Marcella Hazan passed away yesterday.
She was my Julia Child. I never really liked Italian food, until I discovered Larry Mindel's restaurant Ciao in San Francisco. It was like stepping into Italy. There is no way to really cook Italian style without having come to Italy.
Marcella was my first Italian teacher, through her cookbooks.
Marcella's rough and tough way of preserving the true recipes, always came off strong.
When I moved to Italy, I got it.
She was our Italian mamma, no messing around. Her backround in biology made her recipes precise.
If she said something, she meant it. I loved her book, Marcella Says, the title says it all!
I was lucky to work at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco for 7 years and the owner Jim Nassikas was one of the first to offer cooking classes with famous chefs. The hotel hosted Julia Child, James Beard and Marcella Hazan and Marian Cunningham. They were all an inspiration to me.
When I moved to Italy, I decided I wanted to offer cooking classes for those that could not take a full week with Marcella, Lorenza dei Medici or Fulvia Sesani, the Queens of the Italian cooking schools.
Thirty years later, I am now ready to offer full week programs.
Mille Grazie Marcella---
When I am in the kitchen, you are always over my shoulder!
From a FB note from Marcella:
"There is indeed something about the romagnoli. They have a short fuse, they are combative, irascible, passionate, and of course with authoritarian tendencies. It's no accident that Mussolini and Fascism came from Romagna, but the maledetti toscani took it and ran with it. But we, unlike some Tuscans and some American writers, are not mean-spirited, and while I may sometimes speak with a sharp tongue, I don't believe I have ever been mean to or spread mean gossip about anyone. I have spent my entire teaching and writing career focusing on simplicity and careful cooking. You can't achieve the former without practicing the latter. The focus of many of my students, however, was on eliminating any effort - why do we have to stir the risotto, why can't we trim artichokes with a scissor, why do we have to sauté all the vegetables for a minestrone separately - and at the same time on coming up with something "creative". How I loathe that word.
You are, no doubt, a sweeter-tempered woman, my dear Judy, and I envy you for it. Ma non aver paura di me se abbaio. Non mordo."
( don't be afraid of me if i bark. I don't bite)
Just found this great cartoon on a tribute to Marcella-- forgot about it!
Mille Grazie a Victor, her love, who translated all of Marcella's works for us!
more on Marcella:
and in her honor--- Mrs Wheelbarrow is organizing a virtual dinner with Marcella October 26th! D
Break out your cookbooks and come!