Photography by  Katrin Bjork | @katrinbjork

Meet Rebecca Miller Ffrench: an impressive multi-hyphenate: cookbook author, recipe developer, exquisite wedding-cake maker, writer, and events planner. Rebecca’s work has appeared in numerous national publications such as ShapeReal Simple and Martha Stewart Weddings. She has also worked in-house at Conde Nast’s Traveler, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and Town + Country Magazine, at a time when in-print magazines were in their prime. 

For the past twenty years Rebecca has split her time between NYC and the Catskills. It was the upstate country-lifestyle and her love for entertaining, people, and food that were the catalyst to starting  The Upstate Table. The concept started with pop-up events and in 2020 Rebecca opened the doors to a permanent home for The Upstate Table in the historic Fuller building in Kingston, NY (where we love being their neighbor!). When you walk into The Upstate Table Studio you immediately feel transported and relaxed! Rebecca has an innate skill of effortlessly hosting with warmth, whether it’s a gathering with our mutual friends, a corporate retreat, or, if she is opening her doors to the community with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project.

With Mother’s Day this month, we are honored to feature Rebecca and her two beautiful, talented daughters in her light-filled, stunning, Upstate Table studio. During an afternoon photoshoot, joyful, “Friday-feeling” mother and daughters moments were truly captured in a world second nature to their family: gathered in the kitchen, around the table, or in a relaxed entertaining setting. Read on to learn more of Rebecca’s path, inspirations, and life-values...


Right to Left: Rebecca wears the Becky Cardi | Camilla wears the Nina Polo Sweater in Neon Lime | Anna wears the Helene Top + Carrie Stripe knit-set


Can you share some of your background and how your career path led you into the food space and becoming an impressive multi-hyphenate: cookbook author, recipe developer, writer, and events planner. a food writer?

Thank you Catherine, that is so kind. Since I can remember, I’ve loved creating, whether it’s with paper and scissors, fabric, or food. Some of my fondest childhood memories are making mud pies in the backyard for my family.

 Writing is something that comes naturally to me as well. I always have a thousand thoughts whirling in my brain, and writing helps me thoughtfully express those ideas. I never imagined I’d work in food. I always thought I’d somehow work with words or as a journalist. My first job was a fact-checker at Town & Country magazine, then my career evolved to incorporate more food-related content. Over the years, I’ve dreamed of a space where I could bring people together to connect over food, and so The Upstate Table was born.

You worked at numerous national publications such as Condé Nast Traveler, Cookie, and Martha Stewart Omni media when the magazine world was in its prime. What were some of your favorite highlights from this career period and what skills did you nurture the most that you have carried forth.

I grew up in the age of print media and was obsessed with magazines. Flipping through the glossy pages every month was a door to exotic places and beautifully designed spaces. Working for these renowned brands was a dream. They were the gold standard in publishing and the women I worked for were very good at what they did—every day was like professional bootcamp. 

It was also a time of very healthy expense accounts and even as an assistant, we had great perks, from sushi lunches to cars home if we worked past 7pm (which was often!). One of my favorite assignments was testing sleds in Iceland with my kids. Maybe that’s why magazines are over, lol. Learning to edit and fact-check are probably the two skills that have helped me most. Even though grammar seems like a thing of the past, I value it for clear communication.


Right to Left: Rebecca wears the Iris Sweater | Camilla wears the Tasha Crop Jacket + Iola Crochet Tank in Ivory | Anna wears the Luna Cardi in Ivory/Tomato + Sally Skirt in Ivory


 You have written four cookbooks is there one that is a favorite and why? You also co-write books – can you talk to this experience and how it differs from your own books/style?

My first cookbook, 
SWEET HOME (Kyle Books 2013), is perhaps my favorite because it is about preserving family history through recipes. It’s a collection of many desserts from my family and friends so it’s very personal. Sadly that book is now out of print.

Writing cookbooks is only half the job, selling them is the other half, and to me, much more difficult. I love the recipe development and telling stories, which led me to co-writing. At the moment, I actually enjoy it more than writing my own books. I adore the collaboration (writing can be quite isolating) and getting to bring someone else’s vision to life—plus I don’t have to worry about selling the book! There are many who have built tremendous social media platforms, and publishing houses want a part of it, so it’s a win-win. I get to write, cook, and tell stories, and my authors get to sell. Don’t get me wrong, my authors work really hard. They write and develop too. I see my job as a doula, I’m there to help birth their babies. My most recent collab was with Halle Burns (@ballehurns on TikTok). At 22 she has built a huge following with her viral vegan recipe videos. It’s really impressive.to see how she balanced college and her social media work. I also learn from my authors. Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citaralla, always teased that I should be paying him instead of him paying me because he taught me so much about seafood.



When did you start The Upstate Table and what was the Catalyst for this?

I started The Upstate Table in 2016 with the idea that I would host pop-up food-related events in the area to bring people together, sharing the experience of living in the Catskills. Human connection is more important than ever, and to me, there are few things better than exchanging ideas and laughs over a good meal.


In 2020 The Upstate Table took a permanent space in the historic Fuller Building, Kingston, NY. How has it been to have a home here for your brand and can you share what you offer in this space?

I live in Phoenicia and my first few pop-up collabs were with Tim Trojian and Eliza Clark at 
Foxfire Mountain House.

 It was 2016, and they had just opened and were starting to get booked with weddings so I was looking for other venues. A space became available in Kingston in 2017 and I was three days away from signing a lease when Sean Nutley (now a real estate broker but then co-owner of Bluecashew Kitchen Homestead) said that I shouldn’t sign anything until I’d talked with architect Scott Dutton, owner and landlord of The Fuller Building. It was the most fortuitous meeting. Scott showed me a ground floor space with the most incredible light—there are 7 large windows). The initial space I was about to sign on fell through because of terms, so I called Scott immediately, “is that ground floor space still available?” And it was. At that point it was an open space with a gravel floor and a backhoe. It took almost three years to complete the build out (of course the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the timeframe) and I moved in July 2020 and opened my doors December 2020 for cooking workshops, events, and photo shoots. (I also make wedding cakes from our commercial kitchen.)

 Scott has built a creative hub in Kingston that is such an invigorating place to work. I always quote you Catherine in regards to being a part of Fuller, “I just pinch myself every time I’m here.”


Left to Right: 
Rebecca wears the Luna Cardi in Multi-Color | Anna wears the Sarah + Rebecca Crochet Knit-Set | Camilla wears the Helene Top + Carrie Tube Skirt Knit-Set in Tomato


We have loved observing your work with the urban educational farm hosted in your studio: Kingston YMCA Farm Project. Can you share how you have worked with the youth development program that is open to 14-18 year olds and what results you have observed from this important initiative? 

One of my greatest joys is getting to work with the teens through the YMCA Farm Project, where youth run a farm using organic 
methods to grow food for our community (the farm is just behind the Fuller building). The program empowers teens to take action on environmental and social justice concerns through hands-on work.

During winter, the program runs a cooking crew and the teens often cook in our studio. In the past we've written a cookbook, which is still for sale at their weekly farmstand and at Rough Draft Books in Kingston. We also opened a pop-up a restaurant one year, which was open to the public and was loads of fun.

 Watching the group of teens develop over the course of four years has been so heartening to me, seeing their thoughtful, hard-working approach to life gives me great hope for our future. 

 I also work closely with them on their annual Summer Celebration fundraiser, and this year's takes place on June 18, 2024 at the farm. It's a wonderful time to meet the teens and learn more about them and the program.


 Your daughter Camilla has been a collaborative partner in The Upstate Table with photography and branding etc. How have you worked together?

I am extremely fortunate that my daughter Camilla enjoys the creative process as much as I do. From the time she was ten she would assist me at cooking demos (don’t tell the labor board), and it has evolved from there. She designed my first logo on Makr in middle school and has continued to support my brand with her artwork and entrepreneurial creativity, from calligraphy to designing my website and teaching, She’s truly a Renaissance gal. I am extremely grateful that the whole family is supportive of the business. Anna has worked many events and Jim, my husband, has a strong sense for business and is my 24/7 sounding board and keeps me focused.. 


Rebecca wears the Luna Cardi in Multi-Color with her own jean.


You’ve had a house in the Catskills for 25 years. What brought you upstate and how has that shaped your lifestyle and how you have raised your girls over the years?

I was an editor for Fodor’s Travel Guides updating the New York guidebook, and that work took my husband and I all over New York. We love the Adirondacks for its nature and dreamed of a house there. It was just a tad too far from NYC though. One weekend we stumbled across Shandaken when I was working on the book. We found a 19th-century clapboard house in a seven-mile valley with a rambling creek and the most alluring stone fireplace that abutted state land—we were sold.

 My husband and I, who met skiing, have always loved spending time together outdoors. It didn’t even register that Belleayre Mountain was only twenty minutes away when we bought the house.

 As soon as our daughters were old enough to don skis, we spent almost every winter weekend at the mountain, and still do. Our daughters raced, and still love skiing today. They also love hiking and being outside. Nature has become my church.

Right to Left: Camilla wears the Helene Top + Carrie Skirt in Tomato | Rebecca wears the Luna Cardi in Multi-Color | Anna wears the Sarah Top + Rebecca Crochet Pant set.


What are a few of your favorite things to do or places to go in the Catskills?

Honestly, one of my favorite places to spend time is our backyard. We are surrounded by so much wildlife and beauty that I only need to step outside, inhale the deep scent of pine and often burning wood, and am transported to a place of serenity. We are surrounded by hiking trails, and just down the road is a trail that leads to Giant Ledge in Big Indian. I like dipping in the stream, skiing, most anything outdoors. I also love visiting special places like Ravenwood
, Opus 40 or Art Omi, but truly, I’m really happy at home, puttering around, cooking and spending time with family and friends.


What are some of your favorite ways you enjoy unwinding and having Mother/Daughter time?

I sound like a broken record, but I love getting to go on hikes and walks with the girls. I also love traveling with them. They both are such curious explorers and eaters and I enjoy their company, insight, and laughs


Can you share a recipe that you have enjoyed cooking together with your daughters?

On Mother’s Day the girls usually make me a decadent breakfast, and it often includes a Dutch Baby pancake filled with berries and topped with a luscious fruit compote. You can get our recipe HERE

What is a series/movie/book you just read or watched that you loved?   

I am currently reading and very much enjoying GET THE PICTURE (Viking 2024) by Bianca Bosker, which is an entertaining peek into the art world. I am also reading STRANGERS TO OURSELVES (Picador 2022) by Rachel Aviv on a quest to better understand mental health. (I always have a few books going at once.)
Slow Horses is also a series we've been watching (OMG I love Gary Oldman's character). Camilla and I also sneak in episodes of telenova La Reina del Sur when we can (my husband will have nothing to do with it). We say it's for our Spanish, ha.

In a few words how would describe your daughters? and how would they describe you?

Both my daughters are gifts—I feel so fortunate to have their love and friendship. 

Anna, my oldest, can light up a room with her smile and humor. She is extremely loyal to those she cares about and is a very good friend. It’s really fun watching her follow her passion for fashion and making a career of it—she is working so hard. And man can that girl make me laugh! I just love hanging out with her.

 Camilla, my youngest, envelops those around her with kindness and love. She is very collaborative and generous with her friends.  From textiles to canvases, to photography I love witnessing her evolving artistic endeavors—her creative mind amazes me. Getting to create with Camilla, whether it’s cooking or crafting, is one of my favorite ways to spend time with her.


Anna and Camilla: how would you describe your Mom in a few words?

AF: She’s the most loving and fun mother you could ask for—and sometimes a little psycho (but only in the best ways).

CF: Optimistic, multi-faceted, hostess.

She’s the best hostess, caring for people and making things special. I’ve always appreciated the care she puts into holidays, whether it’s flowers and pastries on the breakfast table for my birthday or decorating the house with pine for Christmas.

Left to Right: Rebecca wears the Simone Color-Block Dress in Tomato, Taffy, + Sand | Camilla wears Layla Stripe Sweater in Ivory/Tomato with her own jean | Anna wears Tia Tank + Sally Skirt in Ivory


We love when our knitwear is enjoyed across generations. What does the ELEVEN SIX brand mean to you and your daughters?

RMF: When my girls started asking if they could borrow my ELEVEN SIX pieces, it underscored how special the collections are. The girls really don’t borrow anything else with that frequency. I really do feel something special when I wear an ELEVEN SIX sweater or bottom—maybe it’s the design, or the quality, or the fit, or all of it. The pieces feel like they are designed and made with love and care, which I don’t often feel in today’s world of fast fashion.

AF: ELEVEN SIX brings my mother’s, my sister’s and my closest together. We are constantly borrowing and “stealing” each other’s sweaters, dresses, tops and pants. We each have our own distinct style, but our ELEVEN SIX sweaters are constantly on rotation between all of our closets. It truly is a collection built for a woman of any age with a range of styles.

CF: ELEVEN SIX is a frequently used name in our household—“Anna, can I wear your ELEVEN SIX top today?” Or, more often, “Mom, I’m wearing your ELEVEN SIX sweater. Thanks!” The pieces are so versatile for different occasions as well as ages; I love that I can wear one of my mom’s sweaters out to dinner with friends and get just as many compliments as she would. I also love sharing with those who notice the pieces that they are all artisan-made, with care that matches the quality of each item. I know I’ll have my ELEVEN SIX pieces forever and, while children are certainly far off in my future, I can’t wait to get the adorable little ELEVEN SIX sweaters for them eventually.



Which are your and your daughters favorite ELEVEN SIX pieces and why?

RMF: Oh gosh, that’s like asking if I have a favorite daughter (which I most certainly don’t!). I love them all. Funny enough, one of the pieces I’ve been wearing most lately is one of Anna’s—it’s a fringed Luella cardigan sweater. I can put it on with most any bottom and feel dressed up. The lighter, cotton-knits like the Becky Cardi are great for working in the studio because I get warm cooking. I also wear my Layla sweaters when traveling because of their perfect weight and versatility. The striped collared Aria polo sweater from a past spring collections has also become a weekly staple (Anna and I have been trading that on the regular). I feel extremely fortunate to have such a beautiful collection of ELEVEN SIX PIECES.

 AF: I love every single piece I own, as well as the pieces my mother and sister have in their closets. I have styles that work better for warmer weather and others for cooler days. I am in love with my Tia tank and Sally skirt set. They are the softest knits and I truly won’t get my knitwear anywhere else!

 CF: My favorite piece is probably the cream Rebecca Crochet Pants, they have a triangular, almost art deco pattern with spaces between the stitching, they are the perfect summer piece—paired with sandals for a day out on the town or dressed up with heels for a night out. With that said, I feel so lucky to have the selection of ELEVEN SIX pieces from my own, my mom’s, and my sister’s closet!