At the Table: Kitchen Conversation


Who can resist a room
filled with enticing
aromas, the meditative
focus of meal prep or
a hot cup of coffee and
The New York Times
on a Sunday morning?

I’ve always been fascinated by kitchens. Throughout my career, from one job to another, I have often found myself meeting, interviewing and photographing people in their home kitchens. From renowned designers to government officials to corporate presidents to new moms to celebrity chefs, each one has seemed, somehow, more themselves—more at home—in the kitchen.

Visiting with friends or family, I usually find myself in that same room, comfortably perched on a high stool or at a worn table. My fondest childhood memories are usually set against the backdrop of a kitchen; I can still so easily see my son—who turns 21 years old this month— sitting in his high chair or playing on the kitchen floor during his toddler years. The few times I ever “designed” a house, I most enjoyed planning the kitchen.

After all, who can resist a room filled with enticing aromas, the meditative focus of meal prep or a hot cup of coffee and The New York Times on a Sunday morning? Others can take the living room or electronics-filled den.

I’m perfectly fine with my kitchen, thank you very much. In preparing this issue, we’ve had some fun talking kitchens. Our Edible Jersey team shares their favorite kitchen and cooking items on page 14, and we launch a new “In the Kitchen” feature on page 22. As writer Jenn Hall sits down with entrepreneur Neilly Robinson of Heirloom Kitchen in her home kitchen to talk food and inspiration, she spots a favorite painting of a Campbell Soup can hanging on the wall. Neilly’s art inspired me to share my own favorite kitchen art on this page. A framed print cut from a long ago magazine, it’s a copy of a 1925 Maxfield Parrish “Knave of Hearts” illustration showing two intent-looking cooks with giant spoons. I’m not sure why, but I love it. It has hung in that spot for years and I never tire of seeing it. If there was ever a major fire in my kitchen, it’s the one thing I would grab (along with my husband) before dashing out the door.

Our spring issue bursts with the promise of the season as well as kitchen talk. We offer up tips to help your garden grow (page 44), share some favorite CSAs (page 42) and culinary schools (page 28) and talk to Dennis Foy about his love of art and passion for food (page 38). We meet the tastemaker who influences the color on our walls and the flavors on our plates (page 50). Most importantly, we celebrate our local food heroes (page 31). With this issue, as always, I believe that every story, every word, binds us to that room where—through cooking, sharing and simply being together—we fortify ourselves in more ways than we can imagine. Enjoy spring, and your kitchen, this season.

Nancy Brannigan Painter, Publisher

P.S. I’d love to see a photo of your favorite kitchen item. Please email photos to us at so we can continue the kitchen conversation.

Comments are closed.