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Blog

Filtering by Category: NEWS

The Art of Gift Giving for VIE December

Suzanne Pollak

 Three Wise Men at Strassbourg Cathedral, Germany (c. 1940)

Three Wise Men at Strassbourg Cathedral, Germany (c. 1940)

“The Three Wise Men Understand the Art of Gift Giving…”

Suzanne asks three experts — a world-class chef, one renowned jewelry designer, and a stylist to the stars — to share their wisdom on what to get your loved ones (knives, anyone?), when to give it (surprise them!), what to do when you forget (it happens), and how to give the really big one (diamonds, of course.)

Read the full article in the latest issue of Vie Magazine HERE.

"Setting New Traditions" for November issue of VIE

Suzanne Pollak

 Rita Hayworth carves the bird.

Rita Hayworth carves the bird.

Expecting a crowd? Extended family or perhaps friends for a long Thanksgiving weekend? This may be the season to take the torch from those who have gone before you, to branch out and begin traditions of your very own. In case you are looking for a few great ideas on how to implement your personal style — from frying turkeys to divy-ing up dish duty, plus what to serve beyond the feast — (or if you just need a pep talk…)

Find the Dean’s latest piece for VIE Magazine HERE on their site!

Frequently Asked Wedding Etiquette Questions for NYT (!!!)

Suzanne Pollak

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In the excellent company of top etiquette experts from along the East Coast, Dean Pollak answers our burning wedding FAQ’s for the New York Times this week. Among other tips for how to proceed, Pollak advises against micro-managing in-laws who may be paying for a rehearsal dinner (although sharing your preferences is certainly allowed), explains the “no phone policy” trend, and instructs attendees on how much to spend on gifts when they have been invited to multiple events. This article is a must-read for anyone planning a wedding or even simply planning to attend one! Read the full piece via NYT HERE on their site…

"An Enlightened Affair" for VIE Magazine

Suzanne Pollak

 Behold, the Charleston Library Society, home of many a salon...

Behold, the Charleston Library Society, home of many a salon...

The Dean is no stranger to a proper literary salon, having grown up in a diplomatic family who regularly entertained such events at their African home. To this day, she continues the tradition as director of the Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival, held annually at the local Library Society. Learn more about Suzanne's love of salons, her post and the impressive roster at this year's C2C (plus how to attend) in the latest issue of VIE Magazine: HERE.

Talking Top Sheets with Town & Country

Suzanne Pollak

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Town & Country contributor Liz Krieger knew who to call with her burning questions on whether or not a top sheet is an absolutely necessary addition to the make of a bed. Although Krieger cops to her own 'millenial' disregard for a top sheet, Suzanne remains steadfast in her admittedly old-fashioned devotion to the extra layer. Read the article, including all the pros and cons of having a flat linen to keep you cool (or warm, depending on the season), HERE via T&C! 

"The Romance of Outdoor Rooms" for VIE

Suzanne Pollak

 Photo courtesy of G. P. Schafer

Photo courtesy of G. P. Schafer

Summertime is finally here again! In Charleston, this means lots of lounging in the shade of our (or our friends') porches and piazzas, iced beverage in hand, fresh off a dip in the sea. For the June issue of VIE magazine, Suzanne reflects on a life lived in outdoor rooms, from Tripoli to Ghana to the Carolinas, and the magic of bells, birds, and blue skies experienced in these inspiring spaces.

Read the full article HERE on VIE's site... 

Notes from the Rainbow Room, for VIE Magazine

Suzanne Pollak

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Looking for a reason to travel? If an epic blowout at NYC's legendary Rainbow Room isn't on your calendar this Spring, make a date with friends in a city you've never been to and live it up anyway! For three or 300, Suzanne tells how to make any destination event memorable in the latest issue of VIE Magazine.

Read the full article HERE...

Suzanne Pollak for The Roads Travelled

Suzanne Pollak

 [Image: Mary Gilbert, The Roads Travelled.]

[Image: Mary Gilbert, The Roads Travelled.]

Many thanks to blogger Mary Gilbert of The Roads Travelled for writing all about her recent culinary lesson with Suzanne Pollak, starring frisée, bacon, and the renowned Academy croutons...(guest-starring a red scarf by J. McLaughlin!) 

Gilbert sat down with the Dean after her tutorial on Tradd Street to ask a few Qs on everything from growing up the daughter of a diplomat in Afraica, to entertaining in historic homes around the world -- including how Pollak's distinctive entertaining style has been shaped by her large family, lifetime of travel, and love for Charleston.

Read the full post HERE on The Roads Travelled (and contact us to book a cooking class of your own!)

Pat Conroy & Cocktail Parties for VIE Magazine

Suzanne Pollak

 Caroline Pollak, Pat Conroy, and Suzanne Pollak.

Caroline Pollak, Pat Conroy, and Suzanne Pollak.

If you missed Suzanne Pollak's piece upon the passing of legendary Pat Conroy -- a touching recount of her time spent cooking and co-authoring his cookbook -- you will find it recently published in VIE Magazine, followed by the official Academy Guide to Cocktail Party Attire.

Read the full articles HERE & HERE (respectively) via VIE! This month, look for Suzanne's notes on hosting, whether a society ball or an intimate dinner for a few friends. Coming Soon...

Thank You Elite Traveler

Suzanne Pollak

  Photo courtesy of Elite Traveler

Photo courtesy of Elite Traveler

What a treat to receive an honorable mention in a recent Guide to Charleston on Elite Traveler, for all those looking to get 'Mannerly,' Academy-style! As they put it: "There's nothing like gracious Southern hospitality. Join author Suzanne Pollak...for a round of customized cooking classes, social survival tutorials, and general throwing-a-party-the-Charleston-way advice. A rip-roaring good time, this immersion in culture is time well spent."

Well spent, indeed! Read the full article HERE on EliteTraveler.com...

Proper Attire Etiquette for Martha Stewart Weddings

Suzanne Pollak

The Dean returned to Martha Stewart Weddings (yet again) for advice on what to wear, and what not to wear, to a wedding. Her advice follows:

 To top or not to top? That is the question...

To top or not to top? That is the question...

Most weddings are at four or five PM.  Black tie is sort of tacky for a wedding, and old-fashioned, but hey -- each to his own. White Tie, unless you are royalty, seems a bit vulgar. If the wedding is black tie, the wedding must be after six. No dinner jackets before six!

A Few Hard and Fast Rules

  1. Women should never wear black or white to a wedding. No LBD = little black dress. Black shows disrespect, as if sorry to be in attendance.
  2. No matter what the dress code, ladies don’t have to wear a long dress ever. Traditionally you wouldn’t be in a long dress before the sun went down. Rules have loosened though. Women can wear a cocktail dress even for white tie.
  3. Velvet in the winter, silk in the summer...
  4. No ball gowns (even for white or black tie.) Think about it. You will have to sit in a pew. Evening gown instead.
  5. The purse should be tiny. Certainly never show up with a weekend purse.
  6. Don’t upstage the bride. Don't get sexy at weddings. It’s not appropriate. It’s a religious event.
  7. Men have very few rules so less trouble breaking them. They have an easier uniform. Men’s wardrobe is dinner jacket, suit, blue blazer. (They can travel the world with those three items and always be appropriate.)
  8. If you want to be elegant, you have to be comfortable. Simpler is better.

Decoding the Dress Code

  • Black Tie optional: wear or not.
  • Creative Black tie: God only knows what that means! Just dress up, like when you were a little girl. For a guy it means have fun. Wear a snazzy tie. Choose a tux in a different color, maybe navy. Add a velvet jacket.
  • Semi-formal: fairly dressy. Basically girls can wear the same dress for any occasion but more jewelry at night. Girls can get away with absolutely anything -- your call as to what you would feel comfortable in. Men wear a dark suit.
  • Casual: low heels. A less dressy dress. Depends on where casual is. South Hampton casual is fairly dressy except when it’s on the beach. Then very casual.

And one other thing to think about…

Usually there is dancing at weddings so keep that in mind when choosing your shoes. Nothing more unattractive than a woman hobbling on heels. Hobbling is not sexy.

Read the full article HERE!

"A Delicious Idea" with Lucy Cuneo

Suzanne Pollak

The Dean thoroughly enjoyed making a Valentine's Day lunch with the inimitable Lucy Cuneo, including a rustic roasted pepper tart and Academy salad, featured over on her blog. Here's a little video of the kitchen action, edited by Lucy (and shot by her husband. : ) 

Read the full post, including recipes, HERE on lucycuneo.com. Thanks LC!

"Entertaining the Entertainers"

Suzanne Pollak

 Sometimes the most memorable house parties happen under dire circumstance.

Sometimes the most memorable house parties happen under dire circumstance.

The Dean's most recent column in VIE magazine is all about houseguests -- both having them and being one yourself. Her advice covers the gamut, from celebratory house parties to visiting a friend in need, plus how to schedule your time together (and apart, very important!) She offers suggestions for what to do and what to cook, how to behave and how to handle those who don't...

Read the full piece, along with so many other fun articles, HERE on VIE's site!

Thank You Virtuoso

Suzanne Pollak

BeachClub-Pool-1024x731.jpg

We loved reading Becca Hensley's review on The Virtuoso Life about her recent stay at The Beach Club at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina -- particularly the bit recommending a course with the Dean! Hensley writes:

Want to fit in like a real Charlestonian? A cookbook author and the co-founder of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, Suzanne Pollak is an expert in decorum. Her engaging, hands-on cooking courses, etiquette seminars, and party planning forums will make a Southerner of you, yet, even the brashest of Yankees.

Read the full article HERE...

On Collections

Suzanne Pollak

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The Dean is preparing a heartfelt goodbye to a beloved porcelain collection in the New Year, as her Quianlong period 'tea cultivation' dishes go up for auction at Christie's on Thursday. She writes:

Chinese export porcelain, doorstops, clocks, highboys, bed linens, copper pots, cookbooks, antique dining tables – round, oval, rectangle and square – I collected them all. One of the most bizarre diplomatic transactions of the 18th century occurred when Augustus of Saxony choose 127 pieces of Chinese porcelain from the Palace of Charlottenburg, in Berlin, and gave in return 600 giants of the ‘required height’ collected from his provinces...as if the ancestors of today’s NBA players were traded for porcelain! Augustus of Saxony had what was then called ‘porcelain sickness’. He emptied his country’s treasures to the dealers in Paris and Amsterdam.
I admit I too had the ‘porcelain sickness’. When I was just 20 years old, I went on a tour of Bassett Hall in Williamsburg, Virginia. I walked into Mr. Rockefeller’s butler’s pantry and saw his stacks of china (a different set for every day of the year.) My younger self thought, "What a great idea." Mr Rockefeller and I could have been cousins. But now I know that the only thing better than acquiring the collection is getting rid of it so new collectors can enjoy it. I loved assembling the collection but I do not mourn for what I have sold. 

There are so many benefits of collections, aside from the pure sporting pleasure of acquisition as you hunt down pieces at auctions and in catalogues. It may seem that you need to be an expert to get started, but that is not the case. Don't be intimidated -- start by researching what you are interested in. Any budding interest takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and explore. 

Of course, as with any other hobby, there are pitfalls of collecting too. It may be easy to go overboard, or you may fall under the illusion that you are an instant expert. (You're not!) It's wise to get your purchases vetted by more than one person. Otherwise you are like a sitting duck to predatory dealers. 

But a decades long collecting habit leads to self-confidence and untold pleasures once you awaken a new intellectual pursuit. You will learn an object's place in history when you discover its provenance and assess its condition. Beyond your initial attraction, you will develop a keen instinct for precious objects and come to a deeper understanding of color, proportion, patina, constuction, and the difference in quality when something is handmade rather than mass-produced. You will likely find yourself in corners of museums you've never explored before, and meeting new people with similar interests. The passion of collecting quickly becomes an everyday thought.

 

Thanks (again!) Martha Stewart Weddings

Suzanne Pollak

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We're blushing, thanks to a third appearance on the Martha Stewart Weddings site -- and in great company, to boot!

To quote: "There's nothing like authentic southern hospitality, but Pollak's Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits will teach you how to replicate it back home. With entertaining, cooking, and etiquette classes, the Academy's curriculum shows you how to 'use every inch of your house,' says Pollak. It's a fun (and useful!) place if you're about to move into your first home, but it's also the perfect activity for a bachelorette party. You can all take turns throwing picture-perfect house parties when you return home." 

Read the full article HERE. (And contact us to book a private class with the Dean!)

Thank You Orbitz!

Suzanne Pollak

It's officially Oyster Season in the Lowcountry! For an insider's guide to the beauty of bivalves and Charleston's rich Winter traditions featuring them, turn to the Academy. The Dean does a class all about Oysters, available to book through the Restoration hotel -- a unique holiday office party, visiting guest retreat, or gift for extended family.

Read more via Orbitz.com below, and link to full article HERE...

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The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, South Carolina
At this hotel, produce isn’t the only type of food grown and harvested. In fact, the employees center on finding, roasting, and even slurping oysters and making sure guests can partake in this seafood bliss with a little guidance. The hotel holds an oyster class conducted by a Southern etiquette expert, Suzanne Pollak, dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. She provides an insider’s guide to choosing the best seasonal oysters in Charleston, then teaches participants how to make a world class Oyster Pan Roast in a 1740s South of Broad house. Guests will take home recipes from the Dean and their own oyster knife for future “Southern style” oyster roasts.