Remembering Sheila Lukins

By Kate Krader Posted August 31, 2009

© Courtesy of Workbook Publishing Company

I never had the opportunity to work with Sheila Lukins, who died yesterday at the age of 66. But I did love the carrot cake recipe from her inimitable Silver Palate cookbook (co-authored with Julee Rosso) and made it so often I had it memorized.  My colleague Tina Ujlaki was her editor on several of the stories Lukins wrote for Food & Wine, and her memories are amazing. “We did the most awesome Christmas story with Sheila a long time ago, “ Tina told me. “For dessert she wanted to do a panettone bread pudding. I’ve always hated panettone —I hate candied fruit—and this was topped with an amaretto sauce, which sounded awful to me, like a double whammy. And the bread pudding was absolutely delicious, it became the dessert all the food editors made every Christmas for years and years.” (That recipe, along with several others, like a wonderful Ham and Egg Salad, are at “That was Sheila’s genius,” Tina continued, “she could take ingredients that you didn’t think you liked, or that should never go together, and make something that became your favorite dish, like Chicken Marbella”—the iconic Silver Palate dish that somehow brings together prunes, olives, capers, brown sugar and white wine. As Tina said, “Sheila was your best friend in the kitchen.”

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