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Cornelia Guest Launches 'Simple Pleasures'

Held at John Demsey's townhouse, the book launch party drew a crop of well-heeled and well-known New Yorkers.

Cornelia Guest seemed to be everywhere at once Wednesday night. “Come on in and get a drink,” said the seemingly ubiquitous hostess, who greeted what seemed like a never-ending stream of well-heeled old friends between camera flashes.

The party wasn’t actually thrown by Guest; it was in honor of her latest book, “Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining.”

“I’ve always loved to cook and I’ve always been tinkering around in the kitchen,” Guest said of her vegan cookbook. “Over the years I started writing down the recipes and here we are tonight.

Thrown by John Demsey, her friend and former roommate — more on that later — the party was held in his townhouse on New York’s Upper East Side, and drew the likes of Iris Apfel, Prince Dmitri of Yugoslavia, Bobbi Brown, Leonard and William Lauder, Eva Amurri Martino, Liliana Cavendish, Todd Romano, Mark Gilbertson, Phillip Bloch and Dennis Basso, to name a few.

“I’ve been friendly with Cornelia since she was 16 years old. We go way back,” said Demsey. “She actually lived here in the house for a while when she started writing the book.”

While the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. group president doesn’t share Guest’s talent for cooking, he reminisced about the socialite’s mother, C.Z.

“I was very close with her mother and I was very close her family,” he said.

“Cornelia is the daughter of an icon but she’s found her own voice.”

Carolina Herrera chimed in.

“I’ve known Cornelia all my life. I mean, all her life,” she said laughing. “This book is going to be very successful. Cornelia has a very good eye. Everything she does, she does it well.”

Partygoers were not only able to grab a signed copy of the book, but also sample some of Guest’s vegan creations, which made the rounds on silver trays.

“I’ve already made about a third of the recipes in the book and they are great,” said James Mischka, who posed for photos with Mark Badgley.

“Cornelia has been a muse for 20 years,” Badgley said. “She came to our first fashion show at the Bel-Air in Los Angeles. She has gorgeous style, and we love how she entertains.”

And with that, Guest swooped in seamlessly and handed the duo cocktails.