Alex Hitz contributed two stories to the January/February 2016 issue of Town & Country Magazine. 

 

 

 

 

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, holiday traditions are defined by what’s served, the food that becomes vetted and favorite for generations: Roast Turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving, Standing Beef Rib Roast or goose and Yorkshire pudding at Christmas. You get it—your family has its own, as does mine. Nancy Reagan’s Christmas tradition—one she’s served every year since she married, as her mother did before her—is all-American Persimmon Pudding with Hard Sauce. It’s this country’s answer to a steamed spice pudding from England, andI had never had it until I started going to Nancy’s several years ago for Christmas Day dinner.

 

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MOST OF THE TIME, if you move to a new city far away from the one you grew up in, you end up making another kind of family: the family of beloved friends. I’ve now done this twice, both in New Yorkand in Los Angeles. This family, not theone you were born into, is the one you choose—and it chooses you. When I first started spending time in Los Angeles, Dominick Dunne said, “Alex, you’ll only need ONE friend out there. Through that one, you’ll meet EVERYBODY.” Early on—like, the second day Iwas there—Marguerite Littman, who was visiting from London, introduced me to Connie Wald.

 

Connie was the ultimate Hollywood h...

 

Since 1984, uber-decorators like Peter Marino, Brian McCarthy, and Ellie Cullman have flocked to New York’s Chinese Porcelain Company for ne plus ultra 18th Century Fine French Furniture, period export ceramics, and important Asian lacquer pieces—essential elements to create Grand English Country House Style or Le Style Rothschild—the only look for the moneyed potentates of the ’80s and ’90s. But tastes shift with the times: while venerable dealers like Segoura in Paris, and Stair and Company in New York have gone the way of the world, there’s a palatial new gallery upstairs for CPCO in East 59th Street’s legenda...

ANN BARBIER-MUELLER is a Texas girl through and through. She grew up riding horses and fishing trout on a cattle ranch. She’s blonde and slender with big pools that are blue eyes, and I smile when I see her. Ann married young into an aristocratic European family, and has, let’s just say, seen the elephant.

Still, she has all the things money can’t buy—charm, an easy laugh, beauty, intelligence, and warmth, and whenever I see her widely smiling face I’m reminded of Kipling’s great line: “Though she’s walked with Kings, she’s never lost the common touch.” Everybody loves Ann. How could you not? At a dinner one nigh...

You’re discerning, worldly, stylish, and savvy. You get it. You know that late August and September are the ULTIMATE season for tomatoes, and even though you’re accustomed to seeing them all year long, you---the connoisseur---wouldn’t dream of serving them any other time. To paraphrase Mr. Wilde…“Your tastes are simple. You are always satisfied with the best.”

 

 The glory of this scrumptious, gorgeous pie lies in its versatility. Make it ahead and serve it warm or cold. Mix the varieties of tomatoes if you’re not stuck on heirlooms: cherries with grapes with vine-ripes with yellows with greens with Beefsteaks—whate...

Experts and pundits opine that the Lobster Salad from Hampton’s commissary Loaves and Fishes is an economic bell-weather. North of $100 per pound says stock markets are bullish, south is bear-time. The message is clear either way: Lobster Salad means luxury.

 

Although lobster is no longer the delicacy it once was---I’m talking Diamond Jim Brady days at Delmonico’s when crustaceans were as exotic as Antelope meatloaf might be today---it’s still really special. This one is so much more to me because of sensational sauce remoulade: a French herb-mayonnaise with capers and a touch of anchovy. Auguste Escoffier, the gur...

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