This is how it all started.
Oranges, apricots and pineapple blended together.
In a kitchen on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a barefoot woman wearing rimless glasses and no makeup, flips her hair away from her face.
She is constantly in motion.
Her kitchen is handsome but not high tech. The stove is a Magic Chef, and the refrigerator is not Subzero.
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This apartment is her sanctuary that she shares with her husband Bill. The floors are warm polished wood, some plants punctuate the bare white walls, her Burmese cat, Little Guy, whom she calls "my dear, dear friend," naps on the couch.
When she hears music, it touches her heart, hence her Steinway grand piano that she has lovingly named "Emily." I love that!
The effect of it is all very calming.
Meanwhile, back in her kitchen, using an old family recipe, this woman is busy making jam & creating an empire.
Her name is Sarabeth Levine and today, in the heart of Manhattan there is a destination that is beloved by discriminating dessert lovers called Sarabeth's Bakery.
Sarabeth began her business in 1980 by making and selling her Orange-Apricot Marmalade. In 1981, She and husband Bill, opened a tiny bakery-kitchen to make and sell her preserves and baked goods. A few tables and chairs were soon added, first for breakfast and then for lunch.
The little store, with its unique charm and wholesomely delicious products became an instant success & an empire.
Fast forward 20 years. Today, Sarabeth's jams and preserves are sold in her many restaurants, gourmet shops & specialty stores around the world. Bill Levine sees the evolution of Sarabeth’s Kitchen from jam shop to gourmet-food brand as “just putting one foot in front of the other.”
Her jams and bakery products are also sold through her website, by mail order and in her bakery at the Chelsea Market.
Did you know...
Sarabeth trained Meryl Streep on baking and served as her hand double in "It's Complicated", much of which was filmed in her Chelsea Bakery. I loved that scene & that handsome Steve Martin!
Here is what I'm really excited about though...Sarabeth is going to teach me how to bake!
You don't even know how excited I am about this! I fell in love with Sarabeth's Blood Orange Marmalade back when I worked for Williams-Sonoma. Visit them to see her book-signing and demonstration schedule!
When Collier was a little boy, he used to eat it with a spoon straight from the jar. Thought it was the best thing his mommy ever made...then he learned to read labels. A compliment to you Sarabeth.
It is described by Food and Wine Magazine as being "in a class by itself." My son would agree. Sarabeth preserves have won numerous awards, most notably in 1996, Sarabeth won the esteemed James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year award.
Sarabeth & Bill Levine
Sarabeth & Bill still live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Water Mill, New York. They have four children and 12 grandchildren.
And if all of this isn't enough to keep her constantly in motion, this "goddess of bakedom" has started a blog, face book & twitter page!
"Some friends asked me why I am starting this blog, and the answer came to me in a flash, because I want to teach everyone how to be a good baker." Sarabeth
Thank you Sarabeth. I'm pre-heating the oven!