Some say print is dying, but there’s nothing like the surprise of a magazine amidst the junkmail, foregoing responsibilities, sitting outside, feet up, an icy cocktail in hand and paging through beautiful spreads of food, interiors, fashion, etc. Some say print is dying, but there is something exciting, maybe even more exciting these days, about tangibility, especially, especially, especially when it’s your name in the print!
I regard myself as a professional picknicker, so it was fitting when my photographing friend Adam Milliron asked if I wanted to style a spread all about picnics. Of course I did! Then he asked if I wanted to style a rooftop deck for a cocktail gathering. Of course I did! Then he asked if I wanted to be in front of the camera for a change. Huh?
The article’s concept was a gathering of friends- Italian style. Adam was asking if I wanted to join a group of foodies at a beautifully set table (styled by Suzanne Friday) on the patio of Il Pizzaioloa and eat authentic Italian cuisine. OF COURSE I DID!
I was in such good company it was easy to forget editors and a photographer and lights were all staring at us from the other side of the table. Duane Rieder poured (glass after glass!) his Engine House 25 wines (the smoky, caramely Port style was my favorite); Dylan Steigerwald, the restaurant’s manager, pointed us to his favorite pizza and cheeses (cheese board cravings have since commenced!), and Lou, better known as “The Pie Guy” and I exchanged stories of European journeys and secret pie ingredients.
This gathering enabled me to connect with new faces with similar interests. It also pushed me beyond the city limits to experience a beautiful courtyard just as spring had begun to paint with broad strokes of green.
Encouraged to approach this gathering as I would any other gathering, I did what I always do- I brought a dessert! Though I have yet to experience it firsthand, when I imagine a meal’s finale at a true Italian table, I smell strong coffee and taste the tartness of palate cleansing lemon. These were the flavors I channeled for my contribution.
The meal ended just like a patio gathering of friends should- a few more sips of wine, a slice of dessert, another little extra forkful of pie, espressos and friendly farewells and see-you-soons.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Table Magazine’s summer edition to see my food styling work from behind the camera! While you’re at it, kick up your feet, sip something icy and refreshing, and really enjoy paging through some print!
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with Whipped Lemon Mascarpone Topping & Candied Lemons (recipe to follow in subsequent post)
All photos in this post by Adam Milliron.