About Me

My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.

About the table

The yellow table has been a part of my life since birth. As a child, I grew up eating every meal–and celebrating most birthdays and holidays–around this table. A sturdy, handcrafted piece, the yellow table was discovered by my mom at an antiques store in Nashville in the 1970's and she knew she had to have it. With money lent to her by my grandfather, she bought the table and it instantly became a central figure in her life and eventually ours.

She gave me the table as a college graduation present and it has traveled with me from Pittsburgh to Nashville, hosting many a joyous dinner party, and now–after three long years in storage–it finally has a home in NYC. A friend put it well when he described the yellow table as a "living history of friendship" (and good food, I might add!)

About the husband

This blog would not be possible without my wonderful husband, Brandon. Not only did he design the blog, he coded it as well! He shot the early pictures, taught me the ropes of digital photography (from my film-y background), and has provided endless encouragement and moral support along the way. He also puts up with up with night after night of cold dinners–food photography sometimes takes awhile–without complaining. He is absolutely amazing, and I am so grateful to be sharing the journey with him!

About the (sometimes) photographer

Danish born photographer, Signe Birck, creates culinary images with a delicate precision that has been described as sensual, comforting, ethereal and luscious. With an acute visual sensibility inspired by the land, sea, sky and unique light of Scandinavia, Signe's work is evocative of the New Nordic Cuisine, featuring young, creative chefs and food entrepreneurs using locally grown, seasonal food, combining traditional Scandinavian recipes with cutting edge preparation, presentation and taste.

My philosophy

I believe that cooking is the greatest way to a healthy lifestyle...that flavorful food can be had on a budget...that the dinner table is the heart of the home...that conversation must not become a lost art...that there is no celebration too small for bubbly...that a home-cooked meal feeds more than just the body...that there's nothing like a dinner party to propel tomorrow's ideas, tonight's relationships, and maybe even inspire a little bit of music.