At Home with Vita is a monthly interview with artists, designers, and friends who inspire us. This month's Q&A is with Christine Gachot. Aside from being avid Il Buco fans, Christine and her husband John are the founders of Gachot Studios, a New York based interdisciplinary interior design studio which was named on Architectural Digest’s 100 for 2021. They’re known for their profound ability to execute highly structured minimalism in a way that still feels personal and relaxed. Both in their small and quite large projects, the Gachots emphasize a sense of community that embodies the handcrafted, individualistic spirit of Vita. Christine lives in New York with John, their two teenage sons, Boris and Jackie, and dog, Slim.
IL BUCO VITA: Did you find yourself “hosting” for yourself or for your family during the quarantine?
CHRISTINE GACHOT: One of the few blessings of quarantine is the quality time we’ve been able to spend as a family, so we take the time to make dinners special a few nights a week. Whether we cook or order in, we set the table, light candles, get dressed up and just enjoy being together (with a few friendly debates of course).
IBV: Has cooking more meals in your home caused you to rethink the design of your kitchen or your home in general?
CG: We left behind our loft on Bond Street for a more spacious kitchen on Beekman Place, which includes space for the whole family to get involved in the cooking process (even me). We still order in a lot, though (me again)! John loves it!
IBV: Did you use the extra time at home to learn how to make something new in the kitchen?
CG: I thought this was a table-top interview….I’m the stylist in the family, not the cook! Thankfully John and the boys are amazing chefs. I often feel like I am watching a crazy kitchen scene in an old comedy, but the boys always create unique, delicious and over the top elaborate meals.
IBV: What are your go-to “pantry recipes” for last-minute meals?
CG: My version of a “Pantry Recipe” is: get it to go and add on a little at home. The regulars are Il Buco To Go (don’t skip the cocktails), Joes Pizza with salad and a Sancerre, and Folded Egg Sandwiches from The Smile (no ham please).
IBV: What are your favorite purveyors or resources for local produce/provisions?
CV: Russ and Daughters (I will wait in line during the holidays). Il Buco Alimentari (Go-to for entertaining at home)! The Farmers Market in Union Square (Fall is our favorite).
IBV: Where was the most memorable table setting you’ve ever seen?
CG: I love an invitation to go to someone’s home for dinner. That personal experience is always memorable. You leave knowing the other people more; even dinner with close friends can reveal something special. Recipes from a grandmother; candles found on a recent trip.
IBV: What is the first place you hope to visit when COVID-19 is far behind us?
CG: I just want my 2 barstools back at Il Buco! Hi Mark, we miss you!
IBV: Are there any causes or institutions that you are passionate about supporting during this ongoing crisis?
CG: P.S. 188 is an important resource for families and students on the lower east side. New York gives us so much personally and professionally; supporting our own local community as much as we can is a must. Peace, Love and Public School!
IBV: Can’t have a party without?
CG: Thoughtful consideration of who is attending and what your guests like to eat, drink, and do for fun.
IBV: Go to last minute center piece?
CG: Flowers! I like to stick to a single variety per arrangement.
IBV: Where do you find inspiration for entertaining?
CG: Nothing is more inspiring to me than a thoughtful hospitality experience at a friend’s home, a great hotel, bar, or restaurant.
IBV: If you had a destination dinner party, where would it be?
CG: Is this an invitation to host in Ibiza?!
IBV: Who are the top artists on your cooking playlist?
CG: John has Louis Armstrong on while he’s cooking, Boris plays The Strokes or The Stones during clean up, and Jackie always gets everyone amped up on Queen!
IBV: What is your favorite meal to serve to guests?
CG: Takeout from Il Buco, plated and served quickly on a set table.
IBV: One word to describe your entertaining style?
CG: Thoughtful! (and fun)
IBV: Seated dinner or casual buffet?
IBV: To decant or not decant?
CG: It never makes it to the decanter…
IBV: Stemmed glasses or wine tumblers?
CG: Stemmed, Cut Glass, inherited from John’s mother Irene.
IBV: Favorite piece to include on your table for Summer?
CG: Or on your bar…Gin and Tonics!
IBV: Whose house would you be the most excited to be invited to for dinner?
CG: Any invitation would be welcome at this point.
IBV: Who has kept you inspired this year?
CG: The small acts of kindness have counted the most. I’m inspired by many! And beyond thankful!