Diane von Furstenberg is no doubt a legend in the fashion world, and like most great icons her passion extends beyond her immediate industry into food. That’s why her private chef , Jane Coxwell, is an integral part of her lifestyle. Jane recently had her cookbook Fresh, Happy Tasty…” come out, and there’s no doubt both women are extraordinary in their own way. We delved into the worlds of both – with parallel interviews – in order to get a 360-degree view of this tastemaker/chef relationship.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day from Jane Coxwell?
For breakfast I would have pomegranates, kiwi and yogurt. For lunch, a chilled cucumber and tomato soup with a white bean salad or quinoa with vegetables. For dinner, an Israeli Couscous with Shrimp or a piece of fish.
If Jane were to make you your last meal, what would it be?
It is so hard to choose, but maybe a Curry of Vegetables and a hot Tomato Soup.
How should one always start their day?
By clearing their head, meditating, or by doing something nice for someone else.
Have you travelled for food? Where to?
I am always trying new food when I travel. I don’t know if that has been the sole reason for any travels, but it is always a part of it!
What won’t you travel without?
My iPad, sunglasses and a scarf
In terms of food and health, what’s the key to aging as beautifully and elegantly as you have?
I drink a lot of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I practice yoga and I try to meditate but I am not very good. I think the most important thing is not to stress! Stress is toxic.
Where, in New York, do you eat out when Jane is out of town? What New York restaurant will never go out of style?
I am loving The Beatrice Inn for dinner now. And Indochine never goes out of style.
What are your vices?
They are not so bad but I would say red wine and dark chocolate.
Do you have a food vice/splurge from Jane? What is it?
I don’t think so. Her food is so fresh and healthy. I love anything with avocado but that could hardly be called a vice…
What’s the ultimate dinner party faux pas? Contrastingly, what’s the key to being the perfect hostess?
Maybe making your guests feel like there could be a faux pas! I think dinner parties should be relaxed. They should be about the people, the conversation, with simple and delicious food. The key to being a perfect hostess, as with so many things in life, is to not take yourself too seriously!
If you could host a dinner party, with any five people living or dead, who would you invite? What would you ask Jane to cook?
I would be with my family – my husband and my children – and for our guests there would be Leonardo da Vinci, Cleopatra, Man Ray and Marlene Dietrich. We would all sit on pillows on the floor; it would be like a big buffet and there would be Jane’s Chicken Tagine….