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Marcella begins with her early childhood in Alexandria, Egypt, where she broke her arm. There the family would remain. After years of privation and bombings, Marcella was fulfilling her ambition to become a doctor and professor of science when she met Victor, the love of her life. They married and moved to New York City.

ISBN 13: 9781592403882

She began to attempt to re-create the flavors of her homeland. Soon after, Craig Claiborne invited himself to lunch, and the rest is history. As their friendship progressed, Hazan was puzzled that Victor mostly wanted to talk about food.

Neither did she think much about its preparation. Her culinary skills had been mostly utilitarian fattening a pig for slaughter, for example.

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But food for Victor was a poetic experience. And soon, despite objections from his family in New York , they married. It was through Victor, and the course their joined lives would take, that food became the dominant creative force in the Hazan household.


The Hazans soon realized that despite the riches of a life centered on good food and appreciating beautiful things, one needs more to survive. Hazan soon followed only to face what challenges so many immigrant brides: cooking in a strange land.

Finding standard Italian ingredients olive oil, Parmigiano, pancetta, artichokes, and fava beans required extra effort. And the traditional long Italian lunch was considered a joke in industrious America. After a brief stint working in a lab, while Victor pursued a career in advertising, Hazan remained at home preparing meals and caring for their infant son.

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Life became dull for the little family. Soon Victor decided what they all needed was to move back to Italy, beginning a series of transatlantic relocations that ultimately have come to rest in Longboat Key , Fla. But this cross-pollinating is exactly what enabled them to bloom in both cultures and introduce regional Italian cooking to thousands of Americans. After one relocation to New York, Hazan began teaching cooking in her apartment to her fellow classmates in a Chinese cooking class on a whim.

What started out as six classes, stretched to nearly a whole year and then finally to an entire life devoted to teaching Italian cuisine. Her own schools in Bologna and Venice followed, populated by everyone from housewives to movie stars. She also faces her disappointments — a failed boutique, a blighted restaurant, relationships gone sour — with candor and wisdom.

Like her cookbooks, Hazan wrote out her memoir by hand.

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Undoubtedly, the unwritten subtext of this marriage has changed the course of American cuisine toward good. Already a subscriber? This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance.

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