Authors Night 2015: Cooks, Cookbooks, and Others

High profile authors like Nelson DeMille, Dick Cavett and Dr. Ruth Westheimer had stacks of books to sell under the Authors Night tent. Not surprising, the longest line was for author Ed Burns, yes that Ed Burns. The cover of this week's Hamptons Magazine, creator of a new television series, Public Morals, for TNT, and author of the memoir, Independent Ed: Inside a Career of Big Dreams, Little Movies, and the Twelve Best Days of my Life, the actor was prime for chats and selfies, and the crowd was having it all.

Then there were the books about the famous: David Browne's So Many Roads: The Life and Times of The Grateful Dead, and Hope: Entertainer of the Century, Richard Zoglin's biography of Bob Hope. As writers and their fans moved on to private dinners, Zoglin who would be a guest at Patti Kenner's with Dr. Ruth told me he had fantasies of discussing Hope's sex life with the famed pint-sized therapist. The piles of books dwindled.

Off to Michael Braverman's for cocktails: the wine columnist for Hamptons Magazine hosted a lavish party for 80 on his lavish grounds, a tent erected beside the grandest elm out east. Serious about books, he furnished his house with an old school book lined library, with ladders to reach the loftiest tomes. Eight authors were to be honored, Ed Burns among them, but it seemed cookbooks--Katie Lee's Endless Summer Cookbook, Mark Murphy's Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, Stephanie Smith's 300 Sandwiches: A Multilayered Love Story . . . with Recipes-- ruled over history, Timothy Dwyer & Marc Peyser's Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

The book most coveted was one about Jackson Pollock. Author Robyn Lea told me about moving her family from Australia to Scarsdale, and having written Dinner With Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature after peering into the abstract expressionist's pantry at the Pollock-Krasner house in Springs. Helen Harrison, director at the museum and study center, quickly provided hand written recipes by Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner, and the paint-splattered book featuring pictures of their tableware, cookware, and a wealth of archival photographs, as well as recipes for pancakes, borscht, and mushroom quiche was launched.

J.Z. Holden and Jules Feiffer were feted in Northwest Woods, at the home of Sam Eskanazi and Julie Ratner, founder of Ellen's Run. A dozen gathered for an intimate dinner of salmon and faro, and saved room for dessert. Asked what inspired the books, Joan Holden spoke about being a child of Holocaust survivors and learning about her father's heroic past. After years of trying to craft the material, Illusion of Memory emerged as an epistolary novel. Feiffer spoke about watching movies on TMC for six months, and the influence of film noir on his provocatively titled graphic novel, Kill Your Mother. Julie Ratner had little cakes sent from Sicily, enough for this occasion and for the annual run to take place in Southampton next weekend, in memory of her younger sister's death from breast cancer in the 1990's. As desserts were consumed, she snapped some photos of the cakes for Mario Patane's--what else-- cookbook.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.