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A Refreshing Repast From Alex Hitz

A James Andrew table setting.

A James Andrew table setting.

Instead of spending those inevitably harrowing hours on the road with the great masses of New Yorkers leaving the city this Memorial Day weekend, we’ve opted to spend some peaceful de-stress time luxuriating with friends in town.

While dining recently with my super chic friend, Chef Alex Hitz, at my favorite local eatery, Blue Smoke, Hitz graciously created the most marvelous Memorial Day lunch menu for all of us here at WIJW.



Cold Red Pepper Soup

Crab Salad with Bloody Mary Aspic

Summer Berries with Sauce Sabayon


These recipes (as well as many of Hitz’s wonderful musings) can be found in Hitz’s fabulous cookbook, My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist – as I’ve mentioned before, it has become my go-to cook book for creating the most magnificent meals with little effort!


A trio of Alex Hitz cold soups - Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber, Sweet Potato Vichyssoise

A trio of Alex Hitz cold soups – Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber, Sweet Potato Vichyssoise

Hitz on his Cold Pepper Soup:

Versatility, Thy Name is RED PEPPER SOUP. Exquisite in the Winter, fantastic in the summer—it’s like having two recipes in one. The only trick here is roasting the peppers, and, truly, that’s not much of a trick at all. I am convinced you’ll find this so good that it will quickly become a welcome addition to your regular culinary repertoire.

Crab salad with bloody mary aspic

Crab salad with bloody mary aspic

Crab Salad with Bloody Mary Aspic:

So few things conjure as many remembrances in the South as Tomato Aspic. It is a staple at Southern gatherings: weddings, lunches, and funerals, to name a few. Like many recipes in this book, it’s a dish we just don’t hear about everyday in the world of iPhones, facebook, and twitter that we live in now. Too bad, because its good, even great. Here, it serves as a steady and happy partner to the cold and elegant crabmeat salad, and its tartness provides a fantastic flavor contrapunto to the dill in the vinaigrette of the crab. This is so pretty when it’s unmolded that you will truly look like the genius culinary artisan that you are, or aspire to be!

Summer Berries with Sauce Sabayon

Summer Berries with Sauce Sabayon

Summer Berries with Sauce Sabayon:

In Europe, there’s one of these in every country. In Italy, it’s Zabaglione—In France, it’s Sauce Sabayon. This sauce is so easy, and the ultimate elegant answer to dress up fresh berries in Summer.

Hitz has also suggested serving cold Chablis with our menu, and I’m happy to say that I have a nice case of Chablis chilling in my fridge at this very moment!

Of course we wouldn’t think of serving a meal without a well considered table setting, and some careful planning is always a good idea. Pictured (top) I think this will be the perfect compliment to Hitz’s Memorial weekend menu: Portuguese citron yellow cabbage ware, Porthault napkins, Baccarat Brummel glasses, Dionysos decanters, and silver bamboo flatware.


  1. Antipodean says:

    The menu sounds delicious, as does the company!

    I hope you all had a great time. I love the Portuguese china.

  2. James Andrew says:

    Dear Antipodean,

    It was just sublime, these recipes are just so delicious and easy to make.

    This yellow cabbage just brings a smile to my face.

    Cheers and Many Thanks


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