May 24, 2017
Five Years of #hknyweddings: Helena + Peter

Helena and Peter's look was inspired by tropical flora. Large palm leaves were complemented by white blooms for a refreshing departure from many of the weddings we host here at Haven's Kitchen. They highlighted the simplicity of the space, creating a vibrant and sunny atmosphere — perfect for early summer. 


Helena-EP-Beverage-700Helena and Peter couldn't decide on which cocktails they wanted to serve, so they chose all three that they tasted. Pictured are Rome with a View – Campari, dry vermouth, and Lime Picante Punch – Tequila, Pineapple, Jalapeno

What was the most important part of the wedding planning process for you?
The guest list and having an open bar.


How did you plan the menu?
Grandma's tastes and dietary restrictions.



What were some of the details you were excited to see come to life as part of your wedding?
The flowers. The space.


What have you learned about yourselves and each other in the last year as you’ve put together your wedding?
I am a micro manager, Peter is more big picture.


When you think about Haven's Kitchen….
Loved it for its intimacy, every option presented to us was spectacular which made picking hard and sometimes we chose to have everything, like all three cocktail options — our guests really enjoyed that.


Photographer: Khaki Bedford Studio
Dress: Lovely Bride, Williamsburg Seamster
Her Shoes: Stuart Weitzmann
Suit: Bindle & Keep
His Shoes: Cole Haan
Flowers: Adore NYC 
Calligraphy: RaeChild 
Ceremony Music: "Baby I Love You" The Ramones
Wedding Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar

For more photos from Helena and Peter's wedding visit our new Instagram @weddingsathavenskitchen.

May 03, 2017
Behind the Cookbook: Q + A with Michelle Ishay

Michelle Ishay was a key force in making The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School cookbook happen. An early champion of Haven's Kitchen, she convinced Ali that a cookbook would be an important medium to translate her philosophy of cooking.  

And Michelle would know. Michelle is the Creative Director for Artisan books and has been in the publishing industry for over 20 years. Her vision has been important in the design of many of the cookbooks that were inspirational to Ali. 

 AC_Photo-Shoot_700She doesn't like to be photographed, but Michelle Ishay's (center) deft touch makes each dish look desirable. The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School author Alison Cayne (left) and photographer Con Poulos (right). 


Can you tell us a little bit about your history with Ali?
I was working and living within two blocks of Haven's Kitchen when the carriage house was being renovated. I was praying that it wouldn't become another bank or Verizon store. So when a crisp white awning was installed, I was relieved to have a fresh spot in the hood. On opening day, I popped in to get my morning coffee.

The space was perfection: steel, glass, subway tile, stocked wooden shelves. I knew I found a place where I could escape the bustle of the city. In addition to Bellocq teas and dark chocolates, there was a smart selection of well-worn, much-loved cookbooks on the shelves, many of which I had worked on in my 20 years in publishing. So when the pony-tailed barista handed me my crafted cup of love with the brightest smile, I asked, "Excuse me, whose books are these?" She lit up, and with the wag of her ponytail, Ali said' "Oh, they're mine!" I knew then that I not only found my place, but I also found my person. On that first meeting, I knew we would someday make a book together. I think we even said so.


What do you do at Artisan? Michelle-Ishay_web
I am the Creative Director at Artisan. I help to shape the content and build the visual teams that brand our authors. Each author has their own story and thus each author needs their own singular look, feel and voice. The photography, illustration and design all shape that voice so the object itself reaches the largest possible audience.


What are some books that you've worked on?
They range across categories and decades. Some recent work: John Derian, the Remodelista series, Paula Wolfert's Food of Morocco, Sean Brock, and Burma and Persia by Naomi Duguid.


Camus-The-StrangerHow did you get to where you are in life professionally?
I was nine years old the first time I inhaled the ink on the pages of my sister's copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus. Only one of the illustrated characters was spot gloss, and I remember being in an utter state of wonder staring at that cover.

After majoring in photography, writing and design at the School of Visual Arts, I got a job in design at Penguin and moved through the large publishing houses until finally focusing on art books at Abrams, and now at Artisan.


What do you find the most interesting part of your job?
The authors and the creative team of people I get to work with to break through the challenge of shaping the content and capturing each author’s personality into a visual language.


How was the process of putting together The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School cookbook different than others you’ve directed in the past?
Knowing Ali, the team, and the vibe at Haven's Kitchen meant I had been thinking about this book for years prior to the actual making of it. The concept and guiding force behind our work was how to represent a cooking school in the form of a book. I knew it should be a manual with Ali's guidance and personality as the voiceover. Teaching through the photography was critical. At the photo shoot, I kept repeating to myself and sometimes aloud "we must teach through the beauty." The headnotes and the team really had to tease out the teaching moments for us.


Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
The Chocolate Cake to Commit to Memory! I've made that almost every week since the manuscript.


What's your morning routine?
My kids wake me up anywhere between 5 to 7am with a snuggle in bed. Then, it's a kid marathon before I get to my coffee (black with cinnamon) and an egg over medium. By eight, I'm out the door, dropping off the kids, drinking a matcha from Haven's (if I'm lucky), and biking through the West Village to work.


Where do you find serenity and inspiration when you're in a rut?
Serenity: Turning off my phone. Music. Yoga. Friends. Cooking with my kids. Running by the Hudson. Writing it out.

Inspiration: Deep dives. Books. I really lucked out in the friend department. Hashing it out with them always unlocks something.


Where do you practice yoga?
Laughing Lotus, Modo, Printing House — I'm loyal by location.


What was the last book you read?
Pablo Neruda. always good for a shift in perception.
When Breath Becomes Air. I have been really focused on how death can inform the living after my dad died in June. Most days, it makes me more grateful and productive. Other days, I'm just pissed (but that's between us).
And the Krishnamurti books I bought in India have been my bedside bible for years.


What was the last thing you cooked?
Haven's Kitchen romesco sauce with roasted potatoes and Naomi Pomeroy's cauliflower.

For more information on The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School cookbook, including where to purchase and upcoming tour dates, click here

May 02, 2017
Join us for Happier Hours

Because the weather is getting warmer.
Because sometimes you just need a place for respite.
Because wine and popcorn are meant to be enjoyed together. 
We're starting HK Happier Hours!

Monday to Friday, 4pm to 7pm

Wine by the Glass:  $8 for red, white or rose
Beers:  $6/bottle

Spiced popcorn $3
Marinated Olives $5
Seasonal Spread and Crostini $7

Apr 26, 2017
Five Years of #hknyweddings: Anna + Rob

Many of us will probably never be lucky enough to visit Anna WIntour's garden in the Hamptons, but if you were one of the lucky guests who attended (or worked at) Rob and Anna's verdant wedding, it seems like it would be a pretty close experience.

Their whirlwind planning took three months of solid planning. Working with the creative team of Rye Workshop and Haven's Kitchen, they created a wedding that began with an intimate ceremony for family members and close friends, and celebrated as newlyweds with an intimate dinner party.



Anna and Rob held an intimate ceremony in front of 12 guests before the celebratory dinner - reception for about 80 guests.

What was the most important part of the wedding planning process for you?
We did not want a traditional wedding, or to have a large affair that our parents had in mind. Rob and I don’t love being the center of attention, we didn’t want to stand in front of hundreds of guests or be formally announced and forced to dance into our reception. Our favorite thing is to eat delicious food with our family and friends, so it was a no brainer to go in this direction for our wedding.

It was challenging, but, with a lot of assistance from Haven's Kitchen and Rye Workshop, our families were blown away by the simple beauty of it all.


It seems that your families were against the idea of bucking the traditional format, how did you navigate their expectations and your own desires?
Our families were great with the concept of something non-traditional, until they realized that we only had 40 guests on each side, leaving them with barely any friends to invite. It took a lot of long phone calls, but Rob and I remained firm. Ultimately we were able to select only our very closest circle, which meant every guest was someone who we really wanted to share the day with.

At the end, my parents hosted a casual BBQ in their backyard at the end of August so they had a chance to celebrate our nuptials with all of their friends and extended family.


How did you plan the menu?
We wanted the menu to be light enough for guests to enjoy in the middle of summer, while still having room to indulge in dessert. Haven's Kitchen interpreted this into a cohesive Mediterranean-inspired culinary experience. At the tasting, Chef David Mawhinney and the kitchen staff spent three hours with us explaining their dishes and inquiring about our preferences. We were able to give them feedback on everything down to the size of the entree and level of sweetness and saltiness. Following the meal, they packed us up a box of tiny chocolate tarts to enjoy at home.


What were some of the details you were excited to see come to life as part of your wedding?
Rob has a passion for gardening—a zucchini he grew when he was seven years old won second place at the Monmouth County Fair! We always talk about one day leaving the city to have a garden to tend and cook from. It was fitting that our wedding would come to life as a vegetable and herb garden. I'm an illustrator, so I did the herb illustrations and a monogram that was printed on menus and a mural flanking the head table.



Anna designed the mural that was mounted to the wall as vinyl. Event design was done by the dynamic duo from Rye Workshop.


What was the creative process on doing the illustrations for your wedding?
I come from a family of artists and am an illustrator at heart and by degree. I could not imagine getting married and not having my work be an integral part of the day. Halle (the events director at Haven's Kitchen) and Molly at Rye Workshop really encouraged me to make my drawings a key part of the décor and helped with printing. Rob and I were both so excited about how the elements came to life.



Anna also illustrated the table numbers. 

Where did you find your inspiration for the look and feel of your wedding?
We wanted the reception to feel like we were hosting a beautiful dinner at our home. The presentation of the food like the boards of crudité and flatbreads made the night feel warm and homey.

The big picture inspiration came naturally from the space at Haven’s Kitchen. It’s how we determined our white and charcoal palate with pops of yellow.

Thinking back, the aesthetic was taken from some of our favorite places like ABC Kitchen, Terrain, and a tiny garden store in Westport CT called Gilberties. I searched my childhood home for knick-knacks and antiques in yellow and white to fill the niche shelving with framed photographs of our childhood and relationship.



Yellow and white antiques and knick-knacks found in Anna's childhood home filled the niche shelving.


What have you learned about yourselves and each other in the last year as you’ve put together your wedding?
We went from engaged to married in just three months. During the process it became evident how aligned we were in our vision and taste for the wedding. We embraced the challenge of the short timeline with fervor—ultimately and thankfully the process united us instead of causing tension.


What made you decide to have a short engagement? (It's very romantic.)
We wanted to be able to get married and then enjoy being together as soon as possible. For us spending 18 months agonizing over flatware and guest lists seemed too stressful and exhausting. The short time frame also forced us to make really quick decisions—both our families were stunned at the speed, they couldn't keep up so we really planned it all on our own with Halle and the team at Haven's Kitchen.


Her Dress: Alexis

Her Shoes: Via Spiga

His Suit & Shoes: Zegna

Decor & Flowers: Rye Workshop

Photographer: Blue Jar Photography

Ceremony Music: Bon Musique

Hair and Makeup: Glam Squad

Wedding Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar

For more photos from Anna and Rob's wedding visit our new Instagram @weddingsathavenskitchen.