Colin Cowie opened his New York apartment (actually, make that penthouse) to a dozen or so food writers on a recent evening. The goal was to showcase the space, which he designed himself over a two-year period, as well as some of his favorite holiday recipes.

Following a few words of welcome, Colin took us on a tour of his three-level apartment. He took care to point out space-saving devices that work wonders when he's entertaining guests, including a smart set of rolling doors that hid both his serving area and kitchen.

He had a small team on hand to help move appetizers from his Electrolux-outfitted kitchen into his modern dining room, which contained enough nooks and crannies to hide his vast collection of glassware. In his words, he's "the Imelda Marcos of dishes." He prepared a spread of sausage rolls, toasted nuts, brandy cake, and pear cocktails.

To see how Colin does it and check out his recipes, read more.