Thursday, January 23, 2014
Lyford Cay Design Weekend
A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending the Second Annual Design Weekend in Lyford Cay. The weekend was manna from heaven for those of us who love design and beautiful homes. There was a series of design-related lectures given by Nina Campbell and Hutton Wilkinson (both excellent,) not to mention a panel discussion that included Newell Turner, David Kleinberg, Mary McDonald, Miles Redd, and yours truly. We also had the opportunity to tour some of the island's most charming homes. Never before have I seen so much Quadrille fabric! Of course, we all know that Tom Scheerer used a lot of Quadrille at the Lyford Cay Club, and the effect is really smashing. But there are also many private homes which boast the fabric, including a few houses that were decorated by the seriously-talented local designer, Amanda Lindroth. I loved Quadrille fabric before I converged on Lyford, but I must say that I love it even more now.
Another highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening's Elsie de Wolfe Dinner, which was organized by Alex Hitz in conjunction with Lyford Cay Club chef Pascal. The dinner's menu was compiled from recipes by both Alex and Elsie de Wolfe. The first course's Bloody Mary Aspic, which was delicious, was courtesy of Alex and is featured in his recent cook book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist. The entree of Chicken à la King, on the other hand, came straight from one of my favorite recipe books, Elsie de Wolfe's Recipes for Successful Entertaining. (I'm assuming that Alex tweaked the recipe for his dinner in order to accommodate a large crowd and modern palates.)
Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the dinner, but you can get a sense of the dinner's decor in the photo above, which features Chesie Breen and David Kleinberg. Each table had a black and white centerpiece and black and white napkins, while a few even had black and white umbrellas, all of which was a fitting tribute to de Wolfe and her love of the graphic color combination. And speaking of black and white, Hutton Wilkinson began his weekend lecture on Elsie de Wolfe by playing Bobby Short's rendition of Cole Porter's 1919 tune, That Black and White Baby of Mine, which begins, "Now since my sweetheart Sal met Miss Elsie de Wolfe, The leading decorator of the nation, It's left that gal with her mind simply full'f ideas on interior decoration...."
And in case you would like to try your hand at Chicken à la King, I have included de Wolfe's recipe below. Until a few weeks, I had forgotten all about this dish, but it really is one of those classic party dishes that deserves to be rediscovered by people.
Miles Redd and me as we prepared for our panel discussion.