Left to Right: Me, Tim Gunn, Sarah Bochicchio
Last night, I did what any cosmopolitan Manhattanite would have done on a typical Wednesday: a private gourmet dinner hosted by Tim Gunn to showcase Nespresso’s Holiday 2013 Collection. Oh, the perks of working for Haute Living!
As I walked up to the event’s suite on Broadway, I experienced an eerie feeling of déjà vu. Then it finally hit me once I noticed the stunning exposed brick wall and open layout. I was in the exact same spot where I interviewed Heidi Klum, Nigel Barker and Cat Cora for the Shutterfly by Design Debut. As you can see in my oh so very professional gallery, the space was drop-dead gorgeous. The hanging plants intertwined with white lights floated gracefully above the sleek, holiday-themed tablescape. Plus, the shelves that displayed the chic Nespresso machines stood above a plush rug, all surrounded by pristine couches. What else would you expect from the co-host of Project Runway?
As the event’s first guest (typical Adriana), I met and chatted with all of the lovely Nespresso experts and Weber Shandwick PR reps. While I lingered by the breathtaking décor, I sampled the two vegetarian hors d’œuvres: mini grilled cheese sandwiches and baked potatoes in mini mushrooms. For pescatarians, they offered mini lobster rolls and caviar on mini crackers. The waiters kindly offered champagne, sparkling water, Nespresso chocolate martinis, red wine and rosé from 2005.
After some enjoyable mingling, I finally weaseled my way into a convo with Tim Gunn. I must admit, I was weary of talking to him face-to-face because I was putting myself at the risk of his sartorial judgment. But I guess I “made it work” because he appeared to like my ensemble. Here’s the funny part: Tim Gunn thought he had met me before. I wish! Anyway, for six minutes, Tim and I talked about his unbelievably busy schedule and his favorite places in Manhattan to visit (when he’s lucky enough to have a few hours to himself). Turns out he lives on the Upper West Side, so he likes to go to Riverside Park, Central Park, The Met and dine at Porter House on Columbus Circle. He joked that like martinis, he doesn’t make steak or beef at home because they never come out just right. His go-to entrée? A good steak.
Now for the fashion! If you want to make it work, just follow these tips straight from my one-on-one with Tim Gunn.
1. “When I shop it’s like a surgical strike. I know what I want, I get in, I get it, I get out.” Tim likes to check out the hottest items at Barneys, Bergdorf’s, Saks and H&M every six weeks.
2. “I think it’s important to look across a wide variety of brands and price ranges, just to see what people are doing.”
3. “I love celebrities off the red carpet. People who just know how to navigate the world day in and day out. Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren and frankly, Sarah Jessica Parker.”
After our bonding over D.C. (he grew up there, I go to Georgetown), which he joked is a “sleepy Southern town” compared to NYC, my favorite part was when he told me, “Every New Yorker needs a nest, a safe haven. A place where they can close the door even if it’s just one more minute. Close the door and just feel that they can exhale and leave New York behind them in a way. Just be able to meditate upon their life and upon the world.”
After that, he explained the different Nespresso products to all of the guests and we sat down for a dinner based on recipes by the Iron Chef winner, Marc Forgione. My decadent vegetarian feast included a summer corn salad, leek and fava bean mushroom risotto and an almond sponge cake covered in pear sauce and topped with olive oil ice cream.
At the end, I literally felt like I was on the Oprah show, because Nespresso gave us cards to fill out for a complimentary Nespresso machine to be shipped to our homes. It went hand-in-hand with the fabulous goodie bag: the Nespresso holiday collection for cups and garnet stainless steel espresso pitchers. It’s safe to say I’m a Nespresso girl now.