We Wrote a Book!
An Invitation To Come Join Us…
Together at the Table
My sister-in-law has asked me to spill the tea. A little background for you - Kameron is a self-proclaimed Juliska fangirl, and also an avid book lover. So when she heard that we wrote Together at the Table, of course she had a million questions for me…
K: Capucine! What prompted you and David to write a book? You must dish, sister!
CG: Gratitude. As Juliska celebrates its 20 anniversary, we’re overflowing with it! After more than 20 years of entertaining at home – we’re super grateful for the magical experiences we shared with our loved ones and friends. We wanted to share all of the wonderful things that we have learned in the hopes that it might inspire other people to proactively create unforgettable moments in their own lives.
I think that David sums it up perfectly in his intro letter: (he’s always so darn perfect!)
“In our first book, we are thrilled to share gatherings around our own family’s table, inspired by our British and French heritage but evolved for our modern life in America. After all, it was our passion for unforgettable entertaining at home that inspired us to create Juliska as newlyweds twenty years ago. That love story continues for us as a couple and at home with our three hilarious children.” - David Gooding
K: What can we hope to learn from its pages?
CG: Dark family secrets! HA – just kidding. I hope that some of the fun ideas and ways that we gather and celebrate our loved ones in various ways, will show readers how to create meaningful experiences for their own families that will endure in their hearts and minds forever. Lifelong memories don’t often happen by accident. It happens with thoughtful, proactive, intentional planning and this book will guide them to do that in their own way.
KDW: Juliska’s entertaining style is a very “mix and match” approach, with many layers of patterns, colors, and motifs - does the book show us how to achieve this look ourselves?
CG: Mais Oui Cherie! Yes, this book shows readers how to mix and match all kinds of different accessories, serving pieces, and table linens. It also has a chapter on how dress up the same everyday dinnerware that you already have, to make it feel fresh and different for every season and every occasion. We share lots of ideas on themes and centerpieces to make your table feel different and beautiful every time.
K: The book begins by stating that the ideas within are not out of reach or super fancy. Can you elaborate?
CG: This means you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something feel incredibly special. This book shares with everyone the thought process that goes into great entertaining, which has nothing to do with how much money you spend on one event. The secret to great entertaining is thoughtfulness. All it takes is good planning, intimate knowledge of the person or occasion you want to celebrate, and then taking the time to orchestrate it with love (although it certainly doesn’t hurt to collect fabulous accent plates and serving pieces to create your own treasure trove which is ever at the ready)!
K: So if you have a limited budget – what is the most important thing to spend money on?
CG: Candles for an evening event because they make everyone, and everything glow with romance! For a daytime event, fresh flowers because they beautify everything with romance!
KDW: So invest in ‘romanticism’?
CG: L’Amour Toujours! Romanticize your life every day!
K: There are so many fun and fresh entertaining ideas - from the Alpine-inspired Picnic to David’s fabulous Home Bar Wisdom - what is your favorite theme and why?
CG: My personal favorite is our Thanksgiving walk in the forest and the “crafternoon” that follows, because it is something that continues to grow every year as a beloved family tradition - age doesn’t matter – everyone loves googly eyes! Our children are 19, 18 and 15 and we still love doing this. It’s a whole day spent together, so I love that very much.
K: Why a coffee table book?
CG: It’s like a really glamorous textbook for grownups! Half education, half entertainment - and all eye-candy! I have always loved collecting beautiful large-scale coffee table books like this. And they make great gifts! Not only as works of art to keep out on display at home, but as resources to pull inspiration in decor, florals, antiques, and fabrics, etc. I really wanted to celebrate Juliska’s 20th Anniversary by sharing what we have learned, in the format that I have enjoyed so much learning from, as an adult.
K: Who are some of your favorite coffee table book authors?
CG: Charlotte Moss, Bunnie Williams, Mark Sykes, Athena Calderone, Justina Blakeney, Christopher Spitzmiller, Carolyn Roehm, Aerin Lauder, Gray Malin, Richard Scary (he totally counts!), Lela Rose, Amanda Lindroth, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, so many good ones out there!
K: How do you actually create a massive book like this?
CG: You set a budget. Double it. Then assemble a dream team!
K: Who is the talent behind the lens?
CG: Photographers Andie and Gemma Ingalls are like David and I - a husband and wife team with a young family - who came in wielding their cameras with humor, sensitivity, and a wonderful romantic eye for composition. They are brilliant with lighting, and we really worked together and collaborated on every image to find the best angles and ensure that the lightning was beautiful and conveyed the mood that we were looking for, as they have done before in so many other fabulous design books.
K: I read the feature in Veranda magazine about your unique perspective on floral arranging! There are so many stunning floral arrangements and inspirations throughout the book, can you tell me about them?
CG: Everything I learned about floral arranging came from my mom, Vicky, who is likely descended from royal garden fairy lineage. A few of her arrangements are even featured in the book at our family holiday dinner. Although I have always loved doing my own flowers and taking great joy in robbing the garden to fill the vase, I was able to take my creativity to a whole new level working with stylist Stephen Pappas. He is a floral genius - and I don’t use the word genius lightly. He is a professional stylist who has contributed to many famous books and events. Working with a classically trained and incredibly experienced stylist like Stephen was delightfully inspiring. We challenged each other in surprising ways and boosted each other’s creativity, daily.
K: There are a handful of special recipes featured in the book - which is your favorite?
CG: So here’s the thing, while I come from a long lineage of divine cooks, this talent skipped moi – I’m more of an eater! We befriended chef extraordinaire, Edward Rodwell, who has French heritage like myself. He has an intimate and wonderfully delicious restaurant that everyone should visit called Amuse Bouche Bistro, in East Harlem. His Tomato Tarte recipe is insane – angelically flaky pastry with gently acidic tomatoes nestled in a hint of mysterious French mustard and a blend of cheeses - my mouth is literally watering right now thinking about it. His salade Niçoise recipe is exquisite because it is truly and authentically French, with all of the correct flavor mixes. He understands. The temperature of the eggs and of the potatoes are of vital importance to the overall experience of a nicoise salad. Which sounds very precious to say - unless you are passionate about food as Edward is - and when you taste his food, you understand. He should really write his own book some day because I would buy it for all of my friends.
K: Who were the experts that guided you on your first foray into writing?
CG: When we decided that we wanted to write a book, I reached out to the fabulous Steele Marcoux, Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine, to find out who she would recommend as a publishing agent. She quickly said that the best of the best was Jill Cohen Associates. They helped us to shape the book in a way that celebrated our unique ethos, while sharing our best ideas with the readers.
We were also thrilled to work with Rebecca Kaplan and partner with the prolific Abrams publishing company - who publish every genre of book - from children’s books (hands down absolutely my favorite genre) to coffee table books and best-selling novels.
K: Lastly, how did you decide on the title?
CG: I rarely finish a sentence without three alliterative descriptive terms. So when we were coming up with titles, I thought that mine were absolutely, awesomely, amazingly fabulous, but to everyone else, they were completely impractical. At the end of the day, we realized that our ultimate goal was just to bring everyone together at the table because culturally, the thing that brings people together - whether friends or family or strangers - is food and drink. So when we boiled down all of these romantic sentiments and beautifully descriptive titles, what mattered most was simply the idea of bringing people Together at the Table. And that’s what we want people to remember.