Home > Here's to Us(5)

Here's to Us(5)
Elin Hilderbrand

Buck found another canceled check, this one for forty thousand dollars and made out to Ellery’s school, along with a check to the co-op board of Hayes’s building in Soho. Buck had wondered how Hayes had been able to afford such a place, and now he knew: Deacon had paid for it. From the looks of things, Deacon had also been cutting a check to Angie every now and again—three thousand dollars here, twelve hundred dollars there—with a memo line that read Buddy fun money. And there was a canceled check for thirty thousand dollars made out to someone named Lyle Phelan, which also went in the question-mark pile.

Even with all that cash out the door, Buck was puzzled. Deacon took only one dollar in salary from the Board Room in order to keep down operating costs, which were, famously, the most outlandish of any restaurant in the country. But the residuals from Deacon’s two TV shows—Day to Night to Day with Deacon and Pitchfork—should have kept him solvent despite all his expenses.

Then Buck came across the wire transfer, dated January 3. A million dollars from Deacon’s brokerage account with Merrill Lynch to… the Board Room, LLC, the company that owned the restaurant. Buck remembered Deacon telling him at Christmastime that he’d had an investor pull out; it had been Scarlett’s uncle, the judge from Savannah. The judge—Buck had met him ten years earlier at the wedding—had gone to the Board Room for dinner, and apparently something had gone awry. Deacon had never told Buck exactly what happened, but the judge had called the very next day, saying he wanted his money back, pronto. And Deacon hadn’t argued.

Deacon had seemed panicked about the funding, but the following week he’d called Buck and said he’d found a new investor who shared Deacon’s vision. This guy is all in, Deacon had said. Vested.

The guy, Buck now knew, had been Deacon.

Buck discovered a life insurance policy worth a quarter of a million dollars, with Scarlett and Ellery named as the beneficiaries. That would probably pay the rent on the Hudson Street apartment and the tuition at Ellery’s school for a couple more years. But Deacon’s beloved Nantucket house was going into foreclosure; the bank would repossess it at the end of the month unless the estate could come up with $436,292.19, the sum total of the amount overdue on the three mortgages, plus the liens. And then, even if someone paid what was owed in arrears, there was still a $14,335 monthly payment to grapple with.

Buck had never seen such a mess!

He had contacted Laurel and Hayes, and Belinda and Angie—and he’d left a detailed message for Scarlett’s mother, Prue, to pass along to Scarlett, who refused to take Buck’s calls. They would gather on Nantucket to spread Deacon’s ashes in Nantucket Sound, and then it would be Buck’s job to inform Deacon’s family that unless someone stepped forward to save the house, the halcyon days of their island summers were coming to an end.



“Pirate” Oakley


Deacon’s Stupid Word List

1. protégé

2. literally

3. half sister (brother)

4. oxymoron

5. repartee

6. nifty

7. syllabus

8. parched

9. brouhaha

10. doggie bag

11. giddy

12. unique



New York Post, Saturday, May 7, 2016

Popular Television Chef Deacon Thorpe Found Dead at Age 53

Nantucket, Massachusetts—Deacon Thorpe, 53, chef-owner of the Board Room, in midtown Manhattan, and host of the popular Food Network program Pitchfork, died of a heart attack at his summer cottage Thursday evening, according to Nantucket police chief Edward Kapenash.

Thorpe arrived on Nantucket Island on a Thursday-morning ferry, officials at the Steamship Authority confirmed. He was found by island resident JP Clarke on Friday morning.

“I stopped by to pick him up,” Mr. Clarke said. “We had plans to go fishing.”

Mr. Clarke said that the front door to the house, named American Paradise, was standing open and that after calling numerous times for Mr. Thorpe, he entered. He found Mr. Thorpe’s body slumped over a picnic table on the back deck. Mr. Clarke called 911. The island’s medical examiner concluded that Thorpe had died of a heart attack sometime the evening before.

Deacon Thorpe graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 1985. After serving in externships at the Odeon and the Union Square Café in New York City, Thorpe landed the chef de cuisine position at Solo, the landmark restaurant that helped turn the Flatiron District into the dining hotbed it is today. Thorpe worked at Solo from 1986 to 1988. During his tenure, he was offered a half-hour late-night television show on ABC entitled Day to Night to Day with Deacon, which is widely considered to be the forebear of reality TV. Day to Night to Day with Deacon ran for thirty-six episodes, from 1986 to 1989. In 1989, Thorpe left New York for Los Angeles. In 1990, he became the executive chef of the Raindance restaurant chain, overseeing outposts in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. While at Raindance, Thorpe developed the recipe for his signature clams casino dip. In 2004, it was named recipe of the year by Gourmet magazine. In an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Thorpe made the dip, and Letterman said, “I literally cannot stop eating this. What’s in it?” To which Thorpe famously replied, “A teaspoon of crack cocaine.” This elicited an angry statement from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America accusing Thorpe of “glamorizing drug use.” Thorpe later apologized. In 2005, Thorpe was tapped to host a show on the Food Network entitled Pitchfork, and in 2007, the show was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program. Also in 2007, Thorpe opened his own restaurant, the Board Room, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which was distinguished in Bon Appétit as being the most expensive restaurant in America. The nine-course menu changes weekly according to what is fresh and available from the twenty-seven local purveyors hand-selected by Chef Thorpe. Over half the courses are cooked over a hardwood fire—Chef Thorpe preferred using majestic hickory from Nova Scotia, which cost him north of five thousand dollars a week. Other signature touches at the Board Room include six-hundred-dollar cashmere throws available for each diner, and a menu of eighteen handcrafted cocktails created by his mixologist, David Disibio, who holds a doctorate in botany. The prix fixe nine-course dinner costs $525 per person, or $650 per person with cocktail and wine pairings. Frequent diners included George Clooney, Derek Jeter, and Bill Clinton.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted