Touch for Peace: Studying With World-Renowned Shiatsu Master Ohashi


Top Left: Andrew Dornenburg with shiatsu master Ohashi; Top Right: Ohashi demonstrates his technique on one of his teaching assistants; Bottom Left: With our classmates of Ohashi’s December 1-4 intensive course; Bottom Right: Ohashi with Karen Page

We learn the most from studying with the best:  whether studying cooking with Madeleine Kamman, or wine with Doug Frost, Keith Goldston, Greg Harrington, and Darrin Siegfried; or hospitality with Danny Meyer, or screenwriting with Robert McKee.  Studying shiatsu with Ohashi was no exception.

You’re looking at two of the least likely earners of certificates in shiatsu massage you’ve ever met.

Last Wednesday, our friend Cynthia sent Karen an email following up on a conversation we’d had over dinner a few nights before on the Indian system of ayurveda.  Cynthia referenced a class she’d discovered on the subject that was being offered at the Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan.  When Karen visited the IYI’s website, something completely different caught her eye, however:  a four-day intensive course being offered with world-renowed shiatsu master Ohashi.

We’d been hearing about Ohashi for nearly a quarter of a century, including through Andrew’s restaurant-world colleague Joey Hoeber, who studied Ohashiatsu® — a special method of touch derived from traditional shiatsu, exercise, and Zen philosophy — with the master himself.  When Karen first experienced lower-back pain in the early 1990s, she finally tried her first shiatsu massage, having the massage therapist come to our home as the pain was so bad she could barely move.  Ninety minutes later, she could walk again.

Over the years, we remained huge fans of shiatsu massage, both for its healing properties as well as for its contributions to our general well-being.  We patronized two different locations of the Ohashi Institute in Manhattan (where all the massage practitioners were so gifted we happily took our appointments with whomever was available at the time) as well as when we visited various spas (including the Lodge at Woodloch in Pennsylvania and the Mayflower Inn & Spa in Connecticut) across America.  Invariably, the best shiatsu therapists had studied with Ohashi, and over the years they’d cumulatively brought us both so much extra qi (energy) and healing that we’d blessed Ohashi dozens of times for obviously being such a great teacher.  But we’d never met him.

Getting to study with Ohashi ourselves was a pleasure of a different order — one we refused to miss, despite the fact that the class started less than 24 hours after we’d first heard about it.  As our schedule had just opened up after a chef had to postpone our long-scheduled out-of-town visit (due to a request from a king!), we registered immediately.

Studying with a master of his caliber was as educational for being able to observe his teaching style as for receiving the instruction itself, and a great privilege. We learned in class that we were far from Ohashi’s only avid fans — and that his clients have included the likes of Muhammad Ali, George Balanchine, Ani DiFranco, Stan Getz, Martha Graham, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Ralph Lauren, Liza Minelli, Dr. Robert Thurman, and Michael York.  Indeed, our fellow classmates last weekend hailed from as far as away as Bermuda, California, Chile, Pennsylvania, Spain, Vermont, and Washington, DC.

Receiving our own private sessions with Ohashi himself thereafter was also an experience neither of us will ever forget.  This 73-year-old is both powerfully fit and miraculously tireless:  After four days of teaching, plus small-group tutorials, plus private sessions, it’s a mystery where he found the energy to give us such extraordinary shiatsu massages, let alone to keep going afterward to continue to provide even more treatments to others.  Seeing his unstoppable dedication to his eponymous art of healing was so profound it brought tears to Karen’s eyes.

As our 50-something-year-old knees were no match for the hardwood floors, we’re afraid we were no match for the impressive array of professional massage therapists and other healers who gathered to study with him, and with whom we had the educational pleasure of trading massages and feedback over the course of four days.

But we wouldn’t have traded the experience of learning directly from Ohashi for anything.  Arigatou gozaimashita, Sensei.

ohashigroupdec2016 is the international website of Ohashi, creator of Ohashiatsu. is the U.S. website of the Ohashi Institute.

To find Ohashi’s books, click here.

To find a Ohashi practitioner near you, click here.

30th Annual Citymeals Power Lunch for Women Honors Co-Founder Gael Greene at The Plaza


Top Left: Georgette Farkas of Rotisserie Georgette; Citymeals’ Beth Shapiro; Carla Hall of “The Chew”; Citymeals Co-President Bob Grimes; Katherine Gage Boulud; Citymeals’ Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud; and Karen Page; Top Right: “CBS This Morning” legal analyst Rikki Klieman and Karen Page; Bottom Left: Karen Page with Citymeals co-founder Gael Greene; Bottom Right: The ballroom at The Plaza

“In its 35th year, Citymeals has raised over $410 million to bring weekend, holiday and emergency meals to vulnerable older neighbors who can no longer shop or cook for themselves in the five boroughs of New York City.  Citymeals-on-Wheels will deliver over 2 million meals in the city this year and count 15,000 volunteers this year as the number of needy multiplies.”
–Citymeals’ 30th Annual Power Lunch for Women program

Would you like to feel happier right now, in less than two minutes from now?  Then please trust us, and do us this one favor:  Take a moment to click on this link, and make a donation of any amount at all — whether $5 or $5,000 — to Citymeals-on-Wheels.  We can promise you that 100 percent of your tax-deductible contribution will go toward the preparation and delivery of meals to New York City’s homebound elderly, and that you can rest assured that as a result more of your elderly shut-in neighbors will have something to eat during upcoming weekends and holidays.

Doesn’t that make you feel better already?

While we might not be able to solve all of the world’s problems in just two minutes, any one of us can absolutely make a significant, positive difference in another person’s life just 120 seconds.  The secret is to focus on what we can do and how we can help, and to take action to make a difference whenever and wherever we can.

Yesterday at The Plaza, more than 400 of the city’s most powerful women gathered together to raise more than $1 million for Citymeals-on-Wheels, which is headed by Executive Director Beth Shapiro, and to celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary with its 30th Annual Power Lunch for Women.

citymealspowerlunch2016carlagaelThe event also honored co-founder Gael Greene, who started Citymeals with James Beard 35 years ago, and whom emcee Carla Hall and the crowded ballroom at The Plaza welcomed to the podium yesterday with a rousing standing ovation for her years of dedication to this organization.


Top left – top:  Citymeals Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud with Karen Page; Top left – bottom left: Karen Page with Maura Rose; Top left – bottom right: Gael Greene with designer David Rockwell; Top Right: Dirt Candy chef-owner Amanda Cohen with Karen Page and filmmaker Donna Zaccaro; Bottom Left: Rikki Klieman, Barbara Lazaroff, Ruth Reichl, and Karen Page; Bottom Right – Top: Diana Wyenn, Dee Soder, and Karen Page (top) and The Corcoran Group’s Sharon Baum with Karen Page and Marcia Stein


David Rockwell

This annual event is always one of the best days of the year, when synchronicities inevitably bring old friends and new friends together.  Seating is done by drawing a table number from a large silver bowl, as ably demonstrated by designer David Rockwell, who was one of dozens of $10,000 Men in attendance.

Karen had the pleasure of drawing Table 4 — which happened to seat both honoree Gael Greene and her niece Dana Stoddard, along with chefs Amanda Cohen (of Dirt Candy fame) and Elizabeth Falkner, designer/restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff, and Manhattan dentist Julie Cho.  Credit for catering the lunch’s lovely Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Marble with Toasted Walnut, Black Pepper Sable, and Winter Greens; Truffle Pot Pie with Lattice Crust; and Small Sweets goes to CEO Liz Neumark‘s Great Performances, paired with Justin Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 “Overlook” Chardonnay.


Top Left: Karen Page with Carla Hall of “The Chew”; Top Right: Eli Pollard, Chef Zarela Martinez, and Karen Page; Karen Page with Food & Wine co-founder Ariane Batterberry; Bottom Middle: Karen Page with The Intrepid’s Susan Marenoff (top) and Citymeals board member Suri Kasirer (bottom); Bottom Right: Barbara Lazaroff, Ruth Reichl, and Karen Page

Yesterday’s lunch emcee was none other than the awesome Carla Hall, co-host of “The Chew,” of whom we’ve been a fan both for her contagious passion and positivity and, selfishly, for her admiration of our book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, about which she’s said the kindest things to Publishers Weekly and others.  After lunch, Karen was finally able to thank Carla for her kind words, and discovered that Carla manages to shine even brighter in person.  She is an absolute delight.


Top Left: Georgette Farkas, Beth Shapiro, Carla Hall, Bob Grimes, Katherine Gage Boulud, Daniel Boulud, and Karen Page; Top Right: Karen Page with Dana Stoddard (aka “Gael’s Niece”); Bottom Left: Donna Hanover with Rikki Klieman; Bottom Right: Karen Page with Laura Maioglio, owner of Barbetta, the oldest founding family-owned restaurant in NYC


Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Gael Greene’s lovely niece Dana Stoddard, a passionate yogi, and were touched by her two-page tribute to her aunt in this year’s event program, which closes:


Gael Greene, we join Dana and Citymeals in saluting you for “being Gael Greene” (well said, Steven!) and for your dedication to this extraordinary 35-year-old organization.  We’re both so happy to be a part of Citymeals’ extended family, and to be able to encourage others through their support and participation to become a part of this important New York City family, too.

Citymeals-on-Wheels provides meals to New York City’s homebound elderly; 100 percent of your donation supports this mission (as administrative costs are covered by New York City’s Dept. for the Aging and Citymeals’ Board), and it takes less than two minutes to make a contribution online here.



CULINARY ARTISTRY:  One of the “Best Cookbooks of All Time”
Food & Wine (March 2015)

One of the “Top 10 Must-Have Cookbooks”
Southern Living cookbook editor Sarah Gleim (2014)

“One of the top 10 must-have cookbooks of the past 25 years.”
Alison Fryer & Jennifer Grange of The Cookbook Store in Toronto, in the Toronto Star (2008)

“One of 18 Must-Own Cookbooks.”
TV’s “Chopped”

After more than a quarter century of marriage, we don’t have kids — we have books.

And as our book CULINARY ARTISTRY marks its 20th birthday today, we’re happy to celebrate this landmark day in its history.

We’re feeling enormous gratitude to everyone who has played a part in CULINARY ARTISTRY‘s life to date — including those who let the world know this book existed, all our readers who have told us how much the book influenced them, and especially all of the chefs who generously allowed us to interview and feature them:

Rick Bayless | Daniel Boulud | Terrance Brennan
Gary Danko | Susan Feniger | Susanna Foo
George Germon | Joyce Goldstein | Hubert Keller
Johanne Killeen | Gray Kunz | Mark Miller
Mary Sue Milliken | Patrick O’Connell | Bradley Ogden
Jean-Louis Palladin | Charlie Palmer | Francois Payard
Mark Peel | Michael Romano | Anne Rosenzweig
Chris Schlesinger | Jimmy Schmidt | Dieter Schorner
Lindsey Shere | Lydia Shire | Nancy Silverton
Joachim Splichal | Jeremiah Tower | Norman Van Aken
Jean-Georges Vongerichten | Alice Waters | Jasper White

Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have been a part of CULINARY ARTISTRY‘s ongoing journey — and who have helped to spread the good word literally around the world:

United States/East:

“Among all the ‘cookbooks’ in my collection, CULINARY ARTISTRY may well be the most beaten and battered…To this day, if I’m really stuck for a flavor pairing, I will still refer to CULINARY ARTISTRY for its charts of common, and not so common, matches.”
–Michael Laiskonis, 2007 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef (NYC)

United States/Midwest:

“Most used cookbook: CULINARY ARTISTRY by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”
–Grant Achatz of Alinea, 2008 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Chef, as quoted in the November 2006 issue of Chicago magazine, a month after Alinea was named America’s #1 restaurant in Gourmet magazine

United States/South:

CULINARY ARTISTRY is a great cookbook for everyone, but a revolutionary one for professional chefs…After almost 15 years of having my dog-eared copy, I still use it to spark my creativity. This is another core book in any cook’s kitchen.”
–Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award winner and “Top Chef” judge

United States/West:

Q. Favorite Cookbook?  A.CULINARY ARTISTRY….
It’s full of charts, and it has famous chefs’ recipes in it. It lists ingredients and gives you possibilities for other flavors that go with those ingredients. And it tells you how these chefs think about ingredients.”
–Michael Voltaggio, chef-owner of Ink in Los Angeles, and winner of Season 6 of “Top Chef”


“Favourite cookbook: CULINARY ARTISTRY.”
–Lachlan Colwill, chef, Grace the Establishment, named South Australia’s Best Chef – 2010


Epic. One that started it all.”
–Will Goldfarb, director of the pastry program at Ku De Ta and called “one of the finest chefs in the world to pass through the elBulli kitchen”


“Favourite cookbook:  CULINARY ARTISTRY.”
–Lynn Crawford, one of Canada’s best-known celebrity chefs


CULINARY ARTISTRY…seemed to pull together everything that was missing in my ideology of food.”
–Michelin two-star chef John Campbell


“Anoop Prakash, managing director of Harley-Davidson India…swears by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page’s book CULINARY ARTISTRY, which focuses on flavour combinations.”
–Rudraneil Sengupta, Wall Street Journal


“My current favourites…CULINARY ARTISTRY.  There are very few books that give readers a glimpse of how chefs develop their dishes.  This book is one of the few to explore this.  I’d recommend it to anyone wishing to learn about the creative process…A hidden foodie gem.”
–Mary Carney, winner of “MasterChef”


Twenty years after it was first published, CULINARY ARTISTRY is still available via and at better bookstores everywhere.

Remembering Our Friend, The Brilliant “Comic’s Comic” Kevin Meaney (1956-2016)

kevinmeaneyadkptorontojuly2004_300blowup  kevinmeaneykpadaugust2015

“[Kevin] Meaney‘s fellow comics immediately took to Twitter to remember a man known for his humor on the stage and his kindness off it.
The Washington Post (October 22, 2016)

“While we were only married ten years, Kevin Meaney in many ways was always my soul mate — he knew how to make me laugh and delight in the moment. Together we also brought a beautiful young girl into the world — our daughter Kate. Kevin, thanks for always being an angel of love and laughter in my life on earth….”
–Mary Ann Halford (October 21, 2016)

We’re still shocked and deeply saddened to have learned of the sudden passing on Friday of our long-time friend, the brilliantly talented comic’s comic Kevin Meaney.  He was 60.

No one could make us laugh harder than Kevin.  We learned to bring Kleenex to his shows at Birdland and Caroline’s Comedy Club and other venues where he managed to bring us to tears with his stand-up comedy.

We also had the pleasure of seeing him perform as an actor — and had the great pleasure of hanging out with him before and after the Toronto production of “Hairspray” in which he starred back in 2004 while we were on book tour in Canada.  The photo above at left captures our first and only visit to a Hooter’s, which was at Kevin’s suggestion.  We’d thought he was kidding when he’d suggested getting together there, but we clearly had a great time.

We’d recently heard that Kevin had gone vegetarian, and were especially happy to be able to catch up with him at a show this past year at Birdland, during which he’d asked the packed audience, “Are there any other vegetarians here?  What’s the first question we always get asked?”  The two of us had shouted out, “How do you get your protein?”, which led Kevin to launch into his hilarious bit on the subject.  After the show, we stayed to say hello and catch up (as seen in the photo above, right), and Kevin loved discovering that we were the vegetarians who’d fed him the line during the show!  Before we left that night, we’d all agreed to get together for a vegetarian feast.

But we discovered that time passes more quickly than ever, and that feast hadn’t happened yet.  And now it can’t.  Yet even without being able to create that new memory with Kevin, we feel blessed to have so many other memories of him over more than two decades — including of how hard he made us laugh, time and time again, whether during public performances or private get-togethers.  The single funniest line we’ve ever heard as guests at a wedding was uttered by Kevin during his 1997 wedding to our long-time friend (and Karen’s fellow Harvard MBA) Mary Ann Halford, with whom he had a beautiful daughter Kate.  After having dinner with Kevin and Mary Ann at their home in Los Angeles, we were doubled over with laughter watching him demonstrate how a card-carrying member of the Potwashers Union washed dishes.

While Kevin and Mary Ann ended their marriage after Kevin’s 2008 announcement that he was gay, the three still managed to create a close-knit “modern family,” and Kevin’s love of both Kate and Mary Ann was still abundantly clear to all.  Our hearts go out to his beloved Kate and Mary Ann, and the rest of Kevin’s family, friends, and fans, on his sudden passing.

[Mary Ann shared via Facebook that “Kevin was supposed to show up at Parents Weekend at Kate’s boarding school on Friday — when he didn’t and then didn’t respond to phone calls, texts and emails, we knew something was wrong. With the help of his brother, a retired police officer, we got the police to get to his house where they found him expired on the couch watching [TV] on his laptop. We don’t know cause of death yet but assume a heart attack.”  Kevin’s last Instagram photo @bigpantspeople was one of a smiling Mary Ann eating ice cream at the New York State Fair, with the triumphant caption: “We found mini cones!”]

As The Washington Post reported, “[Kevin] Meaney‘s fellow comics immediately took to Twitter to remember a man known for his humor on the stage and his kindness off it.”  That’s exactly how we’re going to remember Kevin Meaney, too.

P.S.  And whether you’re among those who somehow weren’t ever exposed to his comedy or whether you’re looking for yet another fix of his gut-busting comedic bits, feast on a few of these….Two are sets from Kevin’s dozen appearances on Johnny Carson, one is of Kevin opening for Jerry Seinfeld on Broadway in 1998, and another is from the Peabody Award-winning animated show “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”:

Kevin Meaney – “Why do you do this to your father and I?”

Kevin Meaney was an instant hit on this popular late-night TV show. He sets the stage brilliantly and with a style only he can pull off. He has a good singing voice, too!

Kevin Meaney On Broadway

Recorded August 6-9 1998 @ The Broadhurst Theatre, NYC while opening up for Jerry Seinfeld.

Kevin Meaney does “We Are the World”

In the mid to late 80s there was a big ‘phenom’ about the original “We Are The World.” Kevin Meaney poked fun at it here, mocking each performer. Look for Dan Aykroid – who was the odd man out in the original video. Kevin nails him, here.

Kevin Meaney on Dr. Katz

Clip of Dr. Katz Season 2 Episode “Bystander Ben” starring Kevin Meaney.


Tributes to Kevin Meaney (1956-2016):

Kevin Meaney was as funny as they get and the nicest man.  He could make you lose your mind laughing.  A very special person.”
–Judd Apatow

“Hail Hail:  A genius has vacated this realm.  #RIPKevinMeaney
–Roseanne Barr

“The sudden passing of my good friend and fellow comedian, Kevin Meaney, has me heartsick.”
–Joy Behar

“R.I.P. Kevin Meaney [with a link to the “I Don’t Care” song].”
–Steve Carell

“RIP Kevin Meaney.  I love you.”
–Margaret Cho

Kevin was the most naturally funny comedian I ever saw.  Every word he said was insanely hilarious. He had a funny voice, face and rhythm to his speech. But he had a childish courage that was goddamn inspiring. Whenever Kevin would bomb, and sometimes he would, he would start to sing a song ‘I don’t care! I don’t care! My jokes don’t go over I don’t care! I don’t care! I don’t care! IIII DOOON’T CAAARE!” I don’t care! I don’t care!’ and he would sing this song, in Ethel Merman’s voice, for sometimes 30 minutes. The crowd would be FURIOUS. I and any other comedian in the room would be literally on the floor, laughing, crying, gasping for air.”
–Louis C.K.

Kevin Meaney was on our show and the loveliest man.  So funny and sweet and unforgettable.  So sad.  Rest in Peace.”
–Kat Dennings

“RIP Kevin Meaney. You were insanely funny and an incredibly nice man.  My mother loved you and you were so kind to her.  Tell her I said hi.”
Paul Feig

Kevin Meaney was sweet, hilarious, and courageous.  A silly, wonderful man.  The best.  My heart goes out to his fans, friends and family.”
–Bobcat Goldthwait

“I adored Kevin Meaney.”
–Kathy Griffin

Kevin Meaney is gone.  THAT’S NOT RIGHT!!!!”
–Norm Macdonald

“Real life – real love – real loss.  From the ding ho to here – i love ya kev.”
–Rosie O’Donnell

“Always thought Kevin Meaney was a brilliant comedian.  Then we hung out in Ireland and I found out he was also a terrific person.  RIP.”
–Patton Oswalt

“Rest in peace, you marvelous loon.  Hilarious.”
–Martha Plimpton

“Dear Kevin Meaney:  You made me love you.”
–Paula Poundstone

“Remembering Kevin Meaney.  Only memories of delirious laughter.  Never any moments of meanness.  Just kindness.”
–Rob Schneider

The Chicago Tribune


Entertainment Weekly

The Guardian

Hollywood Reporter

New York Post – Page Six

The New York Times


Rolling Stone

USA Today

The Washington Post

Funeral arrangements for Kevin Meaney:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
McMahon Lyon and Hartnett Funeral Home
491 Mamaroneck Ave.
White Plains, New York  10605

Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | 10:30am
Church of the Transfiguration
268 South Broadway (Route 9)
Tarrytown, New York  10591

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to
The Trevor Project |


First and only wake we’ve ever attended featuring bowls of candy bars with signs asking, “Would you like a chocoleet?” (a classic Kevin-ism) #housekeeping

THE FLAVOR BIBLE Named to Amazon Senior Editor Seira Wilson’s Top 100 List


Top center: Seira WIlson, Amazon senior editor, who just released her list of “100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking,” which includes THE FLAVOR BIBLE

“The idea was to come up with a list that would be inspirational, educational, have a lot of variety and be a lot of fun.  If you had one bookshelf of cookbooks for your whole life, I would want this to be the list.”
–Seira Wilson, senior editor, in explaining her rationale behind naming “Amazon’s 100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating and Drinking,” which features THE FLAVOR BIBLE

Today CNN’s Katia Hetter reported that named its “100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating and Drinking,” which features THE FLAVOR BIBLE.

On the heels of THE FLAVOR BIBLE being named by Forbes as one of the 10 best cookbooks in the world of the past century, we’re delighted to see it also take a place on Amazon’s distinguished list of 100, which also includes Larousse Gastronomique, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and J. Kenji López-Alt‘s The Food Lab. 

Amazon’s Seira Wilson’s entire list of 100 food and drink books (also available on CNN here):

Baking: The Baking Bible, Baking: From My Home to Yours, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread; How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking; Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make; Joy the Baker; Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats
Barbecue: Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, The Barbecue! Bible
Booze: Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas, The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual: Secret Recipes and Barroom Tales from Two Belfast Boys Who Conquered the Cocktail World; Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails; The Drunken Botanist; Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail; The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails; Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure; Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
Breakfast: Brunch at Bobby’s: 140 Recipes for the Best Part of the Weekend
Burgers:  The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers
Classics: The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, Escoffier, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: Anniversary, The Joy of Cooking (75th anniversary edition), Mastering the Art of French Cooking (two-volume set)
Food memoir: The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef; The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef; Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany; Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly; The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America; The Man Who Ate Everything; My Life in France; Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table; Yes, Chef: A Memoir
Food writing:  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life; The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition; The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Foodie cookbook:  elBulli 2005-2011; The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science; The French Laundry Cookbook; Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking; The NoMad Cookbook; The Professional Chef, 9th edition; Prune; The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating
General cooking: Appetites: A Cookbook; The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook; Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook; Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook; Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking: Everything You Need to Know to Make Fabulous Food; How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food,10th Anniversary Edition; The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations; The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook
Light cooking: The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
Paleo: Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great
Reference: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs; The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques; Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated; 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List
Regional: A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail; Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook; The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem; Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen
Heritage:  The Taste of Country Cooking: 30th Anniversary Edition; The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco’s Beloved Resturant
Seafood: Le Bernardin Cookbook: Four-Star Simplicity
Vegan: The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out; Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Vegetables: The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
Vegetarian: The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook; The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods; The Moosewood Cookbook: 40th Anniversary Edition; Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
World/Asia: Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes; Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking; Momofuku; Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking: Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook;The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food; All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China; Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand
World/French: Daniel: My French Cuisine; A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse; My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories; Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food
World: The Foods of the Greek Islands: Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean; Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking; The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook; Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking; Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook; Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking; Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home; Jerusalem: A Cookbook; Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking; Authentic Mexican 20th Anniversary Ed: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico; The Food of Morocco; The Nordic Cookbook; Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan; Peru: The Cookbook; Polska: New Polish Cooking; Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook


Amazon senior editor Seira Wilson‘s list of “100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating and Drinking” can be found here.

Relais & Chateaux Properties Share The Secrets of Their Extraordinary Approach to Entertaining Guests

relaischateauxartofentertaining relaischateauxlogo

“…The Weekapaug Inn, a luxury hotel located right on the Rhode Island shoreline, will share its culinary secrets as part of The Art of Entertaining: Relais & Châteaux, a coffee-table book filled with recipes, party ideas, and decorating tips from Relais & Châteaux properties throughout North America.”
–Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country

We count ourselves as ardent admirers of many Relais & Chateaux member properties, having had the great pleasure of visiting a number of them over the years.

These luxury getaways are perfect for busy professionals short on time, because the R&R experiences many of them offer is so extraordinary that even an overnight stay can have the restorative benefits of an entire long weekend away.  After two or three rich, immersive nights at R&C properties, we can return home feeling like we’ve been away for an entire week.

We love learning secrets of the behind-the-scenes magic created in Relais & Chateaux settings, which is exactly what R&C’s new 240-page coffee table book The Art of Entertaining by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins (Rizzoli, Fall 2016) delivers.

Along with gorgeous four-color photography by Melanie Acevedo and David Engelhardt, there’s an introduction by Patrick O’Connell, the president of Relais & Chateaux North America and the proprietor of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, which is one of our favorite places on earth — and one that sets the bar for the “Menus, Flowers, Tablesettings, and More for Memorable Celebrations” that comprises this book’s subtitle.  Every special event O’Connell has orchestrated in the more than two decades we’ve been honored to know him has felt like walking into a fairy tale.

We especially enjoyed reading about the Halloween Costume Party at the Inn at Little Washington, as well as the Great Gatsby Dinner Party at Dan DeSimone and Alan Stenberg‘s elegant Tuscan-inspired Glenmere Mansion (Chester, New York).  Glenmere boasts one of the best, yet-unsung pastry chefs in America in Taiesha Martin, who tells of researching what was served on ocean liners of the Gilded Age including the Titanic for the party’s dessert menu.

We loved our visit a few years back to The Fearrington House Inn in North Carolina, whose Southern-Style Brunch is featured in the book, along with the sumptuous Berkshires hideaway Blantyre‘s over-the-top balloon-filled New Year’s Eve Party.

The book whet our appetites to revisit certain R&C properties as well as to pay a visit to those we’ve yet to explore, including Meadowood Napa Valley (which we’re especially excited is opening The Charter Oak in the months to come, after our extraordinary preview of the brunch menu courtesy of Chef Katianna Hong at a James Beard Foundation weekend pop-up in Chicago) and Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm.

Indeed, our bucket lists include a visit to every R&C property in North America — a quest you might well be tempted to add to your own after perusing this beautiful, fantasy-filled feast of a book.


Relais & Chateaux’s The Art of Entertaining is available on and at better bookstores everywhere.

Links to some of our previous posts on other Relais & Chateaux properties:

Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn in Maine
Daniel in New York City
The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia
The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession Book Party
Magdalena at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore
Marea in New York City
Per Se in New York City

Rouge Tomate Reopens in Chelsea, To The Delight of Lovers of Wine and Cuisine-So-Delicious-You-Forget-It’s-Healthful


Upper Right: Andrew Dornenburg chats with Rouge Tomate’s beverage director and partner Pascaline Lepeltier, MS; Middle: Hristo Zisovski, long-time beverage director of the Altamarea Group, with Karen Page

“For two years now, New York wine lovers have been restlessly tapping their feet, checking their watches and sighing heavily as they waited for word that Rouge Tomate would reappear.  The restaurant, one of the city’s great wine destinations, closed its East 60th Street location in August 2014. Initial word was that it would reopen in Chelsea by early 2015. Then, by that fall. Now, finally, any day.”
Eric Asimov, The New York Times (September 6, 2016)

When a beloved restaurant closes, there’s a mourning process involved.

That’s how we’ve felt since the 2014 closing of the 60th Street location of Rouge Tomate, the Michelin-starred wine-focused so-delicious-you’d-never-know-it-was-healthful-too restaurant that was a favorite of wine lovers and food lovers alike.

So there’s a special joy in its resurrection in the form of Rouge Tomate Chelsea, which opened September 28th in a new, smaller, more rustic space on West 18th Street.  While the setting is quite different, the restaurant’s heart and soul still shine through, in some ways louder and clearer than ever.


We loved every single bite of savory food we tasted at Rouge Tomate Chelsea during our dinner, with standouts including a mushroom tartare that may be the single most wine-friendly dish in America

The song remains the same, thanks to the return of a stellar cast of professionals, including beloved master sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, whose passion for the natural wines on her extensive list is contagious.

Always-on-it general manager Rachel Palczynski is back to offer her trademark welcoming warmth to the dining room, while Chef Andy Bennett exhibits a wizardry with flavors that still keeps us asking, “How did he do that?” upon tasting such exquisite richness in dishes known to eschew butter and cream.


Rouge Tomate Chelsea’s wine list includes a great value Mas Coutelou natural red ($9/glass)

For a wine-focused restaurant, those who are price-conscious won’t be left out of the fun.  We loved tasting the restaurant’s $9/glass offering — an organic red from Mas Coutelou — not to mention Lepeltier’s fellow master sommelier Christopher Bates’ $5/glass Chadonnay-that-is-not-a-sherry but could have fooled the two of us with one whiff.

We’ve only had the pleasure of visiting once (when we ran into Altamarea Group beverage director Hristo Zisovski, to whom his wife Tia Keenan‘s beautiful new book The Art of the Cheese Plate is dedicated) — so far.  But in the weeks ahead, with the restaurant open 6 nights a week (except Mondays) and soon opening for lunch, we’ll definitely be back to celebrate the (re-)birth of something we already know to be new and very special.


Rouge Tomate Chelsea is at 126 West 18th Street (bet. Sixth and Seventh Avenues), Manhattan.  Phone:  646.395.3978  Website: