Jules Wilson is the Principal of the San Diego-based multidisciplinary design studio, Jules Wilson Design Studio. She has been sheltering in place with her partner Paul Basile, Principal and Lead Designer of BASILE Studio (a full-service design, build, and fabrication studio). They’re both staying busy with ongoing projects and are making a point to connect with a weekly date night. They are currently restoring a home originally designed by Frederick Liebhardt. (www.juleswilsondesign.com, www.basilestudio.com)
Date Night with Jules Wilson and Paul Basile
“Paul and I have a home studio, so we work side-by-side, so audio issues have been a challenge. When it gets too loud, I like to take calls on the terrace where I can see the ocean in San Diego. It’s been nice to see Paul in action.” – Jules Wilson
“It feels like we’re both on a roller coaster. We have found a few zones in the house where we can go for a change of scenery. I think I’ve seen every part of our house and am getting at least 3,000 steps in a day, just pacing while on the phone.” – Paul Basile
DATE NIGHT AT HOME
What are your essentials for setting the table for date night?
Jules and Paul: We like to use fabric napkins, charcuterie on a marble platter, wine in a nice glass and great music.
Do you have tips for turning your home into a sanctuary?
Paul: comfortable slippers and a nice sunset.
Jules: A lot of candles, a fireplace, music and wine. Kicking back in a chaise lounge is always a good way to decompress. I also like to hang out on the terrace and enjoy the view of the ocean.
A romantic at-home meal must include?
Paul: Good wine. Jules is a great cook, so our at-home meals depend on whether we’ve just gone to the store or have to do more of a “kitchen sink” approach.
Jules: I love to use fresh herbs and greens from our hydroponic indoor garden.
UNWINDING FROM WORK
Do you and Paul have music that helps set the tone for a nice dinner in?
Jules: We’ve been listening to a lot of bossa nova, David Brubeck, and Sofi Tukker.
Are you cooking together? If so, is there a go-to recipe?
Jules: Our kitchen is being remodeled, so between limited kitchen space and shopping access it’s challenging, but I usually make something that is Italian or Mexican-inspired. I recently made scalloped potatoes with manchego and truffle. We also love making rajas (a traditional Mexican recipe with roasted poblano peppers), and fish tacos with tomatillo and crema.
2 pounds fresh large poblano chiles
1 onion (quartered) cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
Preheat broiler, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. If broiling, place chiles on a rimmed baking sheet. If grilling, put chiles directly on grill grate. Roast, turning occasionally, until tender and nicely charred all over, 15–20 minutes.
Transfer chiles to a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel chiles. Halve lengthwise; discard seeds. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.
Heat a large dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until beginning to char, 6–7 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add oregano and 1 cup water; simmer until onion is tender and water has evaporated, 5–7 minutes.
Add chiles; cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in crème fraîche and cheese. Add water by table-spoonfuls if mixture is too dry. Season to taste with salt.