Designer Profile: The Wooden Palate

Posted on October 06 2014

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Co-Founders, Eileen O'Dea and Ryan Silverman, answer our Q&A:


  • Tell us about your background, do you have a history in carpentry?
  • Eileen-I do not have a history in carpentry, but in culinary, and I’ve always been a maker.
    Ryan-I’ve been a custom woodworker for over a decade.
  • What made you decide to focus on wood specifically?
  • Eileen-Wood is sensual, organically gorgeous and pairs well with so many other materials.
    Ryan-Infinite options made by mother nature.
  • We are obsessed with the Eileen chop block can you tell us the background on this product?
  • Eileen-I wanted a chopping block that was a small piece of usable art for the counter and a good size to work on. I also wanted to tuck one of our 14 inch round or square chop blocks underneath just perfectly. Every kitchen deserves the Eileen board for big jobs and our 14 inch for every day.  
  • Where do you live in California?
  • A mile inland from Venice Beach in a neighborhood called Mar Vista. 
  • Where do you produce your product?
  • In our 20,000 foot village like shop in Gardena, CA 
  • What inspires you/ where do you find inspiration?
  • Eileen-The people and environment around me, my husband.
    Ryan-functional beauty...found anywhere I can find it.
  • Do you have a favorite furniture designer/Period?
  • Eileen and Ryan-Hands down Sam Maloof. Sit in his chairs and you understand. 
  • Where did you go on vacation last?
  • We don't remember our last vacation...
  • When you are not working you are...?
  • Eileen-Playing or running with our 6 rescue pups, reading, gardening, yoga, cooking.
    Ryan-Thinking about projects and possibilities.
  • What are you obsessed with at the moment?
  • Eileen-Keeping my yard and house looking lovely even though we have 6 dogs, our new Harper Tray and The Knick(TV show with Clive Owen)
    Ryan-Our Clydesdale Island
  • What’s you’re favorite quote?
  • Eileen-Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
    Ryan-Do what you can, when you can, with what you've got.
  • Favorite food?
  • Eileen-An heirloom tomato caprese salad with burrata
    Ryan-Authentic chicken tacos with avo, queso fresco and salsa verde.
  • Classic or modern?
  • A touch of both...much that is classic was modern at one time.
  • Which of you is the cook in the household?
  • While Eileen is certainly the "chef" we both cook!
  • The first thing I do in the morning is....
  • Eileen-Cuddle with a couple dogs while concurrently yelling at a couple of dogs to stop barking and running crazily through the house.
    Ryan-make my coffee, fresh ground, black and go sit on our front deck with dogs and trees
  • What are you presently reading?
  • Eileen-I'll drink to that:A life in style, with a twist by Betty Halbreich and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.
    Ryan-I read voraciously..mostly adventure fiction..James Rollins at the moment
  • What three things would you take to a desert island?
  • Eileen-My husband(because he's my husband and he can do anything), my dog pack and my kindle(assuming the battery would never die)
    Ryan-My wife, my dog pack and an agave seed
  • Do you have a most favorite piece of furniture in your home?
  • Eileen-My walk-in closet custom designed by the two of us and built by my husband, before I even moved in with him! (I know it's not a piece of furniture but still...)
    Ryan-Our Kitchen Table
  • Favorite cocktail?
  • Eileen-Presecco with pomegranate seeds
    Ryan-Gran Cava De Oro Extra Anejo neat.
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