Are Americans too fickle about food?

Jennifer Rubell, 36, writer, renowned hostess, hotelier, Harvard grad and member of the illustrious Rubell clan, is poised to become the country’s newest entertaining guru.  Jennifer is currently Food and Entertaining Editor of the Miami Herald’s Home & Design magazine, Former Contributing Food Editor of, the recently folded (March 2009), Condé Nast shelter magazine Domino, and her first book, Real Life Entertaining, was released in May 2006 by HarperCollins.  She writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and has appeared in, among others, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle, The New York Times, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Travel + Leisure, Ocean Drive and Food & Wine. In 2007, Paper Magazine named Jennifer one of its 30 most beautiful people.  

Entertaining is in Jennifer Rubell’s blood.  Her uncle, the late Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell, treated Jennifer as his own child, taking her along to parties with Halston, Calvin Klein, Liza Minelli and Bianca Jagger, and inviting her to every major event at Studio 54, starting at the age of 7.  Her parents, world-renowned contemporary art collectors Donald and Mera Rubell, became famous in the ‘80s for the Whitney Biennial after-party they hosted at their Upper East Side townhouse.  With artists like Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol roaming around the house, Mera turned out bowl after bowl of spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce, with Jennifer at her side learning the Rubell family style:  personal, unconventional and decidedly hands-on.

  • Transcript


Jennifer Rubell: I’m so into the way Americans approach food.  You know I mean I lived in Paris when I was 18 years old, so way back in the day.  So this was like the late ‘80s.  And there were like a smattering of ethnic restaurants, and that’s Paris.  You know you’re getting people from all over the world there, and it’s just like every single restaurant was French.  I think it’s very, very cool that Americans are open; and particularly New Yorkers because it’s the good and the bad of New York that people will jump on any new train that’s coming by.  It’s harder to be, you know, a train that people stay on.  But . . . but I think it’s great.  I think it’s one of the most exciting things about this country – is that  people are open to new ideas.  And yeah, 30 new ideas will be exciting for the first five minutes.  But there’s going to be one out of those that grows into the center of what American food is.

Recorded on 12/10/07