It’s funny how a little thing like lunch can be a life changer.
For Marcella Hazan, it was when Craig Claiborne of the NY Times came to lunch in 1970….and shortly thereafter, celebrities, writers, chefs and other-important-people-who-can-make-your-career started coming to Marcella’s classes to learn about authentic Italian cooking. Six best-selling books, Lifetime Achievement awards and changing the way Americans cook, think, enjoy Italian food…that’s Marcella.
My life changing lunch was last week.
It was a bit unexpected – I’ve been friends with Lael and Guiliano Hazan (Marcella’s son) for the past couple of years but never imagined that I’d be meeting Marcella. And it wasn’t until Pamela Sheldon Johns swung by the area on book tour that I had that chance. A few emails, text messages and phone calls with Pamela and it was decided that lunch at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota was the plan, and that Marcella would be joining us.
I really didn’t know what to expect, I had heard Marcella was intense and intimidating, but I would have expected nothing less from the “doyenne of Italian cooking in America“…a fervent force of nature, indeed!
Lunch was pleasant, I was on my best behavior and didn’t slurp my Pork Belly Ramen Noodles like I normally would, for fear that a long slingy noodle would slurp-lash rich broth at my dining companions. Conversation flitted between Pamela’s cooking school in Italy to olive oil to cookbooks to book tour to travel.
No, wait. Pamela and I flitted. Marcella listened, at moments her eyes would gaze away and just when I thought we had bored her to tears, she’d smile and cut our sing-song fluttery conversation with her wisdom, bluntness and staunchy opinions.
And that was our lunch.
But that wasn’t THE LUNCH that I was referring to.
As we were about to leave the Ritz, Marcella wanted to know when I was going to come to her house to cook Chinese food. She has a fondness for Chinese food that has gone unfulfilled here in Sarasota (our Chinese-American restaurants here in town have a bad habit of drowning every dish in the same nasty, goopy brown sauce.) I recalled reading that a Chinese cooking class is what started it all for her in 1969.
Phone numbers were exchanged.
The next day, Marcella called, “Hello, this is Marcella. We met yesterday. Do you remember me? When are you coming over?”
Hmm…Marcella…marcella…name sounds familiar…OF COURSE I REMEMBER!
Lunch at Marcella and Victor’s home was scheduled and I decided to make My Mother’s Famous Chinese Crispy Egg Rolls and Chinese Sausage Fried Rice, both from my book and both are dishes that I could make on the fly without a recipe. Important, because while I couldn’t pretend that cooking for culinary royalty was a normal thing in my daily routine, at least I could stack the odds in my favor that the food would turn out good.
Their condo, overlooking the happy blue sea of Gulf, is elegantly decorated with treasures from around the world. A richly colored, cone-shaped lantern, as large as a satellite dish, hangs mightily at the center of the living room.
“It’s Venetian,” Victor says, “have you ever been to Venice?”
I love Victor. He’s quick, sharp, witty and still a ladies man. He’s dressed in slacks, button down shirt, both perfectly pressed, trimmed goatee and his short, grey hair styled in that messy-tousled way.
He’s still sexy at 81.
Marcella is 87 years old (her birthday was last week) and health problems have taken their toll on her body. I can imagine what she was like in her energetic younger years.
But these days, Marcella is comfortable at her dining room table, situated between the kitchen and the view of the Gulf’s peaceful blue.
She sits within fingertips reach of the kitchen, a cigarette in hand, only getting up and shuffling to the walk-in closet converted to a pantry and storage to retrieve items that I needed to cook with.
She senses that I’m reluctant to ask for too much, the shuffling is labored and the cigarette has to be put down, “Tell me what you need. I have many things, just ask. The right tool always makes it easier.”
I break out of my normal blogger routine of capturing everything on camera and film, my friend Shelisa helps me snap a few photos while being respectful of the Hazan’s privacy. Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the hardest things to do. Given my way, I would have mounted five cameras to the ceiling to record it all, especially if I happened to do something silly…like burn down their kitchen.
They live in a strict condo community. No bbq grills, no gas flames. I knew they had an electric stove, so I brought my own portable butane powered gas stove and wok. Marcella looks at me, smiles wickedly and says, “oh, that’s illegal here.” (but we used it anyways….shhhh!)
Shelisa and I stood a couple of feet from Marcella’s seat at the dining room and we proceeded to roll a couple dozen egg rolls. Then Marcella wanted to learn and so we brought out a wooden TV tray to her and she put down her cigarette.
The secret to rolling a good egg roll is to keep it tight and even, something that takes a little practice, even for Marcella. The first couple didn’t turn out so good, and I froze for split sec…how do I tell culinary royalty that her egg roll isn’t quite right? Do I quickly re-roll under the table without her seeing? Do I gently scold like my mama does to me!? What if she really knows how to roll and she’s just testing me?
“Marcella, we have to roll tighter, like a cigarette. Like this…”
And boom. She understood.
We rolled enough for lunch and enough to store a batch in the freezer for another time.
There were many things that I learned once the four of us sat down for our lunch of Egg Rolls and Fried Rice. Like most Italians, lunch is Marcella and Victor’s main meal of the day, the most important one, so Victor opened a bottle of wine, the table was set and we sat and dined.
I had forgotten to bring a bottle of Chinese Black Vinegar for the egg rolls. And if you didn’t know how to eat an egg roll properly, let me tell you. You first take a little bite on one of the egg roll. Holding the egg roll upright, spoon just a few drops of Chinese Black Vinegar down into the egg roll, so that it dribbles all the way down on the inside of the roll. That deep, musky tang of the vinegar adds another flavor dimension.
But if you don’t have Chinese Black Vinegar, cheap balsamic vinegar will do. Notice I said “CHEAP” (Chinese Black Vinegar is $3 a bottle).
But how do I ask the Hazan’s if they have cheap balsamic?! So I just asked for balsamic.
Victor brought out a eeety beety tiny bottle of balsamic.
Marcella looks at the bottle, looks at me, then points to the bottle, “You know, this is $85 a bottle, aged 25 years.”
And then a little bickering began, with Marcella telling Victor in Italian something about 25 year old special balsamic, $85 a bottle, our American guests will use too much, they won’t appreciate! And then no more special balsamic for me!
Well, I don’t speak Italian, but that’s exactly what *I* would tell my husband! 😉 They bickered back and forth for a while, and I think Victor won, because the bottle stayed put on the table.
Very carefully, I opened the bottle…Marcella had her eye on me…I looked at the cork and declared, “oh, this balsamic vinegar won’t work well, it’s too thick and sweet!” and sent Victor off to find a more “tart and runny balsamic”…i.e. the CHEAP STUFF.
Among the lessons that I learned that afternoon:
- Real Italian sausage has no fennel, “Why all sausage have fennel? I don’t understand. Italian sausage just simple salt and pepper.”
- While we ended our meal with an espresso, Marcella ended hers with a glass of Gentleman Jack whiskey, “I cannot drink wine anymore, I have a reaction. So I drink whiskey.” And from Victor, I learned that a little sugar in the espresso brings out so much flavor.
- They love a big, thick rare steak. Massage the steak with salt and pepper, place on grill, and when you see 1/4″ of the side cooked and cook the other side 1/4″ inch. In separate frying pan, heat up olive oil, garlic, rosemary. When it’s very very hot, take the grilled steak and place in the olive oil pan. Let it sizzle just a bit, flip and do that a couple of times, but be careful, you’re just coating the steak, not cooking it further.
But the life changing moment for me was not about the food, it was a lesson on fondness.
Some days, my husband and I are so busy that we hardly even have a chance to meet eyes. Even when we’re not busy, our eyes are on our children.
That day, during every story that Victor told of Marcella, and Marcella told of Victor, their eyes would lock for a moment, they’d share a smirk-smile and it was evident that this was more than love. This was 55 years of fondness that they still have for each other.
I can’t quite explain it in words, but this is what growing old together, forever, in love means.
Victor sent me home with a package of Italian sausage, custom made for them by Paul Bertolli, meat, fat, salt, pepper and absolutely no fennel.
And a few nights later, we grilled the sausages and also made Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter that she’s famous for. What a fine meal it was!
The recipe for her tomato sauce is so simple – just 3 ingredients: butter, onion and tomatoes. Recipe for Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. How lucky you were to spend an afternoon with Marcella and her husband. You have inspired me to make her risotto, one of my favorites! I have had The Classic Italian Cookbook for years, and by the look of wear, is used quite often.
Thank you for such a lovely interview. I just did a blog post on Marcella and a couple of her recipes. Reading her books are so enjoyable. I also just made the tomato sauce a couple nights ago – fantastic!
Wonderful story Jaden, you lived my dream. I’m a huge Marcella fan. I have all of her books and devoted a blog to my ‘Bible of Italian Cooking’ her original ‘The Classic Italian Cookbook’. I found it used a few years ago, well used. The cover worn from years of sliding around a kitchen counter, splatters of sauces and dustings of flour and polina throughout, page after page of folden corners. Well worn has to be the best review of a good cookbook. I hope to take one or two of Lael and Guiliano’s home classes next season and dream I’ll find Marcella there popping by to see the grandkids. I’d love to meet her, maybe I’ll just invite her over to share a plate of gnocchi and glass of Jack so she can sign her books 🙂
Class and panache. You captured her as I have always imagined her to be.
Thank you for this wonderful lunch story! I just finished reading “The Classic Italian Cookbook” cover to cover, with stops inbetween to try out recipes. Sometimes I had to laugh out loud at Marcella’s commentary. She’s a treasure and every single recipe that I tried was wonderful. How often does that happen? Maybe I’ll try your egg rolls next.
Marcella is an all time favorite of mine. I am of Italian Heritage and Roots on both sides of my family. Marcella’s recipes bring me back to my Grandmother’s, my Mother’s and my Aunt’s Cooking. I refer to Marcella’s Cook Books as my “Bible” for Italian Cooking. Thank you for sharing your lovely experience! Marcella is as lovely as always! She is my Mom’s age. Marcella and Victor are lovely together. Thank you for sharing!
I took a week long class with the Hazan’s at their apartment in Venice in the early 90’s, and it was one of the most special vacations I have ever taken. I often wonder how they are and it was so nice to read this and learn things are very much the same! Marcella is still smoking and drinking whiskey and Victor is as sexy as ever. I know how wonderful it must have been for you. Thanks for a wonderful account of your visit.
Beautiful story! I was a little teary by the end particularly as she reminded me of my mother. Thanks! How lucky to spend that kind of time with a true legend.
Marcella is very dear to me and this was a poignant story that captured a side of her that no one else has at this stage of her life. What a generous person she is with her time and advice, and even with complete strangers and cooking novices like me, on the other side of the world. We are lucky to be able to spend this time with her, even at a distance.
Thank you for your story.
This was a remarkable story. Thank you for sharing your private time with the world and letting us see a side of Marcella that most others would never see. Simply beautiful.
another big fan, and impressed by how absolutely cool you are about the whole thing! what a wonderful story!
Holy moly! You met a living legend. Her bolognese is my favorite thing to eat in the world!!
Hazan’s book, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, is my main “go-to”–how neat to have met them.
What an amazing culinary adventure! I read your post with anticipation and admiration. Kudos to you for managing to cook, eat, learn, teach and share.
Jaden, I just LOVE your writing, always so personal and hilarious esp. about slurp-lash noodle or mounting 5 cameras as us bloggers tend to want to do! Really ‘fondness’ is so important in a relationship. Thank YOU for link and using my ‘traveling kitchen’ i.e. Wok Star Kit to use at Marcella’s, so handy! You are truly a Wok Star, need to post this on my site! Incredible it was a Chinese cooking class that started her off!?
But why would you pair fried rice with fried spring rolls? Wouldn’t a bowl of wonton noodle soup with lots of leafy green vegetables have been a more appropriate match?
Cook what you like to eat. There’s no such thing as “appropriate food” unless you’re cooking for someone you don’t like.
A great post – I’m green with envy! I worship Marcella Hazan.
Wowwee. This was an awesome post! Not just because of who you were with (Marcella!Hazan!), but how perfect you were in the whole situation. Very classy Jaden. And really wonderful how connected they are to each other. Nicely done, sister.
Thank you for this post. What a great story. I may have to give that tomato sauce a try real soon.
squeeeeeee! Awesome, in the truest sense of the word.
I hope both Hazans enjoy many, many more years of good health and good food.
(That’s also how my grandfather taught us to make sausages… just salt and pepper, no fennel.)
I love Marcella Hazen! Thank you for sharing your incredibly special day.
I’ve been reading her books cover to cover since the first one was published. And what an astute guest chef you were. Italians are very possisive about Balsamic vinegar. This I know. But the best part was hearing about their love for each other. Some women are just beyond fortunate to spend their lives with such a man in this day and age.
I thought the name “Giuliano Hazan” sounded familiar… As it turns out, his cookbook “Every Night Italian” is the very first cookbook I ever owned. My sister got it for me, in part as a gag gift when I got married. “Now that you’re out of college and married, you’d better learn how to actually cook!” It took us a few years to crack it open, but once we did we regretted waiting so long. I love how simple and yet delicious everything is.
It’s thanks to Giuliano, and Marcella by extension, that I now know there’s so much more to Italian cooking than Sunday gravy. My grandmother is a wonderful cook, but our family get-togethers were huge — she has ten kids and fifteen grandchildren — and so we almost always had some form of pasta with her homemade sauce.
I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know more about Marcella herself. I’m definitely going to have to find some of her own cookbooks to check out.
Thanks for sharing, Jaden! What a great post.
What a wonderful post. I love how Marcella and Victor invited you over for lunch and the back-and-forth over the balsamic. Fantastic!
Lovely, lovely story Jaden. I can just imagine how special this experience was.
What a wonderful recounting of a remarkable afternoon. Your post tells of love of food and love of each other. Brava.
thank you jaden, last night, i cooked pasta with tomato, butter and onions, fried some chorizos and finish it off with panna cotta. sure enough, i got compliments and i was thinking of you and your wonderful experience with victor and marcella. i really love that post. i can read and read and read…..and never seem to get tired of it. i can always imagine the expression…..the feelings of everything you wrote and really thanks a lot, can’t be more happier, you are a part of me now (SMILE)
What a wonderful story jaden! I love marcella and have always cooked from her books and enjoyed her work. How wonderful to meet them and document your visit
So lovingly and professionally.
This is such a lovely post…
You are a lucky girl!
I have been in love with Marcella and her recipes for over 30 years…her older books are yellowed and stained and well used in my kitchen…
Thank you for the wonderful pics!
What an WONDERFUL experience of a lifetime! Beautifully captured into photographs and words!!! 🙂 You Rock! 🙂
Wonderful post. I was hooked from the lunch through the recipe. Well done!
Definitely, I want to bookmark this post to read again a few times. What a great experience.
what a lovely and touching story of food, life and love …. on and from my favorite authors….I have been cooking Italian dishes from Marcella’s cookbooks for years…it’s hard to think that she is already in her 80’s…..thank you for sharing.
I adore her books and read and reread them like they are novels. Tomato sauce with butter and onion is bubbling on my stove at this moment!
What a great experience (and a great read for all of us)!
Especially love the photos of the Hazans.
Oh wow! This is such an amazing story. What a gift to spend a day with them–to experience that love and wisdom. And you shared the story with us absolutely beautifully. Thank you!
I’ve read this post twice, and twice, tears just rolled down my cheeks. This is the kind of love that I’ve always wish for my parents. They are in their late 70s and still together, though dad still bathe and takes good care of my wheel-chair bound mom, they seem to bicker everyday of their lives. If only my parents were like them…. but I wish to grow old and stay in love with my jaan just like Victor and Marcella.
I loved this post… absolutely wonderful story! I pulled out my copy of Marcella’s “The Classic Italian Cook Book” after reading it, and couldn’t help notice her adoring dedication to her husband in there as well! She ends her dedication by saying “His name really belongs on the title page.” What a great story of food and love! Thank you for sharing such an incredible opportunity!
Another great story. 🙂
They are just darling!
I’ve always loved her food, it was a real treat to “meet” her in person.
What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing! I’m reading The United States of Arugula and it talks about the rise to fame of Ms. Hazan. It’s so great to see a current photo and hear about their life! Thanks a million!
What a tremendous opportunity! Thank you for sharing your story, and that of Marcelle and Victor.
What an amazing story–so full of beautiful, gem-like details that I could picture it all. Thanks for sharing!
What a nice story as I love Marcella and her wonderful cooking. So happy you got to experience cooking for her. The sausage with no fennel, hmmmm ya learn something new every day! Oh and thanks for the recipe, gonna try very soon.
What a lovely story! I enjoyed every minute of it and now I’m going to look at that tomato sauce!
What a cool experience. So cute that she actually asks if you remember her from the day before!
Thanks for sharing this story.
Thank you so much for sharing this story – not just about the experience of cooking in their home, but for understanding and sharing the love they share after 55 years of marriage. That moment makes me weep and grateful for my own husband. Bravo Jaden
Oh wow, you are one lucky gal. I would have died and gone to heaven to meet Marcella Hazan. But to cook for her and her husband? Were you nervous? I mean, being on TV is one thing, but cooking for someone so revered? Eeeek! I would’ve sweated all over those eggrolls! Those sausages make my mouth water. yum.
Great post! 🙂 Sounds like you had a lovely time. The bit about rolling the eggrolls like a cigarette made me smile.
btw, that portable butane stove (sounds handy). The link… did you mean maybe eleanorhoh.com?
wokstar.com appears to point to a restaurant.
What an amazing post! I’m still working my way through Essentials, the sauces are just incredible.
I read in Marcella’s facebook post just how much she enjoyed your visit, Jaden. Your blog post is a delightful account of the day. (I also want to thank you for following our group on facebook as we cook our way through Essentials.)
great, great, great post!
Sweet post, Jaden! What an adorable couple Victor and Marcella are, and your photos and commentary really express their love for each other. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! 🙂
I immensely enjoyed your interview with the Hazen’s. Thanks so much for posting.
Oh, Jaden, how cool! What a wonderful entry. I am so jealous (and my husband will be, too, when I tell him!). BTW, he’s been making me that tomato sauce (we just call it “Marcella sauce”) for years and it continues to amaze. And for the record, I’ve always considered Victor a pretty sexy guy. 🙂
What a wonderful experience and a delightful post. I am a big fan of Marcella’s, so I am extremely envious that you had the opportunity to meet her and even better to cook with her. But most of all what a thrill to be able to connect with and share such intimate moments with Marcella and Victor – it is such a privilege to experience that no matter who it is with.
What a lovely post!
Isn’t that the kind of love we’d all love to have? Thank you (and Marcella!) for reminding me I’ve got to take my eyes off everything else and look at my partner with love more often.
Jaden! You are just wonderful. Having read Marcella’s books and admired her tenacity, talent and pure joy for good food and cooking, I enjoyed reading our post, more than you could imagine. I bet she just adored you… How could she not? Another of those all-important “love” moments… The photos and your words reflect the feelings beautifully.
What a wonderful story Jaden! Great pictures too. Thank for sharing your special time with the Hazans with us.
What a great post! Incredibly touching. So glad that you had the opportunity to me and get to know Marcella and Victor.
What a lovely post, I felt as if I were right there with you. Loved the photos too; thanks so much for sharing!
What a marvelous story! It was told with such a calm tone, although you were in the presence of people you looked up to and respected so much. Some people would probably be frazzled and annoying, but look at the smiles on their faces. No stress there.
I am so happy you wrote about the sausage having no fennel . I bought some sausage at my local market and noticed it was missing fennel. It’s the sausage the store makes in their butcher department — not prepackaged. I couldn’t figure out why the fennel was missing and hadn’t been back since I purchased it so I hadn’t had a chance to ask yet, but you answered the question.
Jaden, I saw your tweets about this and absolutely love how you wrote the post. Beautiful and touching – I have tears in my eyes; thanks for sharing your life changing lunch. You’re inspiring me to spend more time with Marcella’s book.
I am crying. Yes, crying. The lesson in “fondness”. Crying. What a day! Thank you for sharing every bit of it. The egg rolls, the fennel-less sausage, the tomato sauce, and the fondness. You rock.
Jaden, that was sensational. I never was old enough to notice those exchanges between my grandparents, but every so often I see it in my parents and it’s always a treasure. I truly hope that I find that one day. From the little but inconsequential bickering to the twinkle in our eyes when they meet – perfect. Thank you, this was exactly what I needed today :).
Jaden, you amaze me every day. There is so much goodness to this post, so much that astonishes me. But mostly, it’s the tenderness with which you write about this afternoon. And the way you noticed their fondness (what a lovely word). Thank you for sharing this.
Great story, Jaden. The next time you come to Oakland I’ll take you to a Chinatown store where we can buy black vinegar for $1.49 per bottle!
What an honor to meet her. I read “Amacord” and it was a great read. It’s so funny that she loves to sip whiskey and smoke cigarettes and she’s 87 years old!
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. That is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Is it weird that I want to make egg rolls AND Italian sausage and Marcella’s Tomato Sauce for dinner tomorrow? Your post made my mouth water!
Enjoyed reading your story. Egg rolls looks so perfectly delicious.
What a beautiful and touching story Jaden. The Hazan’s sound like an wonderful couple. The more I come to know you my friend the more I am blown away by the depth and breadth of your passion not only for food but for life. You aren’t missing a moment.
Great story! Did not know that about the fennel – I bet that sausage she sent home with you is amazing! Will definitely make that sauce….SOON!!!
Oh I am so jealous and happy for your experience. I have a Cooking Italy group and we cook almost exclusively from Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking. Even though I’m Italian, I’ve learned so much from her. I’ve spoken to Lael and Giuliano and interviewed them and have a good understanding of what Marcella is trying to teach us.
We’ve had a trial trying to find “unfenneled” sausage, so we usually make our own, but it doesn’t look as good as what you got to take home.
What a lovely afternoon – thanks so much for sharing it!
Totally a great tribute to them–and it looks as hough they loved meeting YOU, too. I am getting into the kitchen NOW to make that tomato sauce.
Love this post! I feel the same way with my husband. Life is about the kids 24/7. I know it’s just because they’re so young, but I definitely want some more “us” time without the kids involved. Beautiful photos!
What a fantastic way to spend the day. I have no idea what I would make for culinary royalty. When I worked in catering we made spring rolls for an event and after 3 I was banished because one of the other girls was kicking my butt at it. The reason for her success? She rolled her own cigarettes.
Marcella’s book is a very special recipe book to me. It was given to me by one of my patients in 1980. It was one of the first cook books I had and I have loved everything I have made from it. Thanks for this lovely account of your day with Marcella and Victor. How fun to visit their home and spend time with them cooking! Brilliant.
Longtime lurker, etc… This is so beautiful. Every part of this post spoke to me. I love how you shared the *rhythm* of this lunch — not just what it meant to you. I felt like I was right there with you in your heart as you shared and connected. You are so gifted in writing about how food can make meaningful connections between all kinds of folks.
What a wonderful story, what a wonderful telling of it. Thanks for sharing–I’ll try to remember to lock eyes and smiles more often with my husband!
Jaden you have the coolest life! To meet such a culinary legend and then get to cook for her and spend time together. So cool! I love the end of the story. Around our house we are very often moving too fast and not stopping enough. Between running a successful executive coaching firm and me with my blogging and teach people to live gluten free, we spend almost all of our time working. Oh, and we still have a 16 year old at home with no license. It was so nice to see that reminder. I’ve been married only 22 years but we are still very fond of each other but we must nurture that. Thanks for the great story. And next time you’re in the northern Virginia area, I’d love to cook for you!
Loving the contrast of black and white with the color photos- sets the story for a time gone by. Love that you not only capture the soul and spirit of the Hazan family which is a legacy – but that food is always a common thread in our life. We are very blessed to have both the Italian and the Asian influences in our area – bursting with talent!
How delicious a story, and so lovingly written. Thank you for this little treasure worth savoring.
What a nice post Jaden! I feel like I was there with you….okay I wish I was there with you! I just love how good food and good company go hand in hand!
So…when are you going to come over and cook some good Chinese food…You know I can’t get any at the Chinese restaurants around here! 😀
I love this story, especially when she calls and asks if you remember her, and when you point out that the egg rolls should be tight like a cigarette. What a wonderful experience–and Victor is indeed quite dapper for a man of his age!
What a great story and amazing experience, I agree, it’s like we were all there with you!
No cameras, maybe, but your words paint the pictures that bring us into the kitchen. Lovely storytelling, a dream come true, a memory for a lifetime, one told, ever with fondness.
What a wonderful story. Marcella and Victor sound like great dinning companions. It is a blessing to have your food loved.
So adorable, Jaden! I am drooling and so happy. Your post + photos make me smile!
What a beautiful tribute. For our Slow Food book club in June we have to read a book by Marcella and cook something from it. I’m really looking forward to it now 🙂
What a wonderful story of food, of love. Thanks for sharing!
Loved this Jayden! What a memorable meal…
How wonderful! I’m so happy for you that you had such an amazing opportunity to share your lovely food with such lovely people.
This reads like an ode to the soul of a lovely shared meal. Lessons learned:
Cooking is about sharing.
No book can replicate the experience of learning side by side from a master.
Being polite to a fault (esp with balsamic) is an essential skill.
Romance CAN linger lovingly for many, many years.
Jaden-Thanks for such a lovely post. The lesson of fondness such a beautiful gift. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.
That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for posting that…
Wow, Jaden, what a lovely experience to meet Marcella never mind cook for her. I would have been so nervous!
What a great post. Thanks for sharing. Two beautiful people!
Jaden, you did an awesome job on the article. I smiled from start to finish. love the story!
Always an amazing job!
Lovely post Jaden. You captured the day perfectly. I can almost see you there in the kitchen. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your amazing experience, Jaden. The pictures of Marcella are beautiful. I travel with her books as I move across the globe; her recipes inspire me.
What an amazing afternoon!! Marcella’s Bolognese sauce is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and am proud to be able to make. That is a wonderful story and one I can imagine you sharing with your children and friends for years to come. 🙂
What a fantastic experience! The photos – and you – tell a wonderful story about the meals. Love it.
Wow – that sounds like an incredible experience, Jaden! Looks like an amazing time.
Sounds like you had an amazing time. I want to make egg rolls now! I’ve never tried, so that might be my project in the next few weeks.
What a nice story! And you lucky dog with that sausage … and my favorite of Marcella’s three fresh tomato sauces. MMMM.
Now this is all kinds of cool. I love it!!
Wonderful read. What an amazing opportunity. As I told you before, she is one of my favorite cookbook authors and her butter + onion red sauce the basis for every single pasta dish with red sauce that it’s ever cooked at our home. Lucky. lucky girl, Jaden. Marcella is a living treasure. xo