Chef favorite food magazine Cherry Bombe recently realized that their planned Jubilee for early April would have to find a new venue when COVID-19 concerns cancelled any event over 10 people in New York. However, with the same verve and resourcefulness that is part and parcel of the magazine and the women they cover, founder and editor-in-chief Kerry Diamond shifted gears and announced they’d be hosting the Jubilee 2.0 online — exclusively on Instagram Live.
On Sunday, April 3rd, 2020, avid readers and foodie fanatics turned to their phones for a full day’s worth of programming, with big names like Christina Tosi, Ina Garten, Padma Lakshmi, and Kristen Kish sitting down across the globe to chat food, hospitality, and why everyone is obsessed with sourdough starters. The Jubilee was marked with intimate conversations between women who love food, cooking and the comfort found in the kitchen. We found tips on baking, tasting wine, and keeping sane during the crisis.
With so many strong, important voices, it’s hard not to feel inspired by the depth and breadth of topics covered in a simple format, all from the safety of whatever shelters hold us. Our staff was able to pull up a seat and grab a snack, watching every interview, cooking demonstration, and shared glass, and have pulled together some of our favorite moments below.
The Jubilee kicked off officially at 10 AM, with a welcome from founder and editor-in-chief, Kerry Diamond. She welcomed the audience to the “very first Instagram food conference” before Angela Raynor, hospitality powerhouse and creative director at The Pearl & Boarding House, shared a few emotional words.
The morning continued with Savannah-based baker and author Cheryl Day offering a breakfast baking demonstration using flour and Kerrygold butter to make bacon cheddar biscones for sandwiches. Cookbook author Jessie Sheehan whipped up a coconut snacking cake featuring Kerrygold butter as well (edit. note: isn’t all cake snacking cake?).
Chef Claudia Fleming shared some words of wisdom with Claire Saffitz, contributing food editor at Bon Appétit magazine, about staying inspired, and what she’s most looking forward to in spring (spoiler: it’s rhubarb!), and the struggles of self-isolation:
11 AM brought Home Cook Heroes & Super Chefs, and we can’t imagine a better guest than Ina Garten, interviewed by Diamond. They covered such important topics like what television Garten is watching (Broadchurch is a comfort watch) and what she’s baking (surprise of all surprises: Ina Garten doesn’t have a sourdough starter!). While Garten pushed back the release of her latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food coming out October 6th, she still thinks comfort food is incredibly relevant these days. And for those of us can’t find flour? Try Thomas Keller’s Cup 4 Cup almond flour to make cookies even crisper.
Jaynes Beard co-founders Sabrina Chen and Alana McMillan took some time to talk to chef Kristen Kish about the shifting moods as a chef out of work. “Without a purpose I feel slightly lost,” Kish says, reflecting the feelings of many in the foodservice industry, but with some hope for finding a new normal and “having a routine in the midst of a day that doesn’t feel like it needs to have a routine.”
Pastry Chef and cookbook author Zoë François teased the crowd with an apple galette demo, with almond cream filling, meanwhile Elisa Marshall, Founding Partner and Creative Director at maman, was cooking for baby — and fur baby! — in her demo.
Inspiration came at the 12 o’clock hour, with Activists & Leaders, presented by American Express and Resy. Gabriela Camara, chef with restaurants in California and Mexico, sat down with Ellen Bennett, of Hedley & Bennett, to talk about the hardest parts about taking care of themselves. Recently, Hedley & Bennett converted their apron production facilities into making reusable protective masks overnight, producing over 100,000 masks to donate to hospitals, health care providers and first responders all over the country.
Baker Jasmine M. Cho chatted with Cherry Bombe’s Design Director and Travel Editor Nancy Pappas about the “cookie activism” she’s been posting on Instagram. As an Asian-American born and raised in Los Angeles, Cho has been using her baking skills to promote Asian representation, each cooke portrait featuring a woman who inspires her like comedian Ali Wong and actress Sandra Oh. Cho recently featured portraits of the overworked nurses in Wuhan, China, who removed their masks to reveal the severity of the facial wounds from working long hours to help their patients.
At 1 PM, it was time for Demos, DIY, FYI, during which cookbook author and food writer Hetty McKinnon prepared a versatile sweet and sour sauce to use with any vegetable, taking inspiration from her mother’s non-traditional use of ketchup. Sonoko Sakai, author of Japanese Home Cooking, shared with us recipes for dashi and miso soup, using a deep love and appreciation for ingredients.
In an effort to find some chill, cookbook author and founder of For the Culture, a magazine celebrating Black women in food and wine, Klancy Miller talked with Zoe Adjonyoh, founder and executive chef at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. Talking on two sides of the Atlantic about restaurant struggles across the industry, Miller and Adjonyoh discussed ways to give back to the community, especially those struggling the hardest right now.
What’s an afternoon without snacks? At 2 PM, the Snack Break, hosted by Maple Hill Creamery, Christina Tosi walked us through making a small batch of compost cake in coffee mugs, using the compost-style baking method of using whatever is handy in the pantry. For Tosi, “all of baking is about rule-breaking” and compost is “a spirit, a mindset … perfect for a perfectly sinful Sunday bake.” Yum!
James Beard award-winning author Dorie Greenspan broke bread with Melissa Clark, New York Times reporter and food journalist, to share their satisfaction in “home-cooking” and being able to make something delicious out of what’s available. Greenspan suggests almond crackle cookies or three ingredient cookies that use no flour and come out perfectly round from a bake in a muffin tin. Clark’s grandmother taught her mother about thrifty cooking, and using up ingredients in the most efficient way now as consumers limit their trips to the grocery store.
At 3PM, it was time for Bread, Cake, Pie, hosted by Maple Hill Creamery. Padma Lakshmi started the hour with excerpts from her books, Gastronomical Me and How to Rise Up Like Bread.
While it feels like everyone is making bread these days, we were able to get some tips from a few sourdough masters. Cookbook author Sarah Owens and Madison Trapkin of Grl Squash, a womxn’s food, art and culture journal, dished on their best sourdough tips including naming their starters (“The Beast” and “Natty” respectively), and what else to feed a starter with some Baker’s Math.
Wine & Cheese With Friends at 4 PM, presented by Rioja Wine, dove deep into the barrel of wine, starting with a conversation between Diamond and Cha McCoy, a sommelier who advocates for diversity within the wine community, giving some hot tips and wine tasting notes for the 5 S’s (sight, swirl, sniff, sip and savor). Diamond grabbed a glass with Dini Rao, a wine expert who served up advice on opening and storing wine, much needed in these trying times.
Diamond continued her tasting with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, a wine-buyer staple selling over 1 million copies. MacNeil is hosting live tastings on her Instagram, sharing her extensive knowledge of the world of beverages and gastronomy. And no wine hour is complete without cheese, thanks to Marissa Mullen, who hosted a Cheese Plate demo for those building their own boards.
The 5 PM Happy Hour, presented by Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker, kicked off with a cocktail demo by Alba Huerta, cocktail connoisseur and owner of Houston-based bar, Julep.
Ivy Mix, founder of Speed Rack, a cocktail competition to find the fastest female bartender in America and owner of Leyenda Brooklyn Cocteleria in New York City, shed some light on the Latin American cocktail culture, and offered her riff on a mojito. Mix also hosted a short Speed Rack-style competition between three New York bartenders live, as a taste of the larger format competition raising money for breast cancer research. All three bartenders quickly whipped up a high ball, a whiskey sour, and a Rob Roy to show off their mixology skills, and it was easily decided that they all were winners, receiving a cash prize from Cherry Bombe!
The Serenity Sendoff included a selection of moments meant to leave the audience with a renewed sense of calm and community. Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet magazine, read a poignant section from her memoir, Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir, about the Gourmet magazine staff helping to cook for the firefighters at Ground Zero. Ashleigh Shanti, an Asheville, NC, based chef and culinary director for Cherry Bombe, “spit a couple verses” of a spoken word piece about the struggles and strengths of being a chef in 2020.
Kat Kinsman, senior editor at Food & Wine magazine, discussed sobriety and mental health with Laurie Woolever, co-author of Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites, with a few words of wisdom. “Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself first. The plane is in freefall and you did not cause this. Take a moment,” says Kinsman.
New York Times and Bon Appétit contributor Priya Krishna sat down with her mother, whom she is sheltering in place, to discuss ways they’re keeping sane, including a nightly scheduled happy hour as an end point to the work day, as well as inviting family members to “join” meals by setting up a virtual dinner and eating together.
Diamond wrapped up the event with a lovely conversation with Drew Barrymore, a surprise guest who offered insights and her signature cheery attitude to the struggles at hand. She also made sure to draw attention to Cherry Bombe’s resource page, which is constantly being refreshed.
Thanks to their sponsors, Cherry Bombe was able to make donations to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, Freelancers Union Relief Fund and World Central Kitchen because, in Diamond’s words: “Those three represent what the Bomb Squad is about.”