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.
Jennifer Rubell: I think that the rise of cooking, maybe you can attribute it a little bit to television cooking. But I would actually point more toward the explosion of consumerism and cooking as a real antidote to that. You know you are not involved in consumerist culture when you’re cooking. You’re producing something. So it . . . it . . . Those kind of earthy pursuits – whether it’s gardening, cooking, do-it-yourself projects – I think that that will only be . . . The more things become virtual and unphysical, the more people need an outlet in the physical world. I think that’s a . . . It’s almost like a law of matter, you know
Well I think that young people . . . most young people’s jobs involve staring at a computer screen all day. I mean that’s what most jobs boil down to today. And you need something sensual to counterbalance that. You can’t just then go re-enter some sort of like consumer world and not have something that roots you to the earth, to other people, to a home, to community. You need it. It’s just mandatory.I think there’s a real intimacy when you entertain at home. You know once you have someone to your home, it’s almost like they’re a friend for life. You know you can run into them 15 years later, and you still have a bond to them. They were at your house for dinner. I’ve gone out to dinner with people where I don’t remember their names or their faces. It’s like it never happened. And I don’t know what happens when people enter your home. I don’t know what that process is, but it’s a glue. And there’s almost no other way that you can get that.
Recorded on 12/13/07