At Home With…
Clare de Boer 


“Maximal flavor, minimal fuss” is the mantra acclaimed chef and King restaurant co-owner Clare de Boer lives (and dines) by. From roasting chestnuts at her house in Hudson to linguine alle vongole on Christmas Eve: she shares the holiday traditions—both new and old—she’s hell-bent on keeping alive this year.
  
Interivew by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Clare de Boer in a Victoria Beckham blouse and Vince skirt with her own hair and make-up. Photographed by Nikki Krecicki at her home.
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At Home With…
Clare de Boer 


“Maximal flavor, minimal fuss” is the mantra acclaimed chef and King restaurant co-owner Clare de Boer lives (and dines) by. From roasting chestnuts at her house in Hudson to linguine alle vongole on Christmas Eve: she shares the holiday traditions—both new and old—she’s hell-bent on keeping alive this year.
  
Interivew by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Clare de Boer in a Victoria Beckham blouse and Vince skirt with her own hair and make-up. Photographed by Nikki Krecicki at her home.
Editorial Image
At Home With…
Clare de Boer 


“Maximal flavor, minimal fuss” is the mantra acclaimed chef and King restaurant co-owner Clare de Boer lives (and dines) by. From roasting chestnuts at her house in Hudson to linguine alle vongole on Christmas Eve: she shares the holiday traditions—both new and old—she’s hell-bent on keeping alive this year.
 
 

Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Clare de Boer in a Victoria Beckham blouse and Vince skirt with her own hair and make-up.  Photographed by Nikki Krecicki at her home.
At Home With…
Clare de Boer 


“Maximal flavor, minimal fuss” is the mantra acclaimed chef and King restaurant co-owner Clare de Boer lives (and dines) by. From roasting chestnuts at her house in Hudson to linguine alle vongole on Christmas Eve: she shares the holiday traditions—both new and old—she’s hell-bent on keeping alive this year.
 
 

Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Clare de Boer in a Victoria Beckham blouse and Vince skirt with her own hair and make-up.  Photographed by Nikki Krecicki at her home.
For Thanksgiving, I'm usually cooking dinner for 24, but this year we’re only five, so I’m holding onto the classics we can’t let go of and doing everything else my way. I plan on roasting a smaller turkey in my old fashioned fire spit rotisserie, up in Hudson, and serving it with salsa verde and salsa siciliana. Cranberry sauce just doesn’t do it for me. I’d much rather have red currant sauce, but they don't grow those here.
   
Christmas Eve is normally the first day we all get together. I try to cook something different, so I serve linguine alle vongole. Everyone who’s been driving for hours and stuck in traffic can gather around a giant pot of something warm, juicy, slippery and salty. They can slosh the winey sauce on the table. It’s quick, it’s easy, it doesn’t take up lots of space in the fridge...it just makes sense, and everyone loves it. I put loads of chilli, loads of garlic, loads of white wine, so it’s very unctuous while being less involved. I’ll do it with a big green salad, and then we’ll roast chestnuts and drink whiskey. Everyone ends up smoking cigars indoors and I worry about the upholstery! That’s generally what happens.
  
For Thanksgiving, I'm usually cooking dinner for 24, but this year we’re only five, so I’m holding onto the classics we can’t let go of and doing everything else my way. I plan on roasting a smaller turkey in my old fashioned fire spit rotisserie, up in Hudson, and serving it with salsa verde and salsa siciliana. Cranberry sauce just doesn’t do it for me. I’d much rather have red currant sauce, but they don't grow those here.
   
Christmas Eve is normally the first day we all get together. I try to cook something different, so I serve linguine alle vongole. Everyone who’s been driving for hours and stuck in traffic can gather around a giant pot of something warm, juicy, slippery and salty. They can slosh the winey sauce on the table. It’s quick, it’s easy, it doesn’t take up lots of space in the fridge...it just makes sense, and everyone loves it. I put loads of chilli, loads of garlic, loads of white wine, so it’s very unctuous while being less involved. I’ll do it with a big green salad, and then we’ll roast chestnuts and drink whiskey. Everyone ends up smoking cigars indoors and I worry about the upholstery! That’s generally what happens.
  
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On her childhood traditions—and making new ones...

Food traditions are a huge part of my family—as I think it is with most. I grew up in India and later in the Middle East, and I’m very influenced by the hospitality of those cultures. The role that food plays in celebration is so warm and important. Generosity is at the core: everything is about passing and sharing; there are loads of different dishes. At home, it was the same. Everything revolved around food.
  
There are always traditions in the making...now that I’m the person hosting most of the holidays, I can architecture the traditions backward. For instance, I like to eat chestnuts, so I will serve them, and then we all sit around the fire roasting chestnuts together. Generally, what becomes a tradition has to be requested again. I’ve done linguine alle vongole two years in a row now, and last year my husband said, “Can we have that again on Christmas Eve?” That’s when I understood how traditions are established.
      
On why she’s mixing it up for Thanksgiving this year...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s just about food, and it’s for everybody. Our table swells. The first time I celebrated was back when my husband and I were first dating and I got invited to his uncle’s house in Connecticut. It was awesome. I remember marshmallows on the sweet potato. My mind was blown. There were loads of baskets lined with fabrics, and people who never normally cooked had done this banquet...I just loved it. I like to do all the traditional things with my own twist. I’m trying to make this new tradition happen: a Middle Eastern shakh plov. It’s basically a giant dome that is stuffed with rice, layered with pumpkin, currants, nuts, then finished with loads of saffron butter, covered with bread, and then baked. You slice into it like a cake. This year, because we don’t have the older generations joining us, I’m going to do something a bit different, a bit less traditional.
  
On her cooking style...

Maximal flavor, minimal fuss. My approach to food and fashion is the same: I use good ingredients and I improve them, but there’s no fluff. I don’t accessorize. I can’t stand anything that’s not super functional. It’s about only doing the things to bring out the most beautiful, natural forms. Especially when it comes to food. The whole purpose of it is to taste as it should be and also not to overplay the food itself. It has a function, and the function is to bring people together around a table.
  
I’m constantly learning how to cook—the nice thing is it’s limitless. I actually grew up cooking with my grandma in the UK. My grandfather grew a lot of their own food in Buckinghamshire. Formally, I went to Ballymaloe Cookery school in Ireland but then I really learned to cook at the River Cafe in London, where I was for two years before opening King in New York.
     
On her childhood traditions—and making new ones...

Food traditions are a huge part of my family—as I think it is with most. I grew up in India and later in the Middle East, and I’m very influenced by the hospitality of those cultures. The role that food plays in celebration is so warm and important. Generosity is at the core: everything is about passing and sharing; there are loads of different dishes. At home, it was the same. Everything revolved around food.
  
There are always traditions in the making...now that I’m the person hosting most of the holidays, I can architecture the traditions backward. For instance, I like to eat chestnuts, so I will serve them, and then we all sit around the fire roasting chestnuts together. Generally, what becomes a tradition has to be requested again. I’ve done linguine alle vongole two years in a row now, and last year my husband said, “Can we have that again on Christmas Eve?” That’s when I understood how traditions are established.
      
On why she’s mixing it up for Thanksgiving this year...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s just about food, and it’s for everybody. Our table swells. The first time I celebrated was back when my husband and I were first dating and I got invited to his uncle’s house in Connecticut. It was awesome. I remember marshmallows on the sweet potato. My mind was blown. There were loads of baskets lined with fabrics, and people who never normally cooked had done this banquet...I just loved it. I like to do all the traditional things with my own twist. I’m trying to make this new tradition happen: a Middle Eastern shakh plov. It’s basically a giant dome that is stuffed with rice, layered with pumpkin, currants, nuts, then finished with loads of saffron butter, covered with bread, and then baked. You slice into it like a cake. This year, because we don’t have the older generations joining us, I’m going to do something a bit different, a bit less traditional.
  
On her cooking style...

Maximal flavor, minimal fuss. My approach to food and fashion is the same: I use good ingredients and I improve them, but there’s no fluff. I don’t accessorize. I can’t stand anything that’s not super functional. It’s about only doing the things to bring out the most beautiful, natural forms. Especially when it comes to food. The whole purpose of it is to taste as it should be and also not to overplay the food itself. It has a function, and the function is to bring people together around a table.
  
I’m constantly learning how to cook—the nice thing is it’s limitless. I actually grew up cooking with my grandma in the UK. My grandfather grew a lot of their own food in Buckinghamshire. Formally, I went to Ballymaloe Cookery school in Ireland but then I really learned to cook at the River Cafe in London, where I was for two years before opening King in New York.
     
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On how to set the scene upstate...

Warm light, low light. Good music. We listen to a lot of country and folk upstate—Willie Nelson! The key thing is to ensure everyone has a drink. We don’t do custom cocktails, it’s already chaotic enough. We serve whiskey after dinner and wine before. I’m definitely not a wine snob, I actually really like cider. The closer to kombucha something is, the happier I am.
  
On how to set the scene upstate...

Warm light, low light. Good music. We listen to a lot of country and folk upstate—Willie Nelson! The key thing is to ensure everyone has a drink. We don’t do custom cocktails, it’s already chaotic enough. We serve whiskey after dinner and wine before. I’m definitely not a wine snob, I actually really like cider. The closer to kombucha something is, the happier I am.
  
“I collect anything ceramic; vases, mugs, jugs...I’m definitely a Frances Palmer girl.” 
 

“I collect anything ceramic; vases, mugs, jugs...I’m definitely a Frances Palmer girl.” 
 

I cut all my flowers from the garden. In summer, it’s filled with amazing hydrangeas, but right now there’s lots of pine, some trees with little red berries on them, and we’ve still got some pussywillow. I collect anything ceramic; vases, mugs, jugs...I’m definitely a Frances Palmer girl. I have a lot of Mexican irvinware, serving dishes, old Hudson Valley creamware. I’ve always been a magpie but my collecting habit really took off when I got my own place. It’s definitely an obsession...I have to restrain myself.
 
On how being a chef and restaurateur impacts her hosting style...

I think of it the other way round: How does how I am at home impact the restaurant? When people go to my restaurants, I hope they experience delicious food to be able to enjoy each other’s company with no distraction. I don’t want anything to be superimposed by any service and “food experience.” It’s really about getting out of the way.
 
Food is the best way to break through. Everyone gets involved: passing stuff, sharing, cracking nuts. Nothing is precious in my house. I would be upset if a couple of my ceramics got broken, but by and large, everything’s meant to be worn and used. I grew up in a household where you definitely needed a coaster, and I swore that when I had my own it wouldn’t be a coaster home...and it’s not a coaster home.
 
On her style...

I like things to be very comfortable so I wear a lot of my husband’s clothes. We share T-shirts. I wear a lot of turtlenecks and good cashmere sweaters, and I have brands that I really like and buy over and over again, like Khaite jeans. I love Jacquemus and Brock Collection. I got married in Emilia Wickstead. I tend to not get too dressed up for the holidays as I’m in the kitchen and don’t have time to change. I haven’t worn a pair of heels since I had my son. He’s now 13 months.
  
I cut all my flowers from the garden. In summer, it’s filled with amazing hydrangeas, but right now there’s lots of pine, some trees with little red berries on them, and we’ve still got some pussywillow. I collect anything ceramic; vases, mugs, jugs...I’m definitely a Frances Palmer girl. I have a lot of Mexican irvinware, serving dishes, old Hudson Valley creamware. I’ve always been a magpie but my collecting habit really took off when I got my own place. It’s definitely an obsession...I have to restrain myself.
 
On how being a chef and restaurateur impacts her hosting style...

I think of it the other way round: How does how I am at home impact the restaurant? When people go to my restaurants, I hope they experience delicious food to be able to enjoy each other’s company with no distraction. I don’t want anything to be superimposed by any service and “food experience.” It’s really about getting out of the way.
 
Food is the best way to break through. Everyone gets involved: passing stuff, sharing, cracking nuts. Nothing is precious in my house. I would be upset if a couple of my ceramics got broken, but by and large, everything’s meant to be worn and used. I grew up in a household where you definitely needed a coaster, and I swore that when I had my own it wouldn’t be a coaster home...and it’s not a coaster home.
 
On her style...

I like things to be very comfortable so I wear a lot of my husband’s clothes. We share T-shirts. I wear a lot of turtlenecks and good cashmere sweaters, and I have brands that I really like and buy over and over again, like Khaite jeans. I love Jacquemus and Brock Collection. I got married in Emilia Wickstead. I tend to not get too dressed up for the holidays as I’m in the kitchen and don’t have time to change. I haven’t worn a pair of heels since I had my son. He’s now 13 months.
  
“That’s the great thing about the holidays, you’re playing with nostalgia and it’s an absolute joy to be at the table.” 
 

“That’s the great thing about the holidays, you’re playing with nostalgia and it’s an absolute joy to be at the table.” 
 

On loving white (and not minding the stains)...

I found these old, hand-embroidered bed sheets in Provence which are heavy white linen, and use those on the table. On top of that, I use place settings. Everything is normally white and very minimal. It’s not about an austere mentality. I actually like a mess. There’s plenty of red wine stains on those bed sheets! My cooking uniform is a white knit and jeans—and my house is the equivalent. Although since my son was born, I’ve been wearing more Montessori colors, lots of primaries.
  
On her advice to first-time cooks...

Keep tasting it and make sure it tastes good—to you. If you cook something that you find irresistible, then it will be that much better. Yes, the food is the central focus and you want it to be good enough that everyone has a great time, but it’s not the end game. That’s the great thing about the holidays, you’re playing with nostalgia and it’s an absolute joy to be at the table, so even dodgy turkey can still pull the heartstrings. Pumpkin pie—even bad ones are good ones. Sometimes, a soggy crust is nice.
  
On loving white (and not minding the stains)...

I found these old, hand-embroidered bed sheets in Provence which are heavy white linen, and use those on the table. On top of that, I use place settings. Everything is normally white and very minimal. It’s not about an austere mentality. I actually like a mess. There’s plenty of red wine stains on those bed sheets! My cooking uniform is a white knit and jeans—and my house is the equivalent. Although since my son was born, I’ve been wearing more Montessori colors, lots of primaries.
  
On her advice to first-time cooks...

Keep tasting it and make sure it tastes good—to you. If you cook something that you find irresistible, then it will be that much better. Yes, the food is the central focus and you want it to be good enough that everyone has a great time, but it’s not the end game. That’s the great thing about the holidays, you’re playing with nostalgia and it’s an absolute joy to be at the table, so even dodgy turkey can still pull the heartstrings. Pumpkin pie—even bad ones are good ones. Sometimes, a soggy crust is nice.
  

Clare de Boer’s Linguine Alle Vongole Recipe

This briny and bright meal is the ideal antidote to Christmas overload. Eaten with champagne and before roasted chestnuts, it's a sexy (and relatively light) prelude to Christmas lunch. My ratios below make sure it has a punch: it should be garlicky, slightly hot, and dripping with the flavor of the ocean.
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Clare de Boer’s Linguine Alle Vongole Recipe

This briny and bright meal is the ideal antidote to Christmas overload. Eaten with champagne and before roasted chestnuts, it's a sexy (and relatively light) prelude to Christmas lunch. My ratios below make sure it has a punch: it should be garlicky, slightly hot, and dripping with the flavor of the ocean.
Editorial Image



Clare de Boer’s Linguine Alle Vongole Recipe 
 
This briny and bright meal is the ideal antidote to Christmas overload. Eaten with champagne and before roasted chestnuts, it's a sexy (and relatively light) prelude to Christmas lunch. My ratios below make sure it has a punch: it should be garlicky, slightly hot, and dripping with the flavor of the ocean.   







Clare de Boer’s Linguine Alle Vongole Recipe 
 
This briny and bright meal is the ideal antidote to Christmas overload. Eaten with champagne and before roasted chestnuts, it's a sexy (and relatively light) prelude to Christmas lunch. My ratios below make sure it has a punch: it should be garlicky, slightly hot, and dripping with the flavor of the ocean.   




Ingredients 

Time: 15 minutes, very easy!
Scale the recipe according to the ratios below
Pair With: Cabbage ceramic plates by Moda Domus

5-7 Littleneck clams per person, cleaned
 1 cup olive oil
 1 glass dry white wine per person
 2 cloves garlic per person, peeled and finely sliced
 Pinch of dried chili, ground, per person (know how hot yours is, it may need adjusting)
 1 bunch parsley, chopped stems and leaves
  Around 120g dry linguine per person
  Salt for water and noodles
 

Instructions:

1. Boil linguine in heavily salted water.

2. While the linguine boils, simmer garlic and chili in olive oil to infuse.

3. When garlic is sticky but not yet brown, add the clams and wine. Cover with a lid and steam until the clams just start to open.

4. Transfer the linguine when it’s al dente to the clams and wine, taste and adjust salt accordingly, and stir continuously to coat each noodle and thicken the sauce. Finish with chopped parsley.
Ingredients 

Time: 15 minutes, very easy!
Scale the recipe according to the ratios below
Pair With: Cabbage ceramic plates by Moda Domus

5-7 Littleneck clams per person, cleaned
 1 cup olive oil
 1 glass dry white wine per person
 2 cloves garlic per person, peeled and finely sliced
 Pinch of dried chili, ground, per person (know how hot yours is, it may need adjusting)
 1 bunch parsley, chopped stems and leaves
  Around 120g dry linguine per person
  Salt for water and noodles
 

Instructions:

1. Boil linguine in heavily salted water.

2. While the linguine boils, simmer garlic and chili in olive oil to infuse.

3. When garlic is sticky but not yet brown, add the clams and wine. Cover with a lid and steam until the clams just start to open.

4. Transfer the linguine when it’s al dente to the clams and wine, taste and adjust salt accordingly, and stir continuously to coat each noodle and thicken the sauce. Finish with chopped parsley.
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