Don’t Fear the Dinner Party: Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home

3 months ago 88
Romy and Kat's Vegetarian Dinner Party
Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Don’t fearfulness the meal party! We’re of the sentiment that hosting is truthful overmuch much amusive erstwhile guests are welcomed into the kitchen. This is Dinner astatine Kat’s—a caller bid wherein SAVEUR editorial manager Kat Craddock welcomes buzzy chefs, cookbook authors, and vino and spirits pros into her location for a time of cooking and connection. There’s nary enigma down throwing a palmy meal party. Find the menus, recipes, drinks, buying tips, and tricks to marque it hap close here.

The Guest: 

Team SAVEUR has agelong admired U.K.-based cook and cookbook writer Romy Gill. We featured her backmost successful 2016, erstwhile the precocious Queen Elizabeth II awarded her the MBE, an grant granted for “significant accomplishment oregon outstanding work to the community.” In 2019, I cooked with her erstwhile she joined superstar pastry cook Caroline Schiff and the feminist British chefware institution Polka Pants for an epic meal enactment successful our trial kitchen. Since then, I’ve counted Romy among my precise bully friends and watched with delight from crossed an water arsenic she released 2 unthinkable Indian cookbooks. Her astir recent, On the Himalayan Trail, is simply a gorgeously photographed chronicle of the nutrient and landscapes she experienced portion traveling done India’s mountainous bluish regions, Kashmir and Ladakh. 

When I heard Romy’s publication circuit would beryllium bringing her done New York City, I knew close distant that she needed to beryllium the impermanent of grant astatine the archetypal meal enactment successful my caller apartment. She offered to marque immoderate of the recipes from her book, and I decided to marque a fewer accompaniments to circular retired our meal. 

The Menu: 

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home

The Big Night:

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home
Craddock preps tomatoes for a late-summer broadside salad.

After implicit a decennary successful cramped New York City apartments, I yet person conscionable astir capable abstraction for a due meal party. Before moving to the city, I lived successful a Boston warehouse afloat of punks and artists and 1 of my favourite things to bash was to propulsion unfastened my doorway and invitation friends, lovers, and the occasional alien into my loft for a blistery repast and a fewer excessively galore drinks. 

I’m present aggressively pushing 40, truthful erstwhile searching for a caller flat earlier this twelvemonth I decided to marque country successful my location for meal parties erstwhile again. Most importantly I was looking for an unfastened room with plentifulness of windows, and—a rarity successful NYC rentals—a hood implicit the range. We lucked retired successful landing the cleanable place: a roomy and sun-filled spot successful Stuyvesant Town, the post-war residential improvement conscionable northbound of the East Village. 

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home
Left: Gill juices caller lemons for homemade paneer; Right: She finished the caller food with greenish chiles successful a creamy turmeric gravy.

After months of waiting for a eating array to marque its mode done proviso concatenation delays, I yet got to planning. While Romy was connected her mode implicit from England, we curated a vegetarian paper via Whatsapp utilizing a premix of Kashmiri recipes from her publication and a fewer seasonally-inspired accompaniments. We invited a fewer friends and the remainder of the SAVEUR pack to articulation america for dinner.

Recipes, Tricks, and Tips for Hosting a Himalayan-Inspired Vegetarian Feast
Gill and Craddock instrumentality SAVEUR Selects‘ formed robust cookware for a spin.

The greeting earlier the party, she met maine astatine the Union Square Greenmarket. We picked up a fistful of caller ingredients: a fewer blistery chiles for a Kashmiri-style paneer successful turmeric gravy; an off-script quart of sour cherries for a cheerful, tangy chutney; and heirloom tomatoes and scallions for a lukewarm spiced salad. We besides picked up a fewer honeycrisp apples that we’d aboriginal braise down to a buttery compote with raisins, cardamom, fennel seeds, and Lillet to apical a elemental custard tart from my favourite section bakery.

At the Bar:

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home
Left: Luccia Corichi; Right: Craddock paired the main people with an integrated orangish vino from Castilla La Mancha, Spain.

While Romy’s publication contains plentifulness of beauteous beverage recipes, determination are nary cocktails—alcohol is not wide consumed successful the mostly Muslim regions of Kashmir and Ladakh. But we some knew that we wanted to footwear disconnected our mashup repast with a fun, boozy drink. I hoped for a spirit illustration suitable for toasting Romy’s fragrant upland fare, truthful I asked bartender extraordinaire Luccia Corichi to assistance america out.

Luccia has worked successful restaurants passim Brooklyn and Manhattan, astir precocious with Unapologetic Foods of Adda and Dhamaka fame. She’s presently the barroom manager implicit astatine Semma, the group’s caller South Indian concept, but had nary occupation looking further northbound to plan a gorgeous, Himalayan-inspired cocktail. It was a lukewarm night, truthful Luccia blitzed Hapusa Dry Gin, which is distilled with Indian botanicals including chaotic Himalayan juniper berries, into a lemony watermelon punch. A splash of homemade syrup with Darjeeling tea, citrus verbena, and Kashmir’s sulfurous achromatic brackish gave Luccia’s fruity refreshment layers of savory nuance that sparkled alongside the chile vigor of our affluent vegetarian meal.

All-Star Ingredients: 

Diaspora & Co. Kashmiri Saffron

Vermont Creamery Salted Cultured Butter

Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin


Pro Tip: 

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home
Romy Gill taught Kat Craddock her mother’s speedy and casual method for DIY paneer.

Romy grew up eating loads of homemade paneer successful West Bengal, and the fresh, pressed workplace food besides pops up often successful her publication (paneer factors heavy successful Kashmiri cuisine). Commercial versions are progressively disposable astatine supermarkets and South Asian market stores, but Romy knew I worked arsenic a cheesemonger for galore years and she was anxious to amusement maine however speedy and casual it is to marque this unaged food from scratch. 

“You person to springiness love to the milk, and beryllium precise gentle portion stirring, different the curds volition interruption apart.”

-Romy Gill

Homemade paneer requires conscionable 2 ingredients, and I was pleasantly amazed by the information that this elemental process results successful a food that’s acold softer and much delicate than the store-bought stuff. We utilized the results to marque a creamy, Kashmiri-style yellowish curry with turmeric, greenish chiles, and cardamom (check retired Romy’s DIY paneer method, which she learned from her mother, for yourself.)

The Playlist:

As we each bustled successful the kitchen, I enactment connected my go-to enactment premix of boppy ’80s New Wave. When dinnertime rolled around, Romy took implicit the speakers with a chill premix of groovy South Asian popular and Bollywood emotion songs.

Get the Recipes

 Toasting Romy Gill’s Cookbook from Home
Watermelon Gin Punch with Himalayan Salt Get the look >
Warm Tomato Salad
Tomato Salad with Scallions and Warm Brown Butter Vinaigrette Get the look > Photography by Aaron Bengochea
Chaman Kaliya
Chaman Kaliya (Kashmiri Paneer Curry with Cardamom and Turmeric) Get the look > Photography by Aaron Bengochea

sour cherry chutney
Kashmiri Sour Cherry Chutney Get the look > Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Parisian Flan with Cardamom-Apple Compote
Parisian Flan with Cardamom-Apple Compote Get the look > Photography by Aaron Bengochea
Kahwa (Kashmiri Spiced Honey Tea)
Kahwa (Kashmiri Spiced Honey Tea) Get the look > Photography by Aaron Bengochea

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