A couple of weeks ago, I told Echo that she had no choice but to cook for this party with me. The location, Locusts on Hudson, is absolutely beautiful, I told her, and the head chef, Mona Talbott, is nothing short of extraordinary. I didn’t lie; all of that is true. What I didn’t tell her? That we’d be firing enough pizzas for 370 people… out of a mobile wood-burning oven that was on wheels. Oh, did I mention the cicadas were out of control – I found a dead one in my chef whites – and the prep kitchen was set up in an old slaughterhouse?
The event was for the 50th Anniversary of Scenic Hudson, an awesome organization that helps protect the Hudson River and its surrounding farmland, and it honored Andre Balazs as being an advocate for land preservation. Beyond restoring an old mansion/estate/farm in Columbia County, NY, I’m not QUITE sure what the dude has done for sustainable land use. But I must be missing something. Anyone who created the “boom boom room” must have a charitable heart.
Well, the nature of his heart aside, his property is dope and the event was spectacular. I mean, Annie Leibovitz was running a photo booth in the garden (though the more civilized called it a “photography project”). COME ON!
Though it was definitely hard work – making 10 million pizzas is no joke – it was totally worth the sweat. Locusts on Hudson was a beautiful place to spend the day and Mona is a genius. She was the head chef at the American Academy in Rome (dream) for a long time and is now opening a cooking school across the street from Locusts. So, duh, we’ll try to be there every weekend.
**Photos aren’t of our usual caliber because we had no time to indulge the Canon. All from iPhones… sorry about that.