ORIGINAL PEOPLE: ERICA DUNHAM

ORIGINAL PEOPLE: ERICA DUNHAM Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Erica Dunham has spent half of her life working in all kinds of kitchens—four of them in professional kitchens, and two of those years here at The Original (she preps and works our saute station). And to be scientific about it, she’s been trying to learn to cook—she indicates by holding her hand at her knee—since about the age of five.

Either way, you won’t see her very often. She’s generally in back quietly and carefully preparing your dinner, whether your brisket, your pot roast, or your fish and pasta specials.

What you might not know about her is the remainder of her curriculum vitae—the work she does when she’s not working.

Erica’s been classically trained on the cello, guitar and piano, which she’s used to her advantage to form a one-woman musical project called Unter Null, which she’s been hard at work at since the age of 15. She composes and sings her own songs, orchestrates the arrangement of those songs, produces her own records, promotes those records by booking and arranging her own tours to cities as far-flung as Rome and Frankfurt and by hiring the musicians to accompany her on those tours.

If that weren’t enough to keep her busy, she also recently founded  Unterbites—”Novel Treats and Offbeat Sweets”—which orbits around all things bacon (chocolate-bacon-hazelnut-caramel bars, bacon marshmallows, bacon-peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies and bacon powder, to, of course, sprinkle on your pop corn).

You simply visit her site, place your order and wait for it to arrive in the mail—she’ll make it fresh and from scratch using organic, free-range, seasonal and local ingredients, and she’ll ship it to you no matter where you live.

So swing by some night and see what she and the kitchen has dreamt up for you, and visit her site and shop for yourself or your loved ones. As she says, “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like bacon.”