Italian Cookbook Author Marcella Hazan Dies at 89

Italian Cookbook Author Marcella Hazan Dies at 89

Hazan's daughter-in-law Lael announces the passing of the Italian-born cook in a Twitter post, adding that Hazan's husband and collaborator Victor was 'at her side.'
Famed Italian-born cookbook author Marcella Hazan has died. She passed away on Sunday, September 29 at her home in Longboat Key, Fla. following declining health. She was 89. Hazan's passing was confirmed by her son Giuliano Hazan in an email to the Associated Press.

Hazan's daughter-in-law Lael also announced the sad news in a Twitter post, writing, "The world of cooking has lost a giant today. My mother-in-law Marcella Hazan melted away peacefully, my father in law at her side." Victor Hazan wrote on Facebook, "Marcella, my incomparable companion, died this morning a few steps away from her bed. She was the truest and best, and so was her food."

Fellow chefs took to Twitter to mourn Hazan's death. Rachael Ray wrote, "In Italy w John for our anniversary & just heard the sad news Marcella Hazan has passed. We will remember her in our hearts & our food." Alex Guarnaschelli added, "I met Marcella Hazan when I first started cooking and she made me obscenely buttered toast with fresh sardines. I'll never forget. RIP."

Hazan was born Marcella Pollini in Cesenatico, Italy on April 15, 1924. She met Victor and they got married in 1955. The couple later moved to the U.S. After moving to the U.S., Hazan cooked Italian food for her husband who longed for the original taste from the country.

One day, Hazan's classmates from Chinese cooking class asked her to teach them how to cook Italian cooking after the Chinese cooking class was canceled by the instructor. Hazan's cooking class which she carried out at her New York City apartment became big. She and her husband later opened cooking school in Bologna and Venice. Her first of six cookbooks "The Classic Italian Cookbook" was published when she was almost 50.

"Simple doesn't mean easy. I can describe simple cooking thus: Cooking that is stripped all the way down to those procedures and those ingredients indispensable in enunciating the sincere flavor intentions of a dish," Hazan wrote in 2004. In an interview with Epicurious, Hazan said that the keys of success for home cook was "taste. That is very important. They don't have to do very complicated things. And good ingredients."

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