How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. But what makes a gathering meaningful? In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes of our favorite chefs, foodies, and tastemakers to answer that question.  See All

I first met William and Susan Brinson last year when I was in NYC with Caitlin and Erin, and they hosted a little cocktail party for us at their loft in Manhattan. I remember thinking when I walked in that I hadn’t ever seen a home quite like it – a live/work space that’s a total study in contrasts with dark walls amidst light and airy spaces; rustic shelving next to modern classics. As she gave us the tour, Susan pointed out countless projects that they’d DIY’d together, giving the entire loft a completely original feel. I’ve gotten to know William and Susan better over the last year and am continually wow’d by their talent – both grads of Savannah College of Art & Design, William is a commercial photographer who shoots for the likes of Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Martha Stewart Living (as well as the photos in this gallery), and Susan is an art director and all-around creative genius who continually blows me away with her styling prowess on their shared blog House of Brinson. Bet you’re dying to know how this couple entertains in their off-hours, aren’t you? You’re in luck! Click through for scenes from a recent dinner party, a few of their secrets to entertaining success and some recipes I’m dying to make (including a yogurt and beets appetizer inspired by my fave at ABC Kitchen.)

My must-have entertaining tool:

S: beautiful dishes
W: a sharp kitchen knife
The kitchen rule I rarely break:
S: I always clean as I go.
W: I let Susan clean as I go.
My signature entertaining dish:
S: I have a chocolate cake I always make.
W: This changes by season, but right now a roast chicken. So easy to present whole and carve at the table.
The taste I’m always craving:
S: Sweet!
W: Savory
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
S: Kanye West
W: Rolling stones, Jay-Z, and Latin Jazz
Always in my refrigerator:
S: Yogurt
W: Seltzer
My dream dinner guests:
S: Martha Stewart
W: Mick Jagger
The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:
S: I love Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar in the village. They have such an inspiring, unique approach to food.
W: The pasta tasting menu in Babbo (New York City) Pumpkin foie gras soup at L’Absinthe (Paris, France)
This light appetizer is perfect for a fall morning. It has the lightness of the yogurt and the seasonal beets. The recipe is inspired by one of our favorite New York City restaurants, ABC Kitchen. 
* Click here to get the recipe for William and Susan’s Yogurt and Beets
My standard host / hostess outfit:
S: Jeans and a nice shirt. I am not a dressed up kinda gal.
W: Jeans and a shirt so I can rollup my sleeves

The yogurt and beets dish was obviously a hit.
This recipe is simple enough for a large crowd. You can customize it with your favorite tomato sauce or make your own in advance. We love the individual dishes that make a simple dish a little fancy. These dishes are also wonderful for mac and cheese and pot pie. 
Click here to get the recipe for William and Susan’s Baked Eggs

Affogato (espresso poured over ice cream or gelato) makes a perfect, no-fuss ending to a dinner party.

Our entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Casually warm, stylish, interesting and engaging
*all images by William Brinson


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Comments (12)
  1. 1
    Desiree {CHIC COASTAL LIVING} October 25, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I will have to check out their blog! Sounds very interesting and I love all of the images here!

  2. 2
    Uncle Beefy October 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Love Susan and William and, admittedly, am rather jealous that all y’all got to break bread together. Happy for y’all, Camille… but jealous. 😉

  3. 3
    Sarah Sarna October 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    This looks AMAZING!

  4. 4
    kyle October 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Just spent 20 minutes searching for those utensils. Where on earth did you find such fantastic items?

    • Susan Brinson October 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      @kyle I have seen that set pop up on Ebay or Etsy. Search gold or brass wood or teak and Thailand. They are stamped with Thailand on the back, and I think they were popular imports in the 1950s. I bought the whole set super cheap at a thrift store – a real lucky find. 🙂

      Camille – thanks so much for having us on your blog. An honor!

  5. 5
    Chelsea October 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Image 5 of 14 is fantastic. It makes me want a big glass of cider.

  6. 6
    invitation consultants November 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    wow – love those utensils too!

  7. 7
    Interior Designers NYC May 22, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Hey, this looks Amazing! Thanks for sharing , keep posting!