louisiana is way more than NoLa and I'm eager to explore! Next time maybe an air boat tour of the swamps is in order. Daiquiri in hand for sure.

Louisiana has blessed me with a variety of state foods and fruits for my interpretation. I landed on a strawberry and mayhaw jelly jam pie with a home made fleur de lis beignet topper and king cake esque decorations.

The pie is for my sweet friend Moses he is born and raised in New Orleans and resides there now in Bayou St John's with his sweet pup Kosch Dog and a stones throw from one of the best bars ever Pal's. I couldn't ship the pie to him so he is getting an apple pie-kage. The pie was received by the Woodbury's. Chuck goes to NoLa every year for Jazz Fest with Moses and the boys and Kels is one of my bad beignets & my favorite travel pal. Jack dog of course was around for a sniff and attempted lick.

Honorable mention to Caity Opelka and her mom Susan who also reside in New Orleans! Caity has been a party pal of mine since college. Her consistent and undying love for bacon and ability to do triathlons blows me away. Thank you for your constant support and love!

New Orleans thank you for always les bon temps rouler I'll be back soon for a get down and a daq.