A Memoir-Cookbook You Must Have

Well I felt like a proud big sister all weekend about my buddy Alex Hitz making a big splash in The Wall by Golly Street Journal. Many of you probably fall upon the the paper’s Saturday Off Duty section like a teenager would Elvis’s room key–I do anyway–now that poor Elvis has left the building.

Alex Hitz in Wall Street Journal
Alex Hitz interviewed by Charlotte Moss for The Wall Street Journal. Look you can see his little head down there at the bottom. Next to it is a picture including Julia Child when she visited his Atlanta restaurant, Patio by the River.

As you’ve read in this space before, Alex has a memoir-slash-cookbook coming out October 2, and it’s gonna be great. I’ve read the memoir part and it’s wonderful and funny.  I’ve also been lucky enough to eat his cooking. The boy knows what he’s doing. The title, which you can order through his website, is My Beverly Hills Kitchen – Classic Southern Cooking With a French Twist. Now that is a lot going on right there. He has a big enough kitchen to handle it. And a big heart to go with it. And taste and style.

Alex Hitz dining room
Alex Hitz's Beverly Hills dining room. Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, via MyBeverlyHillsKitchen.com

Designer and writer Charlotte Moss gets Alex’s take on entertaining from his go-to dessert (Julia Child’s strawberry cobbler) to good manners, which “always pay off,” he says, “They are one of the things that cost nothing. I am afraid the world we live in doesn’t value these things as much as it should. What a shame!”

You can say that again.

Alex's pecan-crusted salmon
He's also a helluva cook. Alex's pecan-crusted salmon is one of his specialties. YUM. Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, via MyBeverlyHillsKitchen.com

Alex’s varied and interesting career includes a stint as a Broadway producer. Today, Moss writes, “his stage of choice is a kitchen island.” Woo honey if she only knew. One night after a party a bunch of us in various states of merriment (ahem) gathered around that very island, having mistaken it for Radio City Music Hall. Alex cranked up the tunes and …

Alex HItz and Hal Rubenstein rock a duet
Speaking of Elvis, Alex HItz and Hal Rubenstein rock a duet

Alex has a good voice and knows the words to every single song from the ’70s and every Broadway show. Seriously. (His stepfather was Robert Shaw, the great choral conductor.) In Style magazine fashion director Hal Rubenstein can sing, too. I do not, but that night I was this close to a recording contract. It was a SIGHT, as Alex would say. Not to mention a SOUND. My poor Cowboy was trying to go to sleep in an upstairs guest room and we kept him up for hours. I should probably not be reminding him of that with our wedding getting close.

The poor, defenseless whisk. When Alex isn't singing into it, he can whip up a mean souffle.

He is so cute.

Alex Hitz in kitchen, by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, via MyBeverlyHillsKitchen.com
Alex in his kitchen, rocking a Cuisinart, I mean bongo drum. Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, via MyBeverlyHillsKitchen.com.

Alex’s website links you to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And of course it is always great to go to your local bookstore. Mine in New York is Archivia Books, on Lexington Avenue, specializing in books on design, art, lifestyle, fashion, travel, and glamour in general. It’s fab.


  1. Good for you, Frances, for mentioning independent bookstores.
    Mine is McLean and Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Michigan.
    Their cookbook and decorating sections are simply wonderful as is the rest of this delightful place.
    Yours has become the email I go to first!
    Julie Norcross

  2. Ditto on Julie’s comment regarding independent booksellers. They are a dying breed. My all-time favorite (outside of Shakespeare and Co in Paris) is Lemuria in Jackson, MS.

  3. Frances, I love new cookbooks, love whisk microphones, love your blog, but Julie… love Petsokey Michigan…the most precious town perched on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan. Now your friend has given me a reason to return, because I also love independent book stores. That’s a lotta love in one blog! Thanks xo

  4. Oh, my! Definitely getting this book and yay, you, for promoting independent book stores which seem to be going the way of the dinosaurs, sadly. One I really enjoy visiting is near my office, Books & Books, in Coral Gables, Florida. It reminds me of the bookstores of my childhood. Love, love, love!

  5. If you are back in your home state the weekend of October 28th, come to “Art Outside the Box” when the Gregg Museum of Art & Design introduces the lovely Upjohn designed home on HIllsborough St. to the public. Over 50 interactive artists, musicians and food vendors have donated their time,talent and treats to this great cause. The Gregg is one of the few open museums in the world where you can wear “white gloves” and touch textiles, pottery or whatever suits your fancy. Been working on this project since March and its going to be loads of fun for all ages. 12-4pm,free, for all ages.

  6. i will DEFINITELY buy several of the books asap——–i do love your blog—but miss a few. (print all of your recipes and i have always loved your “special” voice)..also I am so happy for you and that you are soon going to be Mrs.Cowboy—i wish you great happiness. love adrienne

  7. I love your blog about Alex and his new book. I have read about it all in the WSJ, NY Social Diary and now the new Departures Mag! Cant wait to get the book.
    I would love to be on the list for your blog as well.
    XXXXX Sally

  8. Thanks for the tip. That pecan-crusted salmon certainly does look yum. I too love your blog and look forward to reading each day. Thanks for all you give. Maureen

  9. Yes! I grab the Off Duty section first; He got me at the paragraph about manners, so true. I’m reading Dearie; the latest book out on Julia; probably the fifth one i’ve read about her. oh, and this past weekend i dug out all the HBs and reread the Bee Cottage makeover; enjoyed it all over again.

  10. Frances
    You and Wall St. J. weekend have picked a winner..Am enjoying it to the hilt! Akso enthused to cook. Alex Hitz sure does it with a flair …. not a thud..Know your new husband likes your cookin.
    So hope Bee Cottage is not in trouble with Sandy, the storm.
    xo, Lynn

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