It’s always a treat to go to Jim Lahey’s Co. in Manhattan (I was obsessed with it even before we featured it in our pizza roundup in F&W’s June issue). And it’s especially great when you’re there for good cause, such as the fight against ovarian cancer. Gina DePalma, the excellent dessert-maker at Babbo who just won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, is unfortunately fighting cancer herself. So she established the Cowgirl Cure Foundation to raise money for ovarian-cancer research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and she threw a party last night at Co. to help the cause.
Among those attending were some of NYC’s premier Italian chefs, including Mario Batali (a host) and Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi. They took over a corner table with Anthony Bourdain and discussed, among other things, how many kids Bourdain should have (Batali—who has two himself—says three). Also at the table, periodically: Andy Nusser, the outstanding chef/owner at Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, NY. Elsewhere in the room there was a reunion of Gramercy Tavern’s opening team of Claudia Fleming (she made their desserts the most talked about in town; now she's at the North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, NY) and Roberta Bendavid, who still creates the mind-blowing flower arrangements there. Jim Lahey served the pizzas himself, including the spinach-and-mozzarella Popeye and one with meatballs and olives, which is his new favorite.
If you’re wondering what you can do for Cowgirl Cure Foundation, there’s this: The live auction is still live, and it contains some awesome packages, including pizza-making lessons with Lahey and dinner for four at Babbo.