Melia Marden Invites Us Over for Her Greek Island-Inspired Home Cooking
Photographer Stefan Ruiz visited the sun-drenched apartment of Melia Marden, chef at New York City’s hipster culinary mecca The Smile, and her DJ husband Frank Sisti Jr. for today’s color-happy culinary portrait. The couple’s downtown home is infused with delectable smells such as onions being sauteed for a fanciful frittata, and brims with trinkets and ephemera. “We collect elephants and giraffes… and crustaceans, ducks, anything polar, peanuts, books—we just collect,” Marden says of her quirky décor. In addition to helming the kitchens of The Smile and The Smile To Go, the 32-year-old chef also runs the catering at fashion photography headquarters Milk Studios. Her first cookbook, Modern Mediterranean, is due out this week. It’s a culinary scrapbook of Marden’s favorite recipes, many of which derive from summers spent with her family on Hydra—her father is artist Brice Marden and her sister Mirabelle is a photographer. The old world Greek island is void of vehicles but rich with local fish and produce, and Marden cites the environment’s clean flavors and simple cooking techniques as huge influences on her approach at the stove. “It’s not super layered and complicated, so you really taste the ingredients. I want my recipe to be the simplest version of itself that it can be,” she explains.
Sausage, Red Repper and Onion Frittata
A Fascination with Scale and Materiality Informs the Star Designer’s Home
With Salone de Mobile in Milan kicking off this week and bringing together design world VIPs, we visit the London home of one of its favorite sons, Marc Newson, in today’s second installment of our “In Residence” series, helmed by Matthew Donaldson. A space-age aesthetic dominates at casa Newson, an unlikely look for a period building but one entirely reflective of the superstar designer’s streamlined visual language. The futuristic interior gives way to mock-Victorian details such as a wood-paneled library, one of several flourishes authored by Newson’s wife, fashion stylist Charlotte Stockdale. In Australian-born Newson’s most celebrated work—cabins for Qantas Airways and the Ford O21C concept car, for example—his finely honed eye for materiality reigns supreme; here that is reflected in the marble that lines his bathroom, the massive wall of river rocks from Nova Scotia (a “big deal” to achieve, he confesses) and the composite linen that forms his giant dining table. His passion for metal is betrayed by a small display of unusual knives in the library: “I trained as a jeweler and a silversmith,” he explains. “I love the way metal is worked, and certain techniques and processes are best illustrated in objects like knives, which are, essentially, tools. They display an incredible level of ingenuity and skill.” After Taschen’s recent publication of his complete catalog of designs, Marc Newson. Works, Newson’s next projects will be a private jet interior for a member of the Qatar royal family and a fountain pen for Hermès. “What holds my attention is variety,” says the consummate aesthete.
The Culinary Rogue Reveals the Secrets of Chinatown and the Music of Sichuan Cuisine
Sporting his trademark long bleached hair, maverick foodie and Sonic Youth aficionado Danny Bowien shares the kitchen antics at his celebrated Mission Chinese Food restaurant and feasts at his favorite local joint, where he finds inspiration in peppercorn- and beer-braised chicken and pork pancakes, in this new film by Jordan Bahat. The Korean-born, Oklahoma-raised chef has been drawing visitors to his small Chinatown outpost in staggering numbers since it opened in Manhattan last May, placating lines of hungry guests with a keg of free beer. It’s worth the wait: hybrid dishes like Kung Pao pastrami, catfish à la Sichuan seasoned with Old Bay and barbequed pig tails marinated in Coca-Cola have earned him a place at the top of The New York Times critic Pete Wells’ 2012 “Restaurant Triumphs” list. Bowien first gained cred for his signature brand of Chinese-American dishes with a pop-up venture in San Francisco’s Mission District. He picked up his culinary spark working odd restaurant jobs—not in formal training—and happily credits neighborhood haunts like Spicy Village as keys to his success. “Danny really let us in on his process,” said Bahat, who has shot music videos for indie acts including Josh Osho and Grouplove, and chose the sounds of Ducky to accompany this new short. “Danny goes somewhere, orders everything on the menu and then goes home and tries to recreate it. He’s the Mayor of Chinatown.”