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:

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


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.


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!


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

Lauren DeSteno

Colleen Grapes

Alex Guarnaschelli

Patti Jackson
Delaware & Hudson

Sara Jenkins
Porchetta, Porsena

Sarabeth Levine

Anita Lo

Angie Mar
The Beatrice Inn

Sawako Okochi
Shalom Japan

Lauren Resler

Missy Robbins

Allison Robicelli
Robicelli’s Bakery

Amy Scherber
Amy’s Bread

Barbara Sibley
La Palapa

Roxanne Spruance

Sue Torres
Fairfield County Hunt Club

Jessica Weiss

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!


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!


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.

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.

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


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.