This past January, dear friends in New York hosted a dinner party in their fabulous 5th Avenue apartment. This was a chance for this Farmer to meet and greet with some of the Big Apple’s finest folks, and a chance for yours truly to give them a New Year’s Supper with Southern Style!
Birmingham’s amazing calligraphy artist Allison Banks set the elegant Southern tone with her absolutely beautiful invitations and hand done calligraphy on the envelopes. Menus and cards describing the food continued with the theme of elegance with Southern flare from this talented Southern gal.
‘Casa Blanca’ lilies, quince branches, and magnolia leaves, flown in from Georgia for the occasion, soared into the chandelier in the dining room and set a garden tone for the Central Park view the apartment boasts… and a view it is! Dusted in snow that evening, the glow of votives and candles further enhanced the ambiance of and enchanting locale and view. I’ll never forget the romance of the “fire and ice” feel we had gazing onto Central Park through frosty window and flickering candlelight.
With the scents of Southern flavor emanating from the kitchen, our guests dined on Roasted Herbed Tenderloin of Beef, Oysters Bluffton, Lucky Money, Georgia Caviar, Apple and Pear Tarts and Pecan Tassies. A Winter Green Salad, Chatham Artillery Punch, and of course, Sweet Tea, all accompanied the dishes in true Southern fashion. The treasures of my friends' modern and contemporary art collection and décor complemented the classic food and flowers for an aura that warmed the chilly, icy, and snowy evening… let’s just say this Farmer had never seen so much snow! The warmth of my hosts, friends from Down South who came (Montgomery and DC and even St. Louis were represented) , and my new friends in New York made the evening truly charming and memorable.
Yet…I was not the only HOCO (that’s Houston County… like SOHO in NYC) native there. The lovely Deborah Roberts, and her husband Al Roker, joined this Farmer in representing Middle Georgia. There was even a fine representation from Hawkinsville proper, so how could my “neck of the woods” be any better represented! Deborah, in her glamour, shined at the party and loved the Southern food, and Al, who had just flown in from Australia the night before and worked the Today Show that morning, was as lively and just as jovial as he is on television. With such a flight the night before and an early TODAY shift, I was completely honored for them both to be there.
From the likes of David Stark, design and event planner extraordinaire, to editors from Good Housekeeping and Departures magazines, to some of the Upper East Side’s finest residents, this Farmer was in High Cotton kind of company all night. I was able, thanks to the graciousness of my hosts and friends who helped plan this soiree, to chat with the attendees about my book, Southern traditions, and “all things Farmer” in general! I could not have had a more marvelous time, guest list, locale, or amazing hosts. Thanks to all!
I hope if you ever get to The City, you find such delightful people as this Farmer has. We are known for our Southern hospitality and to share that with hospitable people in New York made for one fantastic night. From HOCO to SOHO, NOHO, and way on up to the Upper East Side, fun food, flowers, and time with friends is simply the best!