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PaperCity Dallas December 2022

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who also gifted her daughter with a pair of silver stag-head hurricanes from Christian Dior in Paris for her 16th birthday. Such a gift might have disappointed a less worldly teenager, but Guest inherited her mother's love of setting a pretty table and immediately fell for them. "My mother said I'd always use them and she was right. I've taken them everywhere I've lived," she says. Guest gave up smoking years ago, yet she wouldn't dream of hosting a dinner party without a table set with individual antique vessels filled with Marlboro cigarettes, a '60s touch inherited from C.Z. and Winston. "My parents always had them at the table, and I have them at the table because it's the rudest thing — you are at a dinner, and five people get up and smoke a cigarette. So I have them there and tell them to smoke away," she says. In 2014, Guest sold her family's Long Island estate, Templeton, where her parents hosted legendary dinner parties with the Kennedys and her godparents, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, for whom she curtsied. These days, Guest's dinners are much more low-key. "It was a different generation when dinners were very formal," she says. "There was a fish course, a meat course. In saying that, I don't eat that much, but I love to have lots of food available. I don't generally do plated food. I love buffets even at formal dinners because it gives people a chance to get up and chat." For dinners at home, Guest always does her own flowers. "My mother taught me that. She always did her own flowers. She had a rose garden, and I have a rose garden at the ranch. It's not fussy or complicated: We grow them, we pick them, we stick them in a vase," she says, stretching out the word "vase" with an aristocratic drawl. One of her favorite containers for roses is a blue frog given to her by her father, who collected antique Chinese porcelain. "I always think about my parents when I set the table," she says. In 2010, after helping a friend with a party at his house in New York, Guest started a catering company with Marko Matijas. Since then, Cornelia Guest Events has thrown parties in New York for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Bulgari. "We've done a few in Dallas, but I'd like to do more," Guest says. The seed for her catering business was planted in the kitchens at Templeton. "We had an incredible chef growing up, Roger. He was amazing. I loved being in the kitchen watching him cook," she says. (Roger, of course, is pronounced in the French way). She has a story: Once, Roger was soaking a ham. Her Dalmatian puppy — a gift from her parents after she broke her arm — grabbed the ham and took off with it to the pantry. "Roger was so mad," remembers Guest, who nonetheless was still allowed in the kitchen, her future aspirations as a cook undaunted. C.Z., who in later years penned a fashionable gardening column, taught her daughter how to grow vegetables. "When I was 6, she gave me seeds, and I planted a little vegetable garden," Guest says. "It started to rain that night, so I ran downstairs, and my garden was just flooded." She woke her father. "Daddy, Daddy! We have to get umbrellas! I made my poor father stand out there and try to save the vegetables with umbrellas. But Mother Nature came through because we had vegetables in spring." By her 30s, Guest was fetching produce from the garden at Templeton and making impromptu meals for herself and C.Z. A memory: "One summer, we had these little eggplants in the garden, and one night I put them in a pan and fried them with fresh tomatoes and put them on some pasta. We had a glass of rosé champagne, and my mother and I just laughed and laughed. We loved to laugh and we loved to eat," she says. "We were always on a diet." Guest became a vegetarian, then a vegan, after learning how animals are abused on factory farms. Her 2012 cookbook, Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures, focuses on vegan cooking, but her catering company, which employs a chef, will cook with meat if asked. "I never try to impose my beliefs on anyone," she says. For the dinner photographed in these pages, Guest and Matijas whipped up her favorite vegan version of Shepherd's Pie, a savory dish with minced meat and mashed potatoes that was a staple of her childhood. "It's such a yummy dinner with a salad on a cold winter's night," she says. "My friends laugh because every time I invite them over, we have Shepherd's Pie. Luckily, everyone loves it." "My mother and I just laughed and laughed. We loved to laugh and we loved to eat. We were always on a diet."— Cornelia Guest FROM THE BOOK C.Z. GUEST: AMERICAN STYLE ICON (RIZZOLI) C.Z. Guest wearing Mainbocher, photographed by Lord Snowdon in her Sutton Place apartment, 1959. 68

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