SHARE Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary at NYC Benefit Featuring Many of NYC’s Best Chefs (Who Just Happen to Be Female)

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Top left: SHARE’s Class of 2016 Celebrity Sous Chefs; Top right: Marea chef Lauren De Steno with Andrew Dornenburg; Bottom left: Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen’s Carrot Bun; Bottom right: Team Melba, including Melba’s Restaurant chef-owner Melba Wilson & Karen Page

It’s been a challenging past several days in the New York area, to say the least.  That made the high energy and positive vibes at NYC’s Pier 60 all the more welcome:  Last night marked the 40th anniversary of SHARE, a not-for-profit organization that supports women with breast and ovarian cancer, and we were both happy to be able to yet again support its annual “A Second Helping of Life” benefit, as we have every year since this event’s earliest days.

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Congratulating Chef Charleen Badman after the wonderful dinner she cooked at the James Beard House in 2015

The evening brings together some of the city’s best chefs, each paired with a “Celebrity Sous Chef,” who often include authors, actresses, and anchors, and in which capacity Karen is always pleased to serve, since she was first paired with Chef Charleen Badman, then of NYC’s Inside and currently of Scottsdale’s acclaimed FnB restaurant.

melbawilsoncookbookcoverKaren has been paired with other fabulous chefs in the years since — including Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen, Marea’s Lauren DeSteno, and Suenos’ Sue Torres.  This year was no exception, presenting the chance to connect with Harlem’s own Melba Wilson of Melba’s Restaurant at 114th Street and Eighth Avenue.  Melba just saw her first cookbook published this year, Melba’s American Comfort:  100 Recipes From My Heart to Your KitchenShe and her team couldn’t have been lovelier, and it was a pleasure for Karen to spend the night as a member of Team Melba.  We’re already looking forward to getting uptown to Melba’s one Tuesday night for its live music!

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Top left: Karen Page, actress Kathleen Chalfant, and Delaware & Hudson chef Patti Jackson; Top right: Annisa chef Anita Lo & Karen Page; Middle: Lauren De Steno’s awesome stuffed zucchini; Bottom left: Cornerstone Communications’ Marsha Palanci pours wine with grace and style; Bottom right: Celebrity sous chefs Ellie Krieger, Karen Page, and Brenda Blackmon

We join SHARE in thanking all of last night’s chefs, including the event’s Executive Chef Angie Mar, Culinary Chairs Abigail Kirsch and Alison Awerbuch, and Participating Chefs:

Einat Admony
Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat, Taïm

Alison Awerbuch
Abigail Kirsch Catering

Lynn Bound
Feinstein’s/54 Below

Rebecca Charles
Pearl Oyster Bar

Amanda Cohen
Dirt Candy

Leah Cohen
Pig & Khao

Rebecca DeAngelis
Babbo

Lauren DeSteno
Marea

Colleen Grapes
Oceana

Alex Guarnaschelli
Butter

Patti Jackson
Delaware & Hudson

Sara Jenkins
Porchetta, Porsena

Sarabeth Levine
Sarabeth’s

Anita Lo
Annisa

Angie Mar
The Beatrice Inn

Sawako Okochi
Shalom Japan

Lauren Resler
Empellon

Missy Robbins
Lilia

Allison Robicelli
Robicelli’s Bakery

Amy Scherber
Amy’s Bread

Barbara Sibley
La Palapa

Roxanne Spruance
Kingsley

Sue Torres
Fairfield County Hunt Club

Jessica Weiss
Maialino

Melba Wilson
Melba´s Restaurant

We especially loved Amanda Cohen‘s Carrot Buns, which we’ve enjoyed previously at Dirt Candy, Lauren De Steno‘s wonderful stuffed zucchini with macadamia nut “ricotta,” and Sue Torres‘ lusty corn tacos on one of the most delicious tortillas imaginable.  (We had to have seconds of each.)  Special thanks to all the chefs who mentioned that they were inspired to showcase vegetarian or vegan dishes last night, knowing that we’d be able to taste them!  And special thanks to chefs like Balaboosta’s Einat Admony, whose team gladly vegetarianized her hummus dish served with warm, puffy pita — if there’s a better hummus than hers out there in the world, we want to taste it!

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Top left: Karen Page congratulates Pearl Oyster Bar’s Rebecca Charles, who’s opening a new restaurant in Kennebunk, Maine, next week; Top right: Chef Sue Torres & Karen Page; Middle left: Sue Torres’ amazing corn tacos; Middlr right: Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen, Karen Page, and Amy’s Bread’s Amy Scherber; Bottom left: Brenda Blackmon & Chef Colleen Grapes; Bottom middle: One of several tributes to beloved pastry chef Gina DePalma; Bottom right: “Lucky Phil” with new bride Lauren De Steno of Marea

And a salute to everyone who contributes their time to support the event as a “Celebrity Sous Chef,” and makes participating in this annual event such a special pleasure, including:  Sade Baderinwa, Anchor, WABC-TV Eyewitness News;
Becky Ann Baker, Actress; Brenda Blackmon, Anchor, PIX11 News; Blair Brown, Actress; Mary Calvi, Anchor, CBS 2 News; Kathleen Chalfant, Broadway and Screen Actress; Tandy Cronyn, Actress; Megan Fairchild, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet; Donna Hanover, Television Journalist and Actress; Jessica Hecht, Broadway and Screen Actress; Magee Hickey, Reporter, PIX11 News; Cindy Hsu, Anchor and Reporter, CBS 2 News; Ellie Krieger, Television Personality and Cookbook Author; Lisa-Ann Marchesi, Television Personality and Entrepreneur; Karen Page, Culinary Author; Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Author and Founding Editor of Ms. Magazine; Joanna Pruess, Food and travel writer; Ruth Reichl, Chef and Food Writer; Teresa Reichlen, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet; Carol Anne Riddell, Reporter/Host, CUNY TV; Abigail Thomas, Author; Joyce Wadler, Writer and Humorist, The New York Times; and Kirsten Wyatt, Broadway and Screen Actress and Singer.

Most importantly, a salute to SHARE itself on its 40th anniversary of doing what it does so well!

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SHARE is a 40-year-old survivor-led organization based in New York City that provides support, information, and resources to women affected by breast and ovarian cancers.  Its mission is to help women and their families address the emotional and practical issues that arise from a cancer diagnosis and to provide the support these women need to feel less isolated, better informed, and more empowered as health care consumers.  More than 40,000 times each year, SHARE programs touch women and men affected by breast or ovarian cancer, as well as members of the general public, through support groups, helplines, education programs, and outreach initiatives.  Making targeted efforts to reach all women affected by breast or ovarian cancer, SHARE places a special emphasis on programming for women from medically underserved communities.  Both LatinaSHARE and SHARE’s Ambassador Program expressly serve women of color, with a focus on low-income women in all five boroughs of New York City.  sharecancersupport.org

SHARE‘s annual “A Second Helping of Life” benefit takes place every September at Pier 60 in New York City, so mark your calendars now for September 2017.  sharebenefit.org

Thanking NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton & His Wife Rikki Klieman For Their Service to New York City

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Top left: Karen Page, Bill Bratton, Rikki Klieman, and Andrew Dornenburg, celebrating Karen’s and Rikki’s May birthdays; Top middle: Bill and Rikki on the 4th of July; Top right: Rikki Klieman, Bill Bratton, Karen Page, and Daniel Boulud at DANIEL; Middle left: Bill Bratton is served a dessert with a police car on top at Gramercy Tavern; Middle right: Thanking the kitchen at Gramercy Tavern; Bottom left: Celebrating Rikki Klieman being named PAL’s “Woman of the Year,” Bottom middle: In Chicago with Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman and friends; Bottom right: A gift from Bill & Rikki yesterday, which we’ll always treasure

“[Yesterday] signaled the end of Mr. Bratton’s second stint running the department, and a changing of the guard for the nation’s largest municipal police force. It also was the conclusion of a law enforcement career spanning more than four decades, during which Mr. Bratton also led agencies in Los Angeles and Boston, and became one of the most influential figures in American policing.”
–The New York Times (September 17, 2016)

Bill Bratton just deserves all of our thanks.”
–NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

We had the pleasure and privilege of attending multiple swearing-in ceremonies for Commissioner William J. Bratton, one of the most renowned crimefighters in American history.

Yesterday, it was bittersweet to spend the day with Commissioner Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman at One Police Plaza on Bill’s last day in office.

Like many New Yorkers, we’ll miss knowing that our beloved city is being kept safe in his most capable hands.

But as friends of Rikki and Bill, we’re hopeful that we’ll have the pleasure of seeing even more of them once they’re no longer under the 24/7 stresses of public service.

Our congratulations to Bill and Rikki on this momentous week in their lives (and our best wishes to new NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, whom we also know firsthand to be a pretty terrific guy himself).

And again…”Thanks, Bratman!”

Bramhall Cartoons for September 2016

Bramhall’s World – Editorial Cartoons

With Ceremony, William Bratton Bows Out as Police Commissioner in New York

Marking his final day as New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton marched through a receiving line of hundreds of officers on Friday afternoon, a joyful smile filling his face as he exited Police Headquarters to cheers and the wail of bagpipes, which all but drowned out a small number of protesters.

Rikki Klieman Had a Starring Role as First Lady of the NYPD

Friday was William Bratton’s final day at the helm of the New York Police Department but it also marked a farewell to his wife, Rikki Klieman, one of the most public and engaged first ladies of the NYPD in history.

Happy (10th & 20th) Anniversary to Our Books WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and CULINARY ARTISTRY

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Left: WHAT TO DRINK celebrates its 10-year anniversary in September 2016. Right: CULINARY ARTISTRY will mark its 20-year anniversary in November 2016.

WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT [is] astoundingBrilliant.”
–Ellen Rose on KCRW Radio’s “Good Food” / NPR

CULINARY ARTISTRY offered a groundbreaking approach to the idea of flavor pairings and garnered astounding sales of more than 100,000 copies; the book is said to have revolutionized the way leading chefs cook, including Chicago’s Grant Achatz of Alinea, who claims it is his most-used cookbook.”
–WBEZ / Chicago Public Radio

Not one but two of our bestselling books are celebrating big anniversaries this fall.

This month marks WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT‘s 10th anniversary of publication.  Our first book with a new publisher (Hachette, the parent company of both Bulfinch Press and Little, Brown, under which we’ve published all our books since), this book represented a new direction for us.  We were grateful to see it so widely acclaimed, as it went on to win not one but four top book prizes that year:  the Georges Duboeuf “Wine Book of the Year” Award and the IACP “Cookbook of the Year” Award and the IACP “Best Book on Wine, Beer or Spirits” Award and a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

November 2016 will mark the 20-year anniversary of the publication of our second book CULINARY ARTISTRY (originally published by Van Nostrand Reinhold, which was purchased by John Wiley and Sons, its current publisher).  That book had a decidedly different initial reception upon its publication:  It received very little media coverage.  It wasn’t nominated for a single book award.  And worse, while our first book BECOMING A CHEF seemed to have been universally acclaimed (winning us our first James Beard Book Award for Best Writing on Food), a lot of people said outright then that they just didn’t “get” CULINARY ARTISTRY.

But the perspective of time — say, 10 or 20 years — is a gift.  Both WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and CULINARY ARTISTRY found their audiences, going on to six-figure sales (with WHAT TO DRINK today still one of the top 10 bestselling wine books on Amazon.com).  It just took one book a lot longer than the other to get there — but CULINARY ARTISTRY has since found a place among the world’s most acclaimed cookbooks.

CookbookStoreTorontoLogoOn the occasion of their bookstore’s 25th anniversary in June 2008, Alison Fryer and Jennifer Grange of The Cookbook Store were asked by the Toronto Star to name their “10 Must-Have Cookbooks of the past 25 years,”  and included CULINARY ARTISTRY on their list:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
Feast by Nigella Lawson
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
by Marcella Hazan
Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells
Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax
Muffin Mania by Cathy Prange and Joan Pauli
The Cuisine of California by Diane Rossen Worthington
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
The New Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst

SouthernLivingLogoSquareSarah Gleim, the cookbook editor for Southern Living, was asked in August 2014 to name her Top 10 Must-Have Cookbooks,” and we were delighted to see not one but two of our books (including CULINARY ARTISTRY) among her choices:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis
A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson
Heritage by Sean Brock
The Southern Pie Book by Jan Moon
I Love New York Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals by Sarah R. Labensky, Priscilla A. Martel and Alan M. Hause
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

ChoppedLogoSquareIn January 2015, the TV show “Chopped” named “18 Must-Own Cookbooks Our Chefs Recommend,” which included CULINARY ARTISTRY:

Joy of Cooking
Mario Batali’s cookbooks
The Oxford Companion to Food
The Art of Living According to Joe Beef

Practical Cookery
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks
The Chef’s Companion
Cook’s Illustrated series
Nihon Ryori Ryugin by Seiji Yamamoto
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
Burma by Naomi Duguid
The Fannie Farmer Baking Book
The Food of the Western World
Giorgio Locatelli’s cookbooks
Bouchon by Thomas Keller

Food&WineSquareLogoIn March 2015, Food & Wine magazine featured CULINARY ARTISTRY as one of “The Best Cookbooks of All Time.”

Later in 2015, the Bangalore-based AIMS Institutes released its list of “14 Must-Reads for Aspiring Chefs,” which included:

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
The Third Plate by Dan Barber
The Oxford Companion to Food
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
Cooking Delights of the Maharajas
The Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen
50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi
Made In Italy by Giorgio Locatelli

GentlemansGazetteSquareLogoIn November 2015, J.A. Shapira of the Gentleman’s Gazette named “20 Cookbooks Every Chef Should Read”:

The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America
THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman
Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss
Grande Livre de Cuisine by Alain Ducasse
Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
White Heat by Marco Pierre White
Le Cordon Bleu’s Complete Cooking Techniques by Jeni Wright
The Barbecue Bible by Stephen Raichlen
Boy Meets Grill by Bobby Flay
The Big Green Egg Cookbook by Lisa Mayer
Weber’s New Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance
Meat: Everything You Need to Know by Pat LaFrieda

chatelaineLogoPinkSquareEarlier this year, Claire Tansey, food director of Canada’s Chatelaine magazine, named “A Dozen Cookbooks Everyone Should Own”:

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child et al
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart
Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
River Cottage Meat by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey
China Express by Nina Simonds
Joy of Cooking
The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
Yours:  “Whether it’s a notebook or a box of recipe cards, everyone needs a place to keep great recipes we encounter.”

Today, not just in the United States but around the world, CULINARY ARTISTRY has been cited as a beloved favorite of serious home cooks as well as a cult classic among leading professional chefs, who often gift it to the cooks in their kitchens and recommend it to aspiring chefs who ask them for advice.

In the weeks ahead, we look forward to celebrating some of the chefs and drinks experts who made CULINARY ARTISTRY and WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT possible — and those who have been among the books’ biggest supporters.  We’re enormously grateful to all of you.

[P.S.  Have a story about CULINARY ARTISTRY or WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT you’d like to share?  Email it to us here, and we just might share it in this space in the weeks ahead.]

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CULINARY ARTISTRY is available at better bookstores everywhere, including here.

WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT is available at better bookstores everywhere, including here.

THE FLAVOR BIBLE Is Named Today As One of “10 Life-Changing Cookbooks” by The Huffington Post

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Associate Food Editor Juliette Steen (top, center) of The Huffington Post – Australia names THE FLAVOR BIBLE one of “10 Life-Changing Cookbooks”

“To expand your cookbook collection and get inspired, The Huffington Post – Australia rounded up 10 of the best, highest rated cookbooks of all time….If you’re new to cooking and want an excellent beginner’s cookbook, THE FLAVOUR BIBLE is a perfect match. Page and Dornenburg take you through killer flavour combinations and tips on texture and balance to create a delicious dish every time.”
Juliette Steen, Associate Food Editor of The Huffington Post – Australia, in naming it one of her “10 Life Changing Books You Need In Your Kitchen”

In 2012, the Harvard Business Review reported that “Strong social support correlates with an astonishing number of desirable outcomes. For instance, research by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy Smith, and Bradley Layton shows that high levels of social support predict longevity as reliably as regular exercise does, and low social support is as damaging as high blood pressure.”

When you create books for a living, your “social support” often comes from readers — and reviewers.  As authors, we’re enormously grateful to all of our readers, but have to admit a special place in our hearts for those who take the time to share their enthusiasm for our books far and wide.

And so we’d like to offer our thanks to The Huffington Post‘s Australian Associate Food Editor Juliette Steen, who today named THE FLAVOR BIBLE among her “10 Life Changing Cookbooks You Need In Your Kitchen — for beginners, chefs, and everyone in between.”

We were happy to find THE FLAVOR BIBLE in excellent company — as Steen’s entire list included:

  1.  Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book 
    [OK, so we weren’t familiar with this one, but a quick Google search suggested that it’s sold more than a million copies, so it seems to have many fans down under!]
  2. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
  3. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
  4. Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver
  5. Momofuku by David Chang
  6. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
  7. THE FLAVOUR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
  8. White Heat by Marco Pierre White
  9. How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
  10. Thai Food by David Thompson

Our thanks again to Juliette Steen for her much-welcomed “social support” today, which is helping to inspire our work on our next book KITCHEN CREATIVITY — which we are hopeful will change a few lives of its own!

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Juliette Steen is the Associate Food Editor of The Huffington Post – Australia, whose posts can be found here.

Chef Daniel Boulud’s Entire Team Inspires Kitchen Creativity

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Front row: Andrew Dornenburg, Aaron Bludorn of Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud, Karen Page, Eddy Leroux of Daniel; Back row: Jean-Francois Bruel of Daniel, pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel, and Travis Swikard of Boulud Sud

In addition to learning an enormous amount about creativity in the kitchen, researching and writing and photographing our next book has been teaching us a lot about our creative process in general.  It’s the first time we’ve become conscious of our typical “creative gestation” process and its seasonality — and how creatively alive we typically find ourselves during the quiet of summertime heading into the fall.   The period of August into October may be our most creatively productive months, both historically and currently, and now that we know this, we can plan around it better in the future.

Something we’ve known for years is that there may be nothing that inspires us more than spending time with the world’s most talented and creative chefs.  On Friday afternoon, we had the great privilege of being with Chef Daniel Boulud and his key creative team at Daniel in New York City for a photo shoot (and a follow-up interview or two!) for our next book KITCHEN CREATIVITY (forthcoming from Little, Brown).

Our heartfelt thanks to the extraordinarily talented Chef Boulud and his multi-talented teams at Daniel (executive chef Jean-Francois Bruel, chef de cuisine Eddy Leroux, executive pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira), Cafe Boulud (executive chef Aaron Bludorn), and Boulud Sud (executive chef Travis Swikard).  Each of these chefs is as insightful in discussing his or her work as he or she is in executing it deliciously — a rare combination indeed.

Learning the disparate sources of their own inspiration is inspiring to us in turn — something for which we’re enormously grateful as we work to finish our book!

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Daniel is at 60 E. 65th Street, between Park & Madison Avenues in New York City.  danielnyc.com

Cafe Boulud is at 20 E. 76th Street, between Madison & Fifth Avenues.  cafeboulud.com

Boulud Sud is at 20 W. 64th Street, between Central Park West & Broadway.  bouludsud.com

Two Years, Four Months, and 14 Days: DAMON BAEHREL in Earlton, New York, Proves Worth The Wait

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Andrew Dornenburg with Chef Damon Baehrel (Photo credit: Karen Page)

“This restaurant serves only a handful of tables at a time (there is reportedly a five-year wait for a reservation)….What the fuss is about is, in reality, a one-man band named Damon Baehrel, who does everything from raise most of the ingredients used at the restaurant (which includes growing and milling his own flour for bread), to cooking, serving, and even bussing the dishes. If you are lucky enough to snag a table, be prepared for a 23-course extravaganza that will last for hours.”
OpinionatedAboutDining.com, in naming Damon Baehrel the #5 best restaurant in America for 2016 (June 8, 2016)

Damon Baehrel, the Rain Man of Native Harvest Cuisine. He is the farmer, the miller, the butcher, the Cheesemaker, the server, the dishwasher. 24 courses in 6 hours by himself–one single person! Wow– truly one-of-a-kind.”
Mads Refslund, an original co-founder of Copenhagen’s Noma (which was first named the #1 restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2010), via Instagram @madsrefslund (September 3, 2015)

Patience is a virtue.

So we were reminded yesterday when — two years, four months, and 14 days after our first inquiry — we were rewarded with an opportunity to visit Damon Baehrel‘s namesake restaurant in Earlton, New York.
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There, we were able to sip the sap of sycamore trees as we tasted our way through one exquisite dish after another created from the likes of tree bark, acorns, and wild fruits and vegetables and herbs from this 12-acre property located 110 miles north of Manhattan and 23 miles south of Albany, each served and patiently described by Baehrel himself.

We were happy to have the opportunity to interview and photograph Baehrel for our forthcoming book KITCHEN CREATIVITY, and to learn more about and photograph his unique cuisine, which he terms “Native Harvest” and which is both the subject and title of his forthcoming cookbook-slash-memoir, which is due out in the coming months.  If it’s a fraction as appealing and educational as what we experienced yesterday, we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

But as we now know, some things are simply worth waiting for.

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Damon Baehrel is in Earlton, New York.  While the tiny restaurant reports a backlog of guests wishing to dine there and no longer accepts reservations, it’s possible to pre-order a copy of Baehrel’s cookbook/memoir Native Harvest here (where you can use code PREORDER for a 15 percent discount).

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P.S.  Just how popular is Damon Baehrel?  The restaurant was featured on the May 27, 2016, episode of “Jeopardy,” under the category of “Almost Fanatical Devotion.”

Chefs & (Barons de Rothschild) Champagne (Galore!) at the 26th Annual James Beard Foundation East End Event

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Top left: Wolffer Estate hosted the 26th annual Chefs & Champagne event; Top right: Barons de Rothschild Champagne flowed freely all night long; Bottom left: Chef Chad Brauze adds a finishing touch to our dish; Bottom right: 2016 honoree John Besh is introduced by the James Beard Foundation’s Susan Ungaro

The elegant Barons de Rothschild Champagne flowed non-stop yesterday at the James Beard Foundation‘s 2016 CHEFS & CHAMPAGNE event held on the East End of Long Island, which offered us a welcome afternoon and evening’s diversion from working on our book-in-progress KITCHEN CREATIVITY (Little, Brown; 2017).

After creating 10 books, we’ve learned that sometimes the most productive thing you can possibly do is to actually step away from the computers to give all the ideas that are flowing through your mind time to incubate — and refresh your inspiration through tastes of the work of chefs who are clearly dedicated to their craft.

Held at Wolffer Estate in Sagaponack, the 26th annual gathering brought together hundreds of revelers under a huge white tent for tastes of dozens of leading chefs’ [see yellow box] dishes and both Brut and Rosé Brut Barons de Rothschild Champagne.

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Top left: Chef Anita Lo of Annisa, whom we’d recently had the pleasure of interviewing for KITCHEN CREATIVITY; Top right: Chefs Jaime Young (l.) of the forthcoming Sunday in Williamsburg, Will Horowitz (c.) of Ducks Eatery, and friend; Bottom left: Chef Kerry Heffernan; Bottom right: Chefs tending the grill

With this year’s theme of “From the Big Easy to the Big Apple,” James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro introduced the event’s honoree, New Orleans chef-restaurateur John Besh, who made his first-ever visit to the Hamptons for the festivities.  After being inspired by his hometown hero the late Paul Prudhomme (the first chef to appear on the cover of Time magazine, he took interest in Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines to a global scale), Besh himself grew up to celebrate the flavors of New Orleans, preserving and promoting the region’s ingredients, techniques, and heritage. His four cookbooks include My New Orleans (2009), My Family Table (2011), Cooking From The Heart (2013), and Besh Big Easy (2015).  He has also been the host of two national public television cooking shows:  “Chef John Besh’s New Orleans and “Chef John Besh’s Family Table.”  In 2011, Besh created his own foundation, which works to protect and preserve the culinary heritage and foodways of southern Louisiana via initiatives such as “Chefs Move!,” which provides scholarships to culinary students, and “Milk Money,” which provides no-interest microloans to local farmers.

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Top right: The James Beard Foundation’s Alison Tozzi Liu and husband chef Tony Liu (featured in THE FLAVOR BIBLE) with their two adorable sons; Bottom left: Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, as photographed by the Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave; Bottom right: Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave with Pasternak Wine’s Susan-Anne Cosgrove

2016 James Beard Foundation Chefs & Champagne Chefs:

Baker Alex Bois, Pastry Chef Sam Kincaid, and Jon Nodler, High Street on Hudson, NYC; Chad Brauze, The Back Room, Park Hyatt, NYC; Andrea Bucciarelli, Sant Ambroeus, Southampton and NYC; Brian Cheewing, Wölffer Kitchen, Sag Harbor, NY; Christopher Cipollone, Piora, NYC; Tim Cushman*, O Ya, Boston and NYC; Ben Del Coro, Fossil Farms, Boonton, NJ; Jay Ducote, Baton Rouge, LA Aaron Fitterman, Aretsky’s Patroon, NYC; Jeremy Ford, Matador Room, Miami Beach, FL; Tom Fraker, Melissa’s Produce; Eric Gabrynowicz, Restaurant North, Armonk, NY; Kerry Heffernan, Grand Banks, NYC; Will Horowitz, Ducks Eatery and Harry & Ida’s, NYC; Michael Jenkins, Butter Restaurant, NYC; Paul Kahan*, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago; Matthew Kenney, 00+Co, NYC, and Plant Food + Wine, Miami and Venice, CA; Pastry Chef Jiho Kim, The Modern, NYC; Paul Kim and Kendrick Lo, Ice & Vice, NYC; Anthony Lamas, Seviche, A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, KY; Matt Lambert, The Musket Room, NYC; Karl Ljung, Hillenberg, Stockholm, Sweden; Anita Lo, Annisa, NYC; Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn, NYC; Pastry Chef Alina Martell, Ai Fiori and Vaucluse, NYC; Lucero Martinez, Pampano, NYCDean James Max, DJM Restaurants, Multiple Cities, USA, and Cayman Islands, BWI, and Harbor Island, Bahamas; Julian Medina, Tacuba and Toloache, NYC; Jonah Miller, Huertas, NYC; Marco Moreira and Sushi Chef Noriyuki Takahashi, 15 East, NYC; Damian O’Donnell, Harbor Bistro, East Hampton, NY; Pichet Ong, NYC; Ralph Perrazzo, BBD’s – Beers, Burgers, Desserts, Rocky Point, NY; Guy Reuge, Mirabelle, Stony Brook, NY, and Sandbar, Cold Spring Harbor, NY; Roxanne Spruance, Kingsley, NYC; Cédric Vongerichten, PerrySt, NYC; Pastry Chef Sherry Yard*, iPic Entertainment; Marco Zapien, Melissa’s Produce and Salsa Grill, Pico Rivera, CA

*James Beard Award winners

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Top left: The Musket Room’s Matt Lambert; Top right: Last night’s honorees and scholarship winners; Bottom left: Karen Page, Tess Wilson, and Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave enjoying the Barons de Rothschild Champagne; Bottom right: The Park Hyatt kitchen team of executive chef Sebastien Archambault, pastry chef Scott Cioe, and chef de cuisine Chad Brauze

Having had our heads down on book deadline in recent months, it was especially enjoyable to spend time during this festive event with old and new friends and colleagues — including New York Post editor Steve Cuozzo and his wife Jane Cuozzo; our fellow wine writer Sheri de Borchgrave, who writes the wine column for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens; New American Kitchen’s Gary Duff and his team, who’d interviewed us at the Citymeals Chefs’ Tribute event last month at Rockefeller Center; Rotisserie Georgette’s ever-fashionable owner Georgette Farkas (whom we find the single best-dressed woman at most gatherings; last night she sported a custom-made white dress from Morocco accessorized by an opalescent bag from Vietnam) and Ted Farris; S&P investment officer and MSNBC financial analyst Erin Gibbs; Morandi chef Tony Liu and his wife Alison Tozzi Liu of the James Beard Foundation, and their two adorable sons; Karen’s fellow member of Les Dames d’Escoffier  Shelley Menaged; and the James Beard Foundations’ Yvon Ros and her multi-talented teenage son Remy Ros, who’s trained in dance with Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the event’s official goodie-bag stuffer; real estate developer Ian Shapolsky of the Anita Shapolsky Art Gallery; and Le Parker Meridien’s Tess Wilson.

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Top left: Pastry chef Alina Martell of Ai Fiori and Vaucluse made our favorite dessert of the night: strawberry profiteroles; New American Kitchen team, including Gary Duff in white; Top right: The chefs take a seat for their annual group photo; Bottom left: Rotisserie Georgette owner Georgette Farkas, Karen Page, and Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave; Bottom right: Fig tart with goat cheese

“I love Chefs & Champagne: beautiful setting, beautiful food, and beautiful crowd.  Shelly Menaged, Susan Ungaro, and their team all do a fantastic job setting up.  C&C is my favorite event of the year because we see and hear from so many of our regular customers there, and being at the table I get to interact with them directly.  I didn’t get to try much during the event, but I did have a few nice glasses of Champagne and a bite of Ben del Coro‘s awesome rotisserie boar sandwich — and I told him to watch out, because next year I am bringing my own rotisserie to play with!”
Chad Brauze of The Back Room at Manhattan’s Park Hyatt

And as we count speaking with chefs and sipping Champagne among our favorite things on earth, we enjoyed roaming through the event with glasses of Barons de Rothschild Champagne in hand while catching up with featured chefs such as Chad Brauze, whose cuisine we’ve loved since his days helming the kitchen at one of our favorite Manhattan restaurants, Rotisserie Georgette, and who introduced us to his new colleagues at the Park Hyatt’s Back Room, executive chef Sebastien Archambault and pastry chef Scott Cioe; Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery and Harry & Ida’s, who introduced us to Jaime Young, who’s served as Atera’s chef de cuisine and told us he’s due to open his own place named Sunday in Williamsburg in September; Matt Lambert of the Michelin-starred Musket Room, which we had the great pleasure of visiting for the first time earlier this week; and Anita Lo of Annisa, whom we interviewed for our next KITCHEN CREATIVITY and who just returned from a trip to Hong Kong in time to create our favorite savory dish of the night:  Potatoes with Celtuce and Buttermilk Dressing.  Special thanks to pastry chef Alina Martell of Ai Fiori and Vaucluse for our favorite dessert of the night:  her irresistible strawberry profiteroles!

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James Beard Foundation is at jamesbeard.org.

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Barons de Rothschild Chamapagne is at champagne-bdr.com.