Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Where Women Cook' Launch


Yesterday afternoon, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the launch party for a beautiful new magazine, Where Women Cook.  The event took place in Chelsea Market and brought together inspiring women of various blogs as well as the influential women of Chelsea Market.

The line wrapped around the corner, inching along as eager women patiently juggled winter coats, cameras, shopping bags, and purses.  Eventually, I caught my first glimpse into the event, an energetic room filled with smiles, laughs, and an amazing collection of vintage aprons.


It was immediately evident why the line was creeping so slowly along - each of the women was taking the time to greet each person, sign each and every publication, and pose for countless photos.


First up, Amy Scherber of Amy's Bread here in NYC.  Her production kitchen, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing busy bakers kneading, shaping, and baking countless loaves of bread, is housed right in Chelsea Market.

It was very much a thrill for me to meet Amy face-to-face.  Her story and recipes were of constant source of inspiration during the bread module of pastry school, for both myself and my classmates.  Her newest book, Amy's Bread, can be found on the bookshelves of the most accomplished pastry chefs, bakers, and foodies in the city.


Then onto Mary Cleaver of The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table, also located in Chelsea Market.  I have been meaning to indulge with a glass of wine and good eats at The Green Table for some time.  

Next, the beautiful Suzy Eaton of Suzy Eaton Designs.  I absolutely cannot wait to pour over her food styling portfolio.


I caught Elizabeth Maxson of The Adventures of Elizabeth just as she was about to leave.  Of all the beautiful kitchens featured in the magazine, I could relate to hers the most - needing to make a functional, beautiful space out of a small kitchen with a limited budget.  On a completely unrelated note, I loved the ruffle sleeves on her jacket!

Also, this photo shows a glimpse of the perfect runners on each table - reminiscent of old flour sacks and personalized with the word 'create'.  Love!

Mamma Agata of Mamma Agata Cooking School and author of Mamma Agata: Simple and Genuine greeted me not as though I was the hundredth person to meet her, but as though she had been waiting all day to see me.  I cannot even imagine how warm, inviting, and friendly her cooking school must be.  Perhaps one day I will visit the Amalfi Coast and discover for myself!


Next, the hip Marsey Iverson was sweet enough to sign my magazine, complete with a smiley face.

Then, artist Megan Halsey, who created a beautiful page in the magazine.


Celeste Shaw of Chaps Coffee Co. and Cake in Spokane, Washington caught me completely off-guard when she snapped my picture right after I captured her signing my magazine.  

I am now terrified some awful photo of me will now appear on the internet, with my eyes closed and mouth agape.  I should probably hop the next plane to Spokane, drink from her pretty blue 'Cake' coffee mugs, and try each item on the menu.  I'm all about stress eating.

Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon of The Fancy Farm Girl and The Fancy Farm Girl Photography was responsible for the breathtaking photography throughout the magazine.  Her photography is incredible and I totally wanted her necklace!


The beautiful Serena Thompson of The Farm Chicks, blogger, and author of The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen: Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much and The Farm Chicks Christmas: Merry Ideas for the Holidays.  She is also a contributing editor for Country Living magazine and just opened 'Farm Chicks' storefront in Spokane, Washington.  Oh, and she is also a wife and mother to four little boys.

Inspired yet?  Me too.

Serena's kitchen was my absolute favorite in the entire magazine - bright, colorful, functional.  It was evident that the space was the heart of her home and the photos made me want to jump in there and make a batch of cupcakes with her sweet cupcake liners.  I may have told her that, although I did resist the urge to tell her that I also wanted her beautiful, glossy hair.


Jo!  The powerful woman behind this great new magazine, appearing a bit more relaxed than an hour before.  Despite her proclaimed nervousness, I hope she was able to take in all the energy and excitement of the event.

That's MaryJane Butters of MaryJanes Farm giving me a sweet smile.


This table was manned by Rozanne Gold, Sarabeth, and Molly Wizenberg of Orangette.  Her book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table, has been on my list of books to read for far too long.


Patricia Helding of Fat Witch Bakery, who drew the Fat Witch logo for each person!

The glowing Sarma Melngailis of Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck.


And finally, the main attraction of the event, sitting perfectly perched at the head of the room, Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman and author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.  

As a blogger, Ree is an incredible inspiration to me.  Each of her posts, whether about food, family, or other adventures on the ranch feel as though she is opening her arms and welcoming me, and each of her thousands of readers, into her life.  Her writing is honest and funny, never fussy or self-centered.  

Standing across from her in real life, my knees shaking in my boots,  her smile and friendly, "Hi there!" immediately put me at ease, at least enough to carry-on a decent conversation.  She is not only amazingly beautiful, but her demeanor is as down-to-earth as she seems through her daily entries.

Not surprisingly, her kitchen is one my favorites in the magazine, although I already had a sneak peak into the space awhile back from both the LA Times and Bakerella.  Each time I wait impatiently for my cookies to bake, six at a time, in my counter top oven, I imagine baking in her sprawling kitchen, equipped with multiple ovens and more than two burners, looking over the Oklahoma countryside. 

One day later, I still do not feel I have full absorbed how exciting it was to meet this wonderful group of women.  So much talent and energy contained in one space, together to celebrate the beginning of an incredible new magazine.

I have so enjoyed flipping through my issue of Where Women Cook, looking at the spaces of these creative women and bookmarking recipes for the future.  The magazine evokes memories of the women in my own family, busily working in their kitchens, a place where I have always felt most comfortable and at home.

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