Category Archives: Passages

Marion Cunningham 1922-2012

Marion Cunningham (February 7, 1922 – July 11, 2012 ), well-known for her role in revising and expanding The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and for authoring The Fannie Farmer Baking Book and the Breakfast Book, died this morning from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She was 90 years old.

Cunningham authored the following books:

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. 1979.

The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. 1984.

The Breakfast Book. 1987.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. 1990.

The Supper Book. 1992.

Cooking with children : 15 lessons for children, age 7 and up, who really want to learn to cook. 1995.

Learning To Cook. 1999.

Lost Recipes : meals to share with friends and family. 2003.

* lists major works only

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Thank you Nora Ephron.

Nora Ephron passed on June 26. A lot has already been said about her.

In the Los Angeles Times: “Nora Ephron Wrote A Cookbook” and an obituary.

I particularly like Diane Jacobs’ piece, Nora Ephron, My Writing Mentor.

I want to say this:

Nora… thank you for telling the story of how the most important cookbook of the 20th century, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking on screen.


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Jennifer Brennan dies in house fire

Jennifer BrennanJennifer Brennan, renowned cookbook author/illustrator, died this morning in a house fire, in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego, Calif. She was 76.

In 1935, Brennan was born into a family of the British Raj in India. Her mother and her maternal grandmother were born in Calcutta. Her father was posted on the Northwest frontier at the time of  her birth.  She was raised in the Punjab and Mysore.

As an adult, Brennan lived all over the world.

Creative in earning a living, she played “host to the Beatles during their trip to Hong Kong.”

She also taught Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine at her Los Angeles cooking school, The Asian Experience. Her weekly column on Asian food and cooking appeared in Los Angeles Herald Examiner for about five years. She also contributed to various food magazines and  co-owned Curries and Bugles, a British Raj restaurant, in San Diego.

Her cookbooks:

  • The Original Thai Cookbook. 1981.
  • The Cuisines of Asia. 1984.
  • One-Dish Meals of Asia. 1985.
  • Curries and Bugles: A Memoir & Cookbook of the British Raj. 1990.
  • Tradewinds And Coconuts: A Reminiscence And Recipes From The Pacific Islands. 2000.

The IACP chose Brennan’s extraordinary cookbook-memoir, Curries and Bugles, as ‘Best Book in Literary Food Writing’ for 1990.’ In the book, Brennan superimposed her Indian childhood against the historical backdrop of the British Raj with photographs, drawings, recipes and memories; interjecting quotes from the literary British Raj, and excerpts/recipes from culinary texts of the period.


Curries and Bugles


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A grand dame of cookbook selling dies at 95

Marion Gore in 1974

Antiquarian cookbook seller Marian Gore passed on October 11.

Read the Los Angeles Times article.

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Newman’s Own makes the New York Times food section

I’m relieved to see Kim Severson’s article, And Then There Was the Food, addressing Newman’s Own’s contributions to the food world in The New York Times food section today. The Los Angeles Times food section disappointed as far as Paul Newman or Newman’s Own. At least Newman made their Daily Dish blog.

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Robert Steinberg, co-founder of Scharffen Berger Chocolate

According to the Los Angeles Times, Robert Steinberg, physician, who later co-founded Scharffen Berger Chocolate, died September 17 at UCSF Medical Center, near his San Francisco home. He was 61. Dr. Steinberg had lymphatic cancer.
Steinberg and co-founder John Scharffenberger, and their company, played a key role in fostering a new chocolate sensibility in the U.S.; where the idea that chocolate is “a complex and interesting food” replaced the idea that it is merely a “sweet candy.” [Alice Medrich].
Steinberg and Scharffenberger co-wrote a cookbook/memoir, The Essence Of Chocolate. The book, published in 2006, contains 100+ recipes by the two and by noteworthy pastry chefs like Flo Braker, Jim Dodge, Thomas Keller, . . . And, Steinberg and Scharffenberg trace growth of their careers and their passion for chocolate as well.

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Paul Newman

title page of Shameless Exploitation

Hollywood veteran leading man, auto racing enthusiast, food conglomerate philanthropist Paul Newman died yesterday at his Westport, Ct. home. He had returned home from the hospital following chemotherapy in AugNewman's Own Cookbook 1985ust. He was 83.

Newman and writer, A.E. Hotchner, founded Newman’s Own in 1982. Their first product was all-natural Newman’s Own Salad Dressing. Other all-natural products like spaghetti sauce, popcorn, lemonade, salsa, steak sauce followed.


Early on, the boys established the Newman’s Own policy  that all proceeds from the sale of Newman’s Own products, after taxes, be donated to charity. The Hole In The Wall Gang summer camps for for seriously ill children are the among the most well-known recipients.

Newman and Hotchner authored several recipe books:Hole In The Wall Gang Cookbook

  • Newman’s Own Cookbook (1985) [Newman’s Own’s first cookbook by this name]
  • Hole In The Wall Gang Cookbook: Kid-friendly Recipes For Families To Make Together (1998)
  • Newman’s Own Cookbook (1998) [published under the same title as the 1985 cookbook, but with different text and recipes]
  • Shameless Exploitation In Pursuit Of The Common Good (2003) [A business biography/memoir than contains Newman’s Own’s Good Housekeeping Magazine Winning Recipes, company chronology, etc.]

Newman's Own Salad Dressing Cartoon from Shameless Exploitation

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