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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

After Cancer, Tiramisu Gains New Meaning—& New Ingredients

People always ask me if I learned to cook and bake from my mother. They don’t know her, so they have no idea how hilarious that question is. Even though she wasn’t a “domestic goddess” à la Nigella Lawson, she formed my earliest relationships to food because, well, it’s at the center of how she spends all her days: She is widely considered an expert in the food industry in a field called “consumer research,” which is essentially translating the guest’s experience into charts and data. Her language of casual dining was infused into most meals I remember as a kid, as it was her job to notice and catalog the details that the rest of us as diners take for granted, like the color of the walls or the heft of a menu. She taught me that all of it matters.

Having such an involved history with casual dining restaurants in my formative years—while others were being taught real cooking techniques by their grandmothers, which established great stories for them in their future cookbooks—gave me a different kind of understanding of food as an experience. It gave me the reflex to look at a recipe I’m working on from multiple angles, which I think is why I ended up as a food editor.


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