Stacey Abrams on the Secret Ingredient to Great Cheesecake

Welcome to Dream dinner partywhere we ask notable personalities to describe just that: the dinner party of their dreams.

If all you love more than reading a good novel on a lazy summer day, then you should think twice While righteousness sleeps. It’s “a top-notch legal thriller … that’s fast-paced and full of surprises,” according to someone who knows a thing or two about page flippers, bestselling author Scott Turow. But it wasn’t written by a repeated bestseller. It was written by none other than Stacey Abrams, founder of the Fair Fight constituency. When you consider how much she has on her plate, taking on the suppression of voters by day, and writing books by night, cooking is a pleasant change for others.

If you could have three guests at your ideal dinner party, who would they be?

Octavia Butler, an amazing science fiction writer. Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most intriguing politicians who went from mad segregationist to civil rights midwife. And Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek, captain of the USS Voyager. She must assemble her crew, work with her enemies, and maintain morale as she embarks on a seemingly endless journey to redemption.

You seem to love sci-fi based on the guest list, but your own books contain romance novels (written under a pseudonym) and you’re on your first legal thriller right now. Is there anything you can’t do?

My mother once said that I was an all-rounder and the master of nothing. So I thought this meant that I had to be a master of all trades. I totally missed the point of your admonition.

Where would that dinner be?

I would do it at my home because I really like to cook and because the conversation could get loud. When you’re in a private room in a restaurant, people are in and out. I would like to suggest: “Here we are in this safe space, without borders. Let’s talk.”

Break out one of those conversation starter games?

LBJ was known as a racing driver. Janeway isn’t shy; She will take her place. And then, from Octavia Butler’s letter, I can only imagine that she would ask really provocative questions that would lead to violent and heated arguments.

And what does the table look like?

I have this really nice set of plates that I think I got from Crate and Barrel. They are really pretty with an ombré pattern. When I have guests, I use that. I would do one Runners too. This makes a table feel nifty without being overly complicated. And then nice placemats that match the runner, but are not stuffy.

Lainie 90 inch yellow table runner

What are you cooking?

I would make romano with crusted chicken, a fried paillard with chicken crusted with romano cheese and panko. Asparagus risotto and a side of Haricots Verts. For dessert, I’d make a New York style cheesecake.

Is there a secret ingredient in your cheesecake?

I learned how to make cheesecake by reading the back of the Philadelphia cream cheese Box. Over time, I’ve perfected my recipe by watching Julia Child. And the pioneer does really interesting things with her cheesecake. So mine is a mixture of three.

Where do you go the day after dinner to relax?

When I’m really in a solemn mood, I go to Down down, an Italian restaurant in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta. They make these strozzapreti with ragù, it’s the most delicious thing I eat.

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