Women, Memories, and Food

Women, Memories, and Food

Dishing: Great Dish – and Dishes – From America's Most Beloved Gossip Columnist

by Liz Smith

Simon & Schuster, 240 pp., $25

Fort Worth native Liz Smith has spent the entire second half of the 20th century and beyond in New York City writing about who's who and what's what and who did what to whom among the celebrities and moguls of the world. Dishing chronicles her food memories: meals enjoyed with the glitterati, family, and friends, complete with recipes. While I found some of the more star-studded entries pretty boring (too many pages of Elvis, Liz Taylor, and Richard Burton, yawn), Smith's stories about herself and her friends are very engaging. Revelations about her 20-year relationship with country lifestyle maven Lee Bailey came as a complete surprise, and tales of their cooking and entertaining friends together were delightful. Whether Smith is learning the proper caviar-eating technique from legendary French restaurateur Henri Souleâ reveling in her enjoyment of politically incorrect watermelon, or complaining about the "Discomfort Food" in some of today's trendier restaurants, I'm right there with her. For me, the stories are more compelling (in my next life I want to be a famous restaurateur like Elaine Kaufman) than the recipes, although the Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake is divine. and I can't wait for a good watermelon to try both the Savory Salad and the Granita. Dishing with Liz is plenty of fun.

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