Dishing with Good News Cafe's Carole Peck

 Carole in her kitchen. (All photos, except Good New Cafe photo, by Frank Rizzo.)

Carole in her kitchen. (All photos, except Good New Cafe photo, by Frank Rizzo.)

The mention of the made-up moniker, “Queen of Plates,” makes chef and restaurateur Carole Peck smile.

It’s not just because it speaks to the many dishes she has created in kitchens around the country, but also for her passion for collecting beautiful tableware. Many of her pieces are on display in her Woodbury home, a converted, three-story cider mill she shares with husband, French artist Bernard Jarrier-Cabernet.

 A piece of useful pottery that Carole made in high school.

A piece of useful pottery that Carole made in high school.

Their home is like a Carole Peck dish: natural, surprising and perfectly balanced. “Do you see how many oyster plates we own?” Peck says. “I can have 50 people for dinner and we all can have oysters. I love plates. At one point, I even wanted to open a plate business.”

It would have been just one more culinary notch to a long list of credits for the co-owner and chef of Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Woodbury. It’s an acclaimed place that attracts both celebs — Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hillary and Bill Clinton, among them — and the hoi polloi who appreciate her menus that celebrate the seasons with locally sourced and organic-as-possible food.

 Carole has a collection of miniature stoves. 

Carole has a collection of miniature stoves. 

Jarrier-Cabernet lights the kitchen fireplace on this frigid winter afternoon as Peck presents a serving of coconut cake with whipped boiled icing and raspberry coulis, along with slices of chocolate whiskey cake.

“Not every chef can bake,” she says, “but I’m a chef who knows how to bake.”

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 Photo: David W. Harple \ Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo

Photo: David W. Harple \ Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo

carolepeck4.jpg
 Artwork by Bernard.

Artwork by Bernard.

 Bernard and Carole.

Bernard and Carole.