It’s not always easy being a vegetarian in Spain. Because I also eat fish and seafood–and I live in Barcelona, which is smack on the sea–it’s a challenge, but it’s not impossible. In Madrid, I would call it impossible. There is a big deli there, for instance, called El Museo del Jamón. Generally, all over Spain there is a general suspicion of those who do not follow the cult of the slaughtered cow and pig. That small club would include both my husband U.B. and me.
So, we greet with joy the discovery of an extraordinary Spanish dish that is not based on meat. And there is a family of soups whose ingredients have never been near a pig. The chilled soups are a refreshing thirst-quencher in the parched southern reaches of Spain’s Andalucia, where summer days can be broiling.
Everybody knows about gazpacho, the perfect chilled tomato-garlic-and-vegetable first course on a hot day, and in Spain it is as readily available in the local grocery store as orange juice. My family slugs it down right from the carton if we’re on the road, and it’s one of our daughter Stassa’s favorite after-school snacks. Still, nothing beats the homemade version, which is not difficult to make in either a blender or a food processor; recipes abound on the Internet. Crucial to its success is the crunch factor of the accouterments that you add when serving gazpacho at your table: diced green (or red) pepper and cucumber, little cubes of fresh tomato, and crispy croutons of bread that have been toasted with olive oil. I like a sprig of rosemary or basil in mine.
The other tomato-based soup that has not found the international fame of its cousin gazpacho is called salmorejo. A search for the etymology of the word led me nowhere, but it almost certainly has something to do with salt (“sal”) in spite of its being not exceedingly salty. When I plug the word salmorejo into Google translate, the English translation is…(fanfare): “Gazpacho!”
As far as I can tell (after hundreds of tastings), salmorejo, whose origins are in the Andalucian city of Córdoba, varies from its more famous cousin mostly in the inclusion of a higher proportion of bread amongst its ingredients, which renders the soup a slightly lighter shade of red, and considerably thicker, than your average bowl (or glass) of gazpacho. The ingredients list is also shorter, focusing on vine-ripened tomatoes, green olive oil, garlic and bread. It is often garnished with cubes of ham and hard boiled egg.
An unsung cousin to the red chilled soups is little known outside of Andalusia, and almost completely unheard of outside of Spain. The secret of the creamy white, refreshingly chilled ajo blanco or “white gazpacho” summer soup seems to be well guarded.
U.B. and I first discovered ajo blanco in the swank restaurant of one of Spain’s most charming paradores, a converted fourteenth-century Moorish castle in Carmona, outside of Seville. Since my lactose-tolerance is not high, I at first shied away from the white soup in spite of U.B.’s swooning response to it. Only after asking the waiter, “Que es esto?” and hearing the list of ingredients, did I dive in and become a life-long fan.
Ajo blanco is more than the sum of its parts. In fact, the ingredients at first seem to be seriously at odds with each other: Bread. Almonds. Olive oil. Grapes. Vinegar. And of course garlic (ajo).
Here is a recipe, freely adapted from a version that I found at EPICURIOUS.COM:
Toast several slices of country bread without its crusts and soak in a cup of ice water.
Toast about a dozen sliced almonds in a skillet until golden, then grind them in a processor with one clove of garlic.
Squeeze the bread dry and add it to the almond/garlic mixture, along with half a pound of seedless green grapes.
Process until smooth then put it into a bowl and mix it together with 3 Tbsp. of wine vinegar, a half cup of extra virgin olive oil and two cups of ice water.
Strain it through a sieve, forcing as much bread through as possible. Add salt and cayenne pepper, and chill well, at least one hour.
Serve the soup with freshly toasted croutons and more green seedless grapes, cut in half. I know it sounds weird, but trust me.
Once while traveling around the south of Spain, we came across a thicker, dip-like version of ajo blanco, which is usually a rather thin soup. Quite a surprise and just as yummy.
Boston’s annual Party in the Park was held last week to benefit the Justine Mee Liff Fund and the theme this year was “The Fascinator”. Since 2005, this party has been taking place in the Emerald Necklace, one of the many greeneries throughout Boston, which the fund helps maintain and restore. 700 of Boston’s most beautifully dressed women and a handful of gentlemen came out to celebrate and raise money for the parks.
Thankfully, we were graced with sunny, beautiful weather for the first time in a few years and raised approximately one million dollars, a great gift for the city of Boston. This money will work nicely alongside the 4.1 million dollars committed by Mayor Marty Walsh at the event on behalf of the city. Hats off to the guests and to Boston for helping to take care of our parks!
photo credit: Lisa Richov, The Social Stylist
Guest Contributor: Dylan Connor
- Ultimate Value Driven Destinations within a 20 block radius.
- The Transport: By car from Boston; Walking.
The Morgans Hotel – Madison Ave
Located at 237 Madison Ave., the Morgans Hotel is the original jewel in Ian Shrager’s boutique hotel empire. The instinctively modernist interiors are timeless and were created by the emissary of Parisian chic:Andre Putnam. This hotel is full of thoughtful luxury including rainfall showerheads, down duvets and pillows, Malin & Goetz bath amenities and complimentary breakfast, complete with homemade granola and classic New York bagels. It remains a best kept value secret in town with an unbeatable location.
The Meatball Shop -9th & 22nd
The Meatball Shop – 9th and 22nd streets (one of five locations). They’ve got balls and a not so secret weapon in chef Daniel Holzman, who hails from Le Bernadin. He and business partner Michael Chernow have created an irreverent and nostalgic haven of affordable comfort foods with a best in class aura. Locally sourced meats (Heritage Pork, Creekstone Farms Beef and Murray’s Chicken, which they grind themselves) are transformed into an innovative menu that is frugal in its pricing yet high in style and flavor. Dig in to the Meatball Smash – two balls on a Brioche bun with sauce and cheese or a purely simple slider. Wash it down with a Shop Specialty Cocktail: the Fool-Aid Punch ( brandy, rum, citrus and grape sugar) or a Homegrown Classic: Moscow Mule: Brooklyn Republic (vodka, lime and ginger beer). Whiskey lovers should check out the whiskey grid. Have it neat or cleverly disguised in a Whiskey float with Vanilla (citrus liqueur, root beer and vanilla ice cream). And finally, we suggest The Sweet Ending: an ice cream sandwich concocted with house-made ice cream and freshly baked cookies. Our favorite? Chocolate chip with brown sugar ice cream. That’s just the surface of a comprehensive menu that does not disappoint.
Virgil’s BBQ-44th right off Times Square
Located on 44th Street, Virgil’s real barbecue is right off Times Square in the heart of the Theater District. Classic Roadhouse décor sets the tone in an atmosphere that is casual and welcoming. The streamlined service is a fast and friendly group of aspiring actors. Stick with Virgil’s favorites and you can’t miss. Two genuine Southern Pride Smokers churn out the tastiest Carolina Pulled Pork and BBQ Chicken in the North. Split an order of Trainwreck fries or BBQ nachos. (These are not for the faint of heart in portion or calories.) Beer aficionados may rejoice in choosing a flight of “Three of Your Choice,” or indulge in Virgil’s Own Ale, Coney Island Lager or Skrumpies Cider.
THE RAMBLE — Central Park
The Shakespeare Garden
Central Park is 843 acres that were curated by preeminent landscape architect Frederick law Olmsted in 1858. With daily official guided or self-guided tours, we have three scintillating suggestions and they’re free!: Brush up on your Shakespeare! Don’t miss The Shakespeare Garden, named for the famed English poet and playwright and includes four enchanting acres of scattered quotes, flowers and plants all drawn from his illustrious works.
The Chess & Checkers House
For the gamer in all of us- compete in The Chess and Checkers House—BYOC or borrow Chess, Checkers or Backgammon and Dominos.
The Carousel—Legend has it that the original ride was powered by a live mule or horse hidden beneath the carousel platform. Today’s vintage carousel was found in an old trolley terminal on Coney Island. It was crafted in 1908 by the Brooklyn firm Stein & Goldstein and is considered one of the finest and largest examples of American Folk Art in existence. With its 57 majestic horses, it is the fourth to stand in Central Park since 1871.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch- Starring John Cameron Mitchell
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” starring writer/creator John Cameron Mitchell, at the Belasco Theatre. The Tony-winning revival has been updated and revamped from the original Off-Broadway and film versions, which serves the larger-than-life character of Hedwig well. Mitchell is a true manifestation of stage charisma, and the music seamlessly bridges rock’n’roll and musical theater. The Tony-winning lighting design by Kevin Adams rounds out a glamorous, hilarious, and heartfelt experience. Day-of lottery tickets provide great seats for a very low price.
Finding Neverland — with Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer
“Finding Neverland,” starring Matthew Morrison, Laura Michelle Kelly, and Kelsey Grammer, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Directed by the incomparable Tony-winner Diane Paulus with fantastic music by first-timers Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, it is also a first for Harvey Weinstein as a Broadway producer. It is a surprisingly sympathetic turn from Morrison, complemented with grace by Kelly, and rounded out by Grammer’s panache. The simply designed set perfectly frames Paulus’ elegant staging and the stunning choreography from Mia Michaels of TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance” fame. An overall excellent adaptation of the 2004 film, while still establishing its own style and take on the story of J.M. Barrie and his inspiration for “Peter Pan.” Stand in line a few hours before the box office opens, and experience the spectacle from amazing seats for an incredibly affordable price.
Training for the Napa to Sonoma half-marathon continues…
This week our training consisted of running a 6K road race in Brockton. It was the same place we had run a couple of weeks ago, so I was familiar with the terrain. Which normally would be a good thing, you know the lay of the land as it were, you know where the big hill is, and you know when to kick into gear near the end. For some reason this works in reverse for me. If I’ve done it before it just psyches me out. I have little voices in my head telling me to quit before I’ve even begun. AND IT’S ONLY 3.75 MILES. What happens when we have to run more? I seriously need to find a way to get out of my own way.
I have tried running with music, with audiobooks, with podcasts, and with nothing but the wind in my ears. Nothing seems to make it stop. In fact, I think the only way I can get that little voice to shut it’s shit-talking mouth is to talk to it. But, funnily enough, talking while running alone gets you mad side-eye from people you pass. But for some reason I prefer talking to myself. Well, I should be more precise, arguing with myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived alone for so long, but conversing with myself is something I do all the time. At home, at work, at Foodies while deciding on ground grass-fed beef or bison, (the little voice wants Bison, my voice wants whats cheap) but it just sounds weird when you are running.
Now that you think I’m a total psychopath, please know my doctor says talking to yourself is totally normal. So don’t worry about my brain, it has an entire village of people tending to it. But I digress.
Her name is Ms Moo-lot and she’s made entirely of wine corks. How cool is that? I have a great love for that which falls under the heading of “Roadside Americana” and finding kitch like this in a fancy place like Napa/Sonoma brings me joy.
I finished the 6K a little faster than I had run the course last time, so high five for me! And my entire team was there at the finish line to cheer me on. Team Challenge is full of warriors and I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing group!
She shattered the glass ceiling, becoming the first female US Secretary of State. Madeleine Albright, who paved the way for a progressive future in government, was recently seen at The White House Correspondent’s Dinner with another of our favorite Power Players, Téa Leoni. Terri Stanley sat down with Madame Secretary on a previous trip to Boston to talk about her pin collection and the political and diplomatic significance behind them. Find out what she said about Hillary Clinton, Wellesley College, democracy and the pin she wore for Saddam.
When you think of white shirts, the brand Anne Fontaine comes immediately to mind. I met with the designer during a trip to Boston at her flagship store, 280 Boylston St, Heritage On the Garden. (I tried not to get too distracted by the big orange box on the corner of the street where Hermes is getting its makeover.) Upon entering the cozy boutique, I was drawn to a wall of shirt collars. Anne told me in her shy and sexy portugese accent (her father is French and her mother Brazilian), that the collars developed initially because she uses them in the design process. She has about 3,000 of these collars in her atelier in the North of France–Normandy to be exact.
And she likes to “play” with them, experimenting with the shirt designs by changing the collars. She initially put them up as a gallery in her store in Paris about 5 years ago. They weren’t for sale, just for display, but immediately customers wanted them. A new idea was born, and she started selling the collars as accoutrements to her beautiful shirts. They can be worn over round neck shirts, as well as with strapless gowns–as a sort of collar/necklace, skin showing between the two. Their versatility is endless. I am even reminded of the green beaded collar that Scarlett Johansen wore to the Oscars this year. Anne’s collars tend to stay in the black and/or white color scheme and vary from extremely conservative to supremely fabulous.
Anne is currently working on her Summer 2016 collection. She is inspired by life and the silhouette of the femme fatale–a strong 60’s influence with idols such as Marlene Dietrich serving as muses. The Anne Fontaine woman in her eyes can be a young lady, a mother, a grandmother, anyone who wants their first white shirt.
After studying marine biology, she ended up in fashion and launched the brand in 1993. Anne has always had a passion for nature, and felt that it was time to give back. The Amazon rainforest is close to her heart because she lived there when she was 17. She established the Anne Fontaine Foundation to benefit the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, an area in peril, and once a year on Forest Day, 50% of the proceeds from any sales in her store go to this charity.
Now in its fifth year in Boston, Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Festival of photography is now running at various locations in Boston. The headlining event, an exhibition of the work of photographer Bill Brett, opens on Friday, May 1 and runs through Sunday, May 3. (There is a public reception on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.) The Brett show features 50 photographs from Bill’s latest book, “Boston: Irish.” Boston magazine has a full rundown of the 2015 Flash Forward Festival.
First interested in the arts at 16 and still painting nearly every day at 93 years old, Anne Lyman Powers has had a prolific artistic career – to put it mildly. Born in Boston and educated at institutions such as Vassar, Columbia and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Powers devoted any free time she had growing up to studying, painting and sculpture. An early influence on her work was politics, reinforced by her experience traveling in pre-WWII Europe. In 1937, at 15 years old, Powers got a firsthand glimpse of Nazi Germany and its propaganda campaign against contemporary art, branding the work of modernists and expressionists as “Degenerate.” Powers herself would explore expressionist work in her painting, and back home in Boston, aligned herself with the Boston Expressionists. Later, changes in her personal life also meant changes in her art. Once married, Powers turned to her everyday life to mine it for subject matter – capturing vacation spots, social gatherings, and her family. However, her eye for political satire didn’t remain dormant for long, and she continues to explore political themes in her work to this day.
Terri Stanley was fortunate enough to interview the late Evelyn Lauder in 2010 for season 2 of styleboston. Mrs. Lauder told us that the idea for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s “Think Pink” and its pink ribbons was hatched over a cup of coffee at her kitchen table, and has grown into a worldwide campaign. A true lady, Mrs. Lauder could teach people a thing or two about grace. Watch this Power Player segment below and continue on for more information about the 2015 Boston Hot Pink. (styleboston will be on site at this year’s gala to catch all the action for a good cause.)
“I’ve never met a more gracious woman. She was without pretense or arrogance–truly amazing.”
The BCRF is celebrating its 10th year anivarsary Thursday, May 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center.
The Estee Lauder Companies Global Ambassador for
Breast Cancer Awareness
AMY ROBACH & ANDREW SHUE
BCRF 2014-2015 NEW ENGLAND GRANTEES
Local Scientific Research Pioneers
CONNECT W/THE BCRF:
styleboston and my family lost a very dear and loyal friend yesterday and I would like to say a few words about this special little guy.
#1-he either liked you or he did not…and it was usually not. Chewy was a Brussels Griffon, a funny and spirited breed that always prefers one on one’s to an open door invite. He was a fierce watchdog and could rumble with the best of the Goldens and Labs.
#2-He does NOT look like the “Star Wars” character Chewbacca, Chewbacca looks like him. Apparently George Lucas had several Griffons when he created the infamous character so let’s get the record straight once and for all… I believe that really irked Chewy.
#3-For such a little guy he instilled a lot of fear in some people. Numbering a dozen or so at last count, he’s a “take no prisoners” kind of guy…likes a good nip here and there. But if he loved you, he really loved you.
Rest in peace Chewy, we miss you already ♥
I was invited to serve as a professional reviewer for the Fashion Design Department at MassArt. It’s an honor to be invited to participate in this Review, and my third year being asked back. I took a close look at the portfolios, sketches, and actual garments of the four students I was assigned. Get to know the four fabulous and fashionable students below and take a peek at their designs. styleboston will be on site for the event titled “Vision” — taking place at The Castle on Columbus Ave on May 9’th.
Kimberly Gale Nowers
I hate running. Hate it with a deep burning passion. Why do I do it? Still trying to figure that one out. It all started in 2010 when I decided to run my first 5K. I ran the Jolly Jaunt through downtown Boston. It was cold and I thought I’d never make it, but I did and it felt great. So, I started training to run a half marathon, I mean why not? I ran one in July of 2011 and crossing the finish line was unreal. I wanted to bottle that feeling and carry it with me. But you can’t and you are left with sore legs and a cool medal. Next step? Might as well run Boston, right? So I did. On the hottest day ever. I crossed the finish line in a brisk 7 hour and 9 minutes. Friends, I have yet to replicate that one.
After running Boston last year, I just lost something. I had to quit at the half marathon and felt terrible about it. I also caught a lot of shit for not finishing. People can be pretty mean on the internet. Fast forward a year – I’m ready to go again.
It’s the 2013 Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Destination Race on July 21st and training has started in earnest. And by earnest I mean training runs on Saturdays, and many week days spent making excuses as to why I’m not running that day. (I blame Netflix for my inability to lace up shoes on workdays.) Last week we hit up DW Field Park which, to quote my coach, is a beautiful spot in an otherwise not so pretty place. It is a hilly three and a quarter mile loop which circles Brockton Reservoir and the day was perfect for it. We start as a group but packs quickly pull away and I’m usually on my own. In my patented run til I can’t breathe, then walk for a bit training plan, I took on these almost 4 miles with gusto. The weather was perfect, the scenery was so beautiful and everyone I passed said hello. This is what I love about running in these types of places… real runners don’t go here. Real runners can be assholes. I do understand it, charity runners like me are slower, don’t know all the etiquette, and take numbers that a qualifier could have. But seriously, running is for everyone, don’t be a dick. But I digress…
Why did I choose this half marathon? First off, I’m running with Team Challenge helping to fight Crohn’s and Colitis – both diseases are horrible, so any little bit I can do to help is great. Secondly, the race is in Napa and there is wine at the finish line. WINE AT THE FINISH LINE. The finish line is at Cuvaison Carneros Winery, which is a sustainable estate that produces distinctive chardonnays and pinot noirs and now I’m drooling. I plan on soaking up all Napa has to offer while I’m there and squeeze that half marathon in between tastings. In fact, I plan on having my post race meal delivered to the amazing tasting room.
Back to reality… I finished up my lap in a little under an hour. Let’s hear it for a 14 minute mile! Next Saturday it’s 6 miles, so I better get my butt in gear with the weekday runs, binge watching will be postponed to the next rainy day. I’ve got a ways to go in this journey, but it’s always the first step that is the hardest. And friends, nothing feels better than keeping a promise to yourself.
From the runways of London to the streets of Boston, maximalist print mixing is au courant for Spring. Joseph Gordon Cleveland takes on the trend in a surrealist editorial shoot with photographer Eric Levin.
All apparel, accessories and shoes courtesy of Neiman Marcus Copley Place.
I had the pleasure of meeting hat designer Susan van der Linde and her husband yesterday at a trunk show to benefit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for Party in the Park. But before I sat down to look at her beautiful hats, I was greeted with a friendly smile from owner Nicholas Penna and the lovely staff at Salon Capri. I was treated to a beautiful blowout and styling by expert stylist Graziella Lembo. I’ve never been to the salon, but was immediately taken by the inviting decor and comfortable clean sleek feeling. The atmosphere–distressed wood paneling juxtaposed with the clean white cabinets, was like being inside a Philippe Starck hotel. I asked for something simple as to not overpower the hats, and Graziella styled my locks with ease and speed and made “making waves” seem like a piece of cake (although I know trying this at home would definitely not yield the same results!).
I walked over to chat with Susan and her husband Tom in the beautiful makeshift boutique and discovered that Susan and I had a lot in common. In addition to an eye for style, we shared a love of France; we had both lived in Neuilly while in Paris. Upon returning to the states, Susan eventually apprenticed with Don Marshall, the ultimate hat designer who had designed hats for Grace Kelly in his day. After his death in 1995, Susan started her own business to keep up all the trade secrets she had learned from the master.
Named by Vanity Fair as one of the top 10 Milliners of Fascinators, Susan describes her style as classic styles with a twist or pop of color or texture. I sat down with Susan to see what’s hot in hats.
Fascinator vs a full hat?
Fascinators have their place and should frame the face of the woman. But hats are beautiful and more dramatic – a woman needs to be certain of her ability to handle the attention wearing a full hat will give. If you are not confident enough to wear a full hat, then a fascinator is a very good option. They can be fun and whimsical and just as dramatic as a full hat too, worn by the right woman.
Trends in hats ?
Go big or go home!. Women want to go for drama. Hats seem to keep developing in materials, shape and how it frames the face of a woman. I am also seeing a lot of developments in texture and color. A Texan wants to look good from head to toe, so she is making sure her hat matches perfectly with her outfit, whereas a New Yorker is more concerned about being the perfect fashion plate, and about what others are wearing. Boston has a very polite crowd of hat wearers, who appreciate the beauty of other women’s hats.
Hat Etiquette-Europe vs. America?
There are very strict rules about wearing hats in Europe, such as, if you are going to an event after 6pm, you would NEVER wear a hat. It makes sense because there is typically no longer bright sunlight after this hour. Europeans, especially the French, who I have the most experience with, are more sedate, they will wear a single color from head to toe–very monochromatic. It isn’t as exciting for me as a designer, so I spice it up by adding a fun color to a classic shape, or vice versa and a crazy shape in a more sedate color like taupe. I always enjoy giving a little bit of a wink too, like a bumble bee, or other jewel attachment–something the client provides, but I will certainly direct them as to where to pin it on the hat. In the US, rules are more lenient, and you can be more adventurous with your hat. Americans can easily change up the color of the hat, and don’t need to be dressed in a monochromatic palette. I like the flexibility of that, and find it very satisfying as a designer.
I had a great time with Susan trying on her hats, she had a way of placing them on my head in positions I would not have thought of myself. She tilted the hats more forward and worn this way it gave a sense of allure, as the eyes just peeked out slightly under the brim. I could use her help in my hat placement on May 13th, wonder if she’ll be in town? She helped pick perfect pieces to complement my face and body and I am confident she chose the perfect hat for me. I highly recommend stopping by to shop her collection and at the very least to try on some of the most gorgeous hats of our time.
Susan will be taking walk-ins to shop her hats at Salon Capri until Thursday at 7pm, and will ship any special orders to arrive in time for The Party in the Park. 15% of the proceeds from trunk show item sales will be donated to the Justine Mee Liff Fund for the Emerald Necklace.
Party in the Park attendees are invited to book hair blowout and/or styling appointments for the morning of Party in the Park (May 13th) at any of SalonCapri’s three Massachusetts locations and the salon will donate 15% of the cost of services to the Justine Mee Liff Fund. Hair appointments can be booked via phone by calling: Boston/617-236-0020, Newton/617-969-1970 or Dedham’s Legacy Place/781-320-0900.
Photocredit: Lisa Richov
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