I knew that Naughty would be the perfect theme for our winter issue when the suggestion was made at our editorial meeting and everyone around the table gave a little smile and blushed a bit. Any theme that has the power to make a bunch of staid grownups act like kids caught with their hand in the cookie jar sounds perfect to me. And during this season of Santa’s lists and New Year’s resolutions, being a little naughty feels especially appropriate.
Of course Naughty means something different to everyone: It’s all about what we think of as both fun and a little out of bounds. For some, it could mean enjoying a rich, luxurious dish like cassoulet, or maybe it’s indulging in foods known to be aphrodisiacs. Or it could be something as simple and wonderful as a cup of hot chocolate or an old-fashioned food fight.
And with a theme like Naughty, how could we not grab the opportunity to create our first-ever centerfold? The idea for a centerfold of a food fight featuring some of this region’s top chefs came from a conversation Noelle had with the great photographer James Douglas, and the result is as awesome as we imagined. My favorite food fight, however, took place a year ago, and it didn’t feature esteemed chefs. A family photo shoot in our kitchen with our illustrious photo editor, Laura Watilo Blake, took a strange turn when someone—who will remain nameless—threw some flour. Things escalated quickly, with the resulting food fight caught on camera and turning out to be some of my favorite family photos.
What sticks with me from that night in our kitchen is the look on my three-year old son’s face when we started throwing flour at each other. He was very excited but kept looking around as though he couldn’t believe what was happening: that he actually would be allowed to join in a food fight. That look was exactly what being naughty is all about—gleeful enjoyment of something you just know isn’t allowed. So go ahead, pour a drink and enjoy this season’s Naughty issue.
Hopefully no one will tell Santa.