Meeting Sheila Lukins

Since I can remember, the Silver Palate Cookbook has been right there as a staple next to Joy of Cooking in my mother’s kitchen. The Silver Palate Cookbook is a bible for two of my favorite home cooks- my cousin and my best friend’s mother.  And when I started this job in November, it’s the first book I would mention when asked what I’d be working on.  The response was a repetitive, but never boring, “I love the Silver Palate Cookbook!  I cook from it all the time!”

So when our executive editor Suzanne Rafer asked me if I wanted to attend a Children of Bellevue benefit awarding Workman’s wonderful Sheila Lukins, it was a no brainer.  I would finally get to meet the woman behind the Silver Palate sensation.  The woman who changed the way America eats.

Sheila’s books have become a cultural touchstone, but what her devoted fan base doesn’t know is that when no one else would help, our wonderful Sheila was a volunteer at the Bellevue Hospital Center working with patients who had TB.  Wonderful Sheila, indeed.

I like to think of them lighting up when Sheila arrived, putting a smile on their faces with her distinctive, snappy one-lines.  And leaving behind a plate of her chicken marbella.

Well, maybe the chicken couldn’t get past the nurses.  But I prefer to imagine it did.

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