Why 500 People Just Fell in Love with Two New York City Girls

Two and half years ago, Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine were just two twentysomething food bloggers with day jobs. A year after they started Big Girls, Small Kitchen, they walked in my door with a cookbook proposal and a batch of mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies; needless to say, I was sold. Fast forward to 2011, and you’ll find that this plucky duo, now expert cooks with writing gigs on Serious Eats and HuffPo, along with a catering business on the side, is on its way to building a culinary empire. Their debut cookbook, In the Small Kitchen, hits stores May 24, and even Ina Garten is raving about it.

Our consummate hostesses dolled up in little black dresses designed by pal Jordana Warmflash

On Friday night more than 500 people packed into the Thompson Hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to launch the brand new Big Girls, Small Kitchen. It was a bash not to be missed—complete with raffle prizes (a heart-shaped Le Creuset French Oven, a romantic dinner for two at Flex Mussels, or a date night outfit by Jay Godfrey), baked goods (I arrived just in time to decorate and then savor one of the last mini-cupcakes at the DIY cupcake station), and aphrodisiac hors d’oeuvres (pearled oyster crackers and sweet-sexy-zesty crostini).

My favorite moment from the entire evening? Surrounded by a sea of cocktail dresses and skinny jeans, I decided to get my schmooze on and approached a table where a girl wearing thick eyeliner and a leather jacket sat talking with two guys. I introduced myself and extended my hand, but could sense their confusion—who was this strange girl interrupting their conversation?—and then I pulled out the ace up my sleeve: “I’m Cara and Phoebe’s editor.” A collective sigh of relief exhaled from the table and then the guy standing next to me piped up, “I think we have something in common. I’m Alex, Cara’s boyfriend.” Alex! Whom I’ve read all about from Cara’s stories—they met on a subway platform—and who you will get to know, too, when you pick up a copy of In the Small Kitchen.

There is a great tradition of culinary duos, from Julia and Jacques to Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso; Cara and Phoebe may just be the next sweet pairing. If you missed the party, rest assured that there will be plenty more opportunities to fall in love with Cara and Phoebe.

For more photos from the celebration, check out I Think You’re Swell.

Katie Salisbury is an Assistant Editor at Harper and works on nonfiction books. She is eagerly awaiting the release of In the Small Kitchen by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine, which comes out this Spring. Follow her on twitter at @ksalisbury.

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