The dinner was held at a palatial home on West 11th Street, with a guest list that could intimidate the most jaded chef: Cameron Diaz, Alex Rodriguez, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali and Chris Martin, Ms. Paltrow’s husband. -The New York Times, 4/13/11

And let me tell you, the guest list intimidated the calligrapher too. I am so excited to share this latest project! The talented team over at One King's Lane enlisted my help in creating a casual chalkboard menu and place cards for an dinner party hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow this past Monday in celebration of her new cookbook, My Father's Daughter. Hence, my recent trip to New York where I got to know a 100 lb. piece of slate really, really well. The event took place at Palazzo Chupi which is a magical space (as you'll see below from Evan Joseph's photos).

In preparation for this daunting task, the savant of chalkboard artists, Dana Tanamachi, walked me through her process and offered invaluable tips and techniques. Dana's work is beyond stunning and I implore you to check it out. I scribbled her pearls of wisdom while sitting under the blossoming cherry trees surrounding the tidal basin in Washington, DC. Dana (and, it seems, the branches and blooms) whispered the affirmation "everything will be fine."

So, armed with my pages of notes and sketches, an unwieldy yardstick and a bag of supplies, I ventured forth to meet the beast and calligraph placecards for the intimidating guest list. (These pretty engraved place cards, by Thornwillow Press, are available on OKL today, along with other Paltrow picks-- see sale below). The talented Ellen Silverman captured it all.

The New York Times also ran an article and slideshow about the event today, including an image of the tablescape. Thank you, Bee-Shyuan, for noting that "The three-course menu, all recipes from the cookbook, was handwritten on a black chalkboard." 

Special thanks to OKL, Evan, Ellen, Dana, Thornwillow and the patient flock of moving men who transported the board in one piece.

And now, on to the photos!

{Images of Palazzo Chupi by Evan Joseph}