Date Night with Jules Wilson and Paul Basile

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)

Photo Credit: Jay Drose
Photo Credit: Jay Drose

“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.

Minotti Freeman "Tailor" Sofa
Minotti Freeman "Tailor" Sofa

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.

Minotti Claydon Table and Flavin Chair
Minotti Claydon Table and Flavin Chair

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.

Venini Battuti Vase
Venini Battuti Vase
Bolle Orrizontale Pendant Light
Bolle Orrizontale Pendant Light

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.

Jules Wilson's and Paul Basile's Frederick Liebhardt-Designed Home, Photo Credit: Jay Drose
Jules Wilson's and Paul Basile's Frederick Liebhardt-Designed Home, Photo Credit: Jay Drose
Kitchen, Photo Credit: Jay Drose
Kitchen, Photo Credit: Jay Drose

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.

Recipe by Oliver Strand, Photos by Christopher Testani, Courtesy of Bon Appetit
Recipe by Oliver Strand, Photos by Christopher Testani, Courtesy of Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

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

Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

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.