"Who is the one person, living or dead, that you'd want to have dinner with?" is an age-old question. The follow up to Assouline’s storytelling cookbooks featuring photos by Robyn Lea (first came Dinner With Jackson Pollock) affords us all the grand opportunity to do so.
Assouline and La Sirena in New York City’s Maritime Hotel hosted guests for an evening filled with delicious bites inspired by the book's recipes. There was a pesto pasta, a creamy carrot soup, chickpea and eggplant casserole with basil, a chocolate walnut brownie, and pecan delight dessert—all of which disappeared as soon as they emerged from the kitchen. Delectable cocktails were served to match: we loved the unconventional combination of red wine with flavors of mandarin, apricot, and citrus in the “Miss Scarlet" cocktail. Music, a Sharingbox photo booth, and eclectic floral arrangements by Oscar Mora really set a lavish scene.
The chic, intimate, two room lounge space was peppered with comfy leather couches and hexagonal marble tables that were scattered with recipe cards allowing guests to share in the artful cooking whether they took home a signed cookbook or not. (Ours was #297 to be signed.) Robyn Lea sat at a most sumptuous table piled high with colorful tomes set against a backdrop of flowers, fruit, vegetables, and cacti.
The book itself offers Georgia’s favorite recipes and her handwritten notes juxtaposed against saturated southwest landscapes and anecdotes offered by caretakers and companions of her later life. Each recipe offers nourishment beyond the literal—diehard fans of O’Keeffe will relish the chance to get to know her in such an intimate way.
It was one of those casual New York nights where we somehow managed to wrap up a work deadline just in time to cover this event that was not to be missed—especially because I’d fallen in love with Dinner With Jackson Pollock in early 2015 when it was released. Recently naming it a covet–worthy item on Story + Rain’s forever growing “Obsixed” list, I was especially intrigued to see what Georgia O’Keeffe had to offer.
Born and raised in New York City I can tell you two things tend to happen here, in total Gemini fashion suited to my own horoscope sign. You can either get lost in the city for days and weeks on end—never seeing the same person or place twice; or you can bump into a veritable crowd of people all in one night, all of whom represent a stage in your life and are significant to you in some way. When I walked out the door on that basic Monday evening, I had no idea I’d spend the evening at La Sirena catching up with old friends and colleagues. There was hotelier Vikram Chatwal who I grew up with and went to the United Nations International School with; digital whiz Gregory Littlely and I held positions together at Ok! Magazine; and style expert Denise Caldwell whom I worked with when I was accessories editor at Oprah Magazine. It was especially amazing to get to catch up with The Chew’s Carla Hall, who I styled for a Bravo TV campaign back when she was a contestant on Top Chef. And this was only to name a few. I chatted with countless editor friends and designers all night, proving that fashion x food x art makes for one scrumptious set. —TR + LK
fashion designer TIMO weiland poses next to sophia macks, jewelry designer pamela love and model hilary rhoda strike it solo, we caught carla hall feeling fabulous, Denise Caldwell poses for an artsy shot