The Many Faces of David Lebovitz in New York City

Hello, my name is David and I like food. 

One of the best aspects of living in New York is the convenience and access to unique events. In the past year, I've been fortunate to attend the Wine Spectator Grand Tasting, the New York Fancy Food Show which featured thousands of food vendors, dinners hosted by various associations such as the Wisconsin Cheese Board and Eggland's Best, and more recently a book signing at Border's which provided a podium for the former pastry chef of Chez Panisse turned writer, David Lebovitz.

And I do weddings and bar mitzvahs...

If you're not familiar with David Lebovitz, he is the blogger behind the Paris and dessert focused site David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris, The Perfect Scoop,  The Great Book of Chocolate, and most recently Ready for Dessert.

 Hey, I know you! Christie, is that you?! You're the crazy kid that would order all of Lindsey's almond tart. You really screwed up Chez Panisse's back then.

From my observations, David is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of guy. He often goes with the whims of his emotion and doesn't censor himself too much. Although, I do get the sense that he has become more conscious and cautious over time about how his opinions are received by his audience. I think he's pretty sensitive to audience and reader criticism.

Sacré bleu

David is a true hybrid of a Parisian and Berkeley, CA personality: dramatic, impatient, flamboyant, opinionated, zealous, vocal, an independent thinker and at times irreverent, which I can tolerate in doses only because I spent a good amount of my life in the latter. Perhaps the only surprise about his personality that does not come through on his blog is his unconcealable geekiness, and hints of insecurity that have faded with age and experience, honest vulnerabilities which I find endearing.

Ewww... I'll have to take a raincheck on that one.

The highlight of the evening was during the Q&A portion following several questions about pastry schools, best restaurants in Paris, and even ingredient-specific questions such as having trouble cooking with peaches ...

Maybe that one too.

I could tell he was a bit frustrated with some of the questions because the answers are reflected on his blog. So I stepped in and decided to ask my own question, which went something like this:

"David, I think that you provide very good insight to particularly awkward situations, especially as it relates to cultural differences. Are there stories / things that you are afraid to write about on your blog? And would you be willing to CONFESS one to us? Please."


Oh my Gawd! Did she really ask that question?

You had to be there for the wave of laughter that subsequently erupted through the timid audience - and David had the loudest of them all.  His eyes popped out at the unexpected question. I swear it looked like it they were going to fall out of his sockets.

Well I guess I can tell her stories about my boyfriend...

Still thinking ... I think I see the Twitter Whale ... Overcapacity

Errr... I really don't think you want to know

Unfortunately David was not prepared to answer the impromptu question, racking his brain for a good story that he was willing to dish. When he regained composure he said something to the effect of, "Oh...I don't know... someone once asked me if I wear boxers or briefs and I refused to answer. I wear briefs."


So there I had it. After the lively Q&A session, Dana, Annie and I went up to get our books signed.  Dana is a very funny gal, you've got to read some hilarious stuff she writes.  If you want evidence see the next picture. Annie has a beautiful blog with stunning pictures and insight to fresh, local and natural foods, I'm really looking forward to following her work.



Geez Dana what did you say to him?

Alright that's enough from you kiddo!

60 comments:

alison said...

i think david is magic...and he is a very good actor!lucky you ,lucky dana,to meet a contemporary personality!

girlichef said...

How Awesome!!! Fun pics =)

VeggieGirl said...

Love this :)

Joy said...

Hahaha David looks fun -- I actually felt like I knew him better after reading this post haha and perhaps even liked him more because of his dorky side, so so cute.

Stella said...

Hey Christine, this sounds so fun. I would love to go to an event like this, especially since David Lebovitz seems so entertaining and almost warm from your pictures.
Oh, and I like your question. It's very honest, and certainly something that all writers struggle with in reference to interesting content like cultural differences that could be offensive or risqué to some. You know, they say the truth will set you free, but sometimes it will just get you in trouble (smile)!
Glad you guys had a nice time...

Belinda @zomppa said...

How neat! What an fascinating analysis. I love your question - you are so awesome.

Phoo-D said...

Hi Christine,

Dana and I thought it was fun to meet you for the first time at this event. I'm so glad you told us about it. I adore David and love his frank wit. Have a wonderful week.

Debinhawaii said...

Very fun! His Perfect Scoop book is one of my favorite ice cream resources. Cool you got to meet him and stump him with your question. ;-)

Asha @ FSK said...

Ah! sounds like a fun evening! :) Wish I had known.. Great Q, btw. i was LOLing here too :))

bellini valli said...

I met David fleetingly at BlogHer Food in San Francisco last October. I would of course loved to be in New York!!

ModernMom said...

Oh how truly wonderful. Damn I should have gone to BlogHer!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

How wonderful to meet David and great picture of you both. I subscribe to his blog and enjoy his posts. I really like the "what you see is what you get" kind of guys. Meeting him is one of the great perks of living in the city.

Way cool Christine.
Sam

El said...

Interesting and revealing post about this interchange. I'm so glad you had a great time and you got some great shots. You look beautiful by the way!

eatingRD said...

How cool! I want to read Sweet Life in Paris :)

Chow and Chatter said...

great question and you look so cute at the end

Joanne said...

I wish I had gotten to meet these two ladies at BlogHer! They sound awesome! And David! I hear he was at one of the after parties.

such a funny post but having access to events like this is definitely a perk of living in NYC

A Canadian Foodie said...

What fun. Nice insight into your view of his personality. Wasn't it Zuni Cafe? I don't think he was every at Chez Panisse. I know he was at Zuni, for sure.
:)
Valerie

Sweet and Savory said...

Love your description of the "happening."

Angie's Recipes said...

Lucky you meeting him in person!

Simply Life said...

I didn't know about him - thanks for sharing!

~Lisa~ said...

I love this! Great writing and what an experience to meet David. I love your daring question and how it stumped him. Good job! hehe

nancy at good food matters said...

I enjoy David's writing and can imagine how fun it would be to hear him speak. Brava to you for confounding him with your question!

And thanks for the link to The Kitchen Witch, whose writing is hilarious.

bunkycooks said...

How much fun was that! I would love to know what the question was that made David laugh so hard.

kat said...

How fun!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a fun experience! Somehow, I doubt that David will be coming to a book signing in Milwaukee. He does look like a very friendly guy and you look lovely!

Cocina Savant said...

What an incredible opportunity. Your question made me laugh out loud when I read it as well. Priceless pictures and thoughts about the signing. It was a joy to read since it gave me consolation for not being there.

Lori Lynn said...

Great photos. His expressions tell you all about the man. Fun read.
LL

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Great re-cap - I laughed out loud!

Made2Order said...

sounds like a fun event!

Apples and Butter said...

I need to pay more attention to these great New York events - must take advantage of all that my new city has to offer! Did you attend any of the BlogHer conference? I was there on Saturday. Interesting experience!

Esme said...

Lucky you-you may have humidity but you do have culture in the city.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

SO ABSOLUTELY ENVIOUS OF THIS OPPORTUNITY!!! Thanks for a great writeup Christine!!!

Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

I am AMAZED and how you were able to capture all those funny expressions while asking him a question at the same time. Awesome post. :)

Trix said...

Great write up!! How fun - I love his blog. I actually got him to give me a quote for an article - I never thought he would, so I am a huge fan forever now. Nice job on that question!!! I wish he would have dished more dirt - you just know he has a lot he could share, right??

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Too funny! Good for you for leaving the normally outspoken chef speechless!

Kim said...

I love reading David's blog and using his Perfect Scoop as a resource for ice cream. He is a genius in the kitchen for sure.

Foodessa said...

Christine...great event and I wish I was a fly on the wall when you so courageously voiced such a complex question for such a non-chalant guy like David. I don't know if he'll want to encounter a fiesty one like you again LOL.

I briefly bumped into Mr. sweetness in Paris last September. He was giving a very personal tour where his followers were hanging on to anything he was saying or doing. It does make one wonder how he got to be where he is. Yes, he is interesting...however, I certainly not ga ga over him.

Thanks for sharing this event with us and it was also nice to see a more casual you in that photo ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Juliana said...

Christine, nice post and so funny ;-)

Sara said...

How exciting! The pictures are priceless! So cool to be able to meet and talk to such a great chef. And that was a really great question...I wish he would have come up with an answer equally as good because ewwww, briefs are gross!

Chef E said...

Great post, and you are fun! I follow his blog, but never saw his photo, so this is fun as well...a face to the writing...one day we will get together!

TKW said...

Christine,

It was lovely to meet you and thanks for the head's up about David's signing...wouldn't have missed it for the world! That David is such a rascal--love him.

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

Very nice interview, meeting.. Q&A…David is an awesome pastry chef!

Cheers,

Gera

Kitchen M said...

What a fun post!
David's tweet always cracks me up, so I can imagine how funny he was in person.

Actually I saw his latest cookbook in a bookstore last week. I was so tempted but I have too many dessert cookbooks (including one of his) that I really need to take time to make use of them before I buy anything another one... sigh.

Pam said...

Loved this post C! So funny! You are in bloggie heaven! Love the last photo...so cute! xoxo

Cathy said...

Great post, Christine. You captured so much of David's personality in your photos. You are so fortunate to be able to attend events like this. It looks like everybody had a good time.

lisaiscooking said...

How fun! Love his reaction to your question.

Haddock said...

Good one.
Informative.. .. . . . and the accompanying pics make it more interesting.

Ravenous Couple said...

great candid shots! we love his ice cream recipes!

sweetlife said...

how awesome, you had a chance to meet him, great pics...love it


sweetlife

Tricia said...

How much fun! So glad you got to go, he's someone I've always wanted to see speak too :)

Velva said...

I know I said it before but, man I am ever envious. What a fabulous opportunity ! And you were with Dana from Kitchen Witch too? What a great event.

Penny said...

Wish I could have been there. The stars of the food blogging community in New York! Did you go to Ree's cocktail party?

Gloria said...

Whats nice Christine I love David recipes, I made a lot, thanks by the pics and sharing, x gloria

Trissa said...

Christine you lucky lucky girl! I wasn't at all surprised you would come up with a question to stump him! Thanks for sharing your experience.

sophia said...

OMG!! He's one of my idols! I follow his blog...I've never really seen his face before though, and I must admit I envisioned him a lot...bigger! Haha! He makes amazing desserts!

Lori said...

I do have to admit that I have two points of envy with those living in big cities - access to ethnic foods and events like these! :) So glad you were able to attend and I enjoyed the recap! Cute photo!

Ninette said...

I live within commuting distance to NYC. In fact, I used to commute to NYC for 5 years. I would love to attend these events but don't really know how to hear about them. If you have any easy tips, let me know. My email is ninetteenrique@gmail.com. Thanks!

zenchef said...

I work 2 blocks away from this Border's and i can't believe i didn't know about this book signing otherwise i would have been there with you. Love the post! :)

Diana Bauman said...

How great is this post! I was laughing so hard at the pictures of David's reactions. I wish I lived closer to you Christine!!

Cristina said...

What a fantastic post and how fun to have met David in person and hear him speak! Your photos are priceless. Thanks for a very enjoyable writeup! ;)