In 1969, the cooking teacher and food writer Grace Zia Chu, a 70-year-old woman whom a journalist would once call a “tiny tornado in the kitchen,” made a startling announcement to her students: She’d be leaving New York to return to her native China. She needed a break from teaching Chinese cooking. The news would turn out to be an unexpected blessing for one of the women in that crowd, an Italian immigrant named Marcella Hazan. Chu’s departure from New York inspired Hazan to take up the teaching mantle herself when some of her fellow students persuaded Hazan to show them the ins and outs of Italian cooking.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.