Thursday, February 16, 2006

Edna Lewis Remembered

Edna Lewis, a giant of down home southern cooking, died on February 13th at the age of 89. From's 2001 profile of Lewis:

"No one has done more to take down-home cooking beyond the Grits Belt than the indomitable Edna Lewis — the granddaughter of slaves, a chef and cookbook author who is the unofficial ambassador of Southern cuisine. Her groundbreaking career was capped in 1999 with her designation as Grande Dame by Les Dames d'Escoffier, an organization of female culinary professionals from around the world.

Lewis's life is a great American story. Born in 1916 in Freetown, Virginia, a tiny farming community founded by her grandfather, she traveled to New York and became a chef at a time when female chefs, let alone black female chefs, were few and far between. Her landmark 1976 book, The Taste of Country Cooking, was one of the first cookbooks by an African-American woman to reach a wide audience, and it is credited with helping spark a nationwide interest in genuine Southern, country-style cooking."


At 5:18 PM, February 16, 2006, Blogger vlb5757 said...

I had no idea that Ms. Lewis passed away. I was lucky enough to meet her and hear her speak when I was in culinary school. Ms. Lewis and Scott Peacock came and spoke about African American cooking in the south. It was really interesting and I learned so much. I know that Scott will miss her and the culinary world as well.

At 5:52 PM, February 16, 2006, Blogger ReMARKable Palate said...

I never met her, but to hear Scott Peacock speak of her made you think you HAD met her.


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