Maxim’s is a restaurant in Paris known for its Art Nouveau interior decor. Jean Cocteau said of Maxim’s: “It was an accumulation of velvet, lace, ribbons, diamonds and what all else I couldn’t describe.” It was immensely popular with the international celebrities of the 1950s. In 1981 the fashion designer Pierre Cardin bought it. Maxim’s was featured in the movies Gigi, Bonjour Tristesse and Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece Grand Illusion. It was also the background for scandal, such as the headline grabbing moment when Brigitte Bardot was photographed leaving the restaurant barefoot in 1967.
**In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’ll be posting about women in the pizza community every few days this month. The pizza biz is pretty male-dominated, so let’s take this opportunity to throw the spotlight onto some of the women who are doing amazing work in the pizza world.
Nancy Puglisi is a force. Beyond being a partner at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, she lends her guidance to pizza makers and restaurateurs across the country. Her dedication to quality makes her a mainstay at pizza competitions, where she’s always on hand to make sure judging is accurate and fair. As a fluent Italian speaker, she’s able to bridge the gap between participants. In fact, she had a huge part in bringing the American and Italian pizza industries together at the Las Vegas show.
I met Nancy at one of these shows and was delighted when she opened Krescendo, a pizza restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, with Chef Elizabeth Faulkner. The restaurant has since closed but nancy’s excellent work in the pizza community has only just begun. Keep an eye out for her next great project!
When a local legend designs a 12 course menu around your favorite books and television show. Elizabeth did this justice and I don’t even know how that’s possible given all of the details. Ice bowls of chamomile foam and strawberries, Iron Isles mussels smoked with seaweed, snails cooked in honey wine, and black bread colored with squid ink and dipped in broth with blood sausage.
And lemon cakes, obviously.
Abby and I nerd out about books a lot and this came together pretty perfectly at the last possible minute. We had four hours to talk about theories and themes with people who paid closer attention that we did and the whole thing had wine pairings. They built a weirwood IN the restaurant.
I should go to bed (wine pairings) but that was the best really nice dinner I think I’ve been to.