Book Production Phase 17 FinalI don't have any photos of our celebration dinner--not because I forgot the camera (which I didn't) but because we were having too good a time to remember to document it! Production manager Ava brought the beautiful end pages (these are the first pages you see when opening the book). Earlier in the day Pam's assistant Rebecca sent the final cover. You can see the front on the blog upper right corner. The rest will be a surprise. I think it is stunning. Now that it's all complete it is close to unbearable to have to wait THREE MONTHS to see it. But it will be worth the wait--it takes time for this quality of production. By the way, Ava explained that the reason some books are printed in China is because that is where the best quality is produced. Even Swedish publishers who win awards for design and production have their books printed in Italy or China.
We celebrated at Chinatown Brasserie, where the event planner, Marie Lyons, came out with her copy of The Cake Bible to say hi and get an autograph. She told me she had just made the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound cake for Memorial Day. I love the food and the ambiance of Brasserie. It is a large but cozy room and we could actually hear ourselves talk, which is getting more and more rare in NY restaurants. Of course there was a bottle of champagne (Tattinger rosé)--better to drink than to break over the bow of the ship! Our appetizers were exquisite soup dumplings and a tart of crispy fillo type pastry filled with an amazing combination of avocado and bass--a symphony of pleasing textures and flavors recommended by our exceptionally skilled and charming wait person Mel. We shared the Peking duck which I can never resist because it is the best I've ever had anywhere with the finest accompanying pancakes and then succumbed to one large crisply fried soft shell crab. This crab turned around Ava's opinion about the dish. She had said something about the pointlessness of having nothing more than a bunch of scales on a plate at which I had to laugh because they sometimes can be just that plus greasy. These were perfection. Forgive me if a wax rhapsodic but it was one of those rare evenings when everything was so special and just right. Too full for dessert I nibbled on Ava's apple tart. It was all entirely and appropriately heavenly! And the book ships TODAY!!!!! (How often we use the word ship but how rarely is it literally the case.)