Fat, Drunk and Fancy. I know what you’re thinking; this reeks of debauchery, excess and pretentiousness…. aannndd you’d be wrong. What does it mean? We’re glad you asked. Fat, Drunk and Fancy is about living life with no regrets. It’s that feeling you get when you sit around the kitchen table with family and friends, sharing a fantastic food experience or amazing cocktail, where you feel free from fear, where you start to believe your dreams can and will become reality. It’s the good hurt in your sides from laughing and the soreness in your face from smiling with the family you love. It’s a really, REALLY good time, all without Aunt Betty’s over dramatized dental issues. It’s who Nick and Kim are, a couple that lives all of this, and their stories about how Fat, Drunk and Fancy will deliver some of those same good hurts.
In Kim’s words:
My earliest childhood memories are not of trips to Disney, Christmas presents under the tree, or any other “things,” but instead are consumed with holiday dinners, family gatherings, meals around one table or another, although most I recall were with my Grandparents. I’d walk into their house on any given day, event or not, and it smelled like a home cooked meal — even if they hadn’t been cooking. It was warm, it smelled like food, and I never felt anything in that house other than love.
I remember too, dinners that my Dad hosted at his house – he would be in the kitchen preparing and cooking for hours, and we’d gather on the deck overlooking Lake Hopatcong, NJ enjoying the array of food that my Dad had prepared. I remember always being so excited for those gatherings, or any gathering where I was with my family. I would bounce around the kitchen while my Dad cooked, totally getting in his way, watching out the window for my Grandparents’ car to pull up, staring at the clock, wishing it to move faster. My Grandfather loved sitting on the deck at my Dad’s, looking at the water, laughing with his family gathered around him.
Food has been the bond that has tied my family together and the way in which we’ve always shown love for one another. We’ve celebrated the holidays, birthdays, and each other over food. We’ve mourned losses and shed tears over food. My Grandfather passed away just after midnight on September 22, 2013. That evening my family gathered around the dinner table, eating my Grandfather’s gravy and meatballs. There were only a handful of containers of his gravy and meatballs left in the freezer. I had never been so sad or experienced such loss in my life, but we did exactly what my Grandfather loved most. We sat around his dinner table, in his home, eating his food, and we honored all that he had shared with us. We laughed, we cried, but we were together. We gathered around the table again when there was just one last batch of his gravy and meatballs left to be eaten. Again, in his home, and around his table, we spoke of my Grandfather as if he was sitting there with us.
In the years since my Grandfather passed away, our family has changed and looks a little bit different now with the addition of my husband, Nick, my two step children and Nick’s family. Our traditions have also changed a bit over the years, except for one thing: the food. It’s still very much a part of my family, and now the life I share with Nick.
The way in which Nick and I have chosen to live and share our life was born out of love for family. Food has always been a part of my family and now I yearn to create that same familial connection with the world, a connection that allows for the container to create a life with no regrets through a foundation of pillars that Nick and I live by and strive to inspire others to embrace as well. We invite you to join us at the table where you are free to dream fearlessly, love hard, try new things and experience life on your terms.
In Nick’s words:
Food and family. That’s the essence of my being. There’s hardly a memory I have that doesn’t involve the people I love and the meals that we’ve shared. I am the first born of a young couple from Brooklyn, NY, who broke down societal norms by blending vastly different cultures to make a family. This may sound dramatic, but in the early 70’s a German Lutheran marrying an Italian Catholic was a big deal. And so began a journey when yours truly burst onto the scene, and immediately was held over the Thanksgiving table, where my grandparents had my hand touch every piece of food to be served (I have a picture of this, I assure you). Maybe that’s where my love of food came from. Maybe it came from my strong desire to help and to be a part of the mix. That led to the early demise of a lovely copper teapot (what happens when a three year old goes to make mom a cup of tea and doesn’t know there needs to be water in the kettle..) and a very soggy meatloaf (so you’re not supposed to fill the bowl of meat in the sink with water?) and numerous other mishaps that led to laughter and learning.
My kitchen memories are grounded in Sunday mornings with my father. We were the Catholic half of the household (my sister and mother made up the Lutheran contingent), and would head to Mass at 9am… every…Sunday… But then it was off to DiPietros in Maplewood, where I would gaze longingly at the provolone drying in the window while my dad bought fresh bread and with any luck, a piece of fresh mozzarella. We’d hop back in the car and immediately tear off the heel of the bread and start munching. For most of my life I thought that’s how bread was supposed to look when it came in the house! For the rest of the day the house smelled of garlic and onions, frying meatballs and simmering gravy. Sunday dinner was an institution and has remained a staple throughout my life. The same was true for trips to Grandma’s house in Brooklyn and even on longer trips after the relocation of many family members to Florida.
My mother did not share that same passion for food, likely scarred by bouts with Dinty-Moore beef stew and various organ meats hitting the table. She does, however, have a sweet tooth, and her excitement for all things chocolate carried over into her son (albeit I don’t discriminate against other sweet flavors). She’s in her element outdoors and packs a mean Fluffernutter for lunch on the boat. She is the balance in the Italian diet and provided green things (read: vegetables) and other variety at home.
From a young age I loved cooking and sharing food with friends and family. I became a rabid fan of the Frugal Gourmet, and by the time I was 10 had a subscription to Gourmet Magazine. There were authentic Chinese meals prepared with family friends, curried lamb roasting over a charcoal grill, and an obsession with making the greatest cheesecake of all time. I always noticed that food brought people together, put smiles on people’s faces, and could brighten the darkest days.
Through the darker times in my life, food was my escape, my comfort when I couldn’t find direction or happiness. It brightened up some tough times, and helped put life’s challenges on the back burner, if even for a little while.
Now, with my wife Kim, my two kids, our huge combined family (of which her’s accounts for 80% of the crowd) the kitchen is always open, and the sun is always shining. We welcome people into our home with a smile and the prospect of an amazing experience. Our kids shed the stresses of the day and try new things every time they are with us. Food and family naturally go together, and that is the rule in our home.