Monday, October 29, 2007


Tuesday - Lifestyle: A dinner party in a New York Loft. Laurie Mallet and artist and designer, Peter Rittmaster have a beautiful loft in Chelsea. The loft is full of Peter’s fun works of art and one could spend all day and more looking at them, but that is another story. This story is about their dinner parties where less is more and very elegant. Elegance is often an understatement and as you can see by this table the setting is very simple but, so chic. The menu was French inspired, simply cooked with the best quality products:

Tagliata of Sautéed Rib-eye Steak

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup

Bio-dynamic Steamed Broccoli

Classic Cheese Platter

Clementine’s D’Anjou Pears Cooked in Bordeaux with Crème Fraiche

Chocolate Tangerine Cookies

Wine: Chateau Greysac, 1998

Note: The Cartier silver candlesticks and the crystal goblets. The table was designed in the 1960s by John Masheroni the surface is in English burlwood which is like the one used on the Rolls Royce dashboard. The Chairs are cane-work, French Louis XVI.

Detail: This is Laurie and Peter’s everyday table. The table settings are heirlooms from Peter’s family. Note: the sterling silver, the old English Spode, Florence pattern plates, the pink linen napkins with grey embroidery. The water-glass is classic Murano. In the background, you can just see the sweet potatoes with maple syrup and also note the funky bread basket in the foreground.

The bread. Our hostess, Ozone Design Inc. CEO and founder, Laurie Mallet cuts a baguette of organic artesian French bread from Le Pain Quotidien bakery. French born Laurie has always been involved in avant–garde fashion, moving to America she founded Willi Wear. Now she devotes her time, talent and sense of fun, design and fashion to Ozone Socks because when she founded the company “Socks were the only item of clothing untouched by fashion.”

A Classic Cheese Platter. A good cross selection of American cheeses from Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleeker Street. On a fifties ceramic painters palette:

Perrin Vermot, Petit Sapin

is made from Alpine cow’s milk.

Uplands Cheese Company Pleasant Ridge Reserve Extra Aged

the Extra Aged cheese is matured for eighteen months, intensifying its flavor, especially the sweetness. This cheese is only made in Wisconsin.

Jasper Hill Farm, Bayley Hazen Blue

the three months old cheese is made from cows’ milk, it tastes of sweet cream and nuts and has a distinct licorice flavor

Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, Coupole

this goat’s cheese is aged for three to four weeks, it takes its name from its dome shape, it’s texture is very dense and creamy and the rind is sweet.

Murray’s Cheese Shop stocks the best cheeses in New York City. They have a vast selection of cheeses and the young and energetic staff is very knowledgeable. Also, on site they have subterranean cheese aging caves, designed by Herve Mons, the leading affineur, or “Meilleur Ouvrier” of France.

Contessanally tip: always start with the freshest cheese first and end with the most mature ones.

The dessert – Recipe: Clementine’s Poached Pears in Wine. Bring one bottle of Bordeaux to the boil with one cup of sugar, one clove, one vanilla bean and the zest and juice of an orange and a lemon. When it starts to boil, put in eight pealed organic D’Anjou pears, cover and boil for twenty minutes. Serve with crème fraiche from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Company and chocolate tangerine cookies from Wholefoods. Laurie’s daughter, Clementine Mallet is taking a masters degree in food culture and communication of quality products at the Universita di Scienze Gastronomiche in Parma, Italy “I would like to be involved in an organization that educates the consumer to make informed food choices.” She told me.

Detail: The engraving on this silver commemorative Tiffany & Co. bowl reads Mr and Mrs WonderfulFebruary 23 1957. It was a gift from Sammy Davis Jr. the star of the Broadway show, Mr. Wonderful, to Peter Rittmaster’s parents; Peter’s father was one of the backers of the show.

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