Monday, January 11, 2010

what's for dinner, barbara fairchild?

One day last fall, I woke up feeling especially bold. Instead of asking for a raise or, oh, streaking down Fifth Avenue, I emailed Barbara Fairchild, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, my favorite food magazine, to ask if she would participate in a Dinner Party Q&A. After I hit "send" I immediately felt a little crazy. Barbara Fairchild on my little blog? Right. To my surprise, she got back to me right away and said yes. An even bigger surprise was meeting her in person at the Bon Appétit blogger bake-off in December. She is just as warm and gracious as I imagined. And of course, is full of dinner party wisdom. Read on for her great entertaining tips and tricks.

1. Name, occupation, and city
Barbara Fairchild, editor-in-chief,
Bon Appétit magazine, Los Angeles

2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?

This past Saturday night. My life partner of almost 20 years, Paul Nagle, and I invited my mom who lives nearby, and my middle sister, who was visiting from Carmel, CA.

3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
Wow, there have been so many. One that comes to mind is a big open house party we did in December a few years ago with roast turkey, ham, and a lot of side dishes from recipes in the magazine.

4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails?
Usually cocktails to start (and/or good Champagne if it is a special occasion) and wine with dinner. But we do serve beer if the food is more appropriate for that. It’s really what goes best with the menu that directs the selection.

5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack?
Too much of a range...Beyonce, the Beatles, Streisand, John Mayer, U2, Sinatra, really very eclectic...

6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner. What do you make?
First course: buy some good burrata cheese, put it on small bed of arugula, drizzle with good olive oil, garnish with basil and a little dice of prosciutto. Main: grill something (marinate some chicken, shrimp, sausages, tri-tip, whatever looks good; sometimes a combination of these) and serve with a big salad (I make my own dressing with good olive oil) and couscous or rice. Dessert: fresh strawberries and blueberries and/or blackberries over a scoop of store-bought sorbet or good ice cream, homemade cookies or biscotti if I have them, if not, I use good-quality purchased.

7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
I usually cook the main course and everything myself. If a guest(s) asks to bring something, that’s fine and I will say wine or bread or dessert, maybe a nice cheese or something. (I let them know what I’m making so they can coordinate.)

8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
LOL: See answer to #6!

9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
I do like the ease and simplicity of the dessert in my answer to #6 and it’s what I usually do when the weather is warm. I’ll use peaches or nectarines if it’s that time of year, shortcake if I have the time. If my Mom is coming, she always volunteers to make her killer brownies and/or shortbread...hard to say no. At other times of the year, it’s all about chocolate!! And we all love a great cheesecake.

10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?
Paul McCartney. (And yes, I’d cook a vegetarian meal just for him!)


Larry said...

Whoa! Impressive.

Paulita said...

way to go are fabulous

Unknown said...

wow! you are fabulous!

Dan said...

Great get!

Lisa said...

Thanks, all! Glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

Does Paul need a date??

Maggie said...

It's great! Kudos to you for getting the interview. :)

Lisa said...

Anony: Ha! That would be one amazing dinner for sure.

Maggie: Thank you!

Unknown said... is always cool to have the opportunity to meet someone you admire. Great questions.

Daniel said...

For dessert, you'd have to serve Paul a flaming pie.

What, like you don't have that album?

BehindTheKnife said...

I first met Barbara in the early 80s at a wine tasting in Manhattan. She was as cordial back then as she is today.

And Lisa, your lesson is always ask! Keep shooting for the sky!

Waverly said...

I guess you'll never know if you never ask! Great blog. I found it via a link from Bon Appetit on Facebook. I think you are doing something right!!

Lisa said...

Tender Branson: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

Daniel: Oh, you are so witty.

BehindTheKnife: You are so right. "Always Ask" is a great mantra. Simple but true.

Waverly: Thank you so much! I hope so. ;)

kelly said...

yay! good interview!


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