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A grassy spot in a forest of tall buildings can be the ideal spot for a picnic--if it's concocted with equal parts of organization and spontaneity. So FOOD & WINE invited the funky fashion designer Betsey Johnson and the supremely level-headed caterer Pamela Morgan of Flavors to collaborate on a picnic in Central Park.

Johnson took charge of the accessories, filling a 1950s basket, tote bags and even a guitar case with tin plates and cups, parasols, blankets and pillows. "I brought my favorite old things from home," she says. "All this may seem like clutter, but it's what I love." Meanwhile Morgan came up with a vegetarian menu full of fresh flavors--red pepper soup with fennel and a large baguette filled with grilled Portobello mushrooms and tomatoes, ricotta cheese and tangy arugula, plus three cool summer salads. 

The two women's styles came together when Johnson and crew picked up the picnic hamper at Flavors and headed off to the park: Morgan's vivid soup in Johnson's orange polka dot teacups, the three salads in yellow, blue and green bowls, and the dessert of peaches with a blueberry syrup in painted tin bowls. It was all spread out on Johnson's floral tablecloths from the Forties and Fifties. And, of course, there was Champagne--because, as Johnson says, "no party should be without it."

Published August 1996
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