Thursday, December 25, 2008

Festivities, Food and Otherwise

christmas_picThis year’s holiday season has been extra festive! It all started a few weeks back when Amanda was in town from L.A. and the Tribe got together for a Friends’ Thanksgiving at my house. She and I cooked scallop ravioli in a truffle cream sauce, bacon and leek potatoes au gratin, a celery slaw with wilted dinosaur kale, and I whipped together a six layer pumpkin trifle. We were all thankful to have our redhead back from the west coast, if only for a short weekend (and a chance to meet her new beaux…p.s. we loved him!). Then, there were drinks and feasts all over town…everywhere from Union Square Café with Dad to The Supper Club’s holiday party in Little Italy to fancy frogs’ legs with Flavia and Celest at La Grenouille. Speaking of Celest, she celebrated her birthday in style at Bar Carrera. I created a special menu item for her occasion: Chocolate & Honey Brioche Buns topped with sherry-soaked, caramelized bananas. Just a few days before, we were all toasting Erin’s birthday at her cozy East Village favorite, Supper. In between all this, I worked in weekend trips to Chicago (for an event dinner with Charlie Trotter himself) and Washington D.C., where I was treated to a tour of our capital’s culinary gems by none other than Oprah’s personal chef, Art Smith. His new D.C. spot, Art and Soul, won high marks from me and the new man in my life for its sophisticated twist on Southern soul food.

The Christmas holiday wouldn’t have been complete though, if I hadn’t had the chance to spend a night in—in Bushwick that is—when all the girls gathered at Sara’s house to trim her tree, sip some bourbon-spiked Jacques Torres “wicked” hot chocolate, exchange gifts and watch When Harry Met Sally. It was Christmas classics all around!

Wrapping up 2008 has been such a whirlwind, I’m looking forward to a quiet beckoning of 2009 on the Mexican Riviera. Feliz Navidad!

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