Monday, October 7, 2013

from the
drawing up a 
Low Country Cookin' kitchen tile backsplash commission!

One Monday while working at Maxwell's Farm Stand

  I overheard part of a conversation about a restaurant.  The person happened to be one of our regular fish customers and when she came by to buy her weekly flounder, I asked her about the restaurant.
"Well, I owned La Tulipe" (click!) she said, as if I should have known.....
"Wow!" I cried, "I always wanted to eat there."  
It was THE place to go in the late 70's.
"You should have" she replied dryly. 
"It was too expensive for me" I said.....
but I'm not quite sure she understood that concept.....
It turns out that we had more in common than La Tulipe

1977 was the year I started doing freelance illustrations for Gourmet Magazine and it was the year she started working there as an editor.
  She knew my art director, Reginald Massie, and her name is also Sally

All this got me thinking about my first days in NYC, pounding the pavement looking for freelance illustration work.
The first one I did was for Niki Kalish at The New York Times. 
Back then I traipsed around the city carrying my original drawings in a huge Sennelier portfolio that I had brought back from Paris. 

I would call up art directors, try to make appointments to show them my work, and hope for a job.  Mostly I just got to drop off the portfolio and pick it up in the next day or two. Surprisingly enough, Mr. Massie at Gourmet gave me an appointment.

Before becoming the art director at Gourmet, Mr. Massie
worked for Disney, UPA, Screen Gems and George Pal in the 1930s and 1940s. He was an animator, working on things like Tubby the Tuba and even Fantasia

Reginald Massie Self Portrait   1909-1989 Click his name to learn more
Reginald Massie New Yorker cover 1949
After looking at my drawings, which were giant colored pencil drawings of rooms and such and had nothing to do with food....he suggested I do some small black and white still life drawings.  So I did, and he took them all, and started to use them.  Whenever I brought in new work, Mr. Massie would take me and his assistant Dave out to lunch at one of his favorite restaurants.  They introduced me to my first tiramisu. What a plus!  
It all started that summer of 1977 

I continued to do spot illustrations for Gourmet for the next 17 years.
When Mr. Massie retired in the early 80's, Irwin Glusker became the new art director.

 Irwin gave me assignments illustrating the articles. While I was living in Paris, he sent me  to Beaune to sketch the famous rooftops of the Hospices for an article on the annual wine auction that the town is famous for. I was to eat and sketch in a nearby restaurant, and he even encouraged me to try the wine
It was the first and last time I had an expense account!

Hospices de Beaune click here for the history

A sampling of my Gourmets
In the beginning, I did air brush!

I even immortalized my cat Pancho Villa

and then I did some in color

I loved Gourmet, the travel articles, the photos, the recipes, the other art, I'm sad that it's no longer here.  If it was I would still have a subscription
So in fondness:

Pumpkin Cider Bread 1991
1 cup apple cider 
1 cup canned pumpkin purée 
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. In a bowl whisk together well the pumpkin purée, the eggs, the oil, the brown sugar, the zest, and the reduced cider. Into the bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda, the mace, the cinnamon, and the cloves, add the walnuts, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Transfer the batter to a well-buttered 8 1/2-by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan.

great deals on lots of art!