“Traces” has a multitude of meanings. They are memories. They are evidence of something that once existed. They are tracks or footprints. They are an indication of the tiniest amount. They are about discovery and examining one’s history. And around the holidays when we start gathering with our families in celebration, they are more apparent then ever. In this, the second edition of Gather Journal, you will find every embodiment of the word. There are recipes that have traces of family history, having been carefully shepherded through generations, recipes with elegant visual traces, and recipes that leave traces of their own presence behind.
A glorious precursor to the meal. Our gravlax is a conversation piece, its gorgeous presentation belying its simple preparation. A bountiful spread of honeyed walnuts and blue cheese is a thing of Vermeer-esque beauty. While a duo of cocktails each serve a distinct alchemic purpose: one features a liquor historically believed to awaken the mind, while the other is designed especially to soothe it.
Nature’s bounty predicts the meal’s beginnings, each starter inspired by a parade of vegetables. A knotted cluster of wild mushrooms crown crusty toasted bread; an array of fresh and pantry-born ingredients build a soul-soothing minestrone; and a colorful bouquet of roots and greens make for a salad that is the visual embodiment of the season.
Our main attractions are all about the big reveal; an edible tada! moment. A bubbling, fiery cauldron of steaming Sichuan-style stew is an instant attention-grabber for the eye and palate; a leek and potato galette flaunts just what it’s made of to thrilling effect; a plate of coal-black squid ink linguine is a macabre masterpiece; and then, of course, there is that most timeless of dinner showstoppers, the roast chicken.
How a meal ends is as important as how it commences. It’s the lasting impression, the epilogue, the curtain call. To entice, we have delicate powdered-sugar-dusted Mexican wedding cookies; a spongy zuccotto with layers of ricotta and chocolate gracefully seeping into each other; a semifreddo that looks to the trees for inspiration, with a smoky maple flavor and faux bois cookies; and a cascading chocolate cake enhanced with what is usually a meal’s beginner: bittersweet aperitif Aperol.
I think I’m falling
In love too fast
It’s got me hoping for the future And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes Come down to smoke and ash.
So sang Joni Mitchell on her 1974 album Court & Spark. In her sweeping confession of love woes, it’s the blaze she’s inherently drawn to, but the smoke and ash that remain. And food in which those two elements feature large leaves an enduring impression. The fire-roasted chestnuts perennially gracing our holiday table. The local joint’s wispy pizza crowned with blackened char. Carciofi alla brace, that Italian dish of artichokes cooked directly on hot ash. Here, we examine the scope of smoke and ash cookery: peering back at its origins and talking to chefs about how they do it today.
hibernate (v); 1. to spend the winter in close quarters in a dormant condition, as bears and certain other animals; 2. to withdraw or be in a seclusion, to retire.
Just as we relish withdrawing into the comfortable seclusion that winter inevitably inspires, so too can our food. Mysteriously beautiful tea eggs, a classic crème fraîche, short ribs braised with aged balsamic vinegar, and that most prized of Korean delicacies, kimchi—all of them hugely benefit from some serious alone time. And if you’re patient, the taste pay-off is always exceptional. Though, as Tom Petty once rightfully crooned, the waiting is the hardest part.
The Brooklyn-based photographer from Newcastle Upon Tyne England originally trained as a graphic designer before getting behind the lens. He has published three books (Apt. 302, Death in a Good District and Garden), and his clients include Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors and Nylon. See his work at willandersonphotography.com.
Bello built Anthropologie’s iconic lifestyle catalog, redesigned Real Simple magazine, and spent fifteen years as creative director for a number of luxury goods brands before pursuing a photography career. Nowadays his clients include Target, Lilly Pulitzer, GQ, Travel + Leisure and Glamour. See his work at rolandbello.com
Photographer Cornett lives by a lake in upstate New York with his two great loves: a beautiful painter and a standard poodle. He has shot for Esquire, The New Yorker, Gastronomica and Coca Cola, among others. You can get a glimpse of his life’s goings on at thelivest1.com. See his work at grantcornett.com.
After years spent as a graphic designer and art director, De Leo shifted his focus to photography. In the ten years since, his client roster has grown to include Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, People, and Food52. He was recently nominated for a James Beard Photography Award. See his work at jdeleophoto.com.
An accomplished prop stylist, and former Domino style editor, Ficaro’s clients include Anthropologie, West Elm, Town & Country, and Bon Appétit. Besides styling, she also runs a consulting service for private residences. Next year Rizzoli will publish a book on interiors she co-authored. See her work at kimficaro.com.
Partners in photography and life, Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers met while students at the Parsons School of Design. Focused on food, travel, interiors and portraits, clients include Condé Nast Traveler, Bergdorf Goodman, and Grey Goose. They’ve also picked up many SPD awards. Andrea shoots and writes the blog hungryghostfoodandtravel.com and is working on her Natura Morta project, while Martin is exhibiting with fellow lensman Will Mebane at the RISD Museum. See the couple’s work at gentlandhyers.com.
The Australia-born, Brooklyn- based artist, designer and creative director has exhibited his abstract drawing/collage/ painting mash-ups in the U.S. and abroad. Clients include Nylon, Mulberry, Quiksilver and Ogilvy & Mather. Gurrie also curates the annual Movember charity event to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. See his work at joshuagurrie.com.
With a coterie of degrees under her belt—in writing, the culinary arts, and a Masters in education—King is adept at expressing herself in the kitchen and on the page. She has worked for Euro-toques Ireland and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and contributes to NonaBrooklyn, Honest Cooking and Remedy Quarterly. See what she’s cooking up at acookgrowsinbrooklyn.com.
Minh Ngo’s background is diverse, to say the least. Born in Vietnam, she has degrees in economics and landscape design, and logged time as an art magazine editor before switching to photography. Her images have been featured in Martha Stewart Living and Elle Decor UK, and Rizzoli published her book, Bringing Nature Home, this year. See her work at ngocminhngo.com
The Stockholm-based photographer first picked up a camera in high school and hasn’t put it down since. Nilsson works in marketing by day, shooting on the weekend. You can see her work at flickr. com/photos/elinanilsson.
Born in Malmö, Sweden, Nilsson moved to New York for art school. After working as a chef, he decided to pursue a degree in photography. Since 2006, when Nilsson first combined his passions, making food his subject, his client list has grown to include Bon Appétit, Departures, New York, Travel + Leisure and The New York Times Magazine. When he’s not shooting the avid wine collector enjoys throwing dinner parties in his East Williamsburg digs. See his work at marcusnilsson.com.
Taylor and Jen first got the idea to team up from their Art Center College of design mentor, Paul Jasmin. Thus was born Peden + Munk five years ago. Dividing their time between New York and L.A., the pair has photographed for Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Crate & Barrel, Vogue Nippon, and Travel + Leisure. See their work at pedenmunk.com.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Phelps has built an impressive career despite having no formal art training, lending his talents to Italian Vogue, French Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, Fortune and Interview, and picking up an IPA Lucie Award. When he’s not behind the lens, Phelps is the builder and owner of Cafe Moto restaurant, a Williamsburg favorite since it opened a decade ago.
Gather’s co-recipe editor and food stylist entered the gastronomical world after selling her East Village bar and using the proceeds to attend culinary school. She has logged time in the kitchens of a number of the city’s most esteemed restaurants and, since shifting her focus to food styling and recipe development has held staff positions at Gourmet and Williams-Sonoma Taste. Her clients include Real Simple, Whole Living, The New York Times, and M.A.C cosmetics. See her work at maggieruggiero.com.
Gather’s co-recipe editor Shuster started off her career in publishing at Harper Collins before changing courses completely to attend the Institute of Culinary Education. Since earning her degree she has worked as a freelance food stylist and recipe developer, dividing her time between New York and Boston. See her work at mollyshuster.com.
The longtime fashion designer and creative director changed paths for a photography career 3.5 years ago. Besides shooting for herself, Urban Outfitters, Oysho, and Doo ri are a few of her clients. See her work at wailintse.com.
Canada-born, Brooklyn-based Vamvounakis studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology before embarking on a career as a prop stylist. Her clients include American Express, Anthropologie, West Elm, Estée Lauder and Bon Appétit.
Part of cult-favorite early ‘80s all-girl band, Marine Girls, and one half of seminal British electronic duo Everything but the Girl, Tracey Thorn’s hauntingly beautiful voice and singular songwriting talents have been beloved for three decades. Her latest solo effort, Tinsel and Lights, a Christmas-themed album, was released in October.
Since forming in 2006, Yeasayer (Tuton is the band’s bassist) has been adeptly blurring the genre lines to create atmospheric, electronic-driven music heavy on innovation. Their latest album, Fragrant World, released in August, offers an engaged futuristic take on synth-pop sounds.