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 answe
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,
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, an
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
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 t
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
Summer greetings—and here’s a summer tip that will serve you far better than “plant the corn early” or “take an umbrella in case of rain.” Ready? If a friend invites you to go cruising on a 215 foot yacht in the Aegean for a week, the answer is YES! I’m just back from Greece and Turkey---my first time since 1976, before I was born--- and was dazzled by so many incredible things: the majesty of The Byzantine/Ottoman Empire, the fun of Mykonos, the succulent, delectable FRESH
IN 1954, ROBERT SHAW made it big when his album Christmas Hymns and Carols went gold. “Gold” meant it sold at least a million copies—it was the first classical record to ever do so—and this was about 10 years into Robert’s solo career as a conductor. Robert had grown up poor, and although he’d enjoyed early success on the radio with the Robert Shaw Chorale, Arturo Toscanini, and the NBC Symphony, it wasn’t ‘til that gold record the he felt he’d truly hit the big time. At 38,
THESE DAYS, it’s hard to imagine true seasonality in food, even though you may read about it every day. While everything seems to be available always, corn on the cob isn’t right for December, blueberries won’t cut it in March, and root vegetables, even if they’re made into a salad, are Verboten in July. You get it—but here’s another ploy: there’s a huge difference between organic and seasonal, and most people just don’t know the difference. You may be able to buy organic tom
WHENEVER NAN and Tommy Kempner were in town, Sunday nights were super-special occasions. Unlike the more formal seated lunches and dinners for 12 to 18 during the week, these Sunday parties were blockbuster sit-all-over-theapartment buffet suppers for 30 to 120 guests, several times a month. The phone would ring and there was Nan: “Do come for a spaghetti dinner,” her tone implying an evening as cozy and relaxed as something any old housewife might slap together for a crowd.