Friday, October 19, 2007

New York, New York!

I'm here! I'm in town for the weekend for the Gourmet Institute, a three day program put on by the magazine with lots of food, book signings, socializing, cocktail parties, classes and a dinner at a choice of Le Bernardin, Aureole or the Four Seasons. (I chose Le Bernardin.) I also signed up for classes with several of the magazine's editors - Zanne Early Stewart, Kemp Menifie, Romulo Yanes and Ruth Reichl - and some celebrity chefs - including Tony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Jose Andres and Masaharu Morimoto.

Yesterday's flight was quite an ordeal - first we had scary turbulence on the landing in Chicago. I'm not one of those white knuckle fliers but even I was holding my breath on this one. The plane pitched, dropped and bounced around while we were coming in, and the pilot got a well deserved round of applause when we actually touched down.

The storm that caused those winds then trapped us in Chicago for three hours - on the runway no less. When they finally turned around and let us off the plane it was like one of those scenes you see on the news - with people camped out on the floor with their computers or sleeping. I was surprised though - I barely had time to eat a (rather disappointing) Chicago-style hot dog before they called us to re-board the plane and we took off. We landed at 1:10AM - the scheduled time had been 8:30. I was sort of amused by the people around me complaining. One guy bellowed into his cell phone "I'm going to give Southwest Airlines a piece of my mind about this" - about what, a thunderstorm? Would you rather fly through it?? I'm kind of impatient about some things, but I'm relatively sanguine about travel delays. It was clear that everyone was doing the best they could, and they did ultimately get us there safely.

Today I got up late (still on West Coast time) and had breakfast at Sarabeth's on the Upper East Side with a good friend on her lunch break, and then walked from there to the Whitney, where I took in the Kara Walker exhibit, "My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love," which just opened here, and comes to LA in the Spring. It's fascinating, thought provoking, beautiful and pornographic. I find it especially interesting that the huge wall-sized silhouettes are destroyed after each exhibit, and reproduced again. I'm not an art critic or a psychologist, so I will spare you my analysis - but the work is definitely a deep mine for plumbing in that regard.

On the walk, I stopped in at Dean and Deluca and Vosges and picked up a few things. Gifts, you know. I even got one of those Doughnut Plant doughnuts. Sorry to say, but it wasn't any better than any other stale doughnut would have been at that point. Humid weather is particularly unkind to glazed doughnuts, I think. It rained on us today - those storms that wrought such havoc yesterday in the Midwest are now overhead.

Tonight is a cocktail party at the Columbus Circle complex, with passed hors d'oeuvres from Per Se, Bouchon Bakery, Cafe Gray and some of the other places. Some luminaries are allegedly joining us, including Tyra Banks and Kelly Clarkson (ooh yay) and Ruth Reichl. I am looking forward to meeting her and the chefs - especially Morimoto. He just seems like such a nice guy. I did meet John Besh this afternoon, and he is quite handsome and charming in person.

I'm taking pictures but I'll probably have to post them when I get home since the USB ports on my laptop are fried. So far it looks to be a great event though.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a little nap before the cocktail hour!


  1. Alice- Dying to hear about Ruth Reichl, I have read all of her books.


  2. She's great. Very down to earth - tiny in person (all of those food people are so damn skinny, I don't know how they do it!) and so nice. I have all of her books too and loved them. You should really go next year if you're a fan. She's very accessible and the event is terrific. I really just can't say enough.

  3. The whole thing with glazed donuts is that they have to be hot and fresh or they aren't that great. I think that may be why I have come to love a plain cake donut. I love a hot glazed Krispy Kreme, but after the first two or three minutes is gets cold and average. And the KK cake donuts are horrible.

    You're NY adventures sound wonderful!