The elegant home of interior designer and Texan CeCe Barfield Thompson
is an ode to all things chic. The Gramercy Park apartment was ready for the holidays when I was there shooting the table. I have to say it was a very fun shoot. CeCe and I had a metaphysical conversation about the glories of the classic French chaud froid. During our chat we realized that we both went to the Ecole Escoffier Ritz
in Paris. Such a small world!
I am sure that this gracious Texans cuisine is as well executed as her decor. Read along and find out how she does it. Enjoy!
Single white tulips in bud vases, aqua votives and mercury glass trees complete CeCe's table decor.
Tell me about the occasion and meal you made.
I created a table setting for an intimate holiday dinner with friends at home in New York. It can be a hectic time of year, so my husband and I always try to get our close friends together to enjoy all the season’s merriment before it gets too crazy.
For dinner I made lamb chops with mint pesto, potatoes au gratin, and steamed spinach. It was followed by chocolate soufflés with coffee ice cream. Full disclosure, the soufflés are from Fresh Direct
. They come frozen in these adorable little white ramekins and cook in just 12 minutes. They rise perfectly. It is amazing!
CeCe Barfield Thompson in her Gramercy Park home.
What influences your menu choices when you entertain?
The two main influences on my menu selections are the dinner guests and my schedule. It is important that guests feel comfortable and that can sometimes mean adjusting the menu to a particular diet. It used to bother me when people would say they didn’t eat this or that, but now I look at it as an opportunity to get creative and try recipes!
When crafting a menu, I try to make sure it won’t be too hard to make. Keeping recipes simple makes entertaining easy and enjoyable! I find people care less about the food and more about the company (and wine) anyhow.
Who or what has most inspired your entertaining style?
I was most influenced and educated on entertaining style while living in Paris the summer after college to study at the Ecole Escoffier Ritz. It taught me so much about the experience of a meal. Entertaining is much more than the food. Presentation, pairings and atmosphere really make the experience.
Classic style: Herend Dinnerware, Julia B. linens and grandmothers silver.
Has anyone been a strong influence in teaching you the l'art de recevoir?
My mom has been my strongest influence in l’art de recevoir. After all, she has been my most frequent host! More than anything, she has taught me the importance of making people feel comfortable. Simply put, you never want things to be too perfect.
Do you have a favorite china or tabletop item that you collect?
Anything blue and white. My collection ranges from antique Delft to bread plates found on Canal Street.
A reticulated compote with life like marzipan fruits found on Etsy compliments the table decor.
Next Thursday I visit the Brooklyn home of the wonderful Sophie Donelson a.k.a. House Beautiful's editor in chief. Be sure to check in and see how Sophie pulls it all together.