Wednesday, September 06, 2006


September 6

I think I threw away the invitation to go to the press reception promoting the Bermuda Gourmet Getaway, but then the publicist e-mailed me asking me to stop by, and I had no other plans tonight, so I went, and I ended up having a good time. It was in Gourmet magazine's private dining room, and I met chef Jean-Louis Gerin and got to know Katy Sparks better. It turns out that Katy's a neighbor of mine; we both live on Union Street in Park Slope, though she's in the cool part near 5th Avenue and I'm in the part that's an Upper West Side colony of angry, overprotective parents on political diets ("I only eat sustainable food") near Grand Army Plaza, although she's a former Food Co-op member and I'm not, and she has kids and I don't.
Katy's the corporate chef for Great Performances, a sort of catering company that operates a bunch of restaurants attached to cultural institutions, like museums and the Asia Society. As she expressed pleasure at the accuracy with which Gourmet's kitchen duplicated her food, we talked about the transition successful chefs often have to make as the move from someone who cooks to a manager who develops food for other people to cook. It reminded me of a joke Bobby Flay made that for a celebrity chef, cooking means handing someone a recipe. She said she thinks the restaurants to go to are the ones run by up-and-coming chefs, who still have fire in their bellies and aren't yet trying to brand themselves.
Interestingly in her blog today Jennifer Leuzzi said pretty much the same thing.
So then the speeches started. There were only two, and the main one was from Doctor the Honorable Ewart E. Brown, J.P., M.P, who is Bermuda's deputy premier and the minister of tourism and transport. He was wearing a truly excellent beige double-breasted suit.
Dr. Brown was a young journalist in Washington during the Watergate years, and then he practiced medicine in Los Angeles for 20 years, and finally he returned home and became a government official. Not too shabby.
I ended up closing down the party as I fell into conversation with Steve Mumford, a former journalist who, as we journalists often say, "moved to the dark side" and now sells ads. He transitioned from working for a trade publication (Builder) to a consumer magazine (Better Homes and Gardens) where he went from writing about redecorating to writing about tech (it was the late '90s) and eventually jumped the fence with a move to New York, to Playboy, to sell ads.
And from there he went to Gourmet.
People are interesting.

1 comment:

Ann Martini said...

As a former editor who also "went to the dark side" and became a PR agent, I can attest to horrible press releases. A celebrity chef is coming for a demo at a local restaurant, but the release fails to mention that chef's name. Are you kidding me? My other editorial pet peeve is restaurant menus rife with mistakes. My favorite here in Providence that has on its dessert menu "White and Dark Chocolate Mouse." Eww.