07:35 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Alice Waters and Chez Panisse
Originally posted 07/12/2012 12:00PM
Learning to Cook author Marion Cunningham, widely considered the mother of American cooking, died on Wednesday in Walnut Creek, Calif., after suffering a series of medical conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and respiratory problems, The New York Times reports. She was 90.
Among her many gifts to the family dining table was the simple philosophy that parents and children should share evening mealtimes together, so kids might learn table manners and how to engage in dinner conversation. She was also a champion of simple American fare – roast chicken, salad with iceberg lettuce and strawberry shortcake. (The Times shares her coffeecake recipe along with its obituary.)
"Marion was a traditionalist, but an enlightened traditionalist," Alice Waters, founder of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, told the Los Angeles Times. "She could appreciate every conceivable food, the way she could connect with every conceivable person."
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