How do you know a cook is worth her salt?


When her recipes are subsumed into the mythos of the domicile.

Some had Julia Child as their mentor. I had Ms. Hazan. And apparently I’m in good company…

(It’s true, too, what she says about the necessity of adding milk to mellow the meat you use to make the Bolognese!)


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    How did you discover her? My introduction came, of course, when Nieto had our section to his home, and served us her organ meat stew, and read aloud from Classics of Italian Cooking about how wonderful it was. We, alas, were not convinced.

    My proper introduction came, I think, from Horton, who spoke of it as the one cookbook that a person needed to own.

    She brought joy to many. God rest her soul.

    • In grad school, our mutual friend Mr. Keating decided “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” would be a good wedding anniversary gift. He was thinking for the wife; I was thinking for me. Well, in the end, of course, I won – one of the few rare victories of JOB since 1994 – and of course it was a victory for Mrs. JOB anyway because, well, what wife doesn’t want a husband who cooks? Well, yuh-eah!

      I second Horton’s wisdom, at least in reference to ECIC if not CIC – and in fact Mr. Keating stated something very similar when he presented us with our own copy.

      I converted her diced tomato, parsley and red pepper with shrimp bruschetta into a pasta sauce (add one can of crushed toms to every three cans of diced). It is a regular Friday night staple.

      Also, like many I assumed Italian food was merely a synonym for pasta.


      Her roasts and stews and soups bring the audience to their feet (and then quickly to their seats) when served at Chez O’Brien.

      Great. Now I’m hungry and my kitchen is 50 miles away…


      • Matthew Lickona says

        Apologies. It was ECIC that Horton referenced. I bought it for D, but alas, I was thinking of me.

        • That’s the thing about cookbooks – they tend to automatically set up a dependent-co-dependent relationship which is not necessarily unhealthy….


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