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Sneak Peek: The Chelsea Market Cookbook Chock-full...
11/5/2013
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Sneak Peek: The Chelsea Market Cookbook

Chock-full of fresh, delectable shops like The Green Table, Jacques Torres Chocolates and L’Arte… >

Sneak Peek: The Chelsea Market Cookbook

Chock-full of fresh, delectable shops like The Green Table, Jacques Torres Chocolates and L’Arte del Gelato, New York City’s famed Chelsea Market is a food-lover’s wonderland—you can imagine how thrilled we are to have a store there ourselves!

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To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the folks at Chelsea Market have put together a book of recipes and how-tos from its vendors, as well as local chefs, and—color us honored—they asked us to contribute a chapter on setting the table, our way. Here’s a sneak peek…

Lose the rules. Obeying or breaking rules of decorum comes down to the vibe you want to convey. Hosting a casual potluck? Group forks, knives, spoons and napkins in mini galvanized pails for easy distribution. Have a beautifully grained wood table? Skip the tablecloth and opt for a DIY runner of wildflowers that will show off its rich patina.

Embrace color. There’s a time and place for white porcelain and clear glass, but trust you must: a wash of color leaves a lasting impression. Turn to saturated hues and playful patterns that showcase your personality and evoke the season.

Experiment with height. It’s a fact: a cake stand mustn’t always be occupied by cake, what with so-and-so avoiding carbs, and desserts trending scooped versus sliced. Use a cake stand’s elevation to your advantage: it’s the perfect stage for a grouping of candles or a mound of grilled vegetables.

Make room for quirk. Collectors, take note: there’s no better time to dust off your quirky paperweights, porcelain figurines and animal-shaped soup tureens than a dinner party. The offbeat charm of these precious finds is guaranteed to spark conversation.

Enjoy the prep. While many hostesses prefer to set the table the evening prior or the morning of a dinner party, we particularly relish that lovely 30-60 minute window right before guests arrive, when the greens have been chopped, the oven is warm, and you’re dressed just so.

Be loud (and messy). You heard us—make a merry noise. Mix, mingle, laugh, dance, splash, spill and certainly toast with abandon. The most memorable dinner parties are often the most dreadful to clean up.

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Tablescape photo by Jennifer May