Julia Child’s August birthday got me thinking about how cooking and generosity are often intertwined. My go-to cookbooks tend to be written by cooks with big hearts who make great companions in the kitchen. Julia is an excellent example of this largesse.
Like Julia, other favorites such as Jacques Pépin, Marion Cunningham, Andrea Nguyen, Deb Perelman, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Julia Turshen, Nigella Lawson, are as generous as they are clever. You can sense them rooting for you. In keeping with true Semifinalist sensibility, it is worth noting that these are not “mega star chefs” per se, but formidable cooks – no less talented, just with different intention.
Lastly, speaking of heart, check out Anthony Bourdain describing how to cook good food in his first cookbook Les Halles, “You need love.” Love for the food, the process and the people you’re cooking for, “because the greatest and most memorable meals are as much about who you ate with as they are about what you ate…enjoy the fact that you are nourishing them, pleasing them, giving them the best you’ve got.”