Friday, March 14, 2014

The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook Stars on Princeton TV

Princeton TV “Managing Your Wealth” interview featuring me, author of
The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook  -- and Bill:

Gardens & Food are True Luxuries

The ivy-covered walls of nearby Princeton University may have lent an element of gravitas to the television interview I did for The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook with Princeton TV and their Management Your Wealth host, Deborah Frazier.  

The day was more than just the interview.
It was a love-filled bouquet, especially because my most favorite people accompanied me: my mother, Virginia, and a beloved garden design client, dear friend and muse, Maria.
And my number one fan and supporter, my husband Bill.

So despite the Polar Vortex, me and my Homegrown entourage drove “over the river and through the woods” -- to Princeton.

I’d met Deborah previously at a book talk and book signing I did at Judy McClellan’s invitation for her Mercer County United Way group.  That was a swanky, teatime event at the Nassau Inn.

Deborah bought a book at that time and has since made my homegrown heart flutter when she tells me that she keeps The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook on the coffee table in her offices at RBS as a conversation starter with her financial services clients.

Deborah is one smart cookie. 
And to that point I continue to be gob smacked by her definition of wealth.

According to Deborah, “Wealth is an abundance of valuable resources.”

So you see, it’s not just those greenbacks as money-in-the-bank that is considered wealth.  Rather our health and well-being and sustainable lifestyle comprise what is the true measure of wealth.


Deborah explores these topics and this pursuit of true wealth on her Princeton TV show, Managing Your Wealth.

Digging In

Deborah called me in late December to explore the interview opportunity.
Here, she explained about her show’s format and how the content is both informative and entertaining for her audience who are most interested in managing their money and wealth.

Later she said she was struggling a bit to fit in the homegrown food and garden topics into the show’s format and focus.
She asked me how I might go about it and just like that, I was going on about how gardens have always been about “conspicuous consumption” and showing off wealth – from the Persians to Rockefellers to today’s hedge fund totems. Especially since the Victorian times when exotic and rare plants were brought back to the West, plants and gardens came to represent great wealth and achievement.
Further, I prattled on, good landscape design today increases the value of one’s home by 15-25% or more.
And not breaking stride, I articulated how taste is today’s True Luxury.
I shared one of my often-repeated quote, “That food created for taste and not transport” can be considered a sign of wealth, given the nod to valuable resources under Deborah’s rubric.

Then there was silence.

“Uh-oh,” read the bubble in head.

I feared I lost her.

“Are you there?” I asked timidly.

“Oh, yes,” I’m taking notes on all this – it’s terrific!” exclaimed Deborah.


So it was settled.
Yes, I can do the interview on her show.
As we proceeded to chat about some other topic details, I could just make out that Bill was telling me something to share with Deborah.

“Can you hold on a minute?” I ask.  “My husband is trying to tell me something.”
It was the Christmas holidays so he home from work.

“Tell her about growing our asparagus and garlic and …”
As I note in my Homegrown book’s Acknowledgements, Bill surely became a master gardener and chef during the time it took to produce the book.

He starts our seeds indoors under the lights in the spring, we compost, and our Garden State farm-ette produces abundant, homegrown food that enriches our menus and our friends and family’s with the best garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, shallots, onions, lettuce, and…

As I dutifully relayed Bill’s brilliant suggestion, Deborah said, “That’s great background.” 
And further, “Bill should join us for the TV interview.”

I smile as I say more loudly so he can hear across the room, “What’s that you say? Have Bill join me for the interview about gardens and edible homegrown food?”

As Bill is mouthing “NO WAY!” and gesturing with his hands like a football ref just to make sure I got the No message, I say to Deborah,
“Why that’s a brilliant suggestion and invitation.  Bill says he’d love to!”

And so it was.

From then until the actual interview session, I researched the background data points for the gardens as wealth and the importance of eating sustainable, local, food and its importance to creating true food networks, jobs and a community lifestyle.
(If any of you are interested in those data points, let me know and I can share with you.)
Otherwise, many of them are included as part of the TV interview.

Then, in another sign of good karma, Pantone announced the 2014 Color of the Year.
What does this have to do with gardens or the TV interview, you may be wondering.

See, Deborah’s TV set always features the color purple – as does Deborah – as she cites purple as a sign of wealth.
And the Radiant Orchid color is inspired by what else, nature and flowers.

When I shared this color news with Deborah, she thoughtfully asked, “Why don’t we feature the radiant orchids on our TV set with you?”
I couldn’t think of a single reason why not!  

In her pursuit of true wealth and happiness, even on her TV stage set, Deborah features a floral design arranged by a local artist:

So it all came together.  I even wore a purple blouse and tanzanite jewelry.  

But the real star of the show?
When Deborah asked him during the interview what he most liked about gardening, he deliberately and thoughtfully replied, “I never feel closer to God than when I’m in the garden.”

It was a jaw dropping, tearful moment of bliss and pride.

Maria and Mother were in the green room and later with the technicians watching and listening and taking pictures – seen here.  

Afterwards, we all retreated to -- where else?
A local, Princeton restaurant that serves local, homegrown ingredients on their menu.

We celebrated in homegrown style.

Thank you, Deborah, Maria, Mother, and Bill. 

Enjoy the interview.

Let me know what you think.


And Deborah can be reached at:
Deborah J. Frazier 
Financial Advisor 
RBC Wealth Management 
192 Nassau Street 
Princeton, NJ  08542 
Phone: 609-688-2341 
Fax: 609-683-5088
Visit My Website:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

First-ever Slow Food East End Carlo Petrini Award to North Fork Table & Inn; Plus Fundraising Event for Chef Gerry Hayden

North Fork Table & Inn partners accept Slow Food East End Carlo Petrini Award, L-R: Chef Claudia Fleming, Mary Mraz, Mike Mraz, Chef Gerry Hayden

No need to wait or hold out for the Academy Awards and Oscar®
The votes are in.

And the winner is the acclaimed East End restaurant, The North Fork Table & Inn and its James Beard award-winning chefs and co-owners, husband and wife culinary team: Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming, along with their managing partners, Mike Mraz and his wife, Mary. 

The Inn was presented with the first-ever Slow Food East End Carlo Petrini Award for its exceptional embodiment of the Slow Food principles of universal access to good, clean and fair food.

At the same time, the sold-out event was a “double feature.”
East End foodies gathered to raise funds to help combat the devastating ALS disease, while saluting and celebrating Chef Gerry Hayden and his fight against ALS.
Chef Gerry is also James Beard nominee this year for Best Chef, Northeast.

All the really big stars -- in the culinary constellation, that is -- were in attendance at Sunday’s very big night at The North Fork Table & Inn.
In fact, there were 50 chefs, staff and volunteers and nearly 20 chefs who participated in the evening’s star-studded night.  

The event was a sell-out with more than 220 tickets purchased and even more donations were tallied online, garnering a total of approximately $40,000. 
Chef Gerry was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. The money raised helps provide for his quality of care.  

The evening’s menu was extraordinary – with local, homegrown ingredients dazzling the Out East plates and palates. (Check out Rosa Ross' Vegetable Rolls!)

The best ingredient of the night?  Love.

Hat’s in the air to all the effort and community that helped make the night a success, especially, event planner Maria McBride of Peconic Productions, Kontokosta Winery and Anne Howard, Slow Food East End.
Slow Food East End Membership Chair & event hero, Anne Howard, Center
Chefs Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming are featured chefs in this Examiner’s book, The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook, as are many of the chefs who turned out to support the fundraising event.

Of course they did. That’s what Homegrown Chefs do…

Special mention goes to Chef Kevin Penner, Bryan Futerman, Robby Beaver, Frisky Oyster, Rosa Ross, Scrimshaw, Gretchen Menser, Fresno, James Carpenter, Citta Nuova, and Jason Weiner, Almond, NYC/L&W Oyster Co.   
Chef Bryan Futerman, Left
Exuberant & beautiful: Chef Claudia

I wrote about Chef Gerry and Claudia’s vision and culinary leadership for the North Fork Table & Inn’s profile in the Homegrown Cookbook,
“The couple is dedicated to fulfilling the North Fork’s potential as a food lover’s paradise. They opened the restaurant here because they believe it offers the best of the culinary world’s future, with the highest-quality ingredients steps away from their door.  And because of their philosophy, The North Fork Table & Inn has become a food-lover’s destination.”

And inspiration, it should be added.

Photos Courtesy of Slow Food East End, photographer: Brittany Calderale