You may know her as the world’s scariest boss from her stints on reality series’ such as The Hills, The City, Kell on Earth, but that’s just the face Kelly Cutrone shows to the world. Privately, she’s more domestic goddess than holy terror. On the weekends, Cutrone forgets about her job as founder of PR/marketing firm People’s Revolution and conjures her inner 50s housewife, whipping up gourmet meals—albeit it with a “punk rock” attitude—and spending quality time with her daughter, Ava.
Fresh off a recent book tour for her latest release, Normal Gets You Nowhere, and on the phone from her offices in NYC, the very warm and funny Cutrone took time to share her perfect Saturday with Chatelaine.com.
For me, the perfect day starts outside of New York City. I have a country house in a small town on the Hudson River that I bought last year with my MTV money. Like, ‘yeah what’s up, I’m Kelly Cutrone!’ I thought it was kind of pathetic that I had been so successful and yet I had never owned anything. It’s not because I’m not a big saver it’s just because it’s a very expensive lifestyle just to live. You know, I think there’s this perception like ‘Oh, she’s so rich.’ But meanwhile, I’m plugging along. So I bought this really beautiful six-acre, 1920s English cottage, with a guesthouse on the property and this really interesting, deep creek that can be dammed.
Even though the house calls out for me to do stuff to it every day, the perfect day is just waking up there with my daughter and our dogs and going outside. Then it’s great just to make coffee and have Ava [Cutrone’s 9 year-old daughter] not nag at me for something.
I would go outside and cut some fresh flowers and then come in and make Ava a really nice breakfast: Challah French toast and some fruit. I would make some lemonade with mint from the garden. After that, we would lie in the hammock; later we would hop in the car and check out an antiques store.
I have a serious antiquing problem. I don’t think it’s rehab-level, but I could open my own shop, let’s put it that way. I come from a really working-class family and my grandmother had this one bowl, and one time I went to her house and she was writing on the bottom of it and I said ‘Grandma, what are you doing?’ and she said, ‘Well, you know that I’m going to die soon and Italian people they like to fight over things when people die so I’m going to put everybody’s names on the bottom of my stuff and I want you to have this bowl.’ When my grandmother died I got this bowl, which is from Hall, a 1940s company that made bakeware and cookware. They have this pattern called the autumn leaf, so I started collecting it. That’s finished, so now I collect pink Depression glass. I collect antique and Najavo and Mexican cuffs. I have a serious chair collection. I have Josef Hoffmann chairs—these amazing black-and-white chairs that used to be in a mental hospital. I collect photography, everybody from Melvin Sokolsky to David LaChappelle to antique silver enamel photography. I have a ridiculous linen, tablecloth and pillow case collection, quilts from the 30s. I even have some really cool vintage Hudson’s Bay Company blankets. I have a serious problem!
Then we would stop and play The Addams Family pinball machine, which we find really funny because I pretend to be Morticia and [Ava] pretends to be Wednesday. We would play some air hockey too.
On the way home, we would go to the farmer’s market and pick up some fresh local food to cook dinner. I’m an amazing cook—I’m also very humble! People who know me really well know that I’m an amazing cook. Somebody I use to date—he’s my eco-date I recycle him all the time—he said to me ‘You know what your problem is? You come off like Dear Abby meets Keith Richards, when you’re totally Betty Crocker.’
But in saying that, we don’t measure anything; we don’t have recipes. I do this whole thing I call ‘punk rock kitchen’ at my house. I just go to farmer’s markets—I try not to shop at grocery stores—and I just see what’s there and then come back and try and cook something with what I find. It’s really freestyle, really fun.
This weekend we made this really killer cilantro and chopped radicchio, parsley, celery endive salad with an olive oil and Dijon dressing and a little bit of honey on it, and some crushed nuts. It was really good. We cook all the time.
After dinner, we would sit on the porch and play cards or a game and just be really normal. I mean, I guess not normal—I can’t really use that word anymore since I wrote a book called Normal Gets You Nowhere—but I like to say my perfect day is like a ‘chiller’ that’s sung to the tune of Thriller—‘Chiller, Chiller night.’ [It’s perfect] if it doesn’t involve anything exotic or cool or trendy—those are things I associate with work.
I don’t really watch that much TV. But I like to watch documentaries, or read with Ava or play a game. I love [to watch] anything from a doc about Beatrice Wood or Andre Cartier Bresson to something from the Dalai Lamai. My daughter is really obsessed with black history in America now so we watched something about Ida B. Wells. The Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never is a big documentary at my house! I know everything about Justin Bieber because my daughter has Bieber fever. His middle name is Drew. He’s from Stratford. He was born in London. Discovered by Usher. His mother’s name is Pattie; his father’s name is Jeremy. His favourite colour is purple. He loves to play hockey. He was born at 12:56 am on March 1st, which was a Tuesday. Any more questions?
We usually go to bed together. I’m usually really hungry for time with her. But sometimes if she falls asleep I might go and sit outside and check out the stars with the dog. But it’s kind of spooky out there!