As a young child, I ate very well. Dishes some might consider exotic but always freshly prepared with ingredients from the local farm stand and butcher were the norm. A few years later a change in circumstance introduced Tang, Pop-Tarts and Tuna Cassarole to my diet. This was not a good thing. I realized that preservatives did not make the consumer live longer and began a love affair with cooking and farm fresh ingredients as soon as I could drive. I would read a cookbook, cover to cover, before endeavoring to create anything. I would read the ingredients and also assess the required tools for success. I would spend time perusing the cellar at Macy’s. Stainless pots, knives, colanders and bakeware became my favorite gifts. Cooking became my not so secret passion. Obsessing over organizing the kitchen for the best possible culinary experience became my career.
Hundreds of clients and kitchens later, in search of a gift my foodie clients would really enjoy, I found The Hamptons And Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. This book is not just a cookbook but an eating philosophy and a fabulous food tour of the East End of Long Island. After buying two dozen books I met the author, Leeann Lavin. My devotion to kitchen-centric design led to Leeann’s invitation to be her “plus one” at Author’s Night, a fabulous event in the Hamptons, one lovely summer evening. The first part of the evening was an incredible fundraising event for the East Hampton Library, sponsored in part by the Alec Baldwin Foundation. As I tippled and snacked under a huge tent, I literally bumped elbows with Alec as he and his lovely wife perused the aisles of the likes of Gwynneth Paltrow, my new friend Leeann, and other celebrities signing their books for the fundraising patrons. I then accompanied Leeann to a fabulous party at he home of Michael Braverman, editor-at-large of Hamptons Magazine and Gotham Magazine honoring some of the featured authors, including Leeann. Amazing how my love of kitchens, culinary arts and fabulous food have opened so many interesting doors. As you think of holiday gifts for the foodies in your life, or maybe even yourself, I highly encourage you to check out this book and bring some fresh homegrown love to the kitchens in your life. Cheers!