Cookbook Road Trip: NYC Kick-Off Dinner Party!
Hello everybody! Sorry for the delay in posting...it's been just a tad busy. Since my last post we spent 4 whirlwind days in Nashville that included 2 TV appearances (my first ever!), a trip to the ER for stitches, a surprise visit from my husband Brandon, and throwing a 25-person dinner party at Peter Nappi Studio. (Phew!) Given that every-day blogging has been a challenge, we created a Cookbook Road Trip Tumblr site, so you can follow along with pictures and daily updates here.
We drove through Alabama and Mississippi all day yesterday, and arrived in New Orleans last night. I have never been to NOLA and I am beyond excited to explore. We'll be throwing a dinner with my friends Joy Wilson (a.k.a. Joy the Baker) and artist Rebecca Rebouché tomorrow night at Joy's house. Stay tuned for stories and pictures!
In the meantime, I wanted to backtrack a bit and share with you all some pictures from our Cookbook Road Trip kickoff party in NYC. There will be 8 "Yellow Table Gatherings" on this trip, and this one was the first, so it only seemed appropriate to host it around the actual yellow table in our apartment! We had a great group – half of whom are involved in creating the cookbook – Signe Birck (photographer), Lauren Salkeld (recipe editor), Jean-Luc Le Du (wine pairings), and Brandon (co-project manager!).
The other guests were a collection of friends and journalists: Carolina Santos-Neves, chef/co-owner of Comodo and Colonia Verde, Carolyn Murnick, Senior Editor at New York Magazine online, Karen Palmer, Executive Editor at Tasting Table, Grace Bonney, founder of Design Sponge, and cookbook author Julia Turshen. Also in attendance: our dear friends Eric & Amy Anderson and their adorable little girl Parker Mae. Eric took these fantastic photos (thank you!!) – and even though Amy and Parker just made a brief appearance, Parker, per usual, totally stole the show. My friend Jane Frye, who happens to be the Managing Editor of The Daily Beast, helped me out in the kitchen.
I love dinner parties – especially ones in which not every one knows each other – because it's so fun to watch relationships form over the course of the meal. Most of the people didn't know each other at the beginning of the night, but by the end, everyone was telling stories and laughing like old friends. Cards and numbers were exchanged and I feel like this is a group that would happily get together again.
For the meal, I prepared a collection of spring dishes from the cookbook: naan flatbread pizzas with ricotta and shaved asparagus for a starter (paired with a delicious sparkling rose from Jean-Luc), my favorite warm goat cheese salad with watermelon radishes and green apples, then for the main course, seared halibut with pea-fava puree and roasted carrots. For dessert, I made strawberry rhubarb crumbles (my go-to while rhubarb is in season!).
The styling for this dinner was ultra-simple because I did everything myself. I bought gorgeous peonies from Whole Foods, and just hand wrote little menus and stuck them in these cute pockets that doubled as name cards. With no further ado, here are a few pictures from the evening! (P.S. Eric created some amazing portraits from the evening which I am going to use in another post soon.)
Photography: Eric Ryan Anderson
Ingredients + Flowers: Whole Foods Market
Wines: Le Du's Wines