In Which Designer Nicole Miller Shows Us How To Make Gnocchi

We here at Styleite are unapologetic food people, so when we got an invitation to come to fashion designer (and self-described foodie) Nicole Miller‘s New York apartment Tuesday night for a hands-on cooking lesson, we canceled all our other plans and said yes.

And there she was, the woman best known for her artistic prints and funky knitwear, doing prep work for the first ever edition of Nicole’s Table with chef Anna Bioardi (Chef Boyardee‘s granddaughter) and asking everyone if they wanted white wine or red. Her art-filled apartment smelled like roasting garlic — and as far as we’re concerned, that’s how all private homes should smell around dinner time.

While Miller told us stories about her foodie past (she’s been a guest on Iron Chef America and a number of other cooking shows) Chef Bioardi had us stuffing phyllo dough cups with brie and apricot jam to make little canapes. Then we cut up roma tomatoes and onions, sprinkled garlic, pecorino and parmesan cheeses on top, roasted them for an hour and ate them with penne.

By the time we started on the homemade gnocchi (the recipe can be found in Bioardi’s cookbook Delicious Memories), Miller had confessed her affinity for Italian food. “My favorite Italian dish in New York is the pasta with sea urchin and avocado at Da Silvano,” she said. “It’s just so unusual.”

“I do like certain Thai dishes,” Miller told us. “But you can’t go wrong with Italian.”

You might not be able to go wrong, but you can go ugly. Rolling out the gnocchi, the little pillows of potato that are so popular in Italian cuisine, was a lot harder than we thought it would be. Miller’s, on the other hand, looked like they belonged in a cook book. Then again, she’s couture trained, and we are most definitely not — and if you can drape Japanese silk, little mounds of dough don’t seem like they’d be that big an obstacle.

Take a look at a few pictures from the lesson below.

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