Barbara Smith, lifestyle expert. Restaurateur, TV host, columnist, former model, magazine publisher (B. Smith Style
). You might want to add shaman to the list, if you are to take at all seriously her latest triumph of project vision and organization, B. Smith: Rituals and Celebrations
Smith has conveniently divided the year into 12 months and provided a vision of a celebration or ritual for each month. Christmas/Kwanzaa is obvious enough. So too is Valentine's Day. March, however, is about a young girl's rite of passage. Throughout the chapters you will find menus, recipes, and instructions for creating special ritualistic and celebratory atmospheres. For example, Dana's Rite of Passage Dinner includes Plantain and Sweet Potato Chips, salad, Oven-Barbecued Short Ribs of Beef, Spicy Braised Cabbage with Cashews, and Kale Mashed Potatoes.
The food, by and large, is what you would find in any upscale deli, or provided by a trendy caterer. While the "look" has vision, it seems based on what's available by credit card from any of several catalog companies. If you read the acknowledgements closely, you'll discover that it doesn't hurt to have a personal executive assistant, a makeup artist, a hair designer, a fashion stylist, food stylists, recipe developers, prop stylists, and craft-designer artists, should you not really have enough time in your own life to make all the goodies to give to guests.
B. Smith Style magazine will do for the reader and idea-seeker all that this book tries to accomplish. Somehow it all seems more appropriate between the kind of soft covers you can recycle without too much thought. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
"You don't need vast resources to be creative," Smith believes. "You just need to be resourceful." True enough, but most admirers of this restaurateur and television personality will have to enlist a few helpers in order to emulate her dynamic style: Smith is passionate about entertaining. She insists that hostesses must be well-organized, for there's a lot of work involved in her seasonal meals, party plans and craft projects. More than 100 chic and highly seasoned recipes are presented in the context of monthly, celebratory menusAfrom Heart-Shaped Swordfish Papillotes with Mango Salsa for a Valentine's Day Dinner for Two to Orzo Paella at a Labor Day Weekend Dinner Party. Classics are given clever twists: Warm Apple Spring Rolls with Rum Cider Syrup can be served for Chinese New Year and Jerked Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving. Many African-American traditions are incorporated into the food and party themes as wellASmith recommends serving Black-eyed Pea Salad for Juneteenth. Craft projects such as painting glassware sound like fun, and her decorations can be as lighthearted as setting real goldfish swimming in small bowls at each place setting. Smith describes herself as having "creative vision and playful style," and she exhibits both in this first of a planned four-book series. 16-city author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.