Births, graduations and weddings are all important in the life of a family, but there are other moments that are less obviously but equally significant. One is the day a child begins giving birthday parties for a parent. Nadia Roden recently reached this turning point when she set out to commemorate her mother's 67th birthday.
Anyone would be humbled by the challenge, but think about how much more pressure there'd be if your mother was legendary author Claudia Roden. With her Book of Middle Eastern Food, first published in the United States in 1972, Claudia popularized Middle Eastern cuisine in the West in much the same way that Julia Child got all of America simmering French stocks. Where do you even start preparing a feast for such a woman?
An accomplished artist, Nadia has created textile designs for the Metropolitan Opera and Guggenheim Museum in New York City and has done animation for Sesame Street; she also recently took up the family business, writing and illustrating the cookbook Granita Magic. "People sometimes ask, 'Are you intimidated to be cooking for your mum?'" says Nadia, who lives in a loft on the edge of Manhattan's Chinatown. "But funnily enough, it's the opposite. She's given me enormous confidence. She's never, ever said, 'Get out of the kitchen.'"