What does your ideal kitchen look like?

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: Well I just designed a new kitchen for myself, and that is my ideal kitchen.  I live in a 19th century house, and I took my absolute favorite room in the house and left it exactly the way it is and plopped a kitchen right down in the center.  So the ideal kitchen to me is the center of the house.  So wherever you like to spend the time the most, the ideal kitchen should be there.  Whether that’s in the middle of your living room, or out on your deck, or whatever it is.  And then . . . and then you don’t need too much.  I mean I am somebody who professionally cooks at home and I have four burners.  You know I don’t . . . I don’t think that having, you know, 100 burners in your kitchen makes you a great cook.  So I think a really beautiful environment where you like to be and that has everything that you need.  You know part . . . part of the beauty of cooking at home is that it’s yours and you do things your way.  So I’m somebody who can live with one knife.  So some people need 15 knives.  Just as you walk into some people’s house and they have all kinds of little things everywhere; and you walk into some people’s house and they have one book sitting on a shelf and that’s it, it’s a personal self-expression.  So you know sort of the message on high about how to stock the perfect kitchen; or how to create the perfect environment in your home in any way is totally wrong.  You need to . . .  You need to search your soul, figure out who you are.  If you’re a minimalist, have one knife.  If you’re a maximalist, have 100.  Whatever you wanna do is your perfect kitchen.