It was like the old Doublemint commercial: “Double your pleasure, Double your fun!”
But I was surprised to step inside to find a food and beverage tasting!
(In fact, I saw more food tastings than book signings...)
I am developing quite a nice culinary library of autographed books that will soon rival my autographed garden books.
Food related merchants from Edible Manhattan and East End magazines
to the incomparable Van Leeuwen’s artisanal ice cream to
Russ Daughters egg cream
and other spirits lined the sides of the cavernous room. The center and back were punctuated every few feet like those traffic cones - with those high cocktail tables.
Here, the master chefs were greeting the attendees and chatting it up while staff scurried platters of their hor d’ouevres, pop in your mouth sized food creations.
I also met the adorable Sisha Ortuzar, Riverpark restaurant, one of Tom Collicheo’s latest.
I will surely go and visit these two chefs at their restaurants for follow up.
vegetable sushi from Blue Ribbon Sushi to try, along with Marc Murphy’s Shrimp Toast. Heading for the Luchy’s Whey center table featuring cheese from Cellars at Jasper Hill,
I see Nora Ephron. I love her!
She smiles and says a sincere “thank you.” She looks great in person too. (No neck thing whatsoever!) The T&C story is a Q&A with Ina Garten. (BTW, Ina’s publicist won’t return my emails anymore – I asked her to be in the Long Island Homegrown Cookbook about master chefs and their inspired gardens but I give up. I have the best Long Island chefs included and I think she will be noticed by her absence... So Ina’s not on my favs list. But Nora is.)
With her charming Australian accent, she told me Van Leeuwen is owned by her -- Laura -- and her husband, Ben and his brother, Peter. They have a few trucks and have started to stock their this-side-of -heaven ice cream in some Whole Foods stores. She pointed out not yet at the Whole Foods in Union Square, which is too bad as that is my local store. But I have the truck to visit and get the goods.
She is so very petite – almost elfin. The contrast with her hefty tome couldn’t have been more pronounced. Laughing, I asked her how she stays so thin producing such a weighty, recipe-filled cookbook. “It’s a secret,” she giggled back.
Here I am with author, Amanda after she signed my book!
Amanda is a New York Times columnist and former editor. She also runs the popular cooking site: www.food52.com
You can’t call yourself a real cook without this guide. Amanda solicited readers’ input on favorite recipes to include in the book’s more than 1,000 offerings. It’s fun to see which ones made it and how they reflect a period of time. It’s also a history of great American cooking.
I soon heard Chef Bill Telepan speaking with microphone to the entire room about childhood diabetes, the fact that now, more than 40% of New Yorkers are obese. He is a tireless crusader to secure healthy, fresh, unprocessed food and meals for all our citizens, especially those in underserved neighborhoods. Chef Bill is to be applauded for his generosity and devotion, making appearances seemingly everywhere: from the Martha Stewart radio show to NPR to Greenmarket events. I told him his is ubiquitous!
and autographed the book, “In The Kitchen With a Good Appetite” that is a synthesis or curated compilation of her New York Times’ column.
I was the first to secure Melissa's autograph. Soon a line was at the table
Soon it seemed that “half-time” was over. An announcement was made that the second shift of chefs and their tastings would be coming out soon for the second half. A quick run down of the roster, if you will, told me I’d recently seen and tasted the fantastic food from these chefs. It was getting later and since I wasn’t really dressed for the occasion, I decided to scoot home – with my goody bag and my signed books.