When I heard from the photo editor at People Magazine that The View's Sunny Hostin had her own chickens, I thought: I'm going to get along with this woman. And that I did. Sunny and her family are gracious even when you interrupt their Sunday goings-on for a photo shoot for the Hollywood at Home issue of People. The issue is out this week--enjoy Sunny's 1920's Tudor starting on page 76!
One of the perks of my work is that I get to see the back of house of some of the best restaurants out there. It’s a nostalgic love of mine too--being in a restaurant kitchen--having grown up in my family’s own. The ever-greasy, squishy mat-studded floors that I now find underfoot at work are enough to take me back to being four feet tall, admiring the smells and skills before me.
It never ceases to amaze me, a self-professed slow and messy home cook, to watch the staff do their dance--so focused and efficient. And yet, all this bustle is well hidden behind the serenity and curated interiors of the dining room. I recently photographed both Danny Meyer and Marcus Samuelsson in the art filled spaces of two of their respective restaurants: the new Union Square Café and the southern-inspired Red Rooster in Harlem. Both men are fun and gracious and fed me well (best collard greens I’ve ever had, Marcus!) It felt wonderful to connect with two of the greats in the restaurant biz, all in a month’s work.
Last month I had the chance to visit New Orleans for my friends at The Kitchn, and while it was not my first encounter with this magical city, I’m never bored with it. NOLA has a special way of making you enjoy going with the flow and creating new experiences. What started off as a trip with goals and plans ended with my flight back home being grounded, extra time in the Crescent City, and a masquerade ball and dinner hosted by Mario Batali for the Link Stryjewski Foundation (an organization that supports local youth empowerment groups). I scrambled to find something to wear, but it was totally worth it as the Bal Masqué featured an amazing array of dishes by some of the best chefs around the country. My favorite dish of the weekend was a boozy, citrusy, Baked Alaska type thing called “Satsuma Business,” born from the minds of Babbo’s Rebecca Deangelis and Nick Morgenstern. In typical over-the-top New Orleans style, The Kitchn’s Managing Editor and I stole a whole one from a nearby table and dug in with spoons after finishing our own slices. And though I may not rock an evening gown with high tops again for the foreseeable future, I’m grateful for another wonderful trip, surprises included.
It’s finally pretty cold out today and I’m dying for a cute hat to make winter feel prettier. Gigi Burris, who I had the pleasure of photographing recently for Garden & Gun, makes gorgeous ones that I’m lusting over. My favs are below—the Fox Mohawk beanie is chic, yet practical for winter and the Nell fedora is just simply beautiful (for those days when the wind is a bit more quiet).