Peter Workman died this spring. I worked for him and with him for nearly twenty-five years. He was brilliant, generous, difficult, loyal, entrepreneurial, visionary, and on and on. An amazing person. He was also an inspiration for Sharing the Table. He embodied the spirit of charity—he was a true giver. And, he loved to eat and drink. Once we figured out this idea of having dinner parties for charity, I couldn’t wait to tell Peter about it. It took a while to get him out here, but when he did join us, he arrived with all of his grace, humor, and curiosity. He really knew how to embrace the moment.
One of Peter’s favorite charities was the Goddard-Riverside Community Center on Manhattan’s upper west side. After his death, we had the idea to have our next dinner in honor of Peter, invite people from Workman Publishing, and have the money go to Goddard. It took place on May 18, and it was a lively, lovely evening. Here’s our menu, designed for a group that included a vegetarian and a guest or two who don’t eat red meat. The dessert—aptly nicknamed “crack pie”—was courtesy of Peter’s daughter, Katie, a great cook, writer, food blogger, and—clearly—a genius at coming up with simple, incredibly tasty recipes.
Chicken Liver Crostini • Fava Bean and Pecorino Crostini • Tears of the Prophet Cocktail
Poached Egg over Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto with Lemon Butter and Bread Crumbs
Seafood Sicilian Lifeguard Style, over Israeli Couscous • Ratatouille with Mushrooms, over Israeli Couscous
Katie’s “Crack Pie” with Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar
Cooking highlight of the dinner: serving fourteen beautifully poached eggs. The secret: poaching them the day before, with no pressure, then reheating in hot water—thank you, Thomas Keller:
One thing we fell short on was taking pictures, but there are a few: