Vreeland’s salade Parisienne, the first recipe Finamore selected, also featured sophisticated and unexpected elements. In addition to egg yolks pressed through a fine sieve, the salad is dressed with olive oil, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, tuna, and diced sour pickles. “I knew right away that if all of the recipes were going to be like this, it was going to be interesting,” Sanders says.
In fact, she was so impressed by the recipes that she will be preparing several for a summer wedding she is catering for the daughter of one of the luncheon guests. Although Sanders frequently makes adjustments as she cooks, she stuck closely to what was on the page. “I thought part of the fun of this was making it as it was supposed to be, so that everyone is having an authentic experience with the recipe.”
For O’Block, dining in Raye’s historic home was also part of an authentic experience. “When you meet someone who is passionate about what they collect, you can’t help but be excited about it,” she says.
Much of the staging for the event was left to Raye, who, with his trim dancer’s physique, looks every bit the fashionista in black-rimmed glasses and skinny jeans. Raye became a serious fashion collector in the 1980s, when he used pieces he had accumulated as costumes for dance productions. The lunch was served on his platters, china, and silver, on a dining table dressed with a vintage blue silk sari and centerpieces that he created. “A lot of people thought they were bouquets, but they were hats,” says Raye of the pieces covered with silk daffodils, roses, and poppies.
Never one to miss a detail, the collector noticed that a velvet beret from the collection looked like a cake. “So I put it on a cake plate,” Raye says. “The food, the tour, the whole thing just really worked — like a production.”
Michael Floreak can be reached at email@example.com.