Bettina's Take: Book Signing for My Beverly Hills Kitchen at Archivia

Photo courtesy of Peter Bacanovic

Elizabeth Lindemann and Caroline Dean

Cooking fans, rejoice! It's finally here—Alex Hitz's wonderful book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen, filled with awe-inspiring Southern recipes and invaluable tips on entertaining, Hitz-style.

Hitz is the warmest, most welcoming, most gracious host. He knows how to make it all seem effortless. Having been present more than once for the preparations, I know this is far from the truth. Every detail is painstakingly attended to, from individual ingredients in his biscuits, to the size of the candles in the beautiful candlesticks, to the shade of each petal in his flower arrangements. His genius lies in never letting on how hard he worked (he loves doing it), and making guests feel right at home.

Last night's book signing at Archivia for Hitz was packed. "Caroline (Dean) and I tried some of the recipes, they're amazing," said Ashley McDermott, stunning in Oscar de la Renta jacket. "We made the corn fritters with salmon, they were so good."

The books were flying off the shelves. " I can't wait to give My Beverly Hills Kitchen as gifts this Christmas," said Lisa Fine, in a black and gold embroidered Irving & Fine coat. The book is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Ralph Rucci, Susan Fales-Hill, Peter Bacanovic, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Marina Rust, Tracy Snyder, Susan Gutfreund, Pierre Durand, Jamie Creel, Marco Scarani, Richard Story, Dennis Basso and Carolyne Roehm happily took copies home, before moving on to a celebratory buffet dinner at Annette Tapert's house, where dishes from the book (mushroom pie, spinach salad, Chicken Country Captain , pecan squares and brownies) were as fabulous as our hostess' welcome.

Next, Hitz will be touring the country, appearing on the Today show, and bringing his unique Southern charm to a venue near you. Miss him at your own risk.