2011 April 8

Vera Wang Toasts Engagement Chicken (Among Other Things)

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Cindi Leive and Vera Wang Cindi Leive and Vera Wang
Patrick McMullan
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On Wednesday night, Chic squeezed into Spasso in the West Village for Vera Wang's fete for Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive's new cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life. Wang, the evening's hostess, who dressed four Glamour readers out of a whopping 72 ladies and counting (!) who've gotten hitched thanks to the "Engagement Chicken" for a recent spread in the mag, described herself as "a really decent cook, but I have a chef." Italian and Chinese are frequent staples in the Wang kitchen, "and we do a really good turkey as well," along with her daughters Cecilia and Josephine's penchant for Japanese takeout and "those thick soups" from Hale & Hearty. The crowd at Spasso was thick with media and fashionettes, including Chris Benz, Eddie Borgo, Maria Cornejo, Christian Cota, Linda Fargo, Rachel Roy, Anna Sui and Bill Wackermann.

So Cindi, are there any recipes that didn't make the cut?
Hmm. "Divorce Lasagna," maybe?

What are you favorite restaurants in the city?

My very favorite restaurant is Bocca Lupo in Cobble Hill. It's directly across the street from my house, which is extremely dangerous. Sometimes I'll go to take out the trash at 10:30 p.m. and suddenly it'll be three hours later and I'll be coming home from Bocca Lupo. The garlic shrimp is just amazing.

How often do you cook?
I probably cook about three times a week. Maybe once a week when things are going good, and twice on the weekends.

Any repeat dishes you whip up over and over?
The burgers in the cookbook, which are called "Get Him to Clean the House Burgers." And they work, because my house is very clean thanks to my husband. There's also a jalepano chicken dish that I make all the time. It's incredibly easy: you blenderize a big bunch of cilantro, an entire jalepano, five garlic cloves and a bunch of soy sauce. You just toss it in a Ziploc and leave it for four hours or overnight is fine. You will get a million compliments, it's my number one go-to dish.

Do you ever bring leftovers?
No, but I should. My bags are too small to accommodate Tupperware. When they do Louboutin Tupperware, I'm on it.

What food magazine would you want to edit?
I wouldn't want to edit a food magazine! That's too much responsibility. I love reading Bon Appetit, and I love the Gourmet "Special Editions," like the Italian one. I think the recipes in Real Simple are the best. Go back to the archives and find the recipe for sweet pea and mint toasts, and the "chocolate in a cup" dessert. 

If you opened a restaurant one day, what kind of cuisine would you serve?
It would be fundamentally Moroccan, because my grandfather is from Morocco and the biggest cooks in our family were always his sisters. So I would hire my great aunt, age 98, to make her famous Moroccan chicken with preserved lemon. 

What are you obsessed with right now?
I'm a thousand percent obsessed with Words with Friends on the iPhone. It's like a faux scrabble app, and I have seven games going at any given time with different friends, many in fashion and magazines. If I can ever beat Hal Rubenstein from InStyle it will be a very good day! 

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