Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meet Alex Hitz.. host... chef.... man of style



There are so many professions that escape the descriptors of being fashionable or trendy or of the moment and yet, if you rethink it and examine the precepts of such a profession, one might say that cuisine or in simpler terms... cooking is undoubtedly all of those things.

As I usually stretch the limits of fashion to include many contiguous art forms or the many manifestations of what one might consider being fashion or fashionable… today we are on the subject of food... well cuisine... well maybe, trend driven recipes and still maybe all of these ingredients are under the control of just one man … Alex Hitz.

In case you have been hiding under a rock, Mr. Hitz has completed the wildly successful cookbook entitled My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist.  He is now and forever an accomplished host as well as chef and has carved a niche into the culinary landscape of this country.  Without question, Mr. Hitz shows us that food can be fashionable as well as very stylish so read up and find out what makes Alex tick!

1-What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
My first pair of Gucci loafers---a birthday present from my mother when I turned 16 in 1985. They’ve been re-soled so many times but they are still perfect.
2-What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
Loyalty and humor. Stand by me and make me laugh---and vice versa!
3-What is your bliss?
The summer. The view from my house to the Ocean. Bliss is anywhere it’s warm.
4-What is your guilty secret?
Promise you won’t tell, but…The Lawrence Welk show. It’s still on in PBS markets all over this country and I often find it when I am travelling. It’s like a train wreck. I just can’t stop watching it.
5-Where is your ideal home?
New York AND Los Angeles---I think the two cities really need each other!
6-If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc:, what would you be
I’m just a cook and a writer, but if I weren’t I think I’d be an architect because it’s another one of my great passions---How exciting to be able to draw something that then gets built just the way you drew it.
7-What is on your bedside table right now?
MY LIFE AS A MANKIEWICZ a fascinating Hollywood book, Maida Heatter’s CHOCOLATE CAKE BOOK, Elizabeth David’s SOUTH WIND THROUGH THE KITCHEN, Mildred Knopf’s COOK MY DARLING DAUGHTER and GARY COOPER STYLE. I’m up all night!
8-What do you wear to bed?
Just a black t-shirt…
9-What if any, book are you reading now or last read?
A PRINCE AMONG STONES, an autobiography by my friend Prince Rupert Loewenstein about his business with the Rolling Stones. I just loved it!
10-What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Learn the rules and understand classics. Do your homework. Remember you must know the rules before you can break them…
11-Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
So many but to name a few: Cary Grant, The Duke of Windsor, Bobby Short, and Johnny Galliher. Mark Birley. These gents had style and discipline. They knew what it takes!
12-What is the best advice you ever received?
From Henry Grunwald: “There is no euphemism for dying.”
13-In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
80’s, kitsch. I have lots more but stuck to just two…
14-If you were a retailer, would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store ? or where would you shop?
I designed men’s clothing for several years, and I have to say, yes, I was my own best customer! If not, Arnys in Paris.
15-If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
A walk-in cooler at my house. I stayed with some friends in Florida this winter who had one and it changed my life. Oh, and, yes, a G5. Why not?
16-If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
Charles de Bestigui to discuss his entertaining, Dorothy Draper to discuss her theatrical proclivities, Nan Kempner because she was SO MUCH FUN and no dinner should EVER be had without her, and with me that’s four!
17-What is your favorite movie /or movie star?
This was the one question I wrestled with on this list and I am sorry that I couldn’t narrow it down to just one so here goes: Gone With The Wind, Sullivan’s Travels, Laura, and The Lady Eve. I really should do a top ten because we are only scratching the surface here…!
18-What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
I’m only 5’9 and it would be very, very nice to be 6 feet. But Nate Berkus tells me us shorties age far better!
19-Whose opinion do you value most?
My housekeeper’s.  She always tells me honestly if the tie’s a little crooked or the jacket a slight bit too tight!
20-What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear ?
I love Brunello Cucinelli’s clothes—and Malo sweaters. John Lobb for shoes, Charvet ties. Ray Ban aviators. Pretty Classic stuff I guess.
21-What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
Books and magazines have a SOUL and no electronic device will ever be able to replace that--- or the feel as you hold one in your hand, and the excitement of turning a page. I get the convenience, but just like a cake mix, it’s simply, no substitute for the real thing.
22-Do you have a dream collaborator?
Jacques Pepin. He is such a hero of mine and it would be great fun to do some huge dinner, for like 500 people with him to benefit a hungry kid’s charity. Do you know him???!!!
23-What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
Having written a book and one that people seem to want to read. There is no way to describe my gratitude (and amazement) for both of these things.
24-What’s your music library like?
Bach and Mozart---Jobim and Ella Fitzgerald---and of course, Barry White and Beyonce. Need I tell you more!?
25-What and where is your favorite meal?
My absolute favorite meal is Poached or Grilled Salmon with B√©arnaise Sauce. But that’s mostly because I just like the B√©arnaise Sauce…and, of course, I love Fried Chicken…!

www.mybeverlyhillskitchen.com/