For most of its 30 years in existence, Saveur was an antidote to corporate-owned food magazines, one that offered lush photography and consistently excellent recipes to its small but devoted audience. But the last several years were less kind: The magazine was bought and sold, and eventually, its print edition was eliminated completely. Kat Craddock, who started at the magazine’s test kitchen about nine years ago, was watching. “During the last acquisition, I started thinking about buying it, wondering if it was possible,” she says. She approached ownership with the idea in late 2022, and by April 2023, “the ink was dry.” Now, Craddock is owner, editor, and CEO — and the group is gearing up to relaunch the print magazine this year. This week, however, Craddock was rethinking her plan to host back-to-back New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day parties while still finding time to stop into King and Revelie, among other places.
Wednesday, December 27
Today is for recuperating after a lot of family feasting and a little too much wine over Christmas. I start the day late with a latte: unsweetened, lots of whole milk. I wouldn’t call myself a coffee obsessive, but my one coffee in the morning is really important. I usually go with medium-roast beans — either Stumptown or Counter Culture — but I’m not sure what’s in my grinder at the moment. I also have some whole-wheat toast with cultured butter and Marmite, which I’ve been all about lately. The salt and B vitamins always perk me up after a few days of overindulging.
A little while after breakfast, I have a coconut LaCroix. I’m hooked on LaCroix, and I’m a fool for all things coconut — even the fake, sunscreeny flavoring, which puts me in a good mood on a cold, gray day.
I do some laundry and tidy up, then around five o’clock I open the fridge and freak out a little bit when I realize how much space I’m going to need to marinate our damned pork shoulder for New Year’s Eve. It’s a constant game of Tetris in there. I used to be a cheesemonger, and I often have way more cheese than any human needs. It’s probably the main source of protein for my partner and me, and it takes up a surprising amount of space.
For New Year’s, we’re making a recipe from the Saveur archivespernil asado con mojo, which is marinated with orange juice, lime juice, and 30 cloves of garlic. I pour a glass of rosé and start a batch of “clean out the fridge” soup to open up some space. It involves sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions, red chiles, and Kashmiri masala powder; a big plop of ginger-garlic paste; and a quart of million-year-old homemade chicken stock from the freezer.
I purée the fridge soup, then I top it with some grocery-store naan warmed up in a dry skillet and cut into strips. Add some salty garlic pickle and a scoop of Greek yogurt. Another glass of rosé. Dessert is Reese’s peanut-butter cups.
Thursday, December 28
I start with my usual whole-milk latte and whole-wheat toast with butter and a little salt. I killed the jar of Marmite yesterday, and I’m not too keen on sweets in the morning, so I’m keeping it simple.
I’m just finishing up a cookbook co-authoring project I started working on during the pandemic with a scientist at Columbia named Marie-Pierre St-Ange — it’s all about foods that, if you eat them throughout the day, will help you fall asleep more easily at night. There are lots of nuts and seeds and grains and particularly melatonin-rich fruits and vegetables. I have a big jar of sleep-healthy cherry-pistachio granola left over from testing, so I have a scoop of that sprinkled over Greek yogurt — Cabot makes a 10 percent fat version that is basically sour cream, and it’s so delicious. It’s tough to find around here, so I picked some up when I was back in Rhode Island for Christmas. I also eat a few beautiful and very squishy medjool dates from Rancho Meladuco in California. I’m on my third two-pound box of the season.
A friend is visiting from San Francisco for New Year’s, and he arrives hungry from JFK. I’ve been messing around with a sort of scallop crudo dish: thinly sliced raw scallops, fresh chiles, scallions, lemon juice, a little bit of salty plum vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. We all nibble on that with some wine (more Gascon rosé) until our delivery — jerk chicken, greens, and macaroni and cheese — arrives from Miss Lily’s.
My partner needs to run to Target for Nicorette lozenges before it closes for the night, and the houseguest and I tag along. We’re all in the mood for a fancy cocktail, so we stroll down Avenue A and grab a booth at Death & Co. I guess since I’m on a Gascony kick (?) I go with the Marechià, a fragrant number in a tulip glass that’s made with Armagnac, pear brandy, floc de Gascogne, Champagne, and curry bitters.
We get back to the apartment and aren’t quite ready to turn in, so we all have a taste of the Hopfentwista — a smoked-hops-flavored schnapps — that our houseguest brought along to share. It’s floral, grapefruity, and very pretty, really not at all like hoppy beer, which I do not enjoy. Then I crack a coconut LaCroix and have a few more peanut-butter cups as we watch Jack’s Back, a James Spader serial-killer movie none of us have seen. It’s fine, but Spader is always a delight.
Friday, December 29
Our houseguest is asleep on the floor of our open kitchen and living-room area, so I skip my usual latte to spare him the espresso grinder. Instead, I use preground Café Bustelo to make a pot of Chemex coffee for us all to share, then I feed the cats and try to catch up on my inbox (it’s a losing battle!).
At lunchtime, the three of us go to Revelie Luncheonette, the little Franco-American diner from the Raoul’s folks. I have a coffee egg cream and a catfish po’boy, and we all share an order of leeks vinaigrette. The po’boy is excellent. It has what looks like shredded onion rings on top, but I think they’re shoestring zucchini fries.
After lunch, I walk back home to Stuytown so I can get some focused recipe-editing time in before the weekend. I love recipe editing. It’s almost like editing instructions on how to build a computer or something — it’s technical writing, so it takes a very intense focus. It’s hard to multitask when I’m working on a recipe. I go back through some notes from my editor on the book, which will have about 75 recipes. It’s a lot of putting things into the correct style and making sure that word order is consistent throughout. I go through two cans of coconut LaCroix.
I head out to King, one of my favorite restaurants in town, for dinner with my partner and our houseguest. When I lived on 6th Street I used to go to Prune a lot, and I was really sad to see it close. I think there are some similarities in the food and the vibe at King — the menu is different every time I go, and it’s never overly complicated. Everything you order is perfect.
We start things off with olive-oily, rosemary-scented carta de musica and some bubbles. Next is pink endive salad with anchoïade and soft-boiled eggs, then ricotta ravioli with this silky walnut cream sauce; brothy clams with fregola, fennel, and bottarga; and sea bass with black-olive tapenade and wilted treviso radicchio. I order a 2022 white Bandol from Domaine Tempier and it is so, so beautiful. We’re all too stuffed for dessert and decide to walk home again.
Saturday, December 30
I make Chemex coffee while I feed my cats. A lightbulb goes out in the kitchen, so I walk to the Ace Hardware on First Avenue for a replacement. On the way back, I take a detour to our little local French bakery, Bread Story, which is right on the edge of Stuytown, and pick up some snacks: dainty chouquettes topped with pearl sugar, a whole-milk latte, and a slab of oily olive focaccia the size of my head (I eat it all!). I love having Bread Story nearby. It was started by a guy who used to work at Maison Kayser, a Parisian bakery that had some outposts in the U.S. that closed during the pandemic. I don’t think it gets as much attention as it should. They do a lovely classic baguette and a buckwheat version that’s supergood.
I used to be a professional baker, and people always ask me if I still bake at home. I would so much rather support my local baker. It’s much easier to make a good loaf of bread at scale on the right equipment. If you’re making dozens or hundreds of loaves a day, there’s a rhythm going, and to make a beautiful loaf of bread you kind of need steam injection and precise temperature control and a proof box — all this extra equipment. I’m not going to kill myself to make one subpar loaf of bread in my home kitchen. For some people, of course, it’s a hobby and they really love it, and that’s great, but it doesn’t make sense for me to wedge it into my usual routine.
I finish up some recipe edits over more LaCroix. Around dinner, I have a glass of Gerard Bertrand sparkling rosé while I start marinating the pork-shoulder roast. I’m still trying to clear out the pantry and fridge for the cooking and parties ahead, so I start simmering a pot of hoppin’ John for dinner. I know it’s a New Year’s Day dish, but there’s no harm in getting a head start on luck for the year ahead. I throw in some freezer chorizo and assorted crisper-drawer mirepoix and chiles. It’s good, but needs a bit more pep, so I add some Portuguese pickled red-chile relish that I always pick up from Portugalia when I’m back in New England.
Dessert is a few more medjool dates. I make myself something like an old-fashioned using Puerto Rican spiced rum left over from a project we worked on with chef Manolo Lopez a few weeks ago, plus a drizzle of allspice dram and a few drops of Autocrat coffee syrup, which is what you use to make Rhode Island’s state drink, coffee milk. A twist of orange peel and it’s great!
Sunday, December 31
I wake up late when my parents call to ask if the leftover Christmas prime rib is still safe to eat. We loathe food waste and tend to live dangerously with stuff like that in my family, so the verdict is: Slice thinly, cook thoroughly, make steak sandwiches, and hope for the best.
For breakfast, I have Chemex coffee and Bread Story sourdough with unsalted butter and flaky salt. Once we’re all caffeinated, I pull the pork roast out of the fridge to warm it to room temperature, then I get a pot of shakshuka sauce going on the stove for tomorrow and blitz up a big batch of zhoug. At 1:15, the pork goes into the oven. It’s followed by the sweet potatoes, which I peeled, cut into chunks, then tossed with coconut oil and sprinkled with this shallot-y, citrusy spice blend I’ve been workshopping with Burlap & Barrel for a collaboration.
Around 7:30, two of my besties from my baker days arrive: James Belisle — my old boss from Lafayette in Noho — and Joey Stallings, another Lafayette alumni, who now is the co-owner of Peace, Love & Dough, which makes all the viennoiseries for the Ralph Lauren cafés around town. James rolls in with some pain de campagne, a loaf of brioche, and a magnum of Perseval-Farge; Joey’s got potato chips and crème fraîche that we immediately tear into with a tin of Island Creek caviar.
Dinner! Finally, we get into the pork roast. I ordered a skin-on shoulder roast from Dickson’s in Chelsea Market. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for years, so I’m really excited. While the roast rests, I boil the leftover garlicky citrus marinade with the fatty pan juices to make the mojo. The skin is crunchy, the fat is melting and lush, and the meat falls to shreds that drink up that sunny sauce. We have some yellow rice and those spiced coconut sweet potatoes on the side, and there’s plenty of pink bubbly. Dessert is easy-cheesyDeer Creek cheddar, dried fruit, and almonds.
Just before midnight, we open that magnum. A bit of a blur from there …
Monday, January 1
I wake up with a glimmer of regret for telling people that brunch starts at 10. I drink instant coffee while I scramble to clean up dishes from the night before and throw the shakshuka sauce on the stove to warm up. Dry shampoo, a cute dress, and it’s go time.
Always a superstar, Joey is back right on time. He whips up a batch of sourdough waffle batter (James left the levain here for us last night). My partner makes a batch of extra-spicy bloodies (with gin — this is a no-vodka house), and I mull some cider. Folks trickle in and I crack eggs into single portions of shakshuka to finish in the oven as they arrive. My college pal Genevieve brings a jar of maple syrup that her parents tapped on their farm in Pennsylvania, which is great, because I hadn’t given waffle toppings much thought. I put out one of my very favorite cheeses — Vacherin Mont d’Or; they have it at Murray’s — which I’ve been ripening to a gooey little puddle. It’s a seasonal cheese that’s made in the colder months, when certain cows in Switzerland and France switch from eating grass to eating hay. It’s wrapped in the inside bark of a spruce tree and put in these little boxes, and as it ripens, it completely liquifies. You put a spoon in there, and it’s almost like its own little fondue. I serve it along with dates, nuts, jam, James’s brioche, and a loaf of walnut bread. Mimosas (and plenty of LaCroix) all around!
By the early evening, after key-lime pie and stollen, the guests have mostly trickled out — Joey’s the last man standing, and he helps me load the dishwasher before heading home to feed his new kitten. I have one more can of fizzy water, then I’m asleep by eight.