February 19, 2013

Stanley Tucci Cooks a Dinner at Soho House

The weather was cold and wet on Tuesday, a February evening in New York if there ever was one. But the Drawing Room at Soho House was cozy and welcoming as guests trickled in for what promised to be a veritable Italian feast, courtesy of the actor and - wouldn't you know it - very capable chef, Stanley Tucci.


The evening's menu drew from The Tucci Cookbook (Gallery, October 2012), which comprises recipes from the Tucci family and their close friends, several of whom joined the actor at his table for the dinner. Tonight, though, the cooking, done for the 90-seat space, was entrusted to Soho House chefs Andrea Cavaliere and German Lucarelli, and, judging by the satisfied murmurs from even the recipes' innovators, they were up to par.


The pinnacle of the meal was the timpano, a ziti, meat, egg, and tomato sauce-filled pie-traditional fare from Calabria, Italy, where the Tucci family is from. The dish was epic enough to merit its own introduction from our host. "You are about to eat the timpano, an ancient dish," Tucci announced. "It was cooked many years ago, but it's still good... though a bit cold."


Tucci lingered near his father, Stanley Tucci Sr., as the elder Tucci cut the first slice. His son then nimbly doled out hefty slices to his mother and other companions - apparently, a familiar role - while his wife, Felicity Blunt, sister to Emily, stood at his side. Other notable guests included Brooke Shields, who wore a gleaming white blazer, and Patricia Clarkson.


Proceeds from the dinner went to the Food Bank for New York City. With this in mind, Tucci reminded his guests to be appreciative of the meal in front of them, and to remember others might not be so fortunate. "We are lucky enough to eat well tonight because of my family, the true authors of my cookbook," he said. "I would encourage you to recognize the Food Bank for New York City when you are next feeling generous." Cin cin to that. —Rachel Small

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