The Eight Cooks Who Saved My Life

Here are snapshots of the women in Spoon Fed and links to the original articles I wrote about them.


Marion Cunningham

Born: Los Angeles, California, 1922

Most Famous For: Rewriting the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and spending 11 years as James Beard’s assistant. She was also a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, a one-time food talk show host and the mother confessor to many of the people in the California cuisine movement.

The First Time We Met: I drove to her house in Walnut Creek, California, to interview her in 1999. She had just released “Learning to Cook.”

Greatest Contribution to Food: A champion of home cooking

The Lesson: You can start over whenever you want.

The Story That Inspired the Chapter: