Marc J. Sievers
Thank you for finding me! My name is Marc J. Sievers and I am a cookbook author, entertaining expert, and savvy home cook with a passion for sharing my expertise, know-how, and ideas for savvy cooking, entertaining, and style. I published my first cookbook in 2012, and my second cookbook in 2016! Here on my web site I create and produce my food, style, and entertaining blog La Vie Piquant. You can also find me on YouTube having fun in my kitchen in my web series From My Kitchen to Yours. If you want to learn a little more about me, I've shared some about my background and interests here. I invite you to join me in my adventure!
No matter the paths taken or the turn of events in my life, the kitchen has always been the place where I have felt the most comfortable. In the kitchen I can create a soothing and warm feel-good meal to help brush off a bad day. I can put on my thinking cap to experiment with, and explore, new ideas. The kitchen is a place for me to get lost in a fairytale of cakes and frosting, or don my apron and mise en place my way through grand first, second, and third course presentations. For me, the kitchen is where I can push my own boundaries and feel confident doing it.
My career has spanned Boston, New York City, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Chicago. And though it was not centered in the kitchen to start, as I have found my sweet spot (yes, pun intended!) I have become dedicated to perfecting and sharing my vision of the very best fresh and useful ideas that take the guesswork and stress from home cooking, entertaining, and life-styling. It is my goal to create for you truly easy, chic, flavorful, and accessible kitchen and entertaining know-how that you value. And it all began in the kitchen with my nan, 30 years ago.
The start of something big
In 1999 I accepted a position at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston. It was the start to a career that frankly did not have a master plan driving it, but very quickly opened a door for me to see how styling and entertaining can share a vision. And little did I realize at the time how much of an influence these formative years would have as a major influence in shaping how I think about and approach my work.
From Boston I hit New York City, at the height of the Sex and the City era, and as a sales associate at Stuart Weitzman's flagship store on Madison Avenue I was exposed to an elite group of clients and celebrities. This was motivation like no other and really sparked my awareness of having attention to detail and the value of fantastic client service.
An entrepreneurial leap
Throughout my career I would lend my eye to neighborhood boutiques for display and merchandising assistance, help style friends for social and public events, and I loved to plan intimate dinner parties and tablescapes for some of my clients. I learned the essential art of how to maintain the integrity of my clients’ vision while incorporating my own expertise and entertaining philosophy.
By 2006 Sex and the City was ended and Paris Hilton, and her dog Tinkerbell (RIP Tinks!), were the scene. I had my own 3 lb princess, and no place to shop. It was also time for me to do my own thing. I applied my high-end retail experience and knowledge to create my own vision for a luxury pet boutique and portrait studio, which I opened in Las Vegas. I attended to the cute and cuddly (and their eccentric owners) and learned the ropes of what it meant to not just have a vision but to execute it, too.
Though I did not spend my career to this point in a professional kitchen, I spent the majority of my life learning in ways that were hands-on and very real. I would get an idea in my head and then try it. Practice it. And try it again. More often than not, I was exploring the intersection of entertaining, styling, and food. My passions always found a way.
I met my husband-to-be in 2009. I knew he was the one right away. And so did he. The magic began immediately. Among the many things Ryan and I discovered we have in common, he is also an entrepreneur. Naturally, as like-minded creatives, we began to conceptualize a new business venture in 2010 that would find a way to bring together all this creativity and passion I have for food, style, and entertaining. At some point, while solving life's problems together over a bottle of wine, Ryan stated that we needed to "harness the essence of you". Flattered as ever, the idea stuck with us.
It did not take all that much contemplation. To us, it was obvious what we had to do. Ryan left his job and together we founded Marc-Ryan Group, with the initial goal of publishing my first cookbook. From there, we set out on our new mission: To inform, encourage, and inspire savvy home cooking, entertaining, and life-styling.
"My kinda town..."
To make our dream real, we left Seattle and moved to Chicago to make it our home and headquarters. Just one year after taking Chicago by storm, we competed as a team on Bobby's Dinner Battle on Food Network and won the title of Best Home Cooks in Chicago! It was such a fabulous and exciting way to have all our hard work and passion validated. The same week we finished filming with Food Network my first cookbook debuted, purposefully titled Entertaining with Love—Inspired Recipes for Everyday Entertaining.
The next big thing, and more to come
Following the release of the second edition of Entertaining with Love in hardcover, I began conceptualizing my next big project. My friend Linda Marie Clark is an artist and photographer and we share a passion for food. It became obvious to us both that we needed to collaborate: My recipes and know-how, and Linda’s vivid and chic watercolors. Soon the Watermarc brand was created and our vision to produce fine art quality paper products inspired by our shared passions for food, art, and culture became a reality with the launch of Watermarc – Art & Appetite in 2014.
Whenever I am having a bad day I can be expected to say at some point something like, "I just want to be in the kitchen working on a new recipe." It is true. The kitchen is my home base. It is my default place. I love creating culinary delights, setting a table, preparing for a party, and learning new ways to eat, live, laugh, and love. I visited Paris for the first time in 2015. I will live there one day. In the meantime, my second cookbook Table for Two—Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1 debuted to great acclaim in 2016! And I have a hundred ideas a day to share with you, which is why I have both a blog and a YouTube channel, in addition to my cookbooks.
What I do know is that my career path will continue to take me in surprising new directions, and every day I can anticipate more great things to come. I called my blog la vie piquant because of that spice, both that I crave but that seems to be an integral part of this life I am trying to live best. I invite you to join me in my adventure!